We have arrived to a new era of marketing. Before new media, brands marketed to consumers based on two important categories: history and demographic. Two categories that are, without a doubt, influential to marketing. They allow us to understand how a consumer has made purchases in the past. They allow us to anticipate a consumer’s needs. Mothers are much more likely to buy baby formula. Pre-teen boys are more likely to want video games. But with the invention of the internet, companies were finally able to understand shoppers’ present behavior. Finally, brands could tell if their customer was researching computers or if they had recently purchased a horror film. Finally, brands could market based on their consumers changing needs and desires. And almost as importantly, brands could capture analytics, calculate ROI, test social media marketing strategies or email newsletter techniques.
And yet, there has always been something missing. The way we maneuver the internet is not the way we maneuver our lives.
Amazingly, we already have technology that discovers how we move through the world. Tucked into our pockets, accompanying us everywhere is an object that is our tool to communicate, shop, research, even document our lives. The mobile cell phone has created omni channel consumers, constantly moving from one channel to the next, often juggling multiple channels at once. Watching tv as they tweet, looking up a word in the newspaper. Tapping into your branded app.
This connected consumer has put forth a major challenge to your marketing strategy. They’ve asked you to communicate with them, them personally, and they don’t mind passing along information to allow you to do so. To succeed, understand their present: their present location, search history, buying patterns, life events. Combined with their history and demographic and you suddenly have the ability to understand who they are.
The next step might be the most simple, as it is the most ancient. Return to retail roots. Master customer service. Anticipate what they’d like to purchase. Introduce them to new products. Offer them a deal, just for them. Soon you’ll find you’ve gained their trust, gained their loyalty, built a relationship.
The connected consumer has put forth a challenge. Fortunately for you, technology is already there to support you.
Kirsty Hughan is Digby‘s Marketing Manager and as such is excited by the opportunity mobile provides to finally allow for a 1:1 marketing strategy for brands. To stay in touch, you can find her on Digby’s Facebook, Twitter or the Digby Blog.