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Consumer behaviours are evolving, fuelled by digital disruption as new opportunities to expand continue to appear, allowing brands to reach ever-bigger audiences.
In parallel, technological advances are altering all the variables involved in how we buy the things we want.
Amid this wanton growth, there are many benefits lying in wait for prepared and proactive business owners.
A step on from traditional methods to keep up with the competition, businesses need to embrace a digital future to retain customer attention and interest.
The relative low-cost of industry entry for digitally-minded start-ups has brought massive new competition to traditional business models, and this has brought pressure on the older firms to adapt both culturally and organisationally.
On the new corporate landscapes where data trumps experience, industry-savvy individuals can out manoeuvre executives with decades of experience. This new age is defined by disruption, from gamification to cloud computing, and the success of your company depends on its ability to adapt.
Facebook is one of the epoch’s advertising pioneers, targeting individual users based on where they have been on the web. By anticipating and stoking behaviours, their approach cultivates need before it has been recognised by the user.
In the age of modern advertising, firms need to go that extra mile to tweak customer interest. Novelty-factor can be all important in this equation – delivering products and experiences that are tailored to the quirks of individuals and groups.
Think beyond personalisation on your website says Jill Grozalsky, former vice president of strategy at Verndale. Executives need to consider all points of contact along the entire customer journey, focusing on where people are going for their products and services.
Shopping experiences can be further customised when big data and machine learning are leveraged. With greater insight into customer behaviour, firms can establish a better idea of what individuals want and when.
Drawing information from data points on social media networks can yield names, email addresses and interests. For ecommerce traders, surveys filled in by customers can produce a treasure trove of real, personalised data that will eventually be used to create packages tailored to shoppers’ tastes and styles.
Gone are the days of single-purpose products – today’s firms need to integrate a number of technologies so that several customer issues can be dealt with via one tool.
Integration is the name of the game if you want to unleash the full potential of digital technologies, says Lisa Arthur at Forbes. This begins with marketing channels and platforms being interlaced to promote cohesion and efficiency.
For Jesper Nordström, digital strategist and head of group marketing at 3gamma, organisations guilty of falling behind in digital are more inclined to emphasise specific technologies to resolve isolated business problems. Smarter companies, however, know that digital is there to unify and transform businesses through integration.
A survey conducted by Forbes finds that customer engagement is a key concern for less than one third of executives. The findings are alarming in an age characterised by shoppers being willing and able to interact with their favourite brands.
Using on-trend techniques small and large companies alike have the power to drive conversations and fashions, and really stoke interest around new initiatives.
These dialogues need to be sustained and developed to create a depth of energy that consumers want to share and be a part of. All the way along the journey, customers need to have easy ways to feedback to your practices and products. Prompt replying will illustrate your eagerness to help, engage and problem solve, which can only have a positive effect in the long run.
Adaptability is a virtue that goes a long way to explaining the great success of digital. The ability to reach out, communicate, respond and react is being taken to new levels. It’s nothing to be scared of, but many firms have to take clear, bold steps to meet the world of digital head-on and fully adapt to its requirements.
Digital has youth in one hand, and the future in the other. There’s never been a better time to get excited about the market disruption it’s causing, so start experimenting.