In today’s content-rich environment, it’s more difficult than ever for CMOs to truly connect with potential customers and differentiate their products, especially for start-ups. Product spaces and marketing environments are crowded with companies competing to garner mere seconds of attention from consumers, and this competition has led to progressively more creative solutions from CMOs who are looking to find an angle that will resonate with consumers in a novel way.
The challenges don’t end when a user is finally reached via a brand’s strategy. Only 22% of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates. This phenomenon is especially endemic to the social media advertising sphere, where Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat marketing remains the primary driver of new users for many brands.
Yet CMOs of companies large and small should not despair. Today’s conditions allow for a diverse set of marketing techniques, and marketers who have found the right balance can focus on creating engaging promotional campaigns that communicate a brand’s vision, potential, and value. Here are 5 examples of what effective marketers are doing today, and how their strategies can boost marketing success rates and happier CMOs.
1. Focus on Your Highest-Value Customers
Despite what you may have read, not all customers are created equal. Some customers purchase more frequently, and at higher volume, with higher loyalty, than any other customers – and research has shown these traits are intricately linked. Instead of creating advertising campaigns that are designed to capture a wide variety of audiences, which can sometimes be too broad, try instead to identify and focus on your top customers and modify your marketing strategy to court them.
“Customers are the ultimate drivers of business.” Peter Fader, a professor of marketing at Wharton, writes about the value of focusing on a select set of customers in order to maximize their long-term financial value. Be specific. Use the data at your disposal to identify the characteristics that make someone more likely to be a better customer, and cater your advertising to them, whether it be through a social media, video, or television medium. Your bottom line will thank you for it.
2. Engage on a Personal Level
Once you’ve found your top customers, your best bet is to make your brand appealing by forging a relationship in the customer’s mind between their life and your product. One example of this strategy is Vidyard, a video hosting company that creates personalized introduction videos for consumers, which makes them feel valued by the company individually.
This feeling can create a long-term relationship that keeps the customer coming back again and again. Besides, customers with whom you have a personal relationship are more likely to spread news of your company by word-of-mouth, an especially valuable form of marketing.
3. Embrace Transparency
Customers crave authenticity. The amount of advertising content from large organizations that dilute customers’ understanding of who companies are and what they really stand for has created an environment in which authentic, genuine messages stick in consumers’ minds for a long time.
A famous example of this is Domino’s Pizza, whose ads featuring negative user commentary and complaints struck consumers as novel – a company willing to admit mistakes, and show specific ways in which they were going to improve on their performance.
This type of radical transparency can be incredibly effective. Don’t be afraid to share your background, mistakes, and growth opportunities to the consumer. They will in turn see the company as more real, an agent similar to themselves – and this perceived similarity between brand and consumer can make a massive difference in sales.
4. Highlight Your Team’s Experience
When it comes to building your brand in a new sphere, potential customers may be nervous that your product is unproven, untested, or unreliable. This doubt can seriously hinder your ability to market effectively and grow your customer base in a stable manner. One of the best ways to counter these worries is to market the expertise of your team and why that bodes well for your product, solidifying the impression in the customer’s mind that those in the know created and use your product – and that they should, too.
An example of this strategy is Navibration, a decentralized navigation system. Their one-pager highlights the deep credentials of the experts on their team, and their social media advertisements focus on the qualifications of new team members, developers, and consultants.
Combined, these efforts successfully solidify the product’s premise by assuring consumers that the company was developed in coordination with high-level, successful talent. If you’re an early-stage company broadcasting yourself to customers, it’s important that you show that the people behind your product are trustworthy, experienced, and ready to deliver a high-quality result.
5. Align Yourself with a Mission
Many older brands are losing popularity with younger audiences because they are not aligning themselves with the issues that this group cares about, such as fighting poverty, disease, and inequality in the U.S and worldwide.
Consumers want to feel that their purchase is making a difference on a broader scale, and customizing your message to meet this desire can radically transform your sales. Warby Parker’s Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program is a strong example of a company leveraging their ability to do good to increase sales, changing consumer perceptions, and drive growth.
Your company can represent something that truly inspires consumers. When you achieve this level of connection, consumers will feel passionately about you, your mission, and your people – and they’ll purchase your product to feel a part of your community. Welcome them in with open arms.
This article originally appeared on Forbes.