Brand volleying: keeping your content on the ball
Move over Ronaldo, Harry Kane is football’s new poster boy, showing the results of keeping his eye firmly on the ball. The blond-haired, blue-eyed England captain and Tottenham striker Kane headed into the World Cup on the back of scoring goal after goal for club and country this season with a deluge of fan support.
But how many brands can say the same? With a huge part of the new GDPR regulations meaning customers can both “opt out” of marketing and retract their consent to be contacted the new compulsory data guidelines may prove to be a total game changer. With consumers only engaging, and sharing their information with, companies they trust, there’s everything to play for.
The goalposts have been moved
If you want to persuade people to share their personal data with you, and give you consent to communicate with them on an ongoing basis, then you need to ensure you’re first past the post delivering distinctive content that is of real value to your target audience. And to ensure that they don’t then subsequently hit the opt-out button at the first opportunity, you need to make sure that what you’re communicating continues to be well-targeted and insightful. Otherwise, you’ll be in danger of being sidelined.
The challenge of producing content which engages and impresses customers is only going to increase; while the volume of published content grows rapidly, the amount of time available to consume it is finite. Brands therefore need to put in the leg work to create original, authentic, and credible content to push their messages over the goal line and build a solid reputation that both attracts and retains subscribers.
Upping your game
While GDPR is often regarded as a sucker punch, it also levels the playing field by reducing the advantage that more established and leading companies often have with large databases of customers and prospects – in fact, smaller companies with a digital-first strategy may well be able to take a lead here by using technology to engage on a more personal basis. . But even so, it’s more critical than ever that any contact is based on high-quality, relevant and creative content that attracts customers and earns them – or retains – the right to speak to them. In short, content that turns recipients into fans.
Too many businesses fall at the first hurdle and create content purely for content’s sake. They fail to develop distinctive points of view and unique insights, which deliver real value and engagement with their target audience. That said, having the best content in the world is pointless unless it appears where people will see it. To be able to create and shape those conversations that really get the ball rolling, your content must be available on the right channels.
Come out fighting – or be out for the count
Think of Tesco. The supermarket giant’s success was based, in part, on understanding the habits of their customers. Their loyalty card scheme became the blueprint for almost all others on the high street. But whether it was complacency or lethargy, the grocery giant failed to keep its eye on the ball. The recent revolution in the grocery business, with the discounters and upmarket rivals – Aldi, Lidl and Waitrose – siphoning off many of the chain’s customers, we’d argue that Tesco took way too long to wake up to its challengers – with the closure of Tesco Direct, it has thrown in the metaphorical towel. It made the wrong assumptions about brand loyalty and failed to adapt to the changes – fundamentally, to understand what its customers. Did shoppers lose trust, or did they simply yearn for new shopping experiences, find better prices elsewhere and easier ways to shop that better fulfilled their needs. It could be argued it was a similar story for House Of Fraser, who lost sight of what its own brand stood for within the hundreds of third-party concessions its department stores came to house.
The pace of innovation doesn’t stop. To stay in play, businesses need to be agile and ensure they change the way that they communicate. In a post GDPR- landscape, there’s no room for complacency. Going the extra mile to deliver what people want is now the prerequisite; otherwise marketers could well end up scoring an own goal and find themselves with a diminishing pool of contacts willing to listen to their message. Because unless you speak to your customers in a way that resonates them, it’ll be end of play.