The first part of the series focused on the challenges faced by retailers in devising a multichannel ecommerce strategy to maximize the ROI and align it with their marketing budget. It is not necessary to remain online everywhere as the consumer is everywhere. Your focus should be primarily on the development of a buyer-centric multichannel strategy. It will attract your target audience, bringing earned traffic to your site. This is achievable through inbound and content marketing.
By making a perception of being buyer-centric, you align your thought to the interests of the consumer. This will in turn satisfy your business needs. The two approaches have different priorities. The traditional approach gives priority to the business needs. The buyer centric approach emphasizes more on customer needs. The buyer centric approach focuses more on listening and then taking action, whereas traditional approach gave less importance to listening the consumer.
If you have any program that puts an emphasis on fulfilling the buyer needs, it would be of more importance to your content marketing efforts. This is why SEO is used. The main purpose of the SE is to look for the keywords that the consumers are searching and incorporating those in your content marketing initiatives. The SEO and advertising are opposite to each other. SEO optimizes your website’s content to tap into new pool of consumers above the marketing and sales funnel. If the proper strategy is planned and implemented in the correct way, it will give a substantial boost to the traffic growth in the long term. It also acts as a fuel to develop programs to move buyers through the sales process smoothly.
Following two opposite approaches might come in handy:
- Focusing on the biggest goal. If you start off well with your biggest pain point, it helps you break all the barriers. This will help in creating revolutionary ideas which will be beneficial for the success of your content marketing strategy.
- Perhaps you could focus on your biggest strength. The area where you excel. It can also be the product line which you manufacture and sell. If you start off with what you are already good at and expand from there, you will be able to prove the business value and the understanding as to what would be beneficial for your business needs.
Develop a blueprint of your content marketing strategy and adhere to it
For developing the blueprint, let us assume that you have already manufactured the product. Now, in order to develop the model, you focus on your primary pain point – developing awareness about your new product on the top funnel. Your product has been in the market for about 6 months and you have successfully achieved something out of it in the ecommerce domain by following the 4 P’s of marketing (Product, Price, Place, Promotion)
- Your target audience is well defined and you are successful in engaging some of your existing happy customers. You have an insight into the perception of the customers as to what other products they might be interested in buying from you.
- Your production model is in place and you have successfully created your product.
- You have analyzed the price at which your competitor is offering the product and priced well according to the competition.
- You are actively looking out for the proper placement of your product, be it online or offline placement engaging all your marketing efforts and the allocated budget.
You have analyzed all, but missed on the influx of traffic that you expected on your website. It will lead you to spend more on advertising, raising your expense levels. This will be hard to sustain in the long run!
The content marketing strategy is a go-to market strategy that is intended to bring these expenses down. Take your product in your hand and ask a question, ‘Why would consumers buy this product?’ Instead of focusing on impressing the consumer by listing down all its features and ingredients, focus your attention on listing what problem it can solve. Assumptions at this stage would be there, which is normal. If you believe that all the reasons listed by you are true to impress someone to purchase your product, go ahead and make a narrative – a story. This will be the basis of your hypothesis.
The next step is to test the hypothesis and product physically on your consumers. It is very impactful if done in person. You can also create a focus group to accomplish this. Testing the hypothesis will help you find out whether the narrative you created is aligned with what your target audience feels about your product. You will be able to practically know the likes or dislikes of the target audience about your product. Take down notes; they are valuable. This will also help you in segmenting your audience based on the feedback.
Next, you have to focus on the customers who will actually use your product. Ask them five Whys for purchasing your product which will shift your thinking to be buyer-centric.
If you manufacture women’s footwear without laces, you can ask following questions:
1) Question: Why do you like these sandals?
Answer: Because they are very comfortable.
2) Question: Why these sandals are particularly comfortable?
Answer: The sandals are strong and at the same time flexible and soft. Also, they look good on my feet.
3) Question: Why does that matter?
Answer: At the end of a long, tiring day, I want to relax in comfortable sandals as the office bellies are tight and restrictive.
4) Question: Why did you chose sandals over other comfortable footwear?
Answer: I have to do some of the quick chores after the workout and want to dive into something which looks good and can be changed quickly!
5) Question: Why is this so important?
Answer: As there is limited time available with me, I need footwear that is light in weight, feels good, looks good and help me in doing the errands in quick, relaxed way. It also reduces the burden on my feet.
Now, you got the much needed feedback about why your target customer will purchase your product. This feedback will help you in differentiating your product from the competition, and you can develop personas helping you with your product and content marketing efforts.
With this we come to an end to our discussion for the part 2. Stay tuned for the next part where we will discuss how you can use the hypothesis to extract the customer value and effectively work out the multichannel ecommerce marketing strategy for your business.