“We fish where the fish are”

“We fish where the fish are”

Auckland, New Zealand. Founder of Disruptive Unicorns

Tomilli: How to be disruptive to conservative brands?  

Our first point of call for any brand is to look at their target markets and truly understand their personas and what resonates. Disruption comes in many forms so what does that mean for a brand and its consumers is universal regardless of them being conservative or not – clearly technology and COVID has created the most accelerated uptake of digital for both brands and consumers we have seen in years. According to McKinsey companies have accelerated the digitization of their customer and supply-chain interactions and of their internal operations by three to four years. Taking a look at how your brands customers are behaving is the first step to understanding disruptive, where i.e. the friction and where is the opportunity is the intersection for disruption. Any brand that is not looking at the changing needs of customers and finding the crossroads of this opportunity will be left behind.

How to do an effective growth marketing?

Effective Growth marketing takes into consideration all touchpoints in your target markets journey to purchase, ensure you’re talking to them at every stage and through the right channels.  The key is to be flexible in your strategy, understand user behaviour and react accordingly. Patience is another key to an effective growth marketing strategy.  Some customer lead times can exceed 12 months, you need to trust the process and be patient in order to see results. The first step in an effective growth marketing plan is to draw a baseline of where you are today and understand the cost per acquisition and the return on your advertising spend – how then can you scale this growth and what channels can you use to meet your audiences where THEY are on that journey. We frequently see brands with a heavy and over reliance on one channel say over another but due to lack of awareness as to where their true audiences are. Growth marketing feeds pipelines to enable sale and yet they often do not talk to each other – explaining the value of the cost of a lead to sales is crucial and having sales return the information about products, consumer needs and why people engage is also key.

For you, all creative action should generate ROI (return on investment) in financial terms?

All creative action should contributeto an ultimate Return on Investment financially speaking.  In order to achieve ROI you once again need to ensure your marketing channels and communication strategy is hitting target customers at the right point in their journey.  This begins with understanding your personas and target markets – do they truly love your brand? do they find it engaging? Do you have a definitive set of metrics that defines what successful ROI means to your business? If you are running ads to a cold market, brand awareness might be the driving force for ads.  Does brand awareness directly result in ROI? That depends on what is defined in the metrics and where the business sees valuable investment returns. Brand awareness can then contribute to a customer purchasing in the future, thus generating ROI.

How do you make your data analytics teams more agile to better drive operational excellence? 

The data analytics teams need to have a thorough understanding of the target customer and their journey.  At the end of the day, the data they are analyzing is the data of human behaviour and so to understand the individual’s journey is crucial in order for them to drive operational excellence. Empowering those teams to then run experiments based on the data they are seeing in real time and switching budgets, channels or creative is key to agile – small simple AB experiments empowered by the people close to the decisions is what will make scaling possible and achievable. Businesses that need to sign off every creative and decision on copy don’t truly understand how these algorithms and platforms work – we are not smarter than the technology and need to understand we feed the machines a set of assets – these advertising platforms then decide which creative to send to which audience and test this, learn and then do more of it – its called training your pixel and we don’t find many brand that understand this.

What are the most common mistakes in Inbound Marketing? 

The most common one we see if when we ask people if they truly understand their customers and they produce 1-page documents of architypes of high-level personas and only 3-4 of them. Then we know we are dealing with a company that has no idea who they are selling to and therefore no true understanding of the buyer’s journey. We often ask: “do you know the journey this person goes on to search for and find your products and how do they make a decision over you versus your competitors?”. In most cases businesses are pushing out their marketing benefits and features – without truly walking through the customer journey and finding the value for the customer along the way. Not offering potential customers something value is a huge common mistake for inbound.  The concept of inbound marketing is an exchange of value between the two parties – if you are only focused on selling your product and not interested in understanding what your prospect needs, your inbound marketing wont work for you.

What tools do you use to achieve the best customer acquisition?

A combination of technology + human behavioural understanding. We fish where the fish are, and our process ensures that it begins with understanding where those customers are and matching the tools to achieve the best outcomes. For our own personal business, we find a mixture of digital, events and inbound lead generation to work best.

Has customer loyalty become a myth?

Loyalty is based on value and there are different levels to what customers find valuable.

It’s difficult to pin down exactly what customers value in order to lead to loyalty but there is a very good research paper from Bain that explores the elements of value which I’d highly recommend. Customer loyalty is a product of delivering on your promises to the customer that THEY value. True loyalty is when a customer loves the brand much like in Maslow’ hierarchy of needs loyalty starts with “Does it do what it said it was going to do” moving to “Customers feeling like they are belonging to a brand” and ultimately moving to the life changing and self-realization. “Customers feeling a sense of personal accomplishment through the brand” brands that are changing the world. Understanding where your brand sits and which elements are valuable to your customer set is the key to true loyalty.

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