The field of marketing has evolved dramatically over the last century. The core goal, encouraging the consumer to choose the marketed product or service, has remained constant; the strategies by which this goal is achieved have changed considerably. Until the end of the 20th century, marketing commonly focused on the product itself: its quality, its importance, its uniqueness, and other positive traits. Product-centered strategies were reliable and successful, thanks to a trusting and relatively uninformed consumer base. But the modern consumer base is an entirely different entity. Today’s consumer is significantly better educated, more skeptical, and more aware of the global community. Thanks to the Internet and modern technology, a limitless amount of information is available in an instant. The product-centered marketing of the last century is no longer effective; massive ad campaigns and shelf-stocking is no longer enough to effectively market a product. In this new era, the focus has shifted to consumer-centered marketing. Instead of tirelessly pushing a product, marketers now endeavor to understand the consumer and build a lasting relationship.
Get Socially Conscious
With the immense popularity of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other services, social media is more than just a way to keep in touch with old friends. Connect immediately with your target audience by getting your business into the social media scene. Post informational and topically relevant videos on YouTube. Start a blog or e-newsletter to keep your customers up to date about products, services, deals, and more. You have the potential to reach thousands of consumers and to maintain a more interactive relationship with them.
It is very likely that the average consumer in your target audience is always within arm’s reach of a mobile device. About half of Americans own a Smartphone; they are never more than a few taps away from friends and information. Mobile marketing is a great way to reach your tech-savvy consumers. Send an SMS message, and reach your audience no matter where they are.
Give Them Something for (Almost) Nothing
Consumers have lots and lots of choices in products and services; make your business stand out by offering something of value to consumers for free. You could offer a free e-book, on a topic related to your product or business, to everyone who “likes” your page on Facebook or signs up for your email list. With this strategy, you are providing consumers with something they want or are interested in, and at the same time you are getting information about them and increasing your brand awareness: a win-win.
Any of these strategies offer you the opportunity to begin building a relationship with your consumers. By sharing information with them and welcoming interaction, your business becomes more than just a brand on a shelf. It becomes a name consumers will trust, and a name they will keep returning to year after year. Grow your business the right way; employ consumer-driven marketing strategies that allow you to build a loyal consumer base.
This article was contributed by the experts at Orbis Global.