It’s hard to believe that we’ll soon head into our fourth full year of blogging on Conscious Consumers, but next month that’s exactly what will happen. In that time we’ve covered a lot. As I look back there are three things that immediately come to mind when I think of what have my takeaways been from all this study. Those three things are Focus, Coaching and Relapse. Let’s break them down
Let’s face it, most marketers do not have what I refer to as “Ford Truck” budgets, so we have to prioritize our efforts based on bandwidth and dollars available. “Where will you see the most impact from the dollars you have?” is the question you should be asking. Or as a former colleague used to ask me, “Rob, if you had one dollar is that where you would spend it?” More often than not the answer will be no.
One place I think everyone should start focusing is audience. In the Conscious Consumer space, to me the priority audience is the “Committeds.” They represent 34% of men and 36% of women, which is a robust but manageable base, and they are already engaged and actively driving their own agendas. They are also the ones who are likely going to be your brand advocates by using the information you share with them as currency. You recruit this group first and work on retention. Then – and only then – work on the next segment you’d like to target.
It will be tempting to talk to more than one audience or to be very broad in your definition of audience, but resist. Impact requires focus and with limited budgets and time you’ll sell yourself short by spreading yourself too thinly. It won’t be easy but it will be worthwhile.
Even if you’ve only read our posts every once in a while, you’ve undoubtedly come across a post or two about coaching. The top down model of using only traditional methods of communications to reach your audience is dead. You need more. Once they are aware, they then need to understand the whys and the hows. As importantly they need to be reminded of why you’re the one for them. You’ll need to pull out your best Tony Robbins or Jack Canfield and keep them motivated, inspired and connected to you. Match the tone and voice of your brand but don’t forget the follow up. There are a lot of ways to accomplish this – from leveraging your social audiences to an email or the more sophisticated apps provided by Under Armour, Nike and others. But don’t make the mistake of skipping this. This is where your customer retention tactics kick in. Coaching is the strategy. The tactics are up to you.
Of the three this was probably the biggest “aha” for me. It makes a lot of sense when I look back but I don’t know that I saw it two years ago. We are human and by definition not perfect, so acknowledging inconsistencies in our behavior feels like a no-brainer. The purpose of coaches is to keep you on track and moving forward. But even with all of that, consumers and even Conscious Consumers are going to take a step backwards once in a while. Depending on the segment in which your audience resides, they may be struggling more often than others. For example, Half-Hearteds are going to be less likely to maintain a lifestyle change than Committeds and Torchbearers. They will need more support to keep them on track and engaged with your product or service.
After three years of writing about Conscious Consumers I think it’s fair to say I’ve learned a lot. We’ve used this information to help our existing clients with insights and strategies to further what they do. None of it is overly complex but it does take time to understand and a lot of discipline to prioritize and apply consistently. So remember and apply these three things: Focus, Coaching and Relapse. If you do, you’ll do just fine.