After we’d been working in the tech PR space for a while, I realized all my clients were out-of-market. I decided I wanted to work with some Columbus-based startups, so I did some research and began following and connecting with people involved in the local tech community. Brian Zuercher was one of the first people I connected with. Over time, he became a client, a friend, a connector and one of my all-around favorites. By the way, if you’re interested in visual marketing (and who isn’t these days?!), check out what his company, Seen, is doing.
Post by: Brian Zuercher
In the spirit of the conclusion of the American football season I thought it would be appropriate to write about a topic that has been plaguing my marketing brain: Interceptions.
When I talk about interceptions, I’m not referring to the two Peyton Manning threw during the first half of this year’s Super Bowl. What I am referring to are the interactions a consumer has with a product/brand/service you represent.
So why I am thinking about this right now? As marketers we’re trained by both incentives and habit to focus on the channels we have established or been given to interact with our customers. We think of touch points like Facebook, website ads, in-store display, TV and more as where these interactions happen. Those interactions are the ones we force onto consumers, and not necessarily the most natural place for an interaction with a brand to take place.
The world we live in today has exponentially higher availability for interactions with a brand and service. The key is to step into your customers’ shoes and map out their journey to wanting or needing your product.
(Note: In no way am I suggesting that traditional marketing isn’t effective. I am suggesting that you may have golden opportunity to complement those efforts with other engagements.)
Here are a few ways to think about this:
What is the problem you are solving or the delight you are enabling? This is a common startup exercise, but is rarely performed by established businesses and product managers. Really dig into this and get to the core problem or need you are talking about. With this in mind you can start moving on to your customers’ lives.
Where and when does this need or want arise? Once you know what the problem is, think about when and where your customers encounter this need. Is it planned and researched or is it more impulsive? Is the person in an airport, car or at home when they are hit with this? This might require going back out and getting closer to a few customers to find out what they think.
What is my INTERCEPTION point? Where the problem is experienced may dictate where you can efficiently intercept the person. These points may be social channels, back-of-cab advertising, or even carry on bins (see Zappos) at the airport. Also, think about what your call to action could be: Does the interception point enable a call-to-action to purchase? Can you present an incentive at that moment? How are you going to connect them in the shortest way to enabling you to solve their problem?
Let’s use Mophie, one of my favorite brands, to exemplify this. (If you’re not familiar, Mophie makes awesome cases and tools for extending the life of your phone battery. Mophie has saved my ass many times….and I am not paid by them at all.) Mophie just did a fantastic Instagram campaign called #socketsuckers, where they asked fans to post Instagram photos of people “going to great lengths to charge their mobile devices that captures the theme ‘Don’t Be That Guy!’” The campaign was a fun way for Mophie to showcase that they knew – and could help solve – their customers’ problems.
My last piece of advice? Have fun with this process. There can be some really fun marketing initiatives that come away from this experience.
So, tell me: What is your brand’s interception point?
Brian Zuercher is the CEO and cofounder of Seen, a platform that enables brands to seamlessly launch, promote and measure Instagram and Twitter photo campaigns. Seen’s tools – Insights, Campaigns and Influencers – help inspire, facilitate and create the moments when customers can interact with their favorite brands. Connect with Brian on Twitter and Instagram.
Photo credit: Football Austria, via Flickr Creative Commons