The world has changed dramatically in the last seven years or so. In large part thanks to social media.
And it's not just about the technology. Business has become social as social media has changed how consumers think, how they buy, how they perceive brands and value and what is expected in terms of customer service.
- Consumers are now online for more than four hours a day, which is 25% of their days if you assume sleep takes up eight hours.
- Consumers turn to Google and their friends first for advice and information before they ever come to you. This means when you do hear from prospects, they are further down the sales funnel than they used to be. And if your website does not provide the information they search for, they will move on to your competition.
- Internet access is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from anywhere thanks to smartphones and tablets. How does your website look on these mobile devices? If the answer is not great and difficult to navigate, you're missing a huge opportunity.
- Communication has become a two-way dialog, and consumers expect responses to their questions and comments on social media quickly. Traditionally, marketing has been a one-to-many broadcast through advertising channels with brands controlling the message. Now consumers can add their own messages. While it can be scary to let go of your content, it opens up the opportunity to better learn about your customers, which helps you to better serve them.
- Consumers are active and not just passively consuming goods and services. They create information and share it. What they are sharing and what they say cannot be controlled, but it can be influenced. The influence comes from knowing your customers and what they want.
This shift in marketing means it is no longer about your agency. It is about your customers, getting to know them and how to make their lives easier and better.
About the Author
As vice president of marketing, Becky Schroeder oversees ITC’s growth through marketing and drives the overall marketing strategy for the company and its products. Her specialties include advertising, social media, email marketing, content marketing and public relations. Becky has a master’s degree in integrated marketing communication from Emerson College in Boston and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas A&M University. Becky is a big Texas A&M football fan and enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her husband and their three daughters.Follow on Twitter More Content by Becky Schroeder