Article by Corri Byrne, dLook General Manager – Like dLook on Facebook
This article explores the Connected Consumer and why traditional marketing struggles to attain the penetration rates it used to.
Once upon a time consumers depended on retailers to access information as to which product would best answer their needs. However the advent of the web and social networks means that access to product information has been separated from the product and retail store.
In many cases consumers no longer depend on retail outlets for anything other than price comparison and availability. Now with software applications like Red Laser, consumers can use an iPhone to scan a bar code, then search online to find the best deal.
Rising Consumer Awareness
Increasingly, consumers are now better networked and more informed than many of the staff that are trying to sell to them.
When consumers choose to buy online, products are easy to identify, procure and pay for; service responsiveness and product fulfillment is just a click away, and product delivery can be tracked from source to home.
Consumers can also feel more secure in the buying decisions they make; because their purchasing decisions are backed up by online reviews, blogs, recommendations, peer support and advice that is simultaneously available 24/7. All communication is in English – or the consumer’s language of choice.
The real time process between online business and consumer is aligned, agile and instantly adaptive to market change.
This has brought about a gap out there in the market, between retailers and buyers. Retailers are using newspapers, TV and radio broadcasting in an attempt to reach buyers, and it just doesn’t work anymore.
Broadcast Spam – Consumer Filters
Buyers have too many filters available to them. Buyers can limit the content they consume by using caller ID to filter out unwanted phone calls, record television programs and skip through the commercials, or siphon off unwanted junk mail.
Consumers awareness of spam has crossed over to all forms of marketing.
Marketers assume a 1.0% response rate to broadcast marketing campaigns, which is fast turning out to be clearly ineffective.
The Dell System
Consider the worldwide manufacturing operations of Dell Computer. When a consumer designs their computer online, Dell beams that demand signal to its 30 tier-1 and 400 tier-2 suppliers scattered across the globe, they all work asynchronously, against their own clocks, using human and system resources in non-predetermined ways.
That solves the critical challenges in synchronizing the 20% exceptions that must be dealt with in real business— which consume 80% of resources—if an enterprise is to achieve a sustainable competitive edge.
Consumers can stay in touch with their purchase product’s journey manufacture through shipment to final delivery; and the consumer can continue to have ongoing direct relationship with Dell’s support desk without any retailer providing middleman assistance.
The retailer no longer offers any value add to the equation; unless the consumer requires finance.
The question then is how long it will be before finance is tied to online purchases?
Constantly Connected Consumer
The Universal 2008 McCann Report: Power to the People, Social Media Tracker stated:
- 57% of Internet users have joined a social network
- 73% have read a blog
- 34% post opinions about products and brands on blogs / social media networks
- 36% think positively about companies that have blogs
- 83% have viewed video on multimedia channels
- 184 million people worldwide actively maintain a blog
These figures are rising with each year … so where is the future for disconnected retailers?
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