Exponential advancement in technology allows small and medium businesses to thrive and raise their competitiveness level.
Adoption of new technologies affects not only businesses and organizations, but also consumers who engage with products and services in completely new ways. Rapid development of mobile technology, accompanied services and apps has opened a massive playground for marketers and consumers who can interact instantly and exchange information regardless of time, place and the platform they use.
An agile business culture based on consumer centricity and responsiveness is the core of a successful digital business strategy.
Know your consumer
One way to achieve digital success is to understand consumers at micro level and embed this knowledge in strategic decisions. Products and services should be created with consumer’s experience in mind and use performance data derived from this process in order to make improvements.
In digital world, consumers are involved in business processes more than ever before. The more engagement, the more data can be gathered and analyzed. Business strategy can be built and modified depending on quantity, quality, and relevance of data obtained through customer engagement.
Interconnected devices, location independency, growing communities that use social media to exchange information about their experience with brands, are all vital elements of ever-changing economy. Digital environments become places to work, play, buy goods and connect.
In social media, people are busy creating and managing their digital presence. Marketers and brand owners recognize this as a great opportunity to connect with consumers, motivate them to engage and spread awareness about brands.
Consumers have evolved and they do not only search, buy and use the product, but also actively get involved in reviewing it. Their opinions are vital parts that shape future products and help brands change according to consumers’ needs and expectations.
The fact is that even the most successful digital enterprises do not have a consumer-oriented strategy, which is a vital tool for engaging potential customers. In order to understand how consumers interact with a product, it is essential to focus on their behavior, channels they use to communicate their experience and expectations they might have.
Social media channels offer enough potential to interact with consumers. It is a place where they can express their opinions and suggest improvements. It is also a digital world where new ideas are born, communicated among participants, potential consumers and marketers.
With a strong consumer-oriented strategy in place, marketers should be able to create an environment where consumer feels that he or she represents more than just a revenue stream for the company. If they are successful, consumers will feel that their expectations are being met and that their contribution to new and better products really matters.
Digital experience as a value
Consumers can also engage in creating or managing online communities where their reputation can be vital in reaching other people who might be interested in the product. There are many consumer blogs where the first-hand experience with the product is communicated and if it is positive, the product’s value inevitably grows in other people’s eyes.
People are more likely to trust those who spend their money on products and services rather than those who are sole marketers. Therefore, the most valuable consumers are often those who are willing to dedicate their time to share their experience using various communication channels and become someone who we call a digital influencer.
However, what motivates people to get involved, spare their valuable time on engagement with the brand, and share the experience with others?
Social media channels have created a unique opportunity for consumers to engage with the brands on a level where they can brand themselves as influencers. Many influencers are driven not only by passion but also by the power of their follower count. A reputation that some highly engaged consumers gain is similar to that of celebrities. There is a strong urge to be recognized and appreciated, but also rewards could be earned in form of monetary compensation, free samples, free products, etc.
Any given opportunity will empower people to gain exposure through social media, share their experience with the brands and hope to be recognized as an influential individual.
It opens up chances for many to build upon reputation as brand ambassadors, which could lead to a real professional career.
Goran Levačić, DIGITRANS communication manager