6 Top Customer Trends in 2013 and How To Leverage Them Effectively
With so many emerging marketing trends impacting 2013 the opportunities are plentiful for brands to really make meaningful connections with their customers.
Never before have we had such easy access to copious amounts of data about our customer’s online behaviour. This gives brands invaluable insights from which leverage their brand strategy and capture market share together with increased profitability.
Equally, now is the time to identify challenges, which if left ignored, may leave your brand lagging behind its competitors, not to mention lost revenue. Seize your opportunities and be proactive in the year ahead!
1. Social Media Accountability
Social Media has been getting a bit of a knocking at the moment and seems to be making a regular appearance in mainstream news due to the increased prevalence of cyber bullying. This in turn has made online accountability and a heightened awareness of transparency in both engagement strategy, and quality content creation, a bigger issue for brands in the year ahead.
The need for proper social media training with clearly defined policy and procedures has never been more critical for brand custodians. Online risk management needs to be a top priority in 2013 for all brand owners.
2. Customer Power
The rise in crowd-sourcing and the increasing might of social media means that the balance of power is continuing to tip towards the customer. Brands need to really understand the difference between owned content and earned content. Brand engagement on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter is largely earned content through engagement with your customers.
The key for brands in the coming months is to leverage the collective voice of their customers and turn content and interactions into marketing opportunities. Don’t shy away from your customers voices, listen to them, value their needs and let this be the year your customer gets heard and becomes central to your brand strategy.
3. Brand Experience
Continuing the trend of recent years, 2013 will continue to be about building a truly meaningful brand experience for your customers.
Build a narrative around your brand and create content that reinforces your brand story and what it stands for. Emotive content has the greatest impact in the market. Structure your branding content so that each touch-point forms a memorable brand experience that engages your customer.
Focusing on your customers’ needs and creating a seamless customer experience between online and offline branding can significantly impact your bottom line. Develop a focused content plan with clear objectives tailored to your core target audience, make it more about them this year – be truly customer centric.
4. Brand Adaptability
Mobile device usage and m-commerce domination are set to make significant leaps in the year ahead. They will become a customer expectation rather than addition to the brand experience. Be the brand that drives change and adapt your brand strategy to embrace these changes. Don’t run the risk of struggling behind your competitors in 2014.
5. Data Convergence
The buzz words of digital marketing in 2013. With so many digital channels with which to reach your customers the need to analyze, interpret and translate the data into meaningful insights and actions has never been stronger.
The move on the web into predominately mobile and social media means that multi-channel reporting should be adopted so that your brand can identify the effectiveness of your multichannel mix. Use the data to determine the real contributors from each channel; refine your segmentation and get more specific with your targeting.
At the end of the day we are not trying to reinvent the wheel. The core values of your brand should still provide the direction and remain the driving force behind your business. Digital demands attention but it must stay true to the core essence of your brand. It’s a tool that enhances the marketing mix and expands connection opportunities.
The strongest brand experiences are those that are created when the brand is relevant to the customer in every context. To really benefit your customer you need to align your offline and online marketing campaigns.
Harness their synergy by creating a seamless brand engagement for your customer through all your touchpoints. Stop dividing your strategy into online and offline and start offering a fully integrated brand experience.
The returns will be evident with increased brand awareness, enhanced brand equity, more solid brand longevity and increased profitability.
How are you going to change, adapt or fully integrate your brand strategy to harness these trends to increase your revenue and grow your market share?
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