Today’s digital consumer is tech-savvy, social and demanding.
Having grown accustomed to “on-demand” mediums like DVR, the Internet, and mobile, they have come to expect the ability to get what they want, when they want, where they want. They have little patience for both brands that waste their time as well as those who cannot, in an instant, react to their wants and needs.
It is clear that if brands wish to build a rapport with customers using digital media, they need to respond to customer requests, rather than bombard people with unsolicited communications. Emails that people have signed up for may be welcomed (or at least tolerated) by three quarters of those interviewed, but even these can become irksome if they are done too often, or are of no direct interest.
Wasting their time is the last thing any consumer wants from a brand. This is not to say that they don’t like marketing or advertising from a brand; they just don’t want it to be an encroachment on their daily lives.
“They have little patience for things that get in their way, like inefficient technology, slow loading web sites, long voice mails, and inadequate customer service. “
So what does this mean for brand marketing? I mean let’s face it, digital isn’t going away and we all know that social networks are where consumer’s spend their time.
How should brands respond?
Building a comprehensive online strategy is a nuanced affair, however, the lowest hanging fruit, available to all brands, is to build capacity to respond to consumers when the call is made. This isn’t to say that brands need to sit by the phone and wait, but rather be extra attentive when a consumer reaches out.
Be alert on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. If someone makes a comment, be ready to answer with something of value – NOT MARKETING. If they have a question, answer it. If they have a problem, solve it and do it with a smile. This is no small task. I firmly believe that most brands will require a person, group or department dedicated to social marketing in the future. Some brands like DELL have already taken this on. But I have no doubt that Social Marketing Departments will be a part of most brand teams in the future.
What about Marketing and Advertising?
Marketing and advertising will remain, but brands need to start looking at who they want to be friends with and talk to those people first. And when they do, they need to bring something valuable to the picnic.
Nobody likes an uninvited guest. Unless, of course, the guest brings something great to share.