For decades, companies built brands by interrupting customers. It was the 30-second ads that interrupted a person’s TV watching, the banner ad that interrupted their internet browsing, or the commercial that interrupted their streaming show.
But those days are over, says Jeff Rosenblum, co-founder of Questus. Companies need to move towards empowering their customers instead of interrupting them.
Rosenblum admits that interrupting can be effective at building brands, but that doesn’t mean customers appreciate being interrupted. When talking with friends or family, an interruption is one of the most annoying ways to communicate—and that annoyance extends to interrupting brands. Younger customers especially are moving away from interruptions by paying for services to remove ads or simply checking out when a traditional commercial airs.
Empowering customers means providing them with resources and information and building relationships with them. Rosenblum says the goal should be to create content that is so valuable that people go out of their way to consume it and share it with others. Empowered prospects turn into customers, and empowered customers turn into brand evangelists.
Instead of relying on emotional messages, brands need to focus on functional messaging. Consumers make purchase decisions the same way as businesses—by focusing on ROI. Although they might not consciously realize they are doing it, consumers consider the best way to use their time and money. They need to know the features and functions of a product to make the best decision. Rosenblum says that brands that can put that functional messaging right in front of potential customers will convert people.
Modern customers are in control and don’t want to be interrupted.They want personalized content and will move on from insufficient information. Instead of simply pushing mass messages at customers, brands need to understand their needs and provide them with the resources to make empowered decisions.
Empowering customers with functional information and strong relationships helps them make confident buying decisions and creates loyal customers for the long term.
Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist, keynote speaker, and author of the bestselling book The Customer Of The Future. For regular updates on customer experience, sign up for her weekly newsletter here. Join the new Customer Experience Community here.