With technology taking over nearly every aspect of our lives, the ways in which we interact with others has been transformed considerably, including how we find potential life partners.
Despite the proliferation of technological solutions to the question of how to find love, it’s notable that we’re the generation to discover “ghosting” and hone the superficiality of “swiping right”–suggesting that tech alone isn’t the answer.
It’s not just lovesick Lotharios who need help, either; marketers might also be those in need of an old-school courting lesson, learning that tech is only a solution if you approach it with the right mindset.
Let’s take a look at the ways brands can use a people-based marketing approach to reintroduce tried-and-true courting tactics to their customer experiences:
Build Trust Over Time
A healthy, long-term relationship is one where there is mutual trust from both sides. Trust is established through listening to your partner. By swapping stories and sharing secrets, you’re building a unique bridge of trust between the two of you. So without putting in the time to get to know the other person and show that you care, it’s likely that your partner will lose interest.
Similarly, brands will lose out if they don’t prioritise listening to their customers’ needs in favor of looking to meet their own agenda. By sending them “salesy” messages (the marketing equivalent of “poking” someone on social), brands will be seen as shallow and risk turning customers off.
Nonetheless, listening is of no use if you don’t put those insights to use; your partner might tell you he or she is allergic to shellfish, but if you sporadically recommend the local seafood restaurant, you’ll come across as forgetful at best and unreliable at worst.
For brands, building trust requires showing up at relevant times, when you know your customer needs you the most. Based on the data points gathered through listening, brands can establish themselves as trustworthy and simultaneously trim their marketing spend. After all, it doesn’t matter how often you see your oldest friends–only that they know you better than anyone else and will always show up in your time of need.
If brands can establish this type of connection with consumers, they won’t always have to keep talking to them to ensure they keep their loyalty.
Get To Know The Other Person
As you slowly start to build up trust with your partner through a series of dates, you are learning more about them–their likes, interests, and what irks them the most. You know how they react in certain scenarios, and you know when it’s a bad idea to wind them up on the wrong day.
Likewise, a people-based marketing approach is about understanding a person’s needs, wants, likes, and, crucially, how they might change depending on the context or touch point.
For example, this could mean that for a network provider, customer data is used to unlock a deeper understanding of the type of service a consumer wants: how their preferences and requirements have shifted over time and how they might further change over the coming years.
A loyal consumer who signed a contract while attending college is likely to want their network provider to adapt to their growing family’s needs a decade later–offering a discount on a children’s TV package, for instance. A company that adds value by leveraging customer data to create experiences that stay relevant as the customer grows is one that will succeed in building a long-term relationship.
In the same way that a person opens themselves up to close friends and family, consumers will be far more likely to share valuable first-party data with brands that adopt a people-based marketing approach to using that data, keeping the customer front of mind.
Grow As The Relationship Matures
The classic example of a long-term relationship breaking down, though, is due to a difference in perspective or a refusal to either adjust to a new situation or compromise with a partner’s needs.
So as the consumer’s needs change, brands should adapt in order to preserve that previously cherished relationship. By being flexible and moulding to an individual consumer’s behaviour, the brand will continue to increase in value.
In this way, just as the fickle, time-poor consumer is constantly looking for love, they also want a brand that can know them better, help them faster, and inspire them everywhere, for longer than just the honeymoon period.
By adopting a people-based marketing approach and a consumer-first mindset, brands can get the most out of the tech and data they already have, saving money and building stronger customer relationships in the long term.