Facebook has not only been used for marketing but more recently as a place in which actual retail transactions happen. People are buying products on Facebook. (Asos) The only challenge is getting users to spend money in a context that they are used to just chatting with friends in.
There is definitely potential, and retailers are experimenting with creating more social experiences by showing users what products their friends have bought or conversations to develop around products.
As mobile technology (apps and web-based technologies) is advancing rapidly, there are many innovations in the ways people are trying to drive retail.
What is happening, in the example of the Korean market with the Homeplus Case Study. On their way to and from work, consumers were able to use their smartphones to scan the codes next to each product image. The products were then automatically dropped into the consumers’ online shopping cart and delivered to their homes after work.
Google, with Verifone Systems is hoping to convince shoppers to use their mobile devices to pay for goods at point of sale by waving a mobile phone in front of a detection device. This reflects the interest in, and potential for mobile shopping.
Also, one a creative level you can see in this McDonald’s Campaign, by using smartphones to engage consumers in a unique way, and directly drive sales for McDonald’s.
An interesting article by Cynthia Fedor of QuantumDigital called “Keep Your Eye on These 3 Consumer Trends” provides helpful tips for marketers when planning to reach current and future consumers:
- Have a plan to continually stay familiar with new technology.
- Track changes in how consumers are using technology to interact with brands.
- Pay attention to consumer preferences—especially how they are interacting with new technologies across multiple industries and devices.
- Understand the brand’s customer base, such as who they are, where they are, and how they shop (in store and/or online), what they like, and motivations affecting their decision-making.
All aspects of marketing, promotions, and engagement should be working toward the goal of solving the customer need. If, and how well a need is solved is your customers’ measure of success. And it’s a key measure of performance for you, your brand, and your business.
It is essential to have a clear understanding about the capabilities of mobile devices and social platforms. Today’s young generation are learning to interact with these tools as early as two years of age. They are in tune with technology at their fingertips and on demand. Understanding how a brand should be reflected on these devices and platforms will be imperative for future success.
Advances in social technologies have made the voice of the consumer more dominant in today’s marketplace. Consumers are vocal about their needs, wants, and preferences.
What brings customers back to a brand, creates loyalty, and strengthens financial performance? Price incentives? Loyalty programs? Big investments to build brand awareness?
A Harvard Business Review article on customer service highlights two key elements that should remain “top-of-mind” for businesses:
- Delighting customers doesn’t build loyalty, but reducing the work they must do to get their problem solved does.
- Acting deliberately on this insight can help improve customer service, reduce customer service costs, and decrease customer churn.
A company that wants to solve every customer’s need in a personal way is Amazon. The company does consistently well in customer surveys and performance rankings because of a strong focus on fulfilling customer needs. If there is a problem, it is quickly fixed, with the goal of getting the right product to the customer as soon as possible.
Amazon was ranked the most trusted brand in the US in a recent Millward Brown Study. The model at Amazon is to create a place where customers can find or discover anything they can imagine buying online.
“When a person recommends a brand they put their own personal trust and credibility on the line. They are only willing to recommend brands which themselves have proven reliable and trustworthy,” said Nigel Hollis, EVP and Chief Global Analyst of Millward Brown.
“Amazon.com, the brand ranked first in the U.S. by TrustR, has achieved that status through exceptional service and providing its own recommendations to users. This combination has made Amazon the gold standard of trust and recommendation in the U.S.”
We are pro online marketing and believe its success far outweighs the results delivered by offline marketing simply because so many people are turning to the Internet to look for absolutely anything they want, and generally will find it.
The integration of online and offline marketing is achieving results far better than they can produce on their own. Offline ads are heavy drivers of online search, and therefore online efficiency is multiplied when combined with offline channels.
According to a study by Jupiter Research and search marketing agency iProspect, “…a surprising two-thirds of searchers are led to search on a given keyword as a result of offline marketing”.
We are living in a technologically driven age where if you need to know anything all you need to do is search for it on the Web.
So what better way is there to find out if an advertisement (in a newspaper or magazine) is really advertising what it claims to be, than by searching for it on the Internet? And, while offline ads are leading to searches on the web, online advertising is able to track what is or isn’t leading to purchases or sales.
So for all those companies out there who have been weary of making the move to online advertising – it’s not one or the other anymore. By integrating the two you can achieve success!
These days, if you’re doing business, you’ve got to go social. The conversation is also broadening with all areas of companies adopting social media tactics both internally and externally. The world’s leading companies are realising that a solid grasp of social technologies and social platforms (along with trust) enables brands to build; it transforms product development; and enables re-time customer service while having a social interaction and collaboration with customers and stakeholders.
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How are companies figuring out how social tools can be used most effectively to meet the needs of this new online consumer? And, importantly, what should they be doing to make use of this social media to the fullest?
The “Edelman 2010 Good Purpose Study” showed that 86 % of consumers globally believe that companies need to place at least equal weight on society’s interests as they do on business’ interests. Brands will get smarter on how to engage with consumers as citizens – it’s not just about consumption, but about being true citizens of the world and aligning themselves with relevant and local issues. Brands need to provide multiple touch-points for consumers. Brands and corporations need to engage consumers at all levels.
It only takes a few bad reviews or complaints to result in lost opportunities and a damaged perception or brand. Your customers are online and it is vital to manage your online reputation in order to protect your brand as it may be the first impression the public gets about you.
Social tools, like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and blogging sites with endless agendas have magnified the voices of your clients and potential prospects for your business. Let’s face it, almost anything can get posted about you or your company regardless of the facts.
Despite the excitement, budgeting, and energy being put into social media campaigns (see Jay-Z case study) there is nothing about it that guarantees your reputation will improve. Instead, your reputation is merely amplified by using social media. Social media accelerates your trend, whichever direction it may be heading in. But you can be involved in putting out a positive trend, and open up the media airwaves for discussion; and get people talking.
In one month Bing (the search engine) saw an increase of 11.7 % increase in visits to their site, and entered the top ten most visited sites for the first time. We don’t know if it worked long term for Bing and Jay-Z’s Autobiography but it certainly got people talking and tweeting.
Is it Facebook, blogs, Twitter? Or is it more about the new communication platforms? Or about real-time? Or ‘digital media’? Customers today are increasingly doing their own research on the Internet as their first step and letting the “review” of products and services by others shape their buying decisions. So why not be involved in the consumer purchase decision process? Consumer reviews can offer a deeper understanding of brands- so let people comment and review- it also opens up for innovation and improvement from a customer’s perspective. It allows brands to be a part of consumer’s lives, which has never been possible before.