Can you name five brands you would not be able to live without? Positive marketing aims to impact a consumer in a meaningful way. Inspiring feelings such as self-confidence and hope, positive marketing has the power to cause personal and societal change, while also cultivating brand loyalty. As a digital marketer, I could not help but relate this concept to the online space. Here are a few key factors that I consider to be crucial in building positive marketing efforts online.
1. Ensure a seamless user experience.
Positive marketing is all about making the customer feel good. So the last thing you want is your audience grabbing their device and yelling, "Why doesn't this button work!" The first step to brand loyalty is making sure websites are designed to be not only functional, but also responsive to perform on screens of all sizes. Make sure to test your material on desktops, tablets, and smartphones! Furthermore, your website should be built with an intuitive navigation that is easy for all users to work with. Do you have a search bar? Is there a supernav with important pages such as Home, Products/Services, About Us, Contact Us, etc? Do you have any FAQs? If not, is it still easy for visitors to find all necessary information on your website? Ask fresh eyes to go on a scavenger hunt around your website. You may be surprised how much certain information is hidden in your site that you may not have initially considered.
2. Show customers you value them individually.
The relationship between consumer and brand needs to be a two-way street. Treating your audience like penny-pinchers whom you have to bombard with promotions and jingles creates indifferent customers. They may buy your products out of sheer familiarity with your name, but once another company offers better deals and name recognition, you're out. Companies like Disney and Dove don't have trusting fans because they offer the best prices - they offer their customers an emotional experience that those people want every time they interact with a similar product. To create this personal experience, it's important to reiterate that you think of your individual customers as more than just a figure. Responsive customer service, customer-centric marketing, and even a simple 'thank you' can make a company feel much more approachable. Inactivity emails such as those sent by Right Inbox do a great job at reminding you that you are cared for.
Language such as "I noticed" and "Have a fantastic day!" reminds the user that you want to help them. By focusing on your relationship with your customer, you too can create long-term customers instead of those who see you as the current best deal.
3. Make them smile.
The power of happiness should not go unrealized by marketers. It is no surprise that positive messaging often naturally leads to a more positive reaction by consumers. If you can make your consumer laugh or feel inspired, your brand becomes light-hearted or inspirational. Just watch this ad by Dove:
This ad makes Dove synonymous with empowerment, and people will buy their products to share that feeling. Help people feel positive emotion in their everyday lives by employing positive marketing.
4. Ensure protection and trust.
In the digital age people are losing trust in brands. In 2016, online security lapses from email database breaches, to viruses, to issues with online payments frequent the news. While anyone can get hacked, do your best to protect your customers and to let them know that you are taking necessary security measures online. Furthermore, at Blue Fountain Media we have reiterated the need for credibility on landing pages and websites. Using known and trusted affiliations, displaying customer testimonials, and listing contact information, let web browsers know that you are a legitimate company that takes its online presence seriously. Think about how you can build trust in your brand, or how you might reassure customers if you run into a security risk.
5. Communication, communication, communication.
With platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit usage growing faster than ever companies have to connect with their customers via social media to stay current. David Neeleman, the former CEO of JetBlue, will tell you that his customers give feedback first on social media. In an industry known for low quality customer service, Neeleman made consumers feel cared for by making their voices heard in these public forums. Not even an inspiring Super Bowl commercial can make your brand seem as considerate as a response to people who, unfortunately, are used to being ignored. Not only will a direct response to comments make the commenter feel special, but everyone who sees the permanent, public interaction will know that you are a company that cares.
You can do it!
In history textbooks, companies and consumers are often viewed at odds. Few companies cared for their customers, often cutting corners to provide them the cheapest product possible. Eventually, companies that spent time weaving positive marketing into their fundamental structure enjoyed a growth in the depth and width of their consumer base. But more importantly, they took on the responsibility of shaping our culture's values. Obviously, there is danger in wielding this power and many companies have made mistakes. But positive marketing remains a force for good by letting companies ask: "Who can I connect with today?"