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  • Writer's picturePhilip Marchant

Marketing for the 2020's

A McKinsey study found that - 80% of consumers distrust all company advertising.

Advertising impressions built the biggest brands of the 20th century, now even those are figuring out that emotional connections are the future.

Brands of the future build on human impressions. Making that personal and emotional connection with your customer.

You need to be more human, use technology to improve the path to purchase, and build the relationships that matter, engage with your potential customers on an emotional level.

Share your vision, your personal and company journey, your ethics and your hopes and dreams

Take exceptional care of the super loyal 13% of your customers. Do you know who they are, do you know them by name? provide them with the inspiration and the tools to be a referral engine for your brand … reward your best customers with personal treats and specific special offers.

Technology has allowed your brand to be a constant presence in people’s lives, but the truth is that people do everything they can to avoid a conversation. They skip adverts. They install ad blockers. They mark promotional emails as spam. And, if you somehow manage to break through, customers are rarely delighted to receive your “limited time offer.

Play the long game and build a relationship founded on trust. Spend time building a meaningful long-term relationship.

Technology has made it easy and inexpensive to cast a wide net and hope for the best. Companies are all too eager to bombard the customer with phone calls or emails, invitations to sign up to newsletters, etc. This impersonal bombardment makes it easy for customers to rebel against you and ignore and filter out all your marketing hard work.

Find your target customer and focus on providing value for that target group.

Think about “What do our customers love?” Now use your technology to promote that emotional connection.

Support local businesses/events/sports teams/charities/schools/clubs etc that your target customer would support. Work with the organisers and managers to promote the partnership and build awareness and visibilty.

Then, when you get that customer go above and beyond just fantastic customer service. Show an interest in them and their passion, interact with them both electronically (Instagram, twitter, responding on review sites) and face to face.

Support individual customers in their ventures- host a fundraiser, sponsor them, match the sponsorship raised, promote them on your social media and encourage other customers to support them. Reward them with a free meal on challenge completed and don't forget the photo opportunity and to share it online.

Encourage them to share their experience as a customer and reward them when they do. For example, a hotel could do a simple: -

Hi Katie

Thanks for staying with us at the Royal Hotel and sharing on Instagram here is


We Can’t wait to welcome you back.

Many Thanks



(a free upgrade to a suite) – will encourage them to share your #upgrade #suite online and ask for the superior room in future.

(a free treatment of your choice in our spa). They will share the #spa experience and their feelings.

(a free bottle of wine with dinner in our restaurant) #foodporn to share and will encourage them to dine in your #restaurant with you instead of a competitor.

And don’t forget a simple personally addressed letter in the room to welcome them back. Maybe with a voucher to a local attraction that they will like.

Do you have a party in your restaurant celebrating a special occasion?

Ask to take photos, share the pictures of happy customers in your restaurant and reward the customers with some free cocktails or dessert etc.

Share the photos with them and encourage them to share on social media too. Be sure to get them to include your hashtag too. Even better a link to your website or social media accounts. Even better build a online album for them and send them to the person as a reminder of the wonderful time they had.

These simple personal touches will do more for your visibility and reputation than thousands of pounds of advertising in magazines, radio etc.

Remember nothing replaces face-to-face communication with customers and the personal touch.

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