The Scary Truth: Customers Own the Customer Experience
The world of consumerism is changing rapidly as technology overtakes historical marketing tactics that relied on billboards, magazine ads, and television commercials. The ability for customers to interact with both each other and the brands they love has brought marketing strategy into a new age. Millennials are now sitting in the driver’s seat, and they are steering the public conversation and directing brand popularity. And with so many new social media outlets, news sites, and online retailers, customers are beginning to own their own customer experience. This has made heightened interaction, quick responsiveness, and constant innovation critical for every business owner who is marketing in the digital age.
They Are Steering Their Ads
Gone are the days where every individual watching a television station or listening to a radio broadcast saw or heard the same advertisement. In a world of online marketing, the demand for more control over what specific advertising users are subjected to is booming. For example, nowadays users can adjust social media platforms to only display the types of ads they want to see. They also have the option to more closely follow the brands they choose, increase their profile privacy, and prevent specific marketers from reaching them. With this increase in tailoring comes a new beginning for consumers; they can begin to take control of brand awareness and start altering the voice of a business right from their own virtual seat in cyberspace.
They Are Interacting with Businesses
A social media presence is no longer an ancillary marketing avenue for businesses these days. With so much time spent online on social media platforms, a vast majority of customer opinion and influence comes directly from a brand’s social media presence. This means that they’re heading to platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest to learn more about a business. And the ability to find one with strong social media presence allows users to easily participate in promotions, find other customers, explore new products, make purchases, and seek customer support.
They Are Interacting with Each Other
According to Social Media Today, 71% of online purchasers are more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals. Social media users these days are leveraging promotions that provide perks for sharing and favoriting products and brands. This has opened up a whole new level of interaction between customers. Product recommendations are increasingly found and shared by the customers themselves, oftentimes leaving the business out of the recommendation process altogether. And while this takes the brunt of the advertising work off of the business, it puts the decision-making process wholly upon the users themselves, and as a result they are taking a great deal of control over the advertising process.
But not all is lost simply because legacy approaches to marketing no longer apply. With increased interaction and more decision-making and social sharing abilities in the consumer market comes the ability for businesses to break down barriers and truly participate in a two-way conversation. More customer participation produces a great deal of data about customer preferences, and it provides businesses with an insight into their customer base like never before. All it takes is to adjust from a standpoint of pushing data to consumers to interacting with them directly and encouraging them to interact with each other.
The marketing landscape has evolved from one where businesses drive the consumers, to one in which the consumers begin to drive business. By directing marketing efforts towards social media management and keeping a finger on the consistent pulse of new data, businesses can fearlessly hand the reins of their customer’s experience over to the customers themselves.