What would you do if you found out that one third of your customers really want to participate in what you're doing?
Through the proliferation of digital sales channels, customers have unprecedented access to brands, wielding an ability to build and influence that those brands cannot ignore. Customer engagement is evolving to become a two-way street, and savvy companies must strengthen this human connection and lean into this participation in order to fully realize their growth potential.
This was the discovery of Deloitte’s recently published 2021 Global Marketing Trends Research.
Surveying over 7,500 consumers from Brazil, China, United States, the United Kingdom, they found that a third of these consumers want to participate in the brand: be a part of a brands’ activities and their mission, carefully choosing where they are applying the power of their voices.
This participation can manifest across a spectrum of frequency and depth, with the study finding that when consumers engage in deeper activities, they tend to participate in those activities more frequently.
There is an immense opportunity to build a comprehensive plan for participation that stretches across the buyer’s journey in order to create meaningful engagement at each brand touch point. This will allow you to not only boost brand interaction in the short-term, but also more deeply nurture customer advocacy and feed back into your marketing cycle. While these key touch points may differ depending on the brand and its core objectives, inviting customers to get involved can help marketers and leaders breathe life into their offerings and their overall brand experience.
Driving a more human-centered experience is a critical component in leaning into and developing a culture around customer participation with your brand. Brands must balance operational business needs for efficiency and productivity with the human values that power their customer base. These values drive human emotions and actions, including purchasing decisions.
However, according to Deloitte’s study, human-experience oriented outcomes aren’t where the majority of executives seem to be placing importance. Of those surveyed, improving efficiency and productivity (42 percent) and improving risk management (38 percent) were the top outcomes executives hoped to achieve, specifically in the wake of the COVID-19 recovery. Third highest ranked was accelerating the move to digital platforms and technologies (35 percent). In a time when consumers are craving connection more than ever before, improving customer engagement ranked only as the fourth highest prioritized objective (33 percent).
Re-prioritizing the human-centered experience starts with listening to customers to understand what they truly need and then stepping into the role of championing for those needs.
Once brands own the role of customer (human) champion, making sure their messages to the market place reflect what their customers need and value, the foundation of trust is truly laid. And this trust relies on the continued link between brand behavior and customer behavior. In Deloitte's survey, they “identified four attributes—humanity, transparency, capability, and reliability—that measure brand trust and, more importantly, influence future behavior.”
Clearly, trust requires strategy to consistently elevate the human experience for the brand’s customers.
But why do these findings matter to brand leaders? Because trust is the secret ingredient to brand loyalty. When customers trust you, they are more likely to buy from you. And when you consistently demonstrate those four attributes of brand trust (humanity, transparency, capability, and reliability), the more likely you are to turn those customers into advocates.
So, our top tip for turning your customers into an extension of your brand?
User-generated video content!
And this content must come from an authentic place, rooted in your brands’ values. These connections are not built by brands demanding content of customers: “what kind of content can you make for me, customer?”
Brands must reach out to their consumers to bring in their voices as a part of their brand identity, providing a more human experience and increasing participation by building trust.
VideoPeel helps clients incorporate this authentic video content strategy to foster deeper consumer connections and grow their business exponentially. Make sure to check out our blog series discussing how utilizing the six principles of video social proof can elevate your brand and turn your customers into an extension of your brand identity.
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