Consumers are increasingly in the driver’s seat: constantly connected, Internet-enabled, socially linked and mobile-powered. According to the Mobile Marketing Association, 48% of Americans never turn off their phones, and 64% sleep with their mobile device at their bedside. Consumers are growing to expect more intelligent marketing that is tailored to their needs, and they expect to connect with your brand however and whenever they want to.
This consumer-driven marketing mindset will only become more prevalent in the years to come. Brands will need to adopt a marketing approach that is relevant, responsive and always "on" in order to meet these changing consumer behaviors and expectations. This will significantly impact how companies engage customers, leverage technologies and plan and support campaigns. The following are a few things to keep in mind as you contemplate marketing to the “on-demand” consumer:
Design interactions that enhance the customer journey. This goes beyond simply knowing your customer and how they interact with your brand. Start thinking about how consumers move through the world at large, the triggers that drive their behavior and the context in which they act. For instance, consumers may receive your email on their smartphone during their morning commute, continue browsing your website from their PC at work, and purchase from their tablet at their bedside later that evening. Knowing this, look for new opportunities to enhance their experience across these multiple channels and leverage data and context for real-time response and dialogue.
And consider what you expect this interaction to look like five years from now. McKinsey Quarterly lays out a future scenario in which a consumer, Diane, is browsing in-store and taps a product (a headset) with her smartphone to get more information. Diane’s phone prompts her to photograph her face, which results in a display showing how the headset would look on her. She’s then invited to post pictures on Facebook to get feedback from friends. Simultaneously, she receives a text message from Spotify offering a free subscription if she completes her headset purchase. The scenario continues to unfold across other devices and media.
The takeaway here is that marketers should envision how customers will buy products in the future and start planning now for interactions that will enhance that customer journey.
Invest in technologies that allow you to keep up with changing consumer demands. Carefully assess your current capabilities and develop a plan for investing in digital marketing technologies that will ensure you are in a position to keep pace with changing consumer behavior. Keep an eye on developments in big data and technologies that enable you to leverage the data in real time across multiple platforms and devices.
Keep your organizational structure fluid and scalable. McKinsey Quarterly notes that companies will need to rethink the role and structure of the marketing organization in the future. It’s likely that companies will need to be more collaborative in how they plan, manage and optimize campaigns and communities – bringing together individuals from sales, marketing, product, legal, HR, finance, IT and more. These groups will be working together in new ways to collectively understand the consumer’s decision journeys and to design experiences that will meet the consumer’s demands.
Consider today how the “on-demand” consumer will experience your brand in the future and plan for the marketing changes you will need to make to meet their ever-evolving needs.