Communication with today’s consumer is a two-way street with the digital revolution to blame for the transformative shift. Digital innovation is laying the path for consumers to connect with brands in new ways often simplifying the path to purchase for a seamless, tailored experience.
Content is no longer about mass, we’re moving to an era of marketing that is about working smarter, not bigger and that marketing is increasingly on mobile.
Online conversations have become a social means of communicating and today having a one -to -one dialogue with a customer is akin to communicating with a friend. This is an important recognition in any marketer’s arsenal because like a friend, your customers want to feel valued and respected for their loyalty to your business.
Mass marketing is certain to die a death. There is no longer a place for a mass market approach to content. Data needs to be consumer driven and relevant if brands are to succeed in truly connecting with its customers.”
Equally though, they also want the ability to have a social experience with others around your brand. The ability to share purchases or potential purchases, trends, offers or opinions with others has become a key part of the purchasing journey and is initiating the emergence of online communities.
Shopping online is a prime example of one area that has been transformed into a social experience for consumers; they enjoy the process of browsing online for the latest fashion trends, receiving their friends’ opinion on products and sharing new brands that they have discovered. Brands should be mindful of this, and find ways to help shoppers to build these online communities that enable them to engage with each other, share products and make more informed and confident purchasing decisions.
Social platforms such as Pinterest, GRABr and the ‘Net Set’ app are already creating likeminded communities in fashion specifically, where consumers interact with each other and fashion influencers in a way they have never before. Net-a-Porter launched its ‘Net Set’ app, a social shopping network, initially launched as an invite only platform in May, has gone on to generate 85,000 members. Following that Pinterest announced that it has teamed up with Topshop to create a personalised shopping experience based on a user’s pins. There’s real value for the brand here as well, creating these communities on the retail sites themselves, like Topshop’s partnership with Pinterest and Net-a-Porter, is a valuable way of creating this community of encouragement at the point of purchase – keeping visitors on the site, mitigating basket abandonment and ultimately driving sales. Finding ways to adopt this approach across different industry sectors could have a big impact on online sales.
So where do marketers fit among all this change? Mass marketing is certain to die a death. There is no longer a place for a mass market approach to content. Data needs to be consumer driven and relevant if brands are to succeed in truly connecting with its customers.
Within marketing we will continue to see evolving personalised contextual marketing efforts based on digital behaviours such as the devices and apps employed and the online path to purchase. We have already seen this approach used via mediums such as Facebook. The more conscious consumers become about marketing, the more businesses can expect for their marketing to be ignored. Using a blanket approach to tell consumers that your brand is the most luxurious, special, best value for money will fall on deaf ears unless this message is tailored to the right context.
This is where marketing matters. This is when it becomes important to understand your customers through capturing insights – users’ likes and dislikes offering recommendations and relevant content and prompting peer-to-peer engagement to create loyal, empowered ambassadors for your brand.