Your company or branded website communicates who you are to your target audience. The question is now whether it works for you the question is “how many sales are you losing because of your website ?” Today the best websites are one which are clean and functional and communicate your key brand messages within a few seconds. It starts with black text on a white background but it also needs look professional and not like it was done by someone at home with a computer and Internet connection.
The digital revolution and the explosion of social media have profoundly changed what influences consumers as they undertake their purchasing decision journey. When considering products, they read online reviews and compare prices. Once in the stores, they search for deals with mobile devices and drive hard bargains. And after the purchase, they become reviewers themselves and demand ongoing relationships with products and brands. Although companies have access to terabytes of data about these behavioral changes, many still can’t answer the fundamental question: how exactly are our customers influenced?
Blogs are influencing purchase decisions and recommendations more than ever. According to Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere report, 38% of bloggers talk about brands positively and negatively on their blogs, and 34% write product, service, and brand reviews. This is happening more and more because consumers trust each other a lot more than they trust advertisers messages but let’s also remember that people are not going to seek Bloggers advice on every product.
Post Summary: The Internet has not only empowered consumersconsumers, it has made them more informed about current issues with brands and products. Brands that hide from the truth or ignore social media buzz are going to pay a huge price as consumers drop them like a bad habit. UPS might learn this the hard way as they “failed to anticipate the demand” for Christmas delivery leaving a lot of people without Christmas presents.
I have read an awesome book on branding called “Brand Against the Machine”by John Morgan and for the first time I can honestly say that this is a book that all branding people NEED to read. In the very first chapter the key thesis of the book “[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]the future of branding is marketing with people and not at them[/inlinetweet].”.
Earlier last week I was contacted by a large consumer products company with a problem. It seems they had hired “a social media expert” to help them develop and launch their social media marketing but now that ship was adrift and was getting pounded by the rocks under the waves. Not only was it poorly executed but what they had done so far was costing them business. Their social media “expert” was hit and run. He told them what to do but not how to do it within THEIR culture and industry.
It seems that every social media expert is evaluating social media marketing, especially on facebook. While social media marketing is currently “old news” to a lot of brands there are still a big percentage who are trying to determine just how much time and budget dollars should be allocated to this channel. However, remember that social media marketing is not easy and in all likelihood you’re not going to get it right the first or even second time. At its core social media marketing is new approach to marketing “customer centric” instead of organization centric. It doesn’t mean marketers need to give up control of their marketing it just means that one marketing message is not going to resonate with everyone out there and that you need to fight for every customer and listen to what they have to say.