Right now, companies are marketing to a different world and consumer than they were at the beginning of 2020, with changes in behaviour demanding a change in approach. But that doesn’t mean you have to throw out the rulebook or spend big on new ideas or tools. Instead, to market effectively, we need to consider how we use the channels that already exist – which is where audio will take on even greater importance. With that in mind, here are five key ways to reach and engage your audience with sound.
Enhance the customer experience
As part of Salesforce’s most recent State of Marketing report, a consumer survey found that the experience a company provides is increasingly valued as much as its products and services. And most marketers are paying attention, with 79% claiming to lead customer experience initiatives across their organisations this year – up from just 45% two years ago. Customer experience may include many touchpoints, but even in the age of Zoom, the telephone remains the dominant method of consumer-to-business communication – meaning no strategy is complete without a polished caller experience. And to achieve this, you need to keep callers informed and engaged throughout the entire journey, with audio branding productions – from Audio while Connecting and Auto Attendants to Voicemails and Out-of-Hours messages – ensuring you never miss an opportunity.
Audio branding may provide you with the perfect communication vehicle, but only those who strike the right tone can expect a successful journey. You’ll more than likely have heard the words ‘uncertain’ and ‘unprecedented’ frequently over the last few months, which says a lot about the world we live in right now. Importantly for businesses, it says that consumers may need some extra reassurance and empathy with their situation. But also that those reassuring and empathetic messages need to be meaningful. Apple demonstrated this impeccably in its recent advert ‘Creativity goes on’, showing an inspiring reel of people at home using their products to create art and memories in the face of adversity. And this type of engagement can be replicated through audio branding, as comforting voice artists, reassuring content and professional productions support your operatives at the end of the line.
The third thing to consider is that while consumer behaviour is changing, so are budgets. The businesses that get the biggest returns on their marketing output will come out of this situation much stronger. And consumers are largely still open to promotions and marketing messages, which means that although your funds may be tight, there’s a great opportunity for brands that are clever with their budgets. One particularly cost-effective advertising technique is to take advantage of the channels you already have open, and maximize the output in places you have a captive audience – the most obvious of which is the telephone. With minimal investment, you can unleash the potential of a tool every business has by upselling, encouraging spending and forging deeper connections with your existing client base.
Minimal investment may mean our budgets are decreasing, but one thing we should be focussing on increasing is our use of audio. The Salesforce State of Marketing report found that customer engagement is now an increasingly digital landscape, and audio makes up a large percentage of this – “As podcasts and streaming services gain popularity, 57% of marketers report using audio tactics”. It’s a trend that’s been gaining momentum year on year, with audio proving to be a simple way to engage consumers while they go about day-to-day tasks – and introducing this kind of content to your caller experience is an effective way of delivering on it.
Appeal to an existing customer base
Various studies often state that acquiring a new customer is a lot more expensive than retaining an existing one, and in a time when winning new custom is going to be more difficult, connecting and engaging with your current base is more important than ever. The key to doing that is not shying away, but producing new, updated content. As The Drum noted in a piece on marketing during a downturn, “Content production is an essential ingredient for your tactical marketing campaigns and for keeping in touch with your existing customers”. Instead of radio silence, consumers need reassuring, positive messages from a familiar voice. The telephone is one key touchpoint for your existing customers, making it a prime channel to introduce new content – whether that’s relaying good news, building confidence or keeping people informed.
While many strategies and start-of-year plans have obviously had to change, we’ve shown that it is still possible to market effectively in 2020. The key things to remember are how to manage the shifts in consumer behaviour; to pay close attention to your existing client base; and to make the most of every marketing channel you have available. And maximizing your audio branding output will be key to achieving all of these goals.