In the increasingly competitive digital landscape of 2018, businesses should make the most out of every opportunity to gain an edge over their competitors. That’s why many local companies choose to work with a certified Google Partner, like Trivera, for their digital marketing strategy. Being a Google Partner means that our team is not only certified in AdWords and other important Google services that can help your business achieve results, but that we also can work with the Google community and host Google Partner events like last month’s presentation on retail strategy. Take a look at some of the most important takeaways below and be sure to stay tuned for our upcoming events!
In 2018, the digital marketplace is drastically different than it used to be. There are 1 billion more people on the internet today than 5 years ago, and twice as many people on smartphones. There are over 8 billion connected devices (more devices than people), and in 2020, Google anticipates there will be over 20 billion. People are using smartphones, tablets, watches, and voice-enabled assistants and over 1 million devices are connecting every hour. To quote the CEO of Zen Media, with more than half the world now using mobile devices and Alexa, Siri and Cortana becoming family members, “the connected consumer is diverse in identity, yet homogeneous in many of their needs.”
Growth in connectivity is having a dramatic impact on how consumers behave and how they interact with retailers. The average consumer has an abundance of knowledge and choice in their back pocket, and with this empowerment comes much higher expectations of the companies they choose to do business with. Your customers aren’t going to be satisfied with just finding you online; they are demanding a personalized and proactive online experience. The companies that can deliver will have the numbers and market share to show for it.
So, what do we need to know about the 2018 consumer?
1.) The 2018 consumer is more curious.
Because your customers have instant access to almost anything, they have answers at their fingertips. They have an insane curiosity about the world. Google Search used to be a platform where people asked more complex questions; researched high-consideration products. But now, even the most mundane products are researched online.
- 15% of searches on Google have never been seen before
- 45% of purchases are prompted by something they have seen online
- Mobile searches for “where to shop/buy” have grown 85% in the last two years
People are researching before every decision they make – major or minor – across multiple channels. Because of this, each decision is an informed one. For businesses, this means finding ways to answer these curious consumers’ questions along their digital path to purchase.
2.) The 2018 consumer is more demanding.
Because of digital, your customers are expecting a much more personalized, curated and accurate version of the world and your business, whether you are marketing as a B2C or B2B.
- Mobile searches for “___ for me” have grown over 60% in the past two years
- 58% of US shoppers expect to receive promotions/deals specific to their past purchases
- 51% of consumers say they’re likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t anticipate their needs
- 65% of business buyers say they’re likely to switch brands if their company is not treated like a unique organization.
This means that as a business, you must provide a reflection and understanding of how consumers previously engaged with you as a brand in-store or online, and ensure you are inciting loyalty in your customers through the online experience that you offer them. Your site should be intuitive and easy to navigate, and your brand messaging consistent across channels and devices.
3.) The 2018 consumer is more impatient
In today’s digital and on-demand world, driven by the growth of e-commerce, smart devices, and companies like Amazon, customers expect simplicity, speed, and fast results in everything they do.
- 300% increase in search interest for “open now”
- Mobile searches for “wait times” grew over 120% over the last two years
- 41% of shoppers wish stores would do a better jo of sharing product and inventory information in real-time
People are making decisions quicker than ever before and your customers expect to be able to act on those decisions almost instantly. Businesses need to be adaptive and make sure they’re shifting their strategies to keep pace with these impatient consumers and answer queries, particularly local ones.
Connecting the Dots
Today’s consumer is far more empowered than ever before. The very nature of how they behave has changed. With this continued growth in connected devices, this sense of empowerment will continue to increase. Companies need to be evaluating everything about their online marketing strategy, not only to impact the way people buy, but the decisions in the research cycle before the purchase. Google is calling this the “age of assistance.”
To meet impatient, curious, and demanding consumers you must:
- Be present
- Be valuable
- Be quick
As a business, you need to be discoverable and relevant at all moments when consumers browse, research and purchase. Additionally, you need to understand, connect and build relationships with consumers during moments of intent, and you must ensure that you can deliver answers and quality content as quickly as possible.
To be relevant to your customers and meet their demanding needs, you need to understand their behavior, their questions, their needs, and their intent. The key to being able to do all these things lies in the data. With your customers being constantly connected, the opportunities to analyze the data and align your brand with intent are endless.
Data-driven marketing is key, as is making sure you are partnering with a digital team of experts who take the time to understand your business, your customers, and how you can stand out in the crowded digital marketspace of 2018.
Photo Credit: Adobe Stock
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