Regardless of whether you're a B2B or B2C marketer, what industry you're in, or if you serve an internal audience of sales reps or an external audience of buyers, one thing remains the same: You are marketing to people. And people today are accessing information and interacting with the world in a new way, thanks to mobile technology. Is your marketing strategy prepared for this new breed of consumer?
According to Google Insights, instead of using just one device to interact with the Internet, consumers are regularly switching up the devices they use. Over 58 percent of Americans now have smartphones, 42 percent have tablets and just about everyone has at least one computer. As a study by GfK summarizes, "as multiple devices become an integral part of our lives, switching between them is becoming standard practice. More than 60 percent of American adults use at least two devices every day, while 25 percent of online Americans use three devices. More than 40 percent sometimes start an activity on one device only to finish it on another".
This data serves as proof of what we already know from personal experience: technology has changed the way the consumers access and share information. And it has turned the marketing world upside down. Everything about the way your audience finds, views, interacts with and shares your content has changed.
As a marketer, how are you responding to this shift? Here are a few areas to explore to ensure that your marketing strategy is designed for today's new breed of consumers.
Context: The "what" of your content may stay relatively unchanged. You still need to provide sales support materials, product literature, content about promotions and announcements, etc. What has changed are the "when, where, why and how". Mobile technology has increased connectivity to the point where people can be consumers anytime, anyplace and with any device they choose. Your company is open 24/7 regardless of whether or not the "Open" sign on the door says so. As you create content and messaging, consider the context in which it will be consumed.
- What channel, platform and device will be used to access this information?
- What experience are you creating for the consumer as they access this content?
- How much time and focus will they be able to contribute to consuming this content?
Engagement: While the the objective of creating marketing content that is engaging isn't new, the increased expectations your consumers have for engagement definitely is. The marketplace is saturated with content and your consumers have more choices now than ever before. If you want your content to be successful and spark action, it must be engaging. Don't just talk to your consumer, trigger a dialogue.
- How can you use technology to make your content more engaging?
- How can you collect feedback about your content to continuously track and improve engagement?
- How can you make it easy for consumers to share the content you provide?
Personalization: With "big data" at every turn, it is possible to collect information about the needs of your consumers and use it to provide content that is significant, relevant and even intimate to them. Your consumers need to know that you understand them, so the content you create for them should be designed to deliver experiences are heavily personalized to address their challenges and preferences.
- How can you use technology to allow your consumers to choose what content they want to receive?
- How can you collect data to further refine your personas and deliver more personalized content?
- How can technology help you create a personalized experience for your users, regardless of how they choose to interact with your company?
Regardless of how you define your target market, one thing is for sure - it is made up of people. And people today are connected 24/7. They expect you to be "on" whenever they are. They are more educated and demand more from you now than ever before. Deloitte University Press sums it up nicely in it's article about Dimensional Marketing: "The consumer experience now demands a balance of form and function. Experiences should be personalized, contextual, and real-time to 'me' in the environment and with the method that makes the most sense in the moment."
The same technology that has triggered and enabled the evolution of today's consumers is also available to today's marketers. It's up to you to use it - to leverage it not to only meet but also exceed the expectations of this new breed of consumers.
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