Only a hundred years ago, the only thing most businesses did to communicate with their customers was hang up a cardboard sign. The times have changed. Phones, radio, television and the Internet have made it possible for businesses to build real, meaningful relationships with their customers.
Pop-Up Boxes/Live Chats
Pop-up chat boxes or live chats on websites are the perfect tool for marketing complex products and services. Consumers visit websites because they want quick information about prices and features, but complex services are hard to capture in a static webpage. The feature lets customers get the information they came for quickly and efficiently while also giving the staff free contact with a customer.
Asos.com is the perfect example of a company utilising the live chat feature. Within their help section they have a live chat for customers, operating 24 hours a day, they also have links to their Twitter and Facebook, so you can easily find and message them through the most convenient method.
From research we know that social media is one of the quickest developing areas in the Internet Business Intelligence. Social networking sites allow companies to gather data and connect with the market, it is easy to see why people consider them the ‘future of marketing’. Virtually every company in the world now understands the importance of a social media presence, however few take advantage of the huge opportunities platforms like Twitter and Facebook present. They’re a place where a company can express its personality.
“With social media, you can reach out to your customers at any moment rather than wait for customers to send you emails or phone calls with feedback,” Aronovich says. Through the use of a company’s Facebook page or Twitter account to it becomes possible to engage your followers and keep conversations going. Social media can also be used as a form of customer service, where company representatives can directly answer customer questions and concerns.
Mobile apps can be a great way to reach your customers. On average people are spending around 30 hours a month on apps and are turning to them on a daily basis for the ease they provide (Tiongson. J, 2015). Push notifications allow you to get important messages out and keep your customers engaged and informed. It is important that the app offers users some real value or no one will download it.
John Lewis have expanded into an app where you are able to browse the website, access the John Lewis Card, keep all the receipts in one place, scan products in store and create a wish list (John Lewis). This shows the vast amount of possibilities there are when looking to develop an app based around a company.
Users are more likely to share and re-share video than other forms of content. It is a great tool for businesses and professionals to showcase their vision, expertise, products, services, company news and announcements for maximum outreach. Animoto’s research says that 96% of consumers find videos helpful when they are making purchase decisions online. Moreover, 58% of them consider companies that produce videos to be more trustworthy.
One way to connect with customers is by posting tutorials relevant to your line of work. While it may seem as though you will be giving away your secrets, you’ll establish yourself as a subject matter expert. For example, a salon may offer styling tips, or a marketing firm could do a series on building your brand using the latest social media site. An even better way to connect with customers is to put them behind the camera. User-generated content is more likely to generate a response than company-generated content. Instead of spending hours coming up with a script and producing a powerful video, invite customers to create their own.
A successful example of a user generated campaign is GoPro’s ‘Photo of the Day’ social media campaign. They then featured a customer’s photo on their social media sites every day to prove to a wider audience the advantages of the camera. The public can then vote for their favourite on the GoPro Award page, encouraging people to send in their photos and driving engagement (https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/the-insider/05-10-16-the-evolution-of-digital-marketing-30-years-in-the-past-and-future).
Over the years businesses have had to change the way they approach marketing. There are so many media options nowadays open to consumers, this leads to businesses competing for their attention. Research shows that for most businesses 80% of business comes from 20% of their customers. It is important to make these customers feel valued, this may be done through special offers or loyalty discount schemes or even through “private preview” sales.
If multiple marketing methods are used, it is important that all methods work together to promote a single message to customers. For example, a funny TV advertisement and a serious radio advertisement will cause confusion to customers, and the brand definition will be lost.