reach out and touch your audience

by indepthwraps on January 3, 2011

Marketing is a continuum. <Sorry, time traveling back to my days in marketing class at JU for a moment.> A good marketing plan or campaign creates different opportunities for prospective clients to interact with your brand at different times, in different places, on THEIR terms. You have to be there when your audience is ready for you, in the space where they hang out. Let’s call these “touches.” With each touch, a little bit of you is left behind with those who are touched.

Social media is one touch, one experience with a brand. Social media may seem like THE thing right now, but it is still only ONE thing. Your social media presence means nothing without an offline presence and other opportunities to touch prospects and clients. But make no mistake, combining social media with your other touches can strengthen your brand… and your relationships with your existing customers.

Let’s talk chikin (not the cows this time).
I was a Chick-fil-A customer long before social media was “the thing”. But social media has INCREASED my loyalty to the brand. Chick-fil-A has always created opportunities to connect with me. They sponsor baseball teams, support local events, host a golf tournament and a football bowl game, run television ads, wrap cow cars…and now they reach out to me on social media.

I was presented the opportunity to make a reservation to try a new spicy chicken sandwich last year (via social media), and just today we did the same with the spicy chicken biscuit. We honestly would not have gone into Chick-fil-A on this particular day without twitter. We ended up spending $10, but it’s not about the revenue for Chick-fil-A this morning. It’s about relationship building. Touch (social media RSVP for biscuit). Touch (in-store experience). And touch again, because I tweeted @chickfila to THANK them for the biscuit.

Would this have been the same experience if we’d received coupons in the mail? No. Here we have the opportunity to really interact personally with the brand. And, with an “RSVP,” we feel that something is prepared just for us.

About God, family and social media.
Don’t think for a minute that churches don’t have to market…they need to reach out to their audience just like any other brand. Like it or not, they are competing for your attention…for your attendance…and yes, for your dollars too (sadly, churches can’t operate without money).

But churches have a unique ability to create many touches via personal experience. Not that other brands don’t use word-of-mouth, but with churches, it’s a whole other concept. Our first interaction with Browns Bridge Community Church (BBCC) came from word-of-mouth. We know many families who attend there. Comfortable in our church home, we didn’t really pay much attention, only to think to ourselves “wow, we know a lot of folks who go there.”

This December, North Point Community Church (the sister campus of BBCC) opened a service with an “iband” (all music via ipad and iphone) performing Christmas carols. They recorded it and uploaded it to YouTube. Tom Martin, a friend I met through social media posted it (touch). I was so impressed, I shared it with everyone I knew, and a bunch of folks I didn’t. Music touches me in general.

So, I checked out the BBCC web site <closer to us than North Point> (touch). They have some pretty cool programs, including a whole series for married folks called The Great Date Experiment (touch…something for people just like me). They also have some exciting programs for kids (touch…we’re really looking for a church experience that our 4th grader will enjoy).

We made the decision to visit this past Sunday (touch). Did we immediately decide this was our church home? Jury’s still out. But our family’s pretty excited about playing FotoFinish online tonight with other BBCC families (touch). Social media continued the “relationship” word-of-mouth started, and our in-person experience solidified the brand and my positive opinion of it.

Now, I’ve shared some experiences we’ve had with social media and why it’s important to offer MORE than that if you want your touches to count. It’s the same with vehicle wraps. A vehicle wrap is just a picture on a car without the marketing campaign to back it up. More on that in my next blog.

Our clients ask us everyday why we do this “social media thing”. For us, it’s an opportunity to reach out and touch our prospects and clients in another, more personal way…a chance to “be there” when our clients and prospects are looking for us.

How do you touch your audience?

  • http://@Julian_Reid Julian Reid

    Ya know, … if ya have enough “touches”, something just might happen.

    While we’ve never met, we’ve “communicated” in the past. And while we may or may not have a direct business dealing in the future, mere “virus contact” may lead SOME business prospect our way.


    I did NOT follow you on Twitter … until seeing a “@indepthwraps mention on ….
    ….@toddschnick ‘s Twitter feed, .. who I WAS following. Seeing the conversation between YOU two marketing folks interested me in digging deeper, so …

    …. I quickly decided to follow you on Twitter.

    Now, fast forward a few weeks. Since your Twitter address is in my “work” “LIST” of Twitter feeds I follow, I just HAPPENED to notice your Tweet about the North Point iBand. As a 10 year North Pointer, and somebody who was there, I had NO idea they’d be posting the video on the YouTube & Vimeo channels (lots of times, they do NOT post any copyrighted music performed by the NP band). I guess those songs were in the “public domain”, so when YOU posted it, I immediately posted it everywhere I could: Twitter, Facebook, and my annual email Christmas Card. As you so aptly pointed out, it “had to go viral” … and it had 2 million hits by week two.

    Now, is @indepthwraps going to shoot the next funny video … with photos of funny Vehicle Wraps that goes viral, brings prospects from all over, and causes a TEN-Fold growth in your business? Who knows. That isn’t the point.

    “Touches” IS the point. And the “art” part of marketing (to go with all this “science”) can’t always tell us just EXACTLY when the “touches” are going to open the new business valve like a casino slot machine. But if Chick-fil-a is “touching” in all these kinds of ways, and God is using talent, creativity, and social media to help further North Point’s Mission (stated – “touched on” EVERY SINGLE WEEK): “To lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ”, then “touches” are where businesses need to focus their marketing efforts. Appeal to the senses: Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste, and, … what’s the other one? Oh yeah …… TOUCH!

    Keep up the “touches”!

    Oh. And thanks for the thoughtful blog! :-)

    Julian Reid, Canton GA Twitter: @Julian_Reid LinkedIn: julianreid

    • indepthwraps

      Thanks, Julian! Well said.

      I wish I had been there for the iband!!! I was VERY excited by the YouTube success…up to 2.5 million and counting! I actually sent it to Good Morning America and apple. No idea if anyone watched…but I thought they should.

      BBCC appealed to all of our senses this week. :) I’m sure there are those out there that don’t believe churches should be in the “marketing game” … but with families paying more attention to exactly where and how they’re spending their free time … it’s essential. Most people just don’t stay in the church they grew up in anymore. In fact, most families I know seek out a “fit”… if they look for a church home at all. The church who reaches out and “touches” will come to mind when someone looks for that fit…

      BTW, Todd is one of my favorite people. Good guy to listen to on a bunch of fronts.

  • Melanie Romanaux

    I feel so connected (also an NPCC attendee and spreader of the iBand video) and will align with your perspective on creating a complete marketing plan through multiple channels to touch your prospective audience.
    Social media is what allows us to have real time dialogue with people whom we may have never connected with otherwise. Other touches include a handshake at a networking event, a referral, a handwritten note, an email, a webinar or seminar invitation, a link or mention in a blog post, to name a few. Our focus at Somedia is on creating an engaging experience for our audience through all strategic marketing channels. To me, it’s more than having my car wrapped with exciting graphics, my goals are centered on creating an attractive wrap that will engage my audience enough that they will visit my website, snap a QR code, or ask a question on my Facebook page. I think it’s the experience with your brand that gets consumers to truly engage and to take action. Touches strategically enhance the experience.
    Thanks for the thoughts, I’ll look forward to reading more!

    Melanie Romanaux, Roswell

    • indepthwraps

      Indeed, “social media is what allows us to have real time dialogue with people whom we may have never connected with otherwise”. Such is the case with us I think…I mean maybe John Hamon would have introduced us sooner or later, but it was social media that influenced all of us that we should put our heads together. And all of those “touches” you created…your web site…teaching at Social Media Atlanta…helping other folks we know like Whitelake…attending a tweetup…strengthened the case.

      And your goals for your wrap …such should be the case in any form of marketing…going into it with an end result in mind.

      Ah, handwritten notes. I used to be sooo good at those in college. :)

      Thanks for the comment, Melanie!

  • Debbie Johnson

    We are also a husband and wife team. Our business happens to be my husband’s dental practice. I started a FB fan page shortly after I needed to begin monitoring my teenagers’ online life. I agree that social media is important as one aspect to our current success. I will say that I tried a local restaurant b/c of a tweet. The food was poor and I won’t go back. So, if the right ‘touches” aren’t in place, any amount of marketing/social media is for naught. Keep it up with your blog!
    Debbie Johnson

    • indepthwraps

      It’s great to meet other husband and wife teams .

      We constantly try new restaurants based on tweets. Exactly right…you’ve got to have the in-person experience … the right “touches” to back up your online efforts. After your experience, I hope you tweeted again!

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