Note: This is a guest post by Ashley Wilson. The author’s views are entirely her own and may not reflect the views of Deepanshu Gahlaut’s Blog.
Are you losing the human touch in your business?
According to CNBC, companies are now spending more money on technology than they are on people. On the one hand, technology gives organizations the power to differentiate, grow, and reach their customers on different levels.
Tread too far into the land of tech, and you can lose the human touch that your followers connect with as we know – it’s people that other people feel attached to, not their logo, or even the products they sell.
For businesses to truly get ahead in this new digital environment, they need to find the right balance between technology and humanity.
Human Marketing in the Age of Digital Transformation
So, why is it so hard for companies to deliver the human touch today?
It comes down to digital transformation.
As we discover ways to make everything faster, more convenient and more efficient through technology, humans are playing less of a role in the transactional experience.
These days, you don’t need to visit a store and talk to a sales assistant in person to find the product you need. You can open an app and get all the information you want with a single tap.
There are even chatbots and virtual assistants available that can offer personalized recommendations on the products and services you might like, based on your previous purchasing behavior.
Rise of technology like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and even the Internet of Things has meant that we’re not just communicating person to person anymore. Machines are becoming a standard part of our day-to-day lives.
For the average consumer, however, this makes the rare empathy and emotion they get from a human experience even more desirable.
Why Human Elements Improve your Marketing
Today, countless customers get the same copy-pasted experience wherever they go. It’s not enough to slap a “first name” token into your business messages and call them personalized.
In places like China, unmanned shops are already swarming the streets, churning out products like giant vending machines. While these stores might be convenient, they’re not the places that people will grow emotionally attached to.
For a growing business, emotion will dictate whether your company thrives or dies. According to a Nielsen study from 2016, ads that got an above-average emotional response from customers got a 23% increase in sales. People like companies they can feel something about.
It may even surprise you to learn that people still love shopping in physical stores. Even in the internet’s age, 70% of customers say they would rather interact with a human agent, rather than using a self-service strategy.
How to Use Technology to Embrace the Human Touch
So, if maintaining a human element in your marketing is so important, how do you do it?
Do you give up on technology altogether? Go back to newspaper ads and flyers?
All you need to do is show your customers that you care about them, by listening to their needs and delivering the experiences they want in the right environments.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to put yourself in your customer’s phone.
We expect the number of mobile phone users worldwide to reach 4.68 billion this year. That’s countless people you can reach out to and communicate with. Every interaction you have with your customer forms a stronger bond between you and them – like friends getting together for regular conversations.
By getting inside of your customer’s phones, you can make sure you always have a way to reach them on the device they use most. Let’s face it – people even sleep with their smartphones these days!
With a mobile app, you can give your customers a seamless experience whenever they want to connect with your brand. What’s more – you’re doing it on their terms.
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Once they’ve chosen to download your app, they’re giving you permission for those regular interactions, so you’re not just annoying them with regular ads they don’t want or need.
- Give you constant access to your target market
- Reduce your risk of compliance issues (people agree to interact with you when they download the app)
- Offer the opportunity to gather useful customer data
- Provide a constant value to your customer to help build trust
- Boost brand recognition by placing your logo and identity in front of your audience all the time.
- Reduce the disruptive nature of advertising by giving customers interactions they agree to.
Creating Customer Relationships
The great thing about technology is that it not only gives you a great way to get inside of your customer’s life, but it also offers you an opportunity to gather information about those customers too.
If your customer permits you to connect with them through a well-designed app, you can collect data about things like:
- Their demographics (age range, location, etc.)
- What they like and dislike
- What days and times they’re most likely to interact with your brand?
All of this information gives way to stronger, more useful information for your future advertising campaigns. By listening to your customers through your app, you can gradually build better, more relevant marketing collateral for them in the future.
With a little extra technology, like AI and machine learning, you might even predict the future purchases your customers will want to make!
Don’t Lose your Human Side
Building relationships with your customers in today’s digital world isn’t easy.
However, if you can form those in-depth connections, then you’ll enjoy higher brand loyalty, happier customers, and better sales opportunities.
Combine your mobile app strategy with tools like content marketing, social media advertising, and even regular email messages, and you can set up a regular correspondence with your fans.
The more your people interact with your company, the more of attachment they’ll form to your company.
As you continue to listen to your audience and gain information about them, the relevant and personalized experiences you deliver will also generate trust. This is the trust that keeps your customers coming back to you, instead of turning to your competitors.
These days, the best marketing isn’t about trying to disrupt your audience wherever they are, whenever it suits you.
It’s about giving them an experience they feel comfortable with, in an environment that’s right for them.
Only then will you create the relationships that matter for your brand.
Ashley Wilson is a freelance writer interested in business, marketing, and tech topics. She has been known to reference Harry Potter quotes in casual conversation and enjoys baking homemade treats for her husband and their two felines, Lady and Gaga. You can get in touch with Ashley via Twitter.