According to the research survey,[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””] 62% of U.S. consumers join retail brand loyalty programs to get discounts but only 36% have received a reward or promotion from the program[/inlinetweet] that actually made them come back to the brand. One reason might be the fact that, according to the survey results, 81% of brand loyalty program members don’t understand the benefits they’re supposed to get with the program or how the program works at all.

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?

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.

Shhhh !  It’s a secret that only a few of us know about.  What is it ?  It’s that most consumers do not want to be friends with a brand. That’s right. You see today there are very view iconic brands that people love to say “I’m a fan” and even though they purchase your product they will drop you like a bad habit if you don’t give them a reason to continue to purchase your brand beyond the product itself.

By far the biggest challenge for most brands and marketers is “what exactly is social media doing for our brand & business objectives ?”   Executives want clear examples of ROI not vanity metrics such as the number of people who “Like” our brand or follow our brand via a Twitter feed.   Here are some ways to measure social media with results that matter.

Users often leave Web pages in 5-10 seconds, so your web pages need to communicate a  clear value proposition.  As users rush through Web pages, they have time to read only a quarter of the text on the pages they actually visit (let alone all those they don’t). So, unless your writing is extraordinarily clear and focused, little of what you say on your website will get through to customers.  This is why you need a professional to write content as well design your landing pages.