The Jabs In An Effective Jab-Jab Punch Marketing Strategy

What are the “jabs” that can support an effective right hook to the marketing strategies of 2016?

The Jabs In An Effective Jab-Jab Punch Marketing Strategy

Modern day marketing revolves around brands and organizations attempting to secure the attention and loyalty of an increasingly distracted customer. In 2016, we are seeing smart brands obsess over driving emotional connections with their audiences and pushing sales messages to the back seat—if not out the window entirely.

In our report, Pat Cassidy, digital director of global at New Balance, recently offered his insights on how the global athletic apparel company creates lasting customer relationships: “We are going to provide you with tons of digital content of value—on your phone, on your tablet, on your desktop, when you’re in the store, when you’re around the store, etc. And then when it’s time to push the sales button, we are hoping it’s a solid exchange. It’s like the jab, jab, right hook type model where we are giving, giving, and then when it’s time—here we are.”

The critical idea for marketers to recognize is that the “jabs” are unique instances of delivering value and the focal point of marketing strategy more so than the sale or sales message. So what are the “jabs” that can support an effective right hook to the marketing strategies of 2016?

Jab 1: Beyond Demographics, Dive Into Behavioral Data

The first jab needs to blend demographic understandings with behavioral and preference data to ensure the strategy you develop is based on a deep understanding of your audience. While this might seem obvious in our channel-driven world, according to a recent Razorfish study, 76% of marketing executives say they don’t target with behavioral data.

Examine channel preferences first. Are your customers true omnichannel beings? Or are they primarily active in one or two channels? Not only can this line of thought focus your strategy, it can save resources as well. If all 40- to 60-year-old males prefer to interact with you via your email newsletter and don’t have social profiles, you might not need to waste money on social ads targeting them.

If behavioral data helps you see where the first jab should make contact, then preference data will help you put some force behind it so it’s more than just a tap on the chin. Mari Corella, director of digital merchandising for a global beauty brand, reminds marketers that customer patience is waning with brands that do not consider preferential data in their marketing efforts: “The 2016 customer is now expecting digital to adapt to his or her preferences. It’s laughable when I receive an email that has nothing to do with my interests. It just seems like such a fail on the retailer’s part.” With targeted and specific offers relevant to where your customers are and what they want, the core of your customer-centric strategy is in place.

Jab 2: Analyze Trends, Anticipate Needs, And Predict Behaviors

Once your first jab alerts your audience you are here, you need to step a little closer for the follow-up jab. This means looking deeper into their digital behavior. A recent Deloitte report on digital’s influence in retail reveals the complex picture: “Even within the context of a specific market, digital behavior varies based on personal context—who the consumer is, what stage they are in in the shopping process, and what they are looking to buy.”

As you attempt to further refine this view, the stage of their shopping process should be another area of focus. This time, you are looking for frequency of purchase in order to understand when you should push out your next round of communications to your customers. This pattern analysis will help you anticipate who is going to buy in the next two months, four months, or six months so you can plan your marketing efforts and timeline when your audience is more likely to buy from you.

In addition to anticipating buying likelihood, you need to predict those who you may lose altogether and develop ways to re-engage them at crucial points in their decision-making process. Now, we look to the data to tell us things like: If a customer hasn’t returned to our website, social channels, or opened a newsletter in three months, the likelihood of the customer churning is very high. Therefore, what unique offer can I provide this specific segment to increase the chances that it stays connected to my brand? Perhaps it’s a special offer or contest, with some exclusivity behind it or an opportunity to tell you what the person would like to see from your brand so you can get an even better idea of what it would take to keep the interest of this particular type of customer.

The Extra Jab: Reward Your Top Segments

In a world where everyone wants to feel important and recognized, you also need to examine your top-performing customer segments and look for opportunities to reward and engage with this group. Studies show engaged customers buy 90% more frequently and spend 60% more per transaction, making them a worthy investment of specialized marketing efforts.

You have strong opportunities to turn two-time buyers into three-time buyers by offering a special discount, access to unique experiences, or even feature select influencers from your audience as tastemakers. There is also the opportunity at this level to inquire why they buy and how they view the brand. This information is incredibly valuable as creative fuel for future content and also helps you reinforce messages that loyal customers resonate with and feed that back to other segments.

The Punch: Relies On The Effectiveness Of Your Jabs

At the end of the day, your marketing “jabs” need to be strategically designed to connect with your customer and illuminate a roadmap to purchase your product whenever the customer is ready for it. The key to effective jabbing lies in your ability to unravel the stories hidden in your data and surface the information that will help you deliver value along the way. If you can get there and then reward customers who deserve to be recognized, then you have created a mechanism to draw your audience into the perfect position for the “knockout”—a.k.a.—the sale.

The deeper you dig, the better you jab. The better you jab, the higher the likelihood you will deliver an effective knockout sales punch when the time is right for your audience.

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