More and more, I like the word “appeal” and its implications for marketing and facilitating the building of relationships. The definition of “appeal” (according to the World English Dictionary) is “the power to attract, please, stimulate, or interest.” So, if we apply that to marketing, it means that brands that think in terms of “appeal” are more likely to try to attract, please, stimulate, and provide interest for the consumer -- all behaviors of engagement, which is the foundation of relationships.
“Appeal” speaks to much more than just what consumers like… "appeal” is about what draws them in, then keeps them returning and sharing the experience with their networks. This has important implications for creating Advocates, who in turn create sales.
- What does it take to attract someone to your brand / product / service?
- What does it take to please and stimulate (inspire to action) your consumers?
- What does it take to provide interest for your consumer?
These are all questions that marketers need to be asking not just when creating an overall marketing strategy, but also every day and with every task.
When you focus on attracting a consumer, you are constantly paying attention to their preferences and their needs, catching their attention by offering something they will LIKE/LOVE and/or something that addresses their needs. Remember, it is all about them, not you.
To truly please a consumer, you need to reach below the surface and connect with what is important to them. What do they believe in? What do they long for? What do they see as the answer to making their daily lives easier? Find those answers, and then determine how your brand/product/service fits in. If your brand doesn’t fit here, it’s time for re-work and innovation! You need to be able to get “underneath their skin” so to speak (but in a good way!).
Stimulate in this case means something like “inspire to action.” You have attracted and pleased your consumer, but if they do not take action, your marketing efforts see no ROI (Return on Investment). What you need here is to invest in the relationship so you can experience a significant ROR (Return on Relationship). Use social media to engage with your consumers: ask them questions, clarify their answers, find out what they need, and keep the conversation going. The more you inspire your consumers, the more likely they are to take action – like buying your product and telling their friends to do the same!
Then keep your consumers interested. Innovate, don’t stagnate. The marketplace is lining up behind you waiting to catch your consumers’ attention the second they lose interest in your brand. You can’t afford to keep pushing out the same content day after day, so focus on the relationship and the conversations will naturally stay fresh, engaging, and interesting.
Don’t settle for mediocre. Strive to appeal to your consumers and watch your brand thrive.
-Ted Rubin, Social Media Strategist