Digital has clearly usurped traditional marketing methods.
To be successful brands have to pick the right social channel, understand how to market to multi screen enabled consumers, listen to customers, recognize the importance of creating a selling experience that is as much digital is it is in-store and embrace the cloud.
Ten key marketing maxims for businesses who want to win in the digital age.
Businesses must understand how mobile shopping has redefined how customers interact with business of all sizes and types. The customer life cycle is no longer dependent upon the old ways of reach out and touch - today, its a social share driven experience.
Customers are browsing the social web, reading reviews, “talking” with others and at times viewing the actual product can be an afterthought.
Grok that old school sales methods don’t work; sales teams need to understand consumers are all plugged in and pushy sales tactics that employ repetition or weak brand claims (“its 20% off only today…) are non starters.
Recognize brute force or “hit em over the head” repetition marketing don’t work well in today’s digital driven world. Identify your customer persona and build a brand story that resonates with this target market.
Understand value has to be defined early in the sales experience to garner attention: today’s always on mobile fickle consumers have just about unlimited choices for buying products. They want to engage with and buy from businesses that come across as authentic, humble and grounded in reality.
Embrace simplicity in design: multiple sales offers on a home page may sound great in sales meetings but they don’t work with today’s online shoppers. Less is more and simplicity drives sales conversions.
Be aware the click of death is about 4-6 seconds - the web experience has to work well for your visitors or they are gone in a matter of seconds - a funky looking web site with a challenging eCommerce experience is a non starter and businesses that don’t recognize good web site design builds immediate and long term sales are dinosaurs.
Ecommerce differentiators that drive sales.
- Describe your basic product with terms that clearly identify the product and images that display on multiple platforms and devices.
- Integrate search functionality that works well and test it thoroughly.
- Give the returning visitor a shopping experience that works well for them by providing easy access for a reorder.
- Shopping Carts can be maddeningly frustrating for many shoppers.
- Create a cross channel User Experience that works well.
Your real goal with any web site, eCommerce or otherwise, is just speed. You want the site to load in under three seconds and put the visitor in charge. Patagonia does a great job of offering multiple screen options for the viewer with simple arrow control option.
Be in multiple places where your customer lives and leverage your content lifecyles with a built in rinse and repeat for all content. Pick channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) that map to your consumer focus. If you don’t have sufficient budget for multiple channels, then pick one and build a beachhead from there.
Make your customer’s lives more productive to drive meaningful engagement and sales. Zappos did a wonderful job of providing fanatical customer service for products that could be purchased elsewhere and in some cases for lower prices.
Recognize technology as a means to an end and that the cloud has indelibly changed the cost structure for businesses big and small. “Tech” to your business should simply define how you construct a digital presence and IT infrastructure, with built in measurement tools that can be swapped out easily to drive better downstream sales benchmarking and ROI analysis.
Five Reasons Why Most Small to Medium Sized Businesses are Scared of using the Cloud
- Don’t really have an idea of what the cloud is and the impact on their business.
- Once they understand it means moving “stuff” to distant Servers are scared to death of being hacked or losing data (see three below!).
- Is my data safe, secure and readily accessible?
- Are worried about adding another layer of complexity to their business.
- Eyes glaze over when marketing tech geeks start throwing around confusing buzz words.
Consumers are multi-screen and you have to adapt your business, web site and marketing to address their needs. Mobile usage now comprises approximately 28% of all online traffic and this is projected to accelerate moving forward as mobile phones proliferate globally. Some sites such as Yelp indicate over 59% of their traffic is via smartphone users.
Savvy Business Integrate these Mobile Ready Design Experiences
- Create a “friendly” experience for your user; your mobile site should mirror your existing web site.
- Don’t create a sub domain for your mobile site.
- Strip out content and technology components that are not needed for the mobile experience; if you have complex functionality on your primary web site strip it out for mobile.
- Leverage the power of mobile when and where it makes sense: GPS functionality is great for a restaurant or theater. Apple’s iBeacons are cool but the technology is just now getting rolled out and deployment could be challenging.
- Responsive design architecture is fairly mature and implementation design standards are now robust: if you can’t afford a standalone mobile site then leverage responsive design.
Panera has done a wonderful job with their mobile friendly web site
Key Takeaways for Busy Execs
- Understand that in today’s world every business is digital.
- Marketing now requires a significant investment in technology: CMO’s will spend more on tech than CIO’s in three years.
- Start small and iterate your way to success.
- Create a meaningful experience for your customers. #lessismore
- Recognize technology has outstripped the functional structure of some organizations: information silos are death traps.
- Content strategy is critical to success in the digital economy - it defines your business.
- Big data is a trap. Don’t fall in love with data: a real digital romance begins and ends with actionable insights about revenue.
- Technological sophistication drives marketing success.
- Think creatively and have a willingness to fail.
he digital affinity of consumers, who once were bound by a very tactile customer experience of seeing and touching products in-store, has put a lot of pressure on CMOs to become the boss of their online customer experience.
While being a CMO connotes leadership and authority, it doesn’t inherently mean brands need to be forceful or intimidating in how they speak with their online customers. What does work is a smarter and more nuanced approach to listening to their customers’ explicit actions and using those actions to become more relevant to each individual customer. Brands that get this approach see it pay off with greater respect, trust, loyalty and, of course, revenue.
So to help CMOs master their online customer experience, I have outlined five surefire rules they should follow to get customers to respect, trust and spend more dollars more often with them across multiple channels.
- See more at: http://pauldunay.com/5-ways-cmos-can-master-their-online-customer-experience/#sthash.L0JveVs3.dpuf