Connectivity is no longer just a need for most people these days, it's a way of life. In recent years, we have witnessed the incredible development of mobile devices, which has evolved to make them become accessible to just about every levels of society.
With the increasing number of people who are constantly glued and "connected" through their mobile devices, a new breed of consumer is born—dubbed by Nielsen as The Connected Consumer.
The global market for this type of device continues to rise. In fact, a recent forecast by Mind Commerce predicts the global market for wearable devices to grow from $9 billion to $218 billion in 2019. Currently, there are more than 7.4 billion devices connected to the Internet and most of these are mobile devices.
When it comes to planning for future consumer engagement strategies, you have to consider these devices that are not simply connected to the Internet, but are being actively used inform themselves with news and content, organize their tasks, check their emails, shop, make digital payments and more.
It's estimated that nowadays, 80 percent of mobile users check their mobile devices within the first 15 minutes after they wake up, 79 percent of them use these devices in shopping activities and more than 70 percent of these consumers use their mobile devices in the store. A recent study by Litmus also showed that mobile email open rates are 53 percent higher when compared to desktop.
So, the important question for marketers today is: how can we embrace these rapid changes in order to better communicate and engage with the highly informed and constantly connected consumers? As a start, we can apply the following strategies:
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1. Make Your Campaigns Screen-Friendly
This is probably the most important step for every marketer. Since you are targeting mobile consumers, all campaigns need to adapt accordingly and not just think about how mobile-friendly your websites would be, but also think of how the experience could be smooth and efficient on smaller devices.
There will be multiple devices such as mobile phones, tablets and wearable devices, so these screens needed to be taken into consideration when designing or planning the early stages of any marketing campaigns.
2. Know and Understand Your Customers
At this point, you might be wondering why the second strategy is not creating social media accounts just. While the communication channels are essential, before you waste your time creating and managing too many social media accounts, first you need to know who your customers are.
By learning about their digital habits, you will know which specific channels your customers trust, spend most of their time on, and what times they're active so that you can best plan for these channels instead of trying to spread your efforts too thin.
3. Create a Solid Social Media Strategy
After you have learned about your consumers, which may take some time, you should be able to narrow the social media accounts you'll be focusing on. Depending on your consumer demographics, you're likely going to want to use only two or three networks. Once identified, think of unique ways to better engage your consumers and how to stand out from the crowd.
Look at the fun ways brands like Coca-Cola, Cadbury and IKEA are entertaining and informing their customers on whichever platforms they're present on. Though these big brands have massive teams and budgets, they're a great place to look for ideas.
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4. Measure your ROI and Adjust Accordingly
You'd think results would always be the first consideration, but you’ll be surprised that while 77 percent of marketers use content marketing, about 21 percent are not tracking the results of these efforts, according to Marketing Land.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all metric for all marketing since every business is unique with their goals, it's important to think about, especially during the early stages of your marketing campaign. Find out which among the existing metrics match your company-specific goals and adjust those accordingly to improve your efforts.
5. Personalization Will Improve Your Brand Loyalty
Distribute your offers in a manner that shows that you understand your customers. Tailor your interactions by studying their profile data and spending habits, and personalize the messaging to better engage with them. Notice the patterns and adapt your business strategy accordingly.
6. Don’t Forget About the Mobile and Voice Searches
As mobile connectivity is increasing, mobile search is also becoming more influential. A study conducted by Google and Nielsen showed that almost a quarter of the total paid search clicks today come from mobile devices. Mobile search should be a consideration not only for a particular marketing campaign, but for your overall strategy as well.
7. Simplify the Processes
One of the main reasons why people love their mobile devices is because navigation apps simplify the process for them from hailing a cab, booking a restaurant or a hotel, among others. So, whatever you do to improve engagement with your customers try to keep it simple. Focus on making things easier, rather than emphasizing on fun aspects, even though a little fun is always a plus.
8. Welcome Feedback
As part of your constant improvement strategy, be open to comments from customers, as the feedback can help you improve, and also offers an opportunity to connect with your customers. You may even tailor your future marketing efforts based on what you hear from these key "conversations."
The way the connected consumers interact with fellow consumers may vary from one device to another. However, if you brand is willing to adjust to the habits of these consumers, they will not only notice but actually appreciate such efforts. Having an open mind and the ability to adjust your marketing efforts will not only show how good your grasp of your own brand is, but will also attract more people who will remain loyal to it.
(Image Credit: Flickr, Creative Commons, Henry Hemming)