Gaining thousands of likes and followers on new media platforms is no longer enough. Now for companies to gain a competitive advantage online they must understand their consumers and actively engage them.
The Benefit of Fully Knowing Your Consumers
If companies work to gain a complete understanding of their customers, they will possess the ultimate competitive advantage. Prior to the social media boom it was easy to stand out, but now we live in a multimedia culture that is oversaturated with content. So how do you make your business stand out to your consumer with this superabundance of social media? Brian Solis, a well-known digital analyst, gives insight on how to appropriately target and engage consumers by following what he refers to as the “Laws of Attraction and Affinity.” These laws state that companies must:
Identify where their consumer’s attention is focused. The Harvard Review states that in order to effectively locate the attention of consumers, companies should review what consumers are saying, buying, doing, and liking. This will help develop a consumer profile that will serve as the best source when developing online content.
Develop a higher purpose that establishes a sense of value to consumers. Brian Solis states that it is important to have genuine intentions while engaging consumers. Look at online marketing like pursuing a relationship, not speed dating. Companies must work to establish an identity that consumers are excited about and believe in. If a company fails to do this, content will not captivate the target audience.
Create strategies that encourage interaction and sharing. A huge part of building a relationship with consumers is to spark a conversation. Shareable content will only benefit your business and help consumers feel a sense of worth—so make sure your content strategies encourage this. Brian Solis believes that businesses should focus on matching content, storefront, and engagement to the culture of their consumers.
Stay consistent. Although you may want to follow a current trend, if it does not fit with your mission do NOT embrace it. Remember, if you are in the process of developing a long-term relationship with your consumer, it is important to stay true to your original intentions. The Harvard Review recommends that businesses improve a customer’s lifetime value by effectively engaging them over the long term with a purpose. Once you have a 360-view of your consumer it is important to continuously pursue them.
Listen, learn, and adapt. It is important to stay true to your original mission; however, if consumers are changing it is important to adjust to meet their needs. Analyzing big data will allow companies to encompass consumers’ locations, behaviors, and overall mindsets. By consistently reviewing data, companies will be able to gain insight if their target consumer is adjusting. Changing to meet your target will help your company stay relevant through the years.
Consumers are more dynamic than ever, and it is important that businesses acknowledge and accommodate these new behaviors. The Altimeter Group believes that companies must disregard previous systematic marketing tactics and work on implementing flexible and significant relationships with their consumers.
Consumers are in the driver seat, but if organizations respond appropriately, they will gain long lasting bonds. It is important that companies work to push content toward a specific consumer in an intimate manner, and then integrate the content across all channels seamlessly. These content strategies are key to guarantee engagement, but it all starts with understanding your consumer.
What are you doing to ensure you fully know your consumer?
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