To Sell Or Not To Sell? How To Reach Consumers In 2017

15th November 2016 by Belinda Hallworth

The digital world is starting to lose its lustre. The typical online consumer nowadays is far more cynical and savvy than they were ten years ago. Gone are the wide-eyed buyers who’d eagerly click on every shiny thing you waved in front of them. Instead, in their place are discerning individuals who know the score and aren’t interested in “clickbaity” gimmicks. And this kind of cynicism is starting to translate into offline consumer behaviour as well. So how are companies to reach consumers in the year ahead? Read on…

Embrace Digital

Really, we can’t stress this enough. If your digital platforms aren’t up to scratch, or do not match the quality of the offline experience, give them an upgrade – and fast! If your digital interfaces are clunky, only optimised for certain channels, or nonexistent, you’re going to experience significant consumer drop-off in 2017. Consumers are fast losing patience with apps and interfaces which don’t work like they should. And if your digital platforms are minimal or nonexistent, then it is past time to do something about that. Even if your modus operandi and image relies on a certain ‘old-fashioned’ way of doing things, you should still look into digital outreach options. Digital need not compromise your brand or mode of operation in any way, and will bring you to the attention of a far, far wider audience than will otherwise be possible!

Display Integrity

As we briefly covered above, consumers in 2017 are likely to be a lot more cautious and cynical about what they consume than they have been in recent years. A series of high profile frauds and hacks, combined with a general mood of wariness have led to consumers waiting until vendors prove their value before expending any effort or money. So you need to display your integrity from the outset. The best way to do this is probably to garner and show positive reviews, but this is not always possible. More easily achievable is having human faces (or voices) on hand to connect with potential consumers and answer questions directly. A friendly human alleviates a whole host of worries! More generally, you can broadcast your value through professional-looking branding, and by avoiding the merest whiff of anything “clickbaity” in your digital marketing.

Work On The Challenge Of Messaging

The meteoric rise of messaging platforms and apps presents something of a problem for marketers. When people use social media for messaging rather than posting purposes, they’re effectively going ‘underground’, and avoiding marketing content as they do so. Messaging services like Whatsapp have also committed to avoiding using advertisements – a double whammy for marketers. While It’s unlikely that people will stop posting more publicly altogether, there is a noticeable shift towards less public posting and more private messaging. The key here is probably not wrangling marketing into messaging (although there may be consumer-led ways to do this), but instead encouraging consumers out into the ‘open’ social media playground, where they can see and interact with your content.

Use The Right Data

Everybody right now is very excited about ‘Big Data’ and what it can tell us about consumer power. And data analytics are almost certainly going to play a much bigger part in how we manage our marketing. But it’s important not to get carried away with reams and reams of data. Instead, ensure that you’re able to locate and utilise the right data, and alongside more human behaviours. Quality and relevance of data is far more important than quantity – but it may well become harder to work out what you’re looking for and find it among the mass of stuff available. So hone your data pinpointing skills!

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