How to Think Like Your Customers
For decades companies have been using marketing not only as a tool to target their consumer, but also as a way to learn about what potential consumers are thinking. In the realm of traditional media we find that although companies can target their consumers with print TV and Radio, traditional media lacks the ability to communicate with consumers. “Consumers want and expect to be heard,” says Brewster Stanislaw of Digiday, and in with this growing demand for consumers to be a part of the research and buying process, the use of digital media has become by far the greatest tool in maximizing the dialogue between business and their consumers. Social media has become the dominate outlet for this source of communication. Through avenues such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms, consumers are able to talk about products businesses and companies in a way that they never could before. Brands can use these platforms to start a dialogue with their customers, creating a two way conversation over the internet between business and consumers that reinforces brand loyalty and spreads brands notoriety through word of mouth on the largest scale possible. This word of mouth promotion over the internet is organic advertising at it’s finest, a type of promotion which is by far the most effective because it makes the consumer identify and support a brand, instead of feeling as though they are being marketed to by an unknown company. As advertisers, our goal is to figure out the best way to use this new tool of communicating to maximize social media campaigns effectiveness. For Brewster Stanislaw, the key to this is to, “Start thinking like consumers and understanding how their customers are sharing and consuming content (Digiday).” Advertisers have to be constantly trying new things, spend time getting to know their consumers online to achieve success in these platforms. Advertising is now for the quick and nimble, the innovative disrupter that can find a way to engage their consumer in a way the consumer wants, not how a marketing team thinks the consumer wants. To learn how to do this it is best to look at brands with the most success in the social networking arena. A great example of this is the social media contest National Geographic ran last April. National Geographic launched a contest on Facebook where fans enter to have their own photo on a National Geographic magazine. National Geographic’s friends simply uploaded their photos through Facebook, caption’d it, and then are entered to win a travel package. This contest not only bolstered the fan base that their brand already had, but also created a social image that loyal customers could share on their own Facebook pages that would expose their brand to more people than ever before. This example shows the true potential of digital media. We as advertisers not only need to create a presence through social media, but be innovative and personal with our customers.