If you ever watched the Jetsons, you may remember the machine that could make anything you wanted to eat. George, Jane, Judy or Elroy would walk up to the machine, say they wanted a sandwich, a beverage, or whatever their appetite desired at that moment- and it would instantly appear on a platter. They would then whisk it off to enjoy it like a meal prepared in a real kitchen. While this was just a futuristic fantasy of the time, and while technology has yet to create a machine that will make any meal for you, consumers today do want what they want, where they want, and when they want it.
In a recent seminar I attended, this trend was coined the Ã¢â‚¬ËœWII’ consumer- but regardless what you call them, the pressure is on marketers to position their brands in a non-obtrusive way to reach out to their audience. For traditional marketers, this requires stepping completely out of the box and finding creative ways to promote their products or services. The good thing is it’s not necessary to road block Times Square outdoor boards or glue coffee cups to the top of cars to get brand recognition, thanks to the multitude of tools presented by the digital era- SMS, Online Video, email”¦the possibilities are endless.
Before you start rolling up your sleeves and getting down and dirty with your creative side, start first by learning who your consumer is. What is their motivation for being involved with your brand and how can you make your brand a relevant answer to their questions or needs. Some great ways to begin the process of painting a picture of your client is getting into the numbers. Whether sifting through data from your web analytics platform or looking at what messaging from past campaigns has received the best response, you will start to unearth trends and commonalities of your consumer. Sending out surveys and soliciting feedback via your website or other channels can also add to your audience map.
Once you’ve completed your research, you will either have a good idea of what your consumers look like, or you may not. In the case of the latter, the obvious next steps are to begin implementing programs and methods that give you information about your users and their engagement with your product. If you do have a picture that is relatively robust, you can begin to brainstorm the kinds of activities your user likes to do, and other demographic or psychographic characteristics that will help you determine your creative strategy. Examples may be what do they like to do online, when do they like to receive brand messages, and through what channels?
With budgets tightening, going digital with your message is a natural pathway. The consumer of today may be more demanding, but the diverse tools available to marketers make reaching this consumer a scalable challenge. You don’t have to get stuck in the traditional model, finding digital ways to promote yourself can be both cost effective and rewarding. Think outside of the box- Great creative paired with a multi –channel approach crafted with your audience in mind makes an impact and brings the bottom line. Meeting consumer Ã¢â‚¬Ëœwants’ with digital strategies including SMS, video and email- can make that impact even stronger.