Winning customers is not as easy as it used to be. People want to be engaged with a brand for longer before buying, and this has trickled down to lower-value purchases like clothes and trainers. Social proof, reviews and social media are all of great importance when they didn’t exist as barriers at all in the past. These are all factors in why the conversion journey has lengthened.
Customers demand more. We want a better experience as customers when buying from a brand. People want to buy into the brand and understand what makes that brand tick and brands must be aware of this. You can’t just jump into someone’s Instagram feed and expect to sell them a pair of trainers, but you have to “wine and dine” them across several channels.
There are plenty of tools out there, and the spaghetti bolognese analogy illustrates this well: you start with your simple ingredients, but then decide to buy more from the local farmer’s market. The Bolognese is then a lot harder to make, but will taste great once you get there. However, it’s not that easy – you need to understand what various ingredients will add to the recipe. Transposing this idea to a digital context, you need to understand the different tools at your disposal to make your marketing strategy tick.
It was much easier to market 5-10 years ago. There are so many more platforms now and marketers need to understand as many of these as possible if they’re to stand out in the market and win more customers.
But why are there so many more tools out there?
- Cost – it is more expensive to advertise now. The CPCs across Facebook, Google Ads, etc. over the last 5-6 years have massively increased.
- There are so many more brands. The world is much more accessible to brands now. Take the drinks world as an example. Coca Cola used to dominate this field, but there are no other competitors at the top, like Ugly Drinks. It is easier to start marketing (but is still hard to grow from there).
Rhys believes that the biggest foundation to winning customers is getting skilled up. The marketing world is so fast-paced and now consists of so many channels that marketers need to fully understand what is happening in marketing and how to adapt it best to their customer base. Marketers need to make the evolution of marketing work for them.
Marketing is more about storytelling and ‘build brand’ than ever. As we’ve discussed, people give themselves the best chance of acquiring new customers through being honest, authentic and telling their story to the world. Storytelling doesn’t only capture people’s attention, but also gets them to buy into your brand.
CPCs have been getting more expensive year on year since Marcus has been in marketing. This trend is unlikely to change. Clicks are getting more expensive, and people are clicking more often, so this is going to cost quite a lot in the long run. Therefore, it is all about conversion. You need to look at how they can get the highest number of customers to convert as possible, whether that be through your website, through the conversion funnel or how you communicate through your ads.
Marcus’ two points that will help win customers in this hyper-competitive world:
- Accept that it is going to be slightly more expensive
- Look to maximise conversion rate in any way possible
UX (user experience) starts right at the top. You have to understand who your audience is, where they are online and how they like to buy, and this should be part of your conversion rate pattern. For example, customers over 55 years old are very unlikely to convert on Instagram.
The way to get CPCs down is to focus on what the user wants. If you’re able to show users relevant ads at the right time for them, Google will benefit you with a higher quality score and lower CPCs. Focusing on the audience can help in two ways: getting CPCs down and improving conversion rates.
Rhys connects with brands that he feels part of, and a lot of brands are not doing enough here. Customers are unlikely to buy from brands who simply tell them that they should buy a certain product. This goes back to building a brand – you shouldn’t expect a sale from every bit of activity, but instead, use data to see how customers who have not bought are engaging in other ways (e.g. signing up to a newsletter). This can help add people to your brand’s family, even if they are not engaging through purchases.
“It’s about fishing where the fish swim”. You need to use the channels that your customer base uses most frequently and have a strategy that covers all of the relevant bases.
It is also important to understand how you get your message out. For example, if you’re in fashion you may look to market through video instead of audio. This has to come back to not only your organic marketing but also in your advertising – you must ensure that you’re covering a range of methods to get the word out about your brand.