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The Art of Connecting to Your Consumers

(Sorry for the novel. If you findyourself drifting, just click on the links and take a breather.)

ligerFirst things first, stop thinking of them as “consumers.” They’re people like you and me. People who have hopes, dreams, fears, and really, really bad days. People who love to learn, laugh, and question. But hate to be sold, insulted, duped, spoon-fed, or subjected to long, intrusive, weekly, self-important newsletters coming from somewhere in Ohio (just checking to see if you’re still reading).

Your consumers are smart, savvy, curious individuals. They’re not a group or demographic defined by age, sex, income, and similar attributes which, as this AdAge articles identifies, no longer work for today’s marketers . The person who buys New Balance shoes and a North Face jacket and a VW Jetta is different from the person who buys New Balance shoes, an iPod Touch and Fruit of Loom boxers. And with the ability to reach each of them individually, why wouldn’t you talk to each of them individually?

After all, your consumers are people with unique expectations, behaviors and opinions that are often times unpredictable (right New Hampshire?) Which might explain why trying to connect to your consumers solely through numbers-based, left-brain marketing also doesn’t work.

Want more on number-based, left-brain marketing?

So what are we trying to say? “Stop saying. Start showing.”

In other words, don’t tell your consumers what to think or do. Instead, show them or demonstrate it. And make them feel it, so they can discover for themselves how your brand fits into their busy lives.

Imagine Nike coming out and saying, “Buy our high-performance shoes. We’re cool.” Instead Nike just was, and still is after 20 years. And in doing so, they have built a huge community of brand lovers (like Brokaw AE, Vanessa Miller, who chooses to run at lunch, instead of eat chips and guacamole like the rest of us. Thanks ‘Nessie.)

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