It may be tough to pinpoint the No. 1 source of a great company’s success, but its customers are bound to be near the top of the list.
After all, these are the people who buy the products, give reviews and spread the oh-so-important word of mouth that draws in other customers. While marketing isn’t something a lot of landscapers focus on, engagement marketing is a method that can reach customers in a unique way and produce meaningful connections.
Marketo Inc., a company that provides marketing automation software, explains that engagement marketing is all about connecting with people in the following ways:
Personalization is important and customers always want to feel like they are recognized as an individual. If you have a newsletter you send out, personalization could be as simple as including the recipient’s first name in the email.
Taking the time and energy to learn more about potential customers is appreciated and can make them more willing to listen to your pitch. Getting to know current clients can provide you with information to log away for the future. For example, a family with a young child may not want a pool at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you can’t remind them of the offer later.
Based on what they do
Demographics can tell you a lot about a person, but not necessarily whether they will be interested in certain services.
Tracking behaviors will tell you what customers are actually interested in. If stories about native plants are being read more than other topics on your company’s blog, you know clients in your area have a definite interest in these plants vs. simply guessing that they do.
Also, by monitoring your website traffic, you can tell when potential customers are most active on the site, which could be a good indicator as to when to call a customer back.
Continuously over time
A big part of engagement marketing is continuously maintaining a relationship with the customer. Instead of just being a source of revenue one time, customers can become reliable clients that bring in a dependable income.
By keeping a buyer involved in the landscaping process from start to finish, a relationship is built and can be carried on in a number of ways. According to Bain & Co., repeat customers spend as much as 67 percent more than new customers, and 49 percent of companies report they have a higher return on investment by focusing on engagement with existing customers rather than acquiring new ones.
An added bonus: loyal customers become advocates for your company and can send new business your way with their praise.
Directed toward outcomes
After forming a relationship, it is important not to get sidetracked from your goal. Be sure every part of the buyer process includes a call to action. If a person is new to your site and reading some blog posts, don’t just give them ideas, urge them to contact your company to bring those design concepts to life.
For established customers, remind them of seasonal services or some new plant material that your nursery has acquired. Even longtime customers can be driven along by asking for a review of your business or a video interview about their satisfaction.
Everywhere they are
Probably one of the most challenging steps of engagement marketing is reaching customers wherever they are. Smaller landscaping companies don’t have the budget to be omnipresent, but that is what today’s buyers expect.
They move from social media to websites to emails on different devices. Which of these channels you choose to focus on will have to be derived from what you already learned about your clients, but you need to make sure your potential customers are being rewarded as they move from one medium to the next.
If a buyer watches a video on your Facebook page that draws them to your website, be sure the website provides some new information that takes the client, or potential client, further along in the customer lifecycle.
By engaging customers with these five concepts in mind, landscaping companies can reach, keep and grow their consumer base more effectively.