When it comes to customer engagement these days, the good news is that there are so many more ways to engage with your customers than 20 years ago. The bad news is, there are so many more ways to engage with your customers than 20 years ago!
Customer engagement is radically different than it was just a decade or two ago and it’s vital for companies to stay engaged if they want to stay in business. Healthy customer engagement is a major part of developing and maintaining Over The Top Performance! Speed of contact and appealing ads we see on mobile are the two biggest ways that customer engagement has changed.
How did all of this change? How did you react? Did you fight it or just accept that times are changing?
First, let’s talk about how the delivery method for ads has changed.
We now have so many different methods to reach different customers and we can customize not only how we reach them, but what the message is that we communicate. In the past, we were limited to billboard signs, TV, and radio to share our message. Now, we can’t listen or watch anything without some kind of consumer footprint. By the way, did you know that our cell phones have become the #1 ad vehicle worldwide?
Today, it’s so crucial to engage your customers because they now have so many choices for products and brands to give their loyalty to. Add to the mix that private label is now upping their marketing, packaging, and selection, and the market is more splintered than ever before.
You will not be successful if you try to market just one product in just one medium like you did in the past. Years ago, you could run an ad in the newspaper, and it printed on Wednesday and Sunday. But only a select group, usually the older generations, would read the paper, see the ads, and clip the coupons.
In this day and age, messages pop up on the computer all the time. We have social media and online product reviews… just to name a few. You still need to run newspaper ads, but you also must use online marketing to accomplish your sales goals. Baby Boomers are more likely to still read the paper compared to Millennials, but most consumers don’t want to fumble around in coupon packs to find the right coupon. They would much rather clock on their phone app, scan the coupon, and then they are done.
Billboards are another medium that has drastically changed. In the past, you could purchase the space and your ad would stay up for anywhere from 30 to 90 days. Now that most billboards have gone digital, they can be updated easily as often as the company wishes and billboard owners can host anywhere from six to 10 different ads that scroll through.
In addition to more avenues to share your message, engagement strategies have also evolved. You must be more dialed into your advertising targets than ever before. A single message will no longer cut it. You must use different strategies to effectively reach each sector of your target audience.
The wide availability of the internet is also a contributing factor. Customers in the store now have access to their comparative tool with them at all times. All they have to do is look up your competition’s website on their cell phone and find out if your prices are cheaper or not. They can either go to your customer’s store or purchase it online. This factor alone has changed customer behavior dramatically.
As a whole, the internet has changed shopping so drastically that some consumers rarely even go to a store. They are able to shop online and pick up their purchase or have it delivered with the few clicks on their phone. Even with grocery home deliveries becoming more common, it’s making it increasingly difficult for companies to draw attention to new items.
The internet has made new product roll outs and most costly to introduce to the market because shopping patterns have changed drastically even in the last five years. This, along with the introduction of more private label products has put more pressure on CPG companies to stay top of mind with their customers.
In the past, consumers saw private label as solely a price value because the packaging was all black and white. Now, retailers are creating much more appealing packaging and are marketing their private label brands to be a direct competitor for most mainstream CPG products.
Given all this information, the question you as a supplier or retailer must ask is, how are your marketing dollars best spent to have the greatest impact on your consumer? We are not only vying for that initial sale in a way we’ve never had to before, but we are also fighting to retain customers long-term. It’s harder to get the sales today and to wow the consumer to a point where they come back to seek out your specific product.
Regardless if you’re talking about method, strategy, or location, your marketing and engagement must be creative and focused if you want to be successful.