By Cheryl Hayman, Hayman Strategy
The latest data has it that a growing majority of consumers are making more considered purchases and turning to the internet for cost savings.
Research from ACP Magazines reports that 76% of Australians are being more careful with their money. With 71% taking advantage of easy price comparisons online and daily deals through group buying sites such as Ouffer, Cudo and Jump On It, it is important to consider how this might impact your sales.
It is not a blue collar, lower socio-economic phenomena. It is an Australian phenomena and the implications are that it is now more acceptable to shop the “home brand” or retailer brand, which is often considered (even if just a perception), to provide the same quality as the branded product.
This particularly presents a big challenge for a branded, marketed product. The imperative to deliver over and above expectation is clear. It is no longer enough just to build a brand with sexy packaging and a funky name.
You must now consider every suitable marketing channel for your product and the most compelling offer on a channel by channel basis. Simultaneously, you must consider the mindset of your consumer when he or she shops through that channel. The impact of social media and other internet channels need more and more thought. Consumers have always been unique but now their unique values and behaviours will alter as they access products and services through various, and newer channels, and their approach and mindset will differ by channel.
For instance, if I’m traveling, I will buy my perfume in the duty free store. My mindset is positive and expectant and excited by the impending journey, so I will be less concerned with price, however I will also assume a good price because of my environment. On another occasion though, if I run out of that same fragrance and I am not about to travel, I immediately jump onto the internet, perhaps to strawberrynet.com and purchase the same product at a reduced price. I would no longer shop in a store for the fragrance, and I access the online resource for two reasons – practicality (it’s easy), and price, knowing the product is the same.
In almost every case now, I turn first to online for purchases. I don’t always buy that way, but it is a resource for helping me short list and research anything else I want to know. Now, even if I am a bit ahead of the norm, the data suggests that that won’t be the case for long.
In a world where every brand is considered, by and large, the same, and it’s about convenience and price, what tricks or tools exist to engage the consumer above the competition? How do you cement your brand into the consumer’s mind?
US research shows that companies that utilise social media and engage directly with consumers have a greater opportunity to not only reach more customers, but also increase their likelihood of making a purchase. Here are some basic tennants:
Social media marketing is playing an increasingly important role in the marketing strategies of companies. One of the biggest advantages that social media websites have over company or news sites is that consumers who visit social media websites are more likely to take action. Consequently, companies who integrate elements of social media into their marketing mix will have a greater opportunity to influence consumers’ buying choices.
If you are not already doing this, then it’s now time to act.