Property Photography Marketing : Customer Centric Approachposted on 22 May 2015
Everything you do in your property photography business is marketing. Now, before you correct me please hear me out. Everything you do, whether it be sales, accounting, staff management or website updates ultimately affects the customer experience whether it be directly or indirectly. This means that the business’ actions will affect perception and perception feeds your business’ brand identity and health.
A property photography business’ brand is initially defined by the founder’s photographic talents, but as the business grows it is ultimately defined by the perception of others. This brand perception is not solely created by its product or service offering; rather it is built upon a wide range of experiences (good and bad) that surround the core offering including; communications, staff, system processes, advertising, social media discussions, cash flow, supplier relationships, customer service mechanisms and more. This doesn’t mean we can’t effectively influence the public perception of our property photography business for marketing.
The key to building a healthy brand perception in the eyes of your customers, is found in an intentional awareness of the customer experience when making business decisions. This is called a ‘customer centric’ approach to marketing. When implemented correctly it can have a profound effect on the way people perceive your property photography brand. Below I have listed three questions to ask yourself when building this approach into your business decision making.
1. Why are we doing this?
This might sound a little obvious, but if the answer to this question is not customer centric then you should seriously reconsider doing this. For example, if I am deciding whether or not to change retouching suppliers purely to reduce costs, than I could make a decision that potentially damages the customer experience in order to serve my profit margins. Instead, we need to consider the customer first, ask your customers about how their experience could be bettered, are they quality or price sensitive? Are they happy with current turnaround times? Product offering? Customer insights should be the motivation engine of our decisions and we mold and shape the business to accommodate these over time.
2. How will the Public/Customer feel?
Once we have a customer centric motivation we now need to consider how this decision will make the customer feel. This might seem open to a lot of subjectivity but this doesn’t mean we should ignore the emotional factor. Customer insights are not enough as Coke infamously discovered. When Coke changed the recipe for Coca Cola in 1985 it was done so on the back of extensive consumer preference research. Their studies had shown that people preferred the new taste of Coke over the old in blind tests but they hadn’t taken into account the emotional attachment their customers had to the existing product. It became a colossal failure. The lesson here is we should never make a change that significantly changes the customer’s relationship without clear and transparent consultation, it could adversely affect the way they feel about your services. You’ll discover who your good customers are as they’ll always contribute to a decision, bringing value to your brand, and thus more value to your relationship.
3. What will the Public/Customer do?
Of course, being customer centric does not mean you are unconscious of the effect it will have on your business’ bottom line. The approach is a two way street, while decisions start and end with the customer experience, your business should benefit as well, whether it be in the short or long term. Consider what your customers and the public will do with the decision you make, will it influence an increase in spend per sale, an increase in referrals or an increase in enquiries. Whatever the intended response is, it should positively contribute to, or complement, your business goals.
We won’t always get it right, but if you work towards keeping the customer top of mind in your decisions, it can help build your property photography business to new heights in the long run. These are just a few questions you could ask yourself to build marketing into every business decision you make, if you have a few of your own please share them with us by commenting below!
Author: Josef Nalevansky / CEO and Founder of iMAGECLOUD
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