There has been a fundamental shift on how individuals make purchasing decisions
Today’s consumer is more connected than ever, with more access to and deeper engagement with content and brands, thanks to the proliferation of digital devices and platforms. Content that was once only available to consumers via specific methods of delivery (such as via print, radio and broadcast television) can now be sourced and delivered to consumers through their multiple connected devices. This is driving the media revolution and blurring traditional media definitions.nielsen.com
Today’s consumer turns to the almighty Google or their friend base on social media when they have a problem and need a service or product to solve it. Which means the fundamentals of marketing in the digital age have changed as well. This encompasses how marketers approach potential customer as well as the channels in which they approach them.
Radio spots, Television commercials and other non-value add mediums of advertising are becoming less and less relevant as end consumers become more and more annoyed by interruption marketing.
The days of “But wait if you order NOW you will get 50% off the super duper pooper scooper” are slowly coming to an end and THANK GOD they are.
Today’s digital consumer demands value-added content which educates, informs and helps to solve their pain before deciding to do business with one company or another. This involves the complete marketing lifecycle not just the BUY NOW traditional marketing tactics of yesteryear.
The Fundamentals of Marketing in the Digital Age
Phase 1: Attraction – Strangers to Visitors
Everything starts with attraction
Being present on search engines and in social media channels when a company’s potential consumer base has an issue or is researching a solution is priority number one. The digital consumer turns to Google or their social network when they have a problem and a company that is present and ready to start helping the consumer is already on there way to the a great start to a relationship.
Elements of channels to convert strangers to visitors:
- Thought Leadership via optimized blogging
- Pay Per Click advertising
- Social Media marketing and advertising
Phase 2: Convert – Visitors to Leads
Providing additional value
At this stage, the consumer has conducted research and has come to a company’s website in order to conduct their research to help solve their pain. This is where the majority of traditional companies miss a large opportunity to begin building a relationship with their client base. Yesteryear’s company will have one typical call-to-action CONTACT US.
That is similar asking someone to marry you on the first date. You brush your teeth, your clothes are clean and you seem intelligent, but I am not ready to get married yet.
Can I learn a bit more about you first?
Savvy companies offer a way to begin the relationship with a potential new customer by offering additional value in the form of e-books, webinars, guides or checklists for the price of an email address. This is a win-win for both the consumer and the company.
Elements that are helpful/necessary to convert visitors to leads:
- Calls to Action
- Lead Generation Pages
- Value Added Content
Phase 3: Close – Leads to customers
Growing the relationship
The relationship has begun, the consumer is being provided information about a current problem they have in their life and the company is building trust and exemplifying their expertise to said, consumer.
By continuing to add value via email nurturing campaigns, webinars, additional checklists and guides, a company can request more information about a potential consumer and patiently wait until the potential consumer is ready to take the next step in becoming a customer. The company can set up certain indicators–such as the customer visiting the pricing page and spending more than a minute on the page–to confirm the potential customer as a qualified lead which will then trigger a more formal action such as a phone call or an email requesting a meeting. By monitoring user behavior, creating user action based triggers and marketing automation companies can wait until their potential customer is comfortable and ready to be contacted.
Key Elements to close leads to customers:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Email Nurturing
- Close-loop reporting
Phase 4: Advocates – Customers to Advocates
Improve the process and tell the world
Both the company and customer have walked through the stages of building a business relationship: starting with attraction, continuing to build a relationship and eventually doing business together. Now it’s time to make sure everyone was happy with the process and if it was good for both parties. Companies can help ensure customer satisfaction by requesting feedback from their existing client base in order improve their service, product or process. Customers are given their opportunity to voice their opinion and help improve future experiences. As this process is more refined, more customers become advocates for the company’s product or service, clients are encouraged to post reviews, share thought leadership with their peers and promote the company.
Key Elements of improving company processes and engendering advocacy
- Social Monitoring
- Continued Nurturing
So what do you think? Please comment, share and contact me via social media channels.