In the past decade or so, the explosion of Internet commerce and social media has changed the way the world does business. More specifically, these advances in technology have changed consumers. The most successful companies of our time – online-based ventures like Amazon, Apple, Google, eBay, and others – found immense success because they were willing to change with the times. Marketing is all about adapting to consumer needs and behaviors, and the most successful companies have responded to these needs and helped to shape consumers of the future.
Although you aren’t trying to compete with Amazon or eBay, you are trying to get equal time in the world they created. To accomplish this task, must play by the correct set of rules.
Consider the following five ways you can modernize your approach and appeal to today’s digital customers.
- 1. Focus on the customer. In the good ol’ days, selling was all about creating a quality product and preaching the benefits of that product to anyone who would listen. In today’s digital world, the focus has shifted to the customer. People don’t just want a good product; they want personalization and connectivity. This means your approach should be personalized to their needs, and you should provide greater access to information through your online statements or updates.
- 2. Look beyond traditional boundaries. Customers today are applying the “big box store” mentality to all areas of their lives. Just as they might visit Target to get everything they need, from groceries and light bulbs to curtains and a new pair of jeans, your clients want to get all of their financial matters handled under one roof. This might mean you partner with a CPA or estate planning attorney to help clients make better decisions about their money.
- 3. Create an experience, not just a transaction.Consider the popularity of Amazon, and think about how that company personalized the online experience for their customers. Upon login, customers are presented with music, movies, books and products which match their tastes. They can make one-time purchases, or subscribe to monthly deliveries of certain products. Everything from comparison shopping to checking out to returns is a seamless experience. Now ask yourself how you can give your own website a more personal touch. Obviously you aren’t attempting the scope of Amazon, but you can add video so that potential clients feel as though they’ve met you face-to-face. You can give them multiple ways to contact you, through a contact form or by following you on social media. Ensure existing customers are able to email you to ask questions.
- 4. Become an ecosystem. Just as eBay and Amazon act as a portal for a variety of services and experiences, you can become an ecosystem rather than just a niche company. Connect your clients to new services and experiences, or help them get discounts on special offers. Inform them about events that might interest them, hold seminars on Social Security, or connect them with other professionals who might appeal to their needs.
- 5. Pull, don’t push. The old way of selling involved pushing a potential client to take action. Today’s digital customer should be pulled in – by your engaging blog posts, informative videos, or special offers on your website. Today’s consumer is in control of the interactions, so you have to appeal to them by providing value and creating loyalty.
For more information on how to engage your prospect and clients via your website, ask your CreativeOne team about our Social Media Elite program or visit www.agents.creativeone.com/socialmediaelite.