10 years ago, the word “social media” barely made sense to marketers and brand owners around the globe, never would it have been imagined that social platforms would compete for an advertising and marketing budget. Yet it has proven to be one of the most effective platforms for driving customer action in the last decade.
Social media came with technological innovations, and platforms businesses that are already disrupting the business landscape and redefining business models as we know it.
The next decade will not be business as usual, traditional advertising, and existing marketing practice cannot take your business to the promised land of the new decade. What we know as lead channels for marketing communication will become support channels, while digital and consumer engagement platforms will take the lead.
Digital will not only be at the core of business but strategy formation for the next decade.
Here are some perspectives;
Brands that have a real impact on communities and consumers’ everyday life will succeed in the new decade.
Consumers in the digital age are willing to explore with brands and go the extra mile. However, brands limit their potential through less expansive strategy, showing little understanding of consumers, and how to drive them to action. They are in desperate search of purposeful brands with meaningful impacts in their everyday life. They believe that brands have a more significant role to play in their lives than the government.
The path to purchase for the new decade consumer is a path to purpose. Hence, purpose-driven brands will have the upper hand in the new decade over brands who are more inclined to transactions or behave like a commodity.
Traditional advertising will keep brands playing at a level where it engenders little or no loyalty from consumers, they will only continue to interact with brands at the lowest level of engagement based on Wildreams SIIT FM model (Something-in-it-For-Me).
Customer segments; your target audience in the last decade has moved from your target view. Traditional marketing tends to have the holy grail of the ideal target audience; the bullseye. This idea is only relevant through the lens of digital.
Most target audiences are more fragmented than ever before, beyond the spectrum of the human eyes that data is required to unearth layers of various customers subdivisions. Customer segmentation and personalization bring greater returns and values to your business, unlike the broad segmentation.
An important concept worthy of note is that your target consumer is no longer one entity or person, but a merger of different entities: The actual consumer, the consumer’s social media influences, and the consumer’s personal AIE (artificial intelligence ecosystem).
So marketers will no longer be marketing to the consumer as an individual but the consumer as an ecosystem; a union of these three distinct but connected entities. This is the value digital brings to your business and brand.
‘Likes’ won’t matter much in the new decade. Impressions won’t guarantee customer awareness. Engagement will be subjective. What will count is presence.
Presence helps a brand build a community of followers who engage with the brand and its purpose beyond the point of sale. A brand is present when it is participative and responsive to the community it aims to serve. At the most basic level, attentiveness to customers’ feedback, comments, queries, recommendations, and taking this data to actively meet its customers’ needs.
How present is your brand to consumers? How has your brand fit itself into consumers’ everyday life? And how relevant is your brand in enabling tangible experiences for this audience?
Having a real community impact will be more important than TV ads in the new decade.
Many TV ads provide great entertainment value with necessarily no real impact to customers. These brands say a lot without listening to what customers want. We all enjoy the comic relief some of these ads provide and the great entertainment value but playing at this level alone to engaging consumers won’t engender loyalty.
The Financial industry is most prone to disruption as consumers are gravitating towards platforms and solution providers whose value proposition meets their daily ambitions and needs. The more irrelevant financial institutions become to consumers in achieving their life’s purpose the more vulnerable they are too innovative tech platforms with relevant and relatable propositions. Digital, beyond marketing, and social media campaigns can help banks innovate.
The winning financial service provider in the new decade will be a listening brand. One who can leverage customer data from mapping a clear customer journey and engagement strategy to designing offerings to meeting customers’ demand. The impact will be a significant shift in the demand curve for banking services.
It’s amazing how much data banks collect across all their channels, and yet aren’t designing offerings, or creating experiences that meet customers’ expectations and demands.
However, new tech platforms are racking up data and leveraging this information to their customers’ advantage.
Analytics can become an important tool in achieving this, another key area where traditional advertising won’t help your brand to the proverbial promised land.
Brands that will succeed in the next decade will be more in tune with customer behaviour almost daily, leveraging data, applying business analytics to observe changes in behaviour, preference, observing relationships that exist between different variables and forecasting possible outcomes that’ll help identify customers unmet need, pain point, optimize service offerings or come up with new ones.
Brands are dealing with hyper-connected consumers now. And when marketing to them, they are essentially marketing to three in one consumer; see consumer segments below.
Traditional marketing won’t help C-Suite executives unearth these facts, the result of this is working with a strategy that’s flawed or limited in its scope and potential to engaging consumers and yielding the best results possible.
Let’s first agree that brands need to enter into a new season of strategic and planning sessions for the new decade.
Traditional advertising and marketing communication alone won’t offer much for the new decade. Digital will be at the heart of business and product innovation.
Digital agencies are going to become more critical to the formulation of a strategy for brands. While digital marketing, an offshoot of the digital transformation process will continue to become relevant to delivering effective marketing messages.
Digital agencies with focus only on advertising and ads are an arithmetic progression of existing traditional media agencies.
Digital must be at the core of a firm’s central nervous system to innovation, business process efficiency, product innovation, optimization, new service offering, marketing messaging and consumer engagement strategies. It offers a new set of design thinking that’s powered by data and human intelligence.
Your next product, marketing strategy, communication and messaging will have a higher chance of success with real-time customer data than extensive research done periodically.
Social media provides a less expensive research platform for brands to harness customer data in real-time. Data confounds the preconceived notion of what works and what will work soon. With customer data online, you can optimize your service offering, develop new ones based on customer preference and learn more about your business and competition.
Data-driven marketing will record more success and high impact than marketing that’s solely dependent on creative expertise. With data and AI systems, marketing can be more personalized with tailored offerings based on identified customer segments, behaviors and attributes.
Data will fuel marketing, product development and new service offerings in the new decade.
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