We mentioned many times on this blog, understanding your online customers is crucial in marketing. If you want people to buy your products, you have to answer the following question:
Who are you selling to?
The concept explained:
Today we are talking about e-customers. Because everything goes “e” these days. And customers are the ones driving that change. Online customers are much more “evolved” than offline ones. And as the word “on-line” suggests, they are active. They don’t only listen, they talk back. They know their rights, they acquire, have access to more information and they seek transparent prices.
Marketing practices are dynamically changing, and it’s all about the user. Instead of marketers recommending to customers, now the customer generates its own recommendations and creates many demands. The balance has shifted.
They compare, they control, they communicate. And informed customers can’t be fooled. They see, they listen, they read and they share. They spread their user experience with other people of similar interests through word of mouth and help each other through the purchasing process.
That’s the main purpose of web blogs and forums – get people to share information, experiences and testimonials with each other, talk about themes of interest and get better understanding of a certain problem.
E-customers don’t communicate and share only here. They do that through multimedia files, like images, videos, audio, text, or all of them combined. They connect with each other and create different market segments.
Now, the whole market approach is changed. We are witnessing a transformation from push to pull strategy. The Internet customers are not only attracted by a monochromatic set of pixels. There’s a greater philosophy behind it. And it’s called motivation. But in order to be motivated to buy, an e-customer has to satisfy its needs.
No matter if those needs are the needs for socializing, shopping, browsing, entertainment, education, or to find out more about concrete products or services, they also have to feel that they have the power. The power to explore, to discover, to compare, to control and to decide.
Customers won’t tolerate bad service. They want attention, personalization and customization. They changed their purchasing habits and increased their service expectations. The widest content they are exposed to is Internet content, because now customers enjoy smaller screens.
They’ve gone mobile. E-customers are on their mobile phones all the time. B2B, B2C, B2E communications are regulated through mobile phones. They have access to information on the move. They don’t want to spend their precious time on unimportant information, because they are saturated with it. Instead, you have to take care of confidentiality.
Even though active on Internet and complementary, on social media, customers are cautious and reluctant about giving up their private information. And when they do, they expect a protection on their privacy, but also not being asked for too much information. They value their privacy and don’t like it when someone tries to manipulate them into invading in it.
And that is how customer come into phase where they create their preferred websites cluster thus building relationships with the brands they’re representing. Then comes the second visit, and the third and your customer is captivated.
Last, but not least. Don’t meet their expectations. Exceed them. E-customers have raised expectation. They need fast delivery. Fast service. They expect things to happen fast, to work fast and to move fast. And by “move fast”, we mean follow their agile needs and desires. Because, let’s face it, poor customer service is the number one reason, why customers won’t stay loyal to a company. So if you want to keep them, you better work for them. Not for you.
Have you identified your customer till now?
If not, what are you waiting for?