It is very important for companies to consider what their brand really means: what it means to them, and more importantly, what it means to their customers. Matching this perception is something companies forget to do all the time. Most want to believe that the perception they have about their company is exactly what the consumer sees as well. Sometimes this is the case and sometimes not. Even if it starts out that way, a brand can get off track, and that is when you start to develop unhappy customers.
A professional Internet Marketing Company or brand consulting firm can often play a big role in helping a company discover their brand, redefine it, and then align it with what their customers want. Once you have accomplished that, you can tailor your online marketing efforts to meet the customers goals, not just the company’s. A company’s perception of itself includes everything from what they like about the organization, what they don’t like, what they think they are offering the consumers, etc. A successful company however, will most likely have stopped several times along the way to see what their customers REALLY want and make sure they are delivering that service or product.
This can be a time consuming task and sometimes cost money, which is why it is not usually the top item on a business owner’s list. The best way to do this is to conduct surveys, interviews, and focus groups. Once you have the information, you need to analyze it to see what is of value and what is not. You will not need to look at every opinion, and many times the surveys show that people are not even clear about what you are offering.
How does all this apply to Internet marketing? Simple. As mentioned above, once you redefine what your brand is and steer the company in that direction, you will have to do the same with your marketing strategies. It is not uncommon for companies to go through “re-branding” periods. It has saved many companies from total destruction! Once that brand is defined, the offline and online marketing plans must align and offer calls to action geared specifically to what you now KNOW the customer wants.
Any Internet Marketing Company can assist in this effort but the best ones offer consulting that is imperative to making sure all facets of your media strategy are in sync. Over half of the searches online are prompted originally by some kind of offline exposure. If the offline media plan is not in line with the Internet marketing plan, then you may lose some attention. When customers go to the search engines to research a brand they know or have heard of, they expect to see that company appear in the results, or it loses some credibility. That is why proper search engine optimization is so important. Once they have found the web page they are looking for, it should be updated, relevant, and have calls to action focused on what the customers want.
These are all simple concepts, but sometimes we all get so involved in growing our businesses that we forget to make sure our efforts are in line with what our customers want.