Economic boom times accommodate, tolerate and facilitate large measures of inefficiency and ineffectiveness.
Inherent in many past mass marketing strategies and initiatives were varying percentages of poorly targeted communications. Wastage factors were typically sizeable, but arguably affordable because of the sheer volume of business potential. Some customers simply fell in the cracks and felt that way, with little recognition of their plights, disappointments and unrecognised and unfulfilled needs, wants and aspirations. Little wonder that customer loyalty was mostly read about in marketing and sales publications, rather than being experienced and enjoyed in business relationships.
Since the onset of the Global Financial Crisis, many management teams have necessarily reviewed, refined and enhanced many aspects of business operations and processes. Understandably, budgets have been reined in. Communications have become better and tighter focused. Wastage and leakage factors and costs have been identified and are being progressively eliminated.
Among the more notable and costly inefficiencies of the past were generalised advertising, marketing, promotional, merchandising and selling initiatives. Customisation was applied occasionally, if not sparingly, because of a lack of substantive information on primary, secondary and tertiary target audiences.
Being on-line and connected has established a whole new world of expectations, demands and disappointments among consumers.
Pre-GFC, mass media campaigns were typically generalised and lacked strong measures of productivity, particularly in social media. The bold, general headlines were and remain, for many consumers, turn-off factors in cyberspace.
For businesses, effective emails, texts, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube exchanges need to be personable, intimate and respectful.
Purchase agendas are not determined or set by the corporate communicators. The potential or actual consuming communicatees are most responsive to positive information, intelligence and personal experiences or commendations.
The self-belief that one is unique, different and discerning is alive and well on-line and on the streets. Communication styles need to reflect those attributes and ideals.
Many women are justified in being “miffed” about being ignored, not recognised or being misunderstood. Their roles, importance and influence in stimulating purchases and expediting the various stages of the buying cycle were and still are often over-looked, not studied, analysed, respected or addressed.
Lagging demand and poor sales volume can be explained, in part, because of the lack of sensitivity and responsiveness by marketers and management teams to the unique and divergent perceptions, preferences and dictates of female consumers. For example, some 72% of the decisions for families to contemplate and decide on the purchase of a new residence are initiated by the female head of the household.
There are a discrete number of “hot-buttons” which “turn on” the purchase drive of these key customers and consumers. Sadly, detailed analysis of the advertising, literature and promotional literature of new home builders, real estate agencies and property developers readily identifies glaring deficiencies, inadequacies and inappropriate texts. The target audiences appear to be unknown or misunderstood.
Motor vehicle dealers, networks and manufacturers exhibit the same insensitivities and suffer losses of potential sales as a consequence.
Retailers at large could profit appreciably by connecting with and being focused on the mind-sets, perception parameters, and purchase paradigms of female consumers. This includes hardware stores, some of which are conspicuously “macho-male” in advertising style, store presentations and sales staff employment practices.
THE NEXT STEP
The era of generalisation and broadcasting is waning, if it has not already elapsed.
Narrowcasting is an imperative, or put another way, mass customisation is in vogue.
Individualised, personalised and direct communication minimises wastage, shrinkage and leakage. Efficiency, effectiveness, productivity and velocity are optimised when investments are made into the researching, understanding and servicing of discrete sub-groupings and individualisation.
A mutual sense of understanding fosters confidence, peace-of-mind and assurance, which, individually and collectively, generate urgency, demand and optimal performance.
We should all know intimately and in detail our products, our markets and the economy. However, that is not enough. The needs exist for all entities to truly know, understand, value, to reach out, connect with and engage each and every targeted customer, consumer and client.
The journey typically starts with the unknown and unknowns, ultimately progressing to the understood... that is when you, your business, products, services and people will have arrived.