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Avoid the one digital marketing mistake that will alienate your customers

This is how marketers can increase engagement and generate brand loyalty by demonstrating consideration for consumers’ needs through the consistent delivery of valuable content.

You’re browsing Facebook or your favorite media site, and you are soon confronted by a series of banner ads that are making impossible claims to snag your attention.

In one form or another, they promise to help you secure a date, lose weight, or lower your mortgage. If you just knew this one simple trick, all would be right with the world. Just click through, and you will be astonished by what you see next.

Welcome to the world of click-bait.

Clearly these banner ads are persuasive, because people do click through. It turns out that many individuals do want to be surprised, shocked, and amazed. But of course, these clicks are rarely fulfilling.

The ads get the click, but they create distrust and dissatisfaction with the source that created them in the process. As a digital marketer at a reputable brand, this is the opposite of what you want.

The sole purpose of click-bait is to generate a click or page view, but the effectiveness of such measures quickly wane. Consumers might be enticed once or twice to respond to a clever tactic, but they learn quickly that it’s not really worth their time.

The fact of the matter is, if you’re can’t provide value to your consumers, they will inevitably ignore all your attempts to make contact and ultimately become conditioned to disregard all communication efforts from your brand.

Click-bait is an extreme marketing tactic that most brands know better than to employ. Additionally, batch-and-blast email campaigns are not only losing effectiveness, but they also alienating customers.

This is why it’s so critical to take the needs of consumers into consideration when delivering messages via email or any other channel, as it’s the only way to really create and provide valuable content. Every form of communication from your brand should be viewed under this lens of value.

Marketers need to know what issues and products are important to their audience members, and they must be agile enough to align with consumers’ preferences, which can change at any moment in time. Today’s empowered customers are loyal to the brands that demonstrate a strong understanding and deep respect of the individual user and – most importantly – continually deliver value.

Fortunately, marketers have tons of data at their fingertips to understand the context of each customer at the exact moment of engagement. For many marketers, accessing, understanding, and leveraging this data requires a change in processes, database connections, overall marketing strategy, and so on. When you’re on the hook every month for delivering clicks, engagement, and revenue, this can be a daunting endeavor, yet this change must be made.

Though transforming all of your marketing overnight isn’t realistic, there are some proactive ways you can start moving a positive direction to create content of value and ultimately build and maintain a loyal customer base.

Use segmentation

Basic segmentation is a great place to start. If you’ve already been utilizing segmentation and have had success with it in the past, bring in more data to understand buying cycles and triggers that signal buying intent. Past purchase history is a given, but website behavior and other cross-channel engagement is going to be more effective at understanding real-time needs

Understand context

Value can come in many forms, so it’s important that the context of your communication is based on the preferences of your targeted audience.

Understanding the context of a customer involves additional data sources like weather, location, and device type. Knowing that a customer is traveling away from home and is headed into a severe thunderstorm provides an opportunity for a brand to provide helpful information that fosters loyalty. The same goes for delivering messages that are optimized for the customer’s preferred device at the time of open.

Know your consumers

The very nature of batch-and-blast is epitomized by a hoard of products that the brand needs to promote, with a one-size-fits-all communication approach. You’re more likely to have better results if you emphasize customers’ needs over the promotional calendar.

Providing value comes down to understanding which of your goods is right for each customer. The closer you are to getting this aspect right, the better.


Change isn’t easy, but marketers must begin to shift their practices to ensure that they are delivering value with each customer engagement. Whether you realize it or not, you are training your customers with each message sent – and you are either building anticipation or fostering apathy.

The choice is yours. There is no one simple trick to make the transition, but the rewards will be worth the effort – and the results might just amaze you.

by Jason Klein