Speak to the Heart
Why connecting with your customers is more important than ever
If you ask Deb Kwiatt the secret to marketing, she will tell you that the answers lie with your customers. Listen to them and you be able to create messaging that resonates. In her role as Marketing Communications Manager, she develops and implements marketing initiatives and external communications at Wellness House. Founded in 1990, Wellness House offers a variety of programs and services to better the lives of people living with cancer, and the people close to them. Kwiatt joined the Wellness House team in 2016 and enjoys getting to know individual participants and telling their stories. We asked Kwiatt for her take on what customer relationships will look like going forward.
Why is being relationship-oriented with customers so critical?
We're all bombarded with messaging, and have a choice as to where we put our time and attention. Bottom line, customers are looking for life-enriching, meaningful experiences. It's important to be authentic and provide content and space for engagement that generates trust and produces experiences that make life better.
Has this changed since the pandemic? How?
It has in some ways and hasn't in others. I work for a nonprofit and we have always done a mix of print, digital, and social media to reach our audience. In the healthcare space, our primary ways of reaching customers were through print materials in physician's offices and outreach at events. Both evaporated overnight, and we had to rely heavily on our digital strategy. In both our product and our messaging, we are trying to connect to our audience wherever they are.
How do you use storytelling to connect with customers?
We've been using more video content and personal experience stories to connect and engage with our audience via social media, newsletters and e-blasts. We are continually evolving in this area, because I think you can never get this 100% covered or perfected. There is always something to learn from your audience, and we connect the dots to what they need. We plan on doing a lot of listening, and then sharing stories and content that speak to the heart.
What changes do you expect to see in marketing in the next year?
Reconnecting. Across the board, in all ways. We kept connections throughout this year in many different ways, particularly digital, but we are looking to strengthen and evolve with what has changed. So basically, reconnecting what was pre-pandemic with the psychological and physical changes of what is happening now.
What is the best piece of advice you can give today's marketing professionals?
For the individual: Be kind, creative, humble, and continually learning. Stand strong—and get some rest.
For the profession: Focus on the super-list. Concentrate on the most effective and results- driven marketing vehicles first, and try not to dilute your efforts by chasing the multitudes.