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“Make your marketing so useful people would pay you for it.”

Jay Baer

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“Our job is to connect to people, to interact with them in a way that leaves them better than we found them, more able to get where they’d like to go.”

Seth Godin

Decoding Modern Marketing

11. INTEGRATED CULTIVATION

One project my agency developed is instructive in describing how all these pieces can come together to cultivate customers and prospects.

In looking at the garden and yard category for a large manufacturer of seed and fertilizer products, we saw the opportunity to create a content driven, mobile optimized, website destination focused on yards, not unlike how babycenter.com is focused on babies. The objective was simply to be an indispensable aid to all yard owners. The approach was to create content that aligned with the yard oriented search terms that the target audience were already using. This content would be used to attract visitors through SEO and search. When visitors clicked on a search result featuring our content, they would be presented with not only original content, much of it in video form, but also numerous tools that would enable them to plan, upgrade and maintain their yards more easily. The tools and content were not restricted just to being about the issues that the dozen products produced by our client addressed, but to everything that a yard owner would need. Once a visitor signed up we would be able to make the tools even more valuable with the information they provided about their yards. This would lead to texts and emails on every subject relevant to them at just right moment, as well as relevant, timely offers. The whole platform was enabled with social sharing and local community engagement and powered by CRM, MAP and CMS software.

The consumer experience would start with a search, for example, such how to edge a lawn. Our content was designed to rank highly because it was in video form, which search engines give preference to. It was also carefully researched to align with the most popular, but underserved search terms.

A click on the search result would take the viewer to the video on our website. There, they would see a landing page experience designed to show them what the site could do for them. Using their IP address and the computer clock, we immediately recognized the time of day, the time of the year and the location of the viewer. With that information we would automatically bring up content about what that viewer should be aware of in their geographic area for this type of the year; maybe it was drier than normal, or it was spring planting time. Already a first time viewer was getting a personally relevant experience.

The experience did not at first ask for a registration, instead eliminating all barriers to the user’s full immersion in the site. However, once the viewer wanted to save any information, which would allow for much of the future functional value of the site, it would require a registration. This is similar to how sites like Houzz.com operate so effectively. Then we would begin a drip marketing campaign at first designed to let the user know more about the capabilities of the site and to get them to come back frequently to discover new benefits. At the same time during each visit we would ask for a few pieces of information about their yard and plans, building a comprehensive profile quietly over time. This then allowed our drip marketing campaigns to be increasingly personally relevant, about their specific challenges. Informed by everything we already knew about their yard, our offers and recommendations would therefore become more targeted and compelling over time. At the same time, we rewarded participation with badges and enabled social sharing of successful projects and garden photography within social networks.

The idea behind work like this is simple, give your consumers reasons to stay connected with you. Use your knowledge and expertise in your category to attract them and help them. Learn about them from their behavior and use that knowledge and access to give them solutions not just products. Consumer’s want beautiful tomatoes not fertilizer; a stable retirement, not a Roth IRA.

BRANDS THAT CAN FIND A WAY TO HELP CONSUMERS REACH THEIR TRUE GOALS, BY SIMPLIFYING OR ENHANCING THEIR LIVES, WILL EARN A PLACE IN THEIR LIVES.

Add utility to that mix and the result can be a gateway to growth, loyalty and social amplification.