It’s no secret that the new behaviours of hyper-connected consumers are basically changing the interaction between brands and consumers.
Consumers now research, review and consume content anywhere and everywhere — in lightning speed — yet advertising is still stuck in ‘channel-orientated thinking’.
This gap between consumers and brands has created the keeping-up-with-the-latest-and-greatest questions which now rain down on entrepreneurs: ‘Perhaps you have added social or push messaging to your channel mix?’ ‘What are we doing about Snapchat?’
These questions, well-intentioned however they are, reflect a deeply flawed method of thinking. Marketers should not try to begin by adding new stations, adjusting the standard of the customer relationships.
It is the advertising equivalent of shooting first and asking questions later. A marketing strategy must be built on a foundation of fully considering and understanding the wants and desires of the people you are attempting to engage.
From channels into consumer-first
Gradually but surely, the word “consumer-first” is creeping into UK marketers’ vocabulary.
This shift in vernacular suggests a significant change in thinking. A communication approach that puts consumer needs at the middle of everything a brand does makes more business awareness, as now’s hyper-connected customers not only make purchase decisions “on-the-go”, they change seamlessly between stations, apparatus, and expect the exact same flexibility from brands.
However brands tackle channels in isolation. The email marketers don’t talk into the in-app messaging group or the website team don’t talk to the offline campaign team, etc..
Even when the teams do communicate, the advertising platform frequently doesn’t support a constant data exchange.
It follows that even when all marketers are doing well on ‘their channels’, the consumer loses out.
The key to connecting with all the hyper-connected consumer is to stop using the channel as the beginning point for preparation and execution. Advertisers need to stop believing they can map channels and content together one client travel and recognise that hyper-connected consumers take many routes to purchase.
Even when all entrepreneurs do well on ‘their stations’, the customer loses out
Stop mapping and begin identifying critical moments to engage, then act quickly and contextually to create relationships on consumers’ terms. As opposed to focusing on delivering a mobile-first approach or nailing reactive layout, a Consumer-First Marketing approach elevates the entire customer experience.
Content is king: Context principles supreme
Contextual comprehension of desires and preferences is a key aspect of consumer-first advertising, as it opens up new possibilities for organizations to deliver on demands through the smart use of data. It goes beyond understanding who your client is and where he’s located.
The aim is to build a profile of your customer . This strategy can include tracking behavioural data, transactional data, data from social networking and a whole lot more. The crucial thing is to create and provide content that’s not only relevant and valuable for potential clients — but also triggers comments.
Utilizing feedback combined with different data sets, brands can find out more about their clients, recognise powerful signs of intent and start delivering contextually relevant content at the right moment.
Context is what shapes what Google has dubbed ‘micro-moments’. These are the every-day minutes where consumers seek information or a product on the go.
And only the best marketers can recognise, send and capitalise on those minutes.
Consumer-first in clinic: Retail
So, how can this understanding translate into a successful marketing strategy? Let’s have a simple situation with a business traveller where she receives an email in the retail store chain at which she’s a loyal client.
By using modern email software technology, the retail store can recognise which the client has opened the email in a different location to her hometown and can therefore assume she is travelling and that she is likely to be spending the night at a hotel.
According to this, and the fact that the chain also has stores in the traveller’s location, it can personalise the email with dynamic content provide contextual relevance and to leverage its connection.
In this situation, the retail series works on the basis it’s tough to keep up with good eating habits when you are on the street and sends a supply for healthful snacks it understands the customer likes, based on her history.
The retailer will surely be able to provide products at a lower cost point with a delivery into the space — maybe even than the resort.
Or, with weather data it can give an offer for helpful items such as shades or an umbrella. Whether it be value-add products or useful information, such as jogging routes in scenarios like these, the customer receives a value-add that is real and its customer relationship is deepened by the newest.
Consumer-first marketing: A game changer
An part in examining the change towards consumer-first advertising is how communication is based a lot more strongly onto a focus on quality of nurturing and communicating, instead of quantity and turnover.
This principle is understood by brands in industries that have customer lifecycles best and will provide learnings for marketers in businesses.
Tesla is a great example.It understands that not every client who comes into contact with all the brand will be ready to buy a car instantly, not since Tesla’s mass-market Model 3 is still over a year away from general release.
As a result, its communication is much more reserved and respectful. It targets story-telling, community-building and creating an positive new experience such as country-specific upgrades on tax breaks for electric cars or breakthroughs in battery technologies, with information that is useful.
Customers can stay receiving non-intrusive communicating every couple of months. Rather than bombarding customers with info that is too much, this strategy focuses on establishing consistent and long-lasting connections which strengthen brand loyalty.
Marketers will need to understand in a world where we are accountable for an out-of-control number of marketing messages (up 10 x at the last 40 years), we need to treat the most precious resource of all — consumer focus — with respect and integrity.
Advertising helps brands build relationships on consumers’ terms. It is a marketing strategy based on empathy to the consumer.
And an important part of this method is a respect for consumer preferences, meaning that marketers communicate with customers’ content preferences and settings, and have the guts radically dial communication down or to stop, if needed.
Marketers who can recognise and react in a timely fashion with the tone that is right will ultimately delight customers. This helps to deliver long-lasting value that will not only provide a competitive advantage, it is the foundation for marketing.