Marketing is part of the human experience. Everyone is either trying to sell something or having something sold to them. Often both. However, there is a big difference in marketing efforts built on insight, empathy and compassion, and those created in a cynical attempt to part consumers from their money.

Marketing is a form of communication. It’s a chance to create a relationship between brands and consumers. It’s important to remember that there are real people – hearts and minds, flesh and blood – on both sides of this exchange. It has been demonstrated countless times through history that what Seth Godin calls empathetic marketing is effective and memorable. But how do we do the right kind of thinking so that our marketing efforts turn out this way? It all starts with considering what your consumers actually want.

Let’s say you have a business that has many competitors. There may be plenty of businesses offering the same sort of goods or services as you. All things being equal, there’s little to distinguish you from your competition, at least on paper.

This is where marketing and promotion come in. We have to consider our customers as they make their choices in a crowded business landscape. What are they looking for among your competition in deciding with whom to do business?

Instantaneous and Ongoing Value

Consumers like a deal. But they also look for value that extends beyond an initial promotional period. For a good example of this, let’s look at Bonus.ca. Already established in the Canadian market as iGaming experts, the team at bonus.ca deliver again by reviewing the numerous offers available at online casinos. However, as a review site, they go beyond than mere recommendations, by highlighting the casino promotions (free spins, deposit bonuses, etc) that hold the best value and stressing to readers how certain bonuses recur a second or third time and how to make the most of them. , with numerous promotions (free spins, deposit bonuses, etc.).

Ongoing promotions give you better results than single-use promotions. Instantaneous discounts are great, but a customer is unlikely to stick around and form a lasting relationship with your company if the discounts disappear after a single visit.

 

Human Contact/Service

It goes without saying that good customer service is a must for consumer-facing modern businesses, but there are different kinds of “good” when it comes to customer service, as an article at Hubspot points out. A fully automated customer service system may be fast, efficient and affordable, but it can feel clinical and distant to customers, almost like the company lacks a human face.

Making it possible to interact with a human being – on the phone, in chat, via email – can make all the difference for a customer comparing the service of similar businesses.

 

Ease of Use

It’s important to have a realistic perspective on how easy it is to use your products, website, etc.

If you’re not a web or UX designer, you might not truly understand how intuitive and attractive your various digital products are. A clunky or dated website can break an otherwise strong company, so invest in perspective and skills to modernise these consumer-facing products. Most professionals will give you a free consultation in which they will explain which parts of your current website work well and which don’t, explaining why. This can be an eye-opener for your conversions and overall performance.

There are many ways to make your customers feel like you care about their time and happiness. Keep it up and your company will distinguish itself from its competitors, even if they’re really good at other aspects of their work.