Steve Jobs once remarked that "people don't know what they want until you show it to them."
It's true. In an age where consumers are bombarded with an ever increasing deluge of digital information, sometimes it can be tough for them to cut through the noise and make informed choices about what they want.
As a result, meaningful marketing to the individual is more important than ever if brands are to successfully reach their target audiences and create authentic connections.
Indeed, sometimes in order to create that connection, brands need to go the extra mile and determine what their customers want before they figure it out for themselves.
One example of this anticipation of customer needs can be found in Toronto's Tailored Luxury Concierge, a service which caters specifically to men and looks to provide exclusive and personal experiences for their clients.
Think of it as a way of taking custom marketing to the next level. Tailored Luxury acts as an on-demand concierge service which can help its clients with a range of activities, from finding the perfect suit, to planning an intimate dinner party or booking a luxurious holiday.
In this case, the company is built on being fashion forward, detail-oriented and cutting edge, so that clients – young, fashionable men with disposable income (but limited free time) – can be assured they have access to the latest trends.
Your business may not be in the business of providing concierge services, but that doesn't mean you can't go the extra mile for your clients by delivering perfectly tailored custom content and personal experiences.
Anticipate the needs of your audience
While everyone wants to be up to date on the latest trends, it's important to know which trends make sense for your consumers. Remember, your customers may be generally into the same things, but everyone's tastes are different. Real-time marketing isn't a one-size-fits-all proposition.
Keeping on top of individual consumer trends can help you anticipate the needs of your customers and cater content to their specific interests, helping to build brand trust, credibility and loyalty.
Targeting a different need, Rogers now has a free concierge service for people who are moving. Customers are provided with the opportunity for dedicated one-one-one service interaction to help them transfer their services, alleviating the common frustration of being transferred through various reps. In this case, the company not only streamlines the process, but personalized the experience during a stressful time for the customer.
Know your audience and where to find them
Identifying the ideal social platform to reach your clients is key to speaking to your individual consumers.
Tailored Luxury enjoyed tremendous success finding new clients through LinkedIn. The platform's category searches gave them access to the desired 'business man' clientele to which their service is geared.
You also need to find where your customers live. Take Mondelez, who recently enlisted Vine star Logan Paul to post a Snapchat 'Story' to its Sour Patch Kids account and incorporated the candy's 'first it's sour, then it's sweet' message. The message appealed directly to Snapchat's younger user base, and was seen as a more personal way of forging a connection between the content and the consumers.
Create more personal and memorable moments
It's not only small businesses that can provide that human touch of personalized marketing. Big brands can do it too, while providing a VIP experience.
Take Icelandair, which surprised a food-loving passenger with a 48-hour food tour guided by a local Icelandic host as part the airline's #MyStopover tourism promotion. The campaign encourages travelers to make a stopover in Iceland at no additional cost while traveling between Europe and North America.
The surprise and delight moment was part of the airline's attempt to take the promotion to the next level and create an exclusive experience for one customer that can then inspire others to take part.
You don't need to be a concierge service to fill the needs of your customers in more personal ways – but there's a lot to learn from how they do it.
Remember: it's about details, dedicated service and day-to-day effort.
Mia Pearson is the co-founder of North Strategic. She has more than two decades of experience in creating and growing communications agencies, and her experience spans many sectors, including financial, technology, consumer and lifestyle.