Change of customer behavior in the age of social media and how businesses should respond.
2020-05-14 07:00 trans+
Technology is closing the gap of information between businesses and consumers. Marketing used to be one-way communication from businesses, somewhat like persuasion with a bit of exaggeration in trying to sell. Consumers are well aware of this by now and it is increasingly important in communication today for businesses to appear less salesy.
SNS reviews over ads
The marketing concept for the last 70 years has been centered primarily on vertical relationships or one-way communication while the current concept is supported by horizontal relationships where customers are connected to each other. Social media development has a significant impact especially in recent years.
As social media grow, people believe SNS reviews by consumers over what businesses message out. Every marketer is also a consumer at the same time, who shares his or her own reviews in SNS. Likewise, every consumer can be a marketer for other consumers. In other words, everyone can be a consumer and marketer in this age.
In fact, Nielsen's Global Consumer Trends Survey revealed that fewer customers trust advertisement by businesses while they expect SNS reviews to be more reliable source. Today people trust the “likes” by friends and opinions of consumers posted online. They trust strangers on social network rather than experts.
In response to these changes in customer attitudes toward advertising, advertisement has no choice but to diversify. Sponsored contents have emerged where businesses ask influential Instagrammers to take pictures with their products and post them, or ask bloggers to write product reviews to post for a fee.
In order to earn the trust of customers, businesses need to build communication paying closer attention to horizontal connections among customers. In future marketing activities, factors such as co-creation, community creation, and character building will become important. Let's take a look at each of these features.
Co-creation represents a new approach for innovation. Companies and customers, suppliers and channel partners collaborate to create new products and value.
Experience value related to a product means a lot when accumulated. This approach is also seen in development of open source software that reflects customer feedback into the product.
Businesses can improve their products and services through taking advantage of co-creation that takes place in a horizontal network where customers are connected.
The evolution of technology is connecting customers to each other, leading them to Communitization. Businesses that wish to take advantage of this community for their growth must make sure to support and serve the community, bearing in mind that the community is there for its members and not for the businesses. It is said that the formation of a customer community leads to ideas (pool type), and the classification of communities is either connected to consumers (web type) or connected to leaders (hub type).
Pool type: Community customers share the same value, but not necessarily interact with each other. Strong affection and beliefs in the brand keep them close.
Web type: Community customers interact with each other. In a typical social media community, the one-to-one relationship between members supports the ties.
Hub type: Community customers are attracted to powerful individuals to form a loyal fan base.
Businesses need unique DNA that can truly differentiate them in order to connect with humans. Customers in this age can quickly tell if you are the real deal or not. Make sure your actions consistently meet your principle and provide experience value in line or you will be labeled as fake. Customers are always watching you on social media or in real stores, not just in advertisement and inconsistent behavior can lead to loss of credibility. Consumers today are always connected in community. Losing trust leads to losing the entire network of potential customers. You really need to establish a consistent character.
Again, people are always on line and social media is a part of their lives. Businesses need the right marketing approach in tune with the times for sustainable growth.
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