How Are You Offering Your Customers A Truly Personal Connection?

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Today’s fast-paced lifestyle is creating a much different profile of the average American than we had 50 years ago. We’re connected online, more visual and less verbal with shorter attention spans. We’re guarded and weary of big business, doctors, schools and the government. People are overwhelmed—with responsibilities and expectations. And most of all, according to consumer psychologist and OFA Short Course keynote speaker Kit Yarrow, we’re yearning for more personal connection.

It sounds like a bleak picture, but as marketers, the question we need to ask if how can we help ease the day-to-day expectations and responsibilities the world puts on us? And how can our products and services help?

Here are Yarrow’s solutions for connecting with this new audience, relate to their needs and help them find solutions.

Make it personal. Involve your customers with your brand. People feel they’re not always heard. Letting customers rate your products and particpate in advisory boards, as well as integrating social media into your marketing can help consumers be heard. Look at consumer as a medium in themselves. They have connections to other people. They can act as a huge megaphone.

The secret to being a cool company? Make your customers feel cool. Food trucks are cool because when they send out tweets about where they’ll be that day, it makes followers feel like an insider. You can circumvent traditional media channels and still reach a huge number of people.

Ramp it up and make it snappy. Refresh your displays, content, ads and merchandise. Offer limited time-opportunities and respond quickly to your customers questions and comments.

Think benefits and solutions. When someone buys flowers for someone else, the recipient gets a wonderful give, but the giver gets something, too. She’s wonder woman! She’s the hero. How can your products help a person solve a problem or fill a need?

Technovate. Demonstrate your coolness, caring and smarts by incorporating technology and innovation into products or messaging. “New” combats “bored.” “Tried and true doesn’t work anymore,” Yarrow says. 

Make it visual, contextual, active and intuitive. Show rather than tell.

Sara Tambascio is senior online editor of Greenhouse Grower and Today's Garden Center. You can eMail her at satambascio@meistermedia.com or follower her on Twitter @Sara_GG_TGC.

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