The new millennium has ushered in an age of digital marketing aided by greater information as we all become a bit more tech savvy. We have access to data that marketers could only dream about 15 years ago. The platforms for instant communication have been laid with social media and mobile marketing. All the options available to us, we can advertise any way we like and tell the consumer anything we want! Right?
Wrong! This new age is all about brands listening to what the consumer wants, for the first time in history we have to think about what they are saying, and indeed be weary of it too. The reach of one consumer is immeasurable these days so we need to focus down to the singular consumer and make sure they are happy. A 70% satisfaction rating from frequent users of your brand is no longer any good, the high 90’s is what you should be aiming for.
How is it possible to achieve this you may ask? Well it is really about getting back to the basics of marketing and understanding your consumer. Some companies spend a fortune on getting data on their consumers just to waste their time with impersonal leaflets in newspapers and magazines. Other companies do not collect any information but then insist on promoting in a highly personalised way which fails due to a lack of data. If you take the time and effort to build a platform or use a platform that allows your consumer to communicate with you and accurately store that data with the intention of using it, you will then be able to gain insight into their interests and what they think about your brand and use it for(you may find some of those answers surprising).
This really sounds like a bunch of market research doesn’t it? You already did that 6 months ago? Maybe 3 months ago? Well I am telling you it is out of date, your research might still apply to the people coming into the same situation, but the people whom you conducted that market research upon have changed, have moved onto something else or have formulated a different opinion due to the mountains of information that we digest each and every day living in this fast paced world. To get your consumer onto a platform where you can maintain constant, precise and relevant communication with them is key in this new era.
How we get to our consumers to drive them towards a communication platform is another challenge. I am a firm believer in the multi-channeled approach as with any plan or strategy or design, the outcome is greater than the sum of its parts. You need a clear goal or final platform/channel and a good idea of who you are going to target. After you have ascertained those 2 criteria, you can decide upon the means in which you will drive them there depending on what your consumers respond best too (I recommend testing and experimentation, whilst costly you could end up gaining revenue through trying something new). Ensure you have a Plan Of Action (POA) regarding the drivers and make sure the campaign is structured with a good balance between above the line, below the line and online advertising. These different mediums all have different effects upon current and potential consumers, please make sure you understand them.
Once you have the platform you must ensure that you maintain constant contact, and keep your public engaged. I am a great advocate of personalised URL’s as they allow you to ask questions and do surveys, involve your customers in some fun interaction with your brand and run some amazing competitions. Also using social media both as a platform and a driver is cheap and effective, this is where a small company can really muscle in with the big giants in their industry and capture a share of the market or increase their share so long as it is done with the right back up and services.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to e-mail me or post a comment.