targeting in the momentTargeting is how businesses find new customers, entice customers who may not have purchased in a while or current customers to make the brand top of mind, more attractive and increases sales. Consumers are more demanding of their brands and the expectations are high as one faulty move and, the customer is ready to find someone else. They are ready to find the brand that is paying attention to them as opposed to them trying to pay attention to the brand. Targeting is multidimensional but yet so many brands attempt to make it one dimensional.

Multidimensional Targeting

Targeting is multidimensional. This is not necessarily new as when we think of targeting we think of the segmentation as the multidimensional. Yes, that is true as customers are segmented by their propensity to buy. If they spend a lot, there are higher rewards. If they have fallen off for a few months, the rewards can be higher to bring them back. What is missing from the multidimensional targeting is in the moment targeting. The ability to capture an audience that is listening harder than ever thought as they are in the need and that need is so intense that they are begging the brand to find them and rescue them. Fulfill my need right now. If you are their current brand, they think of you first however, if they are unsure and reaching out via the social media platforms and hear crickets … they will go with the “guy” who rescues them.

Targeting in the Moment

Targeting in the moment is not always flying by the seat of your pants. When I was working with the Flood Control in LV, we had a plan for flood season. We worked with the tv and radio stations to ensure that if it was raining that day or the threat of rain was high, that the commercials ran. If they ran on a sunny day, people ignored them. Fast moving flash floods were not something to ignore. They lifted man holes, hell, they actually moved a heavy big fire truck. On a rainy day when it was pouring buckets and certain streets still flooded and the commercials ran, many listened. They remembered that fire truck, or the gal who was rescued from the top of her car via helicopter. The first dusting of snow in NJ this year may have many folks like, meh, that is nothing. Others will be rushing to the stores to get rock salt. They remember last year. A brand can be prepared with knowing the weather and the when the snow starts to fall, be there online and off line to let consumers know they are the source to ensure that the sidewalk will be free from ice (the mail carriers will rejoice!)

The Rescue

Consumers want to be rescued. We want the answers and the technology has provided the tools to afford that rescue. Only if the brands are there to provide that rescue. Search is important as when we search we want immediate results. We want our questions answered right now so that we can move on. If we have to haggle and search more, it leaves us feeling frustrated and we abandon and start to think do we really need this today? Right now? Sometimes yes but many times, if we have a chance to sit back and second guess, we lose the immediacy of it and forget about it, until the immediacy returns. When we are in the moment, we scramble and start to panic. We need this now. Like RIGHT NOW! Give it to me now. It is like whomever finds me first, I will buy as I need it. I, as you will see in the video, experienced this recently. I am a marketer, but I am also a consumer. I spend countless hours analyzing on and off line efforts of brands but yet as a consumer, when Suzanne Vara needs something, I become a consumer, a real customer that needs to be rescued.

Attracting New Customers

Does targeting in the moment attract new customers? Sure it does. Do they become repeat customers? Depends. This we cannot answer and as there are less than 100 days to the Christmas holiday rush, we know that people are buying for others and would never buy for themselves there. We can look at this in a few ways. We can just look at the sale, we can look at introducing ourselves to the gift buyer and see if we fit into their lifestyle and we can look at the gift as a knowing that the receiver will return. There are more ways to analyze this but for simplicity, we can hone in on these. The brand that attracts the buyer is the brand that wins. The buyer has the power of money and they are choosing to buy from you. If I buy something for my sister at a store she shops in, I may see it on her and be like, oh, wow, that is so fab and need to look into them further for me. I will shop at Toys R Us for my son and his friends but never really find something for me. In the moment targeting attracts new customers despite their personal need to return. They will associate you with that moment and when the moment arises again, you are top of mind because you rescued them.

It is very easy to sell water in the desert. It is almost just as easy to rescue consumers on the first cold day or warm day. You have to be there and have the proper listening channels to be responsive and reactive to rescue them in the moment. Imagine if a brand responded to you when you need that new pair of shoes but was short on time and they said which ones, what size/color and oh, we will have them behind the counter waiting for you. Imagine.

photo credit: cote