The Challenge of the Connected Consumer

Application of an omnipotent marketing eye to all aspects of a business is central to even the most basic aspects of marketing. The synergy of a consistent message is strived for and value creation at every opportunity is paramount.
Published on Aug 3 2015 by Brett Montgomery

Application of an omnipotent marketing eye to all aspects of a business is central to even the most basic aspects of marketing. The synergy of a consistent message is strived for and value creation at every opportunity is paramount. These fundamental aspects of marketing are useful for any business owner to be mindful of. As with any solid piece of theory despite market changes they hold true.

Online and offline touch points and associated strategy may be looked at independently, but to create synergy and deliver true value a holistic approach must be applied. The market is in a state of flux in regard to communication channels. Consumers are now connected via tech to huge amounts of information which poses challenges, but these fundamentals still hold true despite what you may be lead to believe.

Seen this much lately?

looking at your phone

According to Salmat this zombie-like state is staggeringly common in shoppers at retail stores, to the point that digital has influenced $1.7 trillion of in-store sales in 2014. That’s right Trillion.

Clearly shoppers aren’t just taking selfies and watching cat videos while in-store.They are wielding the considerable power that having the Internet in their pockets affords them and leveling the retailer-consumer playing field considerably.

grumpy cat 100 million

It’s not all that surprising to say that consumers are able to price check, get the stamp of approval for their purchase and see a far greater array of products with the swipe of a screen. It is important to note here is the creep of tech now pervasive in all aspects life. This creep has also had ramifications for marketing strategy, where the merge of offline and online strategy is well underway.

amazon price check

Gone are the days where online sales were a nice bonus to those done in-store. Web sites now act as digital ambassadors rather than a static pseudo-shop front or mere listing of opening hours. Provision of before and after sales service, general information and education were pretty simple leaps for websites to make. In the service of connected consumers a continued push to deliver more seamless and sophisticated experiences is essential.

Salmat also note that many consumers doing their homework online to the point where the critical purchase decision is being made well in advance of setting foot in-store. A polished user experience is essential here to ensure share of market and inclusion in the evoked set of purchase alternatives.

This all highlights how websites are essential extensions of the in-store experience for many businesses and should compliment each step of the customers purchase process. As opposed to being separate to this process, or even worse an after thought. This line of thinking is well illustrated by Scott Galloway in his four horsemen talk where he predicts Amazon will acquire a brick & mortar chain to facilitate a better supply chain and greater experience for their customers.

The videos released of Microsoft’s Hololens show a glimpse of what the future may hold. The potential for this tech to create a more versatile and tailored in-store experience is near endless. Despite how exciting this potentially world-changing tech may be, the implications in the shorter term are still just as critical.

hololens

On the shorter time horizon the merge of digital tech and in-store strategy has been manifested in concepts as varied as click & collect and interactive displays. The world of the connected consumer is reaching maturation stage, and this presents a new reality for business: the online points of contact for your customers must be available across all formats. It’s essential that the information is displayed across desktop to mobile, and most importantly they must be delivered well.

From simpler things such as in-store atmospherics and service quality right through to digital presence and content, how each item adds value and contributes to your business’ synergy needs to be considered. This approach will help ensure ROI, lean management and deliver greater value to the end consumer.

Referenced content from Salmat can be found here.

Application of an omnipotent marketing eye to all aspects of a business is central to even the most basic aspects of marketing. The synergy of a consistent message is strived for and value creation at every opportunity is paramount. These fundamental aspects of marketing are useful for any business owner to be mindful of. As with any solid piece of theory despite market changes they hold true.