With the world interconnecting at the turn of the century, a lot of things changed. We became more aware of other cultures, befriended people without meeting them, bought brands that we didn’t know existed before and sold products to countries we’ve never been to. All this was possible because of one ingenious invention called the internet. Since then, we’ve moved on from talks of free communication everywhere in the world to meeting friends living in some other part of the world by just one click.
As companies have smartened up and started thinking of bringing the future to the present; the consumers have become aware that there are more options for them to choose from. They have understood that with a thorough research into the product they want to buy, they can reduce their after purchase dissonance. Internet has done a lot of amazing things for businesses, but it has also made them vulnerable to easily executed smear campaigns, abundance of misinformation of about the product and a plethora of competition that hadn’t existed before.
In an era where the window to the world can be carried about in our hands, we have to think of different ways of engaging the customers:
With the increase in number of points of interaction, companies have to personalize not only their communication, but also their marketing strategies to form a relationship with the customer and encourage loyalty towards the brand.
Technology 4.0 makes it possible for companies to make products that are exact fits for every individual customer. All online stores access a person’s previous searches to give a personalized product offering. At every touch point of the customer journey, there is a personalized message for the customer.
Many companies have now started co-creating with their customers. When you involve them in a process, you propagate the belief that you are committed to listening and delivering on their needs. This helps build trust and loyalty among consumers.
Experts say the VR will pioneer the next phase of co creation. It becomes easy to create products like home and interiors. People can play with different options and try them out at no cost at all. It also helps professionals like architects collaborate with their clients to give them exactly what they need.
Real time data collected through games and apps gives companies better insight into consumer behaviour, which in turn helps develop differentiated products.
Simulations also help companies gauge the reaction of people towards their products. A virtual pilot, where the product and product ads are shown in games and other such platforms gives companies an idea about how the product will perform before the initial launch.
In the past, there was clear distinction between operations of marketing and sales departments. Marketing was responsible for mass communication (A.T.L) and sales was responsible for the interpersonal communication (B.T.L). But now, the lines have blurred. Relationship building is a huge part of both operations. Positive association and emotions with the brand is what keeps customer loyal.
Proper communication across all platform makes the brand real and interactive. In an age where information is very easily available, it is important to have transparency in facts and give complete information about the product while communicating.
With rapidly changing trends and culture, the rules of engagement are also changing. Companies have to constantly keep reviewing and revising their strategy in order to stay afloat.