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Back to Basics: The Human Connection in Digital Marketing

May 11, 2017

At the risk of over-sharing, here’s a tidbit about Cajam Marketing: our marketing team often talks in song lyrics, and just about any topic can inspire a tune. A recent discussion involving lots of charts and acronyms like ROI and AOV called to mind Bruce Springsteen’s “Human Touch,” “…just a little of that human touch…” (Cajam Jersey girls give extra points for Springsteen lyrics), as well as Rick Springfield’s “we all need the human touch…” For marketers, a brief musical flashback to a pre-digital era is a good reminder of the timeless quest for human connection.

In data-driven digital advertising, there’s a tendency to lose touch with the human side of marketing while sorting through numbers. We tally “conversions,” an impersonal term for a very human moment. A real live person needs something, looks for it and finds it on your website. Using emotions like trust and reasoning, this person decides you have the best solution, enters a payment method and clicks the order button.

Online retailers, in the absence of face-to-face interaction with shoppers, need to work a little harder to build a relationship with a website visitor. With a combination of song titles and marketing wisdom, here are a few tips to add the all-important human touch to the digital shopping experience.

Make Me Feel Your Love

Interpersonal Communication 101: Everyone wants to feel special and loved. (Go ahead, hum whatever song popped in your head about feeling special and being loved).  Keep this basic human need in every step of your marketing plan.

What makes a customer feel special?

  • A handwritten thank you note in the shipping box or post-purchase
  • A free sample
  • A non-salesy phone call, especially to diffuse a potential conflict like a shipping snafu
  • “My account” customer registration to foster a sense of belonging. Amazon Prime membership is a prime example.

Chewy.com postcard

This handwritten postcard from Chewy.com adds a personal touch.

Baby Hold On To Me

Offer a tangible reminder of your brand. Send something your customer can hold onto like a friendly, well-designed postcard or branded swag related to your product line (like the mini pencils IKEA keeps in easy reach in its stores)

Other ideas:

  • A postcard mailer with an offer to a targeted list (we recently received postcards from HelloFresh, Chewy.com and Boxed.com, and guess what? They worked.
  • A printed card with product tips, recipe, etc. included in the box

Don’t You (Forget About Me)

Continue to grow your customer relationship after the first sale. Post-purchase emails with tips related to the product and links to other relevant information like a blog article or idea book can strengthen your bond. Despite the “e” in “email”, an email can evoke a clubby feeling of community. A branded box and creative branded packaging are often retained for future use, keeping your brand name in sight.

99 Problems

Be the solution. In the simplest terms, every person who visits your website is in search of an answer. Helping someone solve a problem builds trust and gratitude. Be sure to focus on the benefits of your products, and pay attention to your visitor’s needs.

The Power of Love

If you show the love through genuine customer service, friendliness and care, your customers will love you back. A happy customer becomes a repeat buyer and a brand champion. Customers who feel connected to your brand will share their love with friends. Encourage customers to post photos and videos featuring your products on social media, write product reviews and spread the love.

Need marketing help? Cajam Marketing offers guidance, planning and creative resources to help you build your brand and grow your business. Contact us.

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