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Creating a brand story

You may well have sat in a restaurant and seen people around you staring at their smartphone, or in the bus or tram, or in shops… even walking along the street. As a society, we’re addicted to these devices and nothing is going to change anytime soon (unless you’re willing to undertake a 21-day challenge of not using your mobile phone in the presence of others) and Facebook (plus some of the other big players) feed and nurture this addiction.

But… as with everything, there is a silver lining to living in a cohort of smartphone addicts — brands have the unique opportunity to create their own love story‘ with their customers.

Each person’s mobile experience is different, of course. It has been uniquely created just for them based on his or her past interactions. When you give people what they want to see (or experience) they naturally want more of it. It is the ultimate one on one communications device and we ‘love it’

Apparently, 85% of all time spent on smartphones is within communication apps (four of the top five are owned by Facebook: WhatsApp, Messenger, Facebook, and Instagram). Which begs the question: if these apps are free which they are — who is paying?

Instagram HQ

Your phone is no longer just the device for calling friends, family and colleagues… take a moment to consider how much time you actually spend using your phone for talking to someone? In reality, our phones are now a data collection device for Facebook and a communication delivery system for its real customer: the advertiser. However, how the ‘advertiser’ delivers and interacts with people will determine if it builds its brand, or detracts from it — building love takes considerable effort.

Never before have we seen such vast audiences in one media (it’s kind of scary)… nor have we had the ability to fine-tune and minutely target people who might actually be interested in our content. I recently came across the list of ‘audiences’ for Facebook Ad Targeting which you can download here.

Given that ad targeting is such an intimate way to communicate with customers and your audience… it is so important that retailers and advertisers ‘respect’ that intimacy. In fact, as people become more and more ‘distracted’ by consumer messages, those advertisers who stand out are the ones who deliver the right message to the right person — without bombarding them.

Build customer audiences with tailored messages that get changed as soon as they fatigue (i.e. if someone has seen the ad one or two times and not responded, don’t keep serving the same ad — it actually does the brand more damage than good).

The BRG (Big Red Group) mantra in creating customer success is about understanding that all people do not want to interact with us in the same way. Some just need a quick gift (transactional), others want a curated experience that they can peruse themselves, and there are others who want someone to be there to support their individual needs.

Each and every customer journey (and there are many) need to be delivered seamlessly. It is a challenge, and I know we don’t get it right all the time, but I must say that using Albert AI has allowed us to scale the myriad of various messages different people want to consume.

RedBalloon Australia has delivered in the first six months YOY double-digit traffic growth and by using the same marketing approach for RedBalloon NZ it has delivered similar results.

We have talented people driving Albert and a responsive creative team able to feed new messages as soon as new audiences are found. It is a whole new way of working — dynamic, fast and focused.

This is a journey — and it takes time to listen and respond — but it is simply a lot faster when you have an AI tool processing the masses of data instantly to see what works and what doesn’t.

The Facebook Inc. behemoth represents an unparalleled opportunity for marketers to create intimacy with their customers. The old notion of ‘one idea’ for all will not deliver the returns, nor customer engagement, that most brands seek — it needs to be struck from the marketer’s playbook.

I visited FB HQ in 2017

The marketing discipline and the way we communicate has changed; the digital retail transformation has well and truly started. Ask not just what you can get from a customer, but what problem your products solves for them…

Love Stories are always a two-way street.

Also published on Medium.

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