Converting a sale has never been easier
Marketers love to talk about how the purchase funnel has changed and is still evolving. Consumers are bombarded with choices, options, and a variety of brands that produce products which can meet their needs. With all this clutter, it may seem like converting a sale is more difficult than ever before, when in fact it's easier. Yes, consumers are overloaded, but the tool belt marketers wear to reach consumers has also grown. Marketers are able to reach consumers in their pockets with mobile, emotionally with video, and digitally out of home, just to name a few tactics. The only thing holding you back from converting a sale in today's fully digital world, is your own discouragement affecting your strategy.
Digital lets a brand tell its story
It's never been easier for a brand to craft its own identity. Consumers want to interact and purchase from brands that they feel they have a connection to. Consumers want to like a brand they give their business to. In order to do that a brand must have a voice and a personality. Brands like Apple, Chipotle, Trader Joe's, and Airbnb resonate with customers because they have an identity. This was very difficult to accomplish at scale before the digital revolution, but now with consumers online practically every waking moment, creating a brand identity is incredibly simple and you should be doing it.
Customers are empowered, so their requirements are clear
Power has shifted in the marketing world. Marketers are no longer the leaders when it comes to telling consumers what they want. Consumers now demand -- in a variety of ways -- what they want from brands. Brands may fear this, but in fact it's a blessing. It's harder to lead a horse to water and force it to drink than it is to simply find out if the horse is thirsty in the first place. With Yelp, consumer reviews, online feedback, and social media, it's easier than ever for brands to investigate what consumers want and provide it for them.
Data has made brands more relevant to consumers
We live in a world where data matters. Never before have the options that brands have for collecting consumers' information been so numerous. Small brands are now able to aggregate data the same way that big brands used to (obviously, the big brands have more ways now). With all of this information at the marketer's fingertips, it's become easier for an unknown brand to become relevant to unaware consumers.
Rishad Tobaccowala, chairman of Digitas LBI, Razorfish, speaks with iMedia's Bethany Simpson about why he is so optimistic about the state of the industry and why he still sees marketing as a massive growth industry.
Your good customer service produces high consumer expectations
Be the best and you will train your customers to expect the best. This can be a powerful tool against your competition. Customer service matters to consumers perhaps now more than ever because consumers can fight back. A customer's bad service experience can produce a huge social media/customer review backlash. Brands are worried about the consequences of sub-par service, but rarely think about how an exceptional positive customer experience can be a huge part of a marketing strategy. Already, companies like Zappos are trailblazing the idea that if you give your customers the best possible service, the competition will look mediocre in comparison.
Consumers now initiate the marketing
Here's some good news for marketers: Consumers actually want to be marketed to. Why don't we generally think this? Because like most things in life, if things are forced on you then you tend to rebel against them. The same goes for marketing. If you are force-feeding commercials, non-user initiated display ads, or 30 second video pre-roll down a consumer's throat, the consumer tends to not like you. However, consumers love to consume. Shopping is a huge part of an average person's life, and they want to find the best deals and products. Consumers seek out their marketing in today's world, and you have a great opportunity to be ready with paid search, social media, and a positive brand message.
Consumers demand connected experiences and marketers can deliver
The convention used to be that you needed to create a separate campaign for every device, but we are seeing now that this isn't necessarily the case. If a consumer is interacting with you, they want to be able to move from their smart phone, to their laptop, iPad, or TV and have the same experience. In other words, they want to be able to pick up where they left off. This is great news for marketers. Focus on a dynamic, cross-device campaign and you can achieve amazing engagement.
Rishad Tobaccowala ends our conversation be explaining three consumer trends that are good news for marketers and how they are making life easier for reaching our goals.
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"Portrait of a pensive businessman" via Shutterstock.