2 The Paradoxes of Marketing to Connected Customers
1. Breaking the Myths of Connectivity
Connectivity has changed how businesses conduct operations and how it can tap markets. The time you spent building a brand can now be destroyed overnight. Businesses should take advantage of technology in order to sustain their businesses. All businesses should mobilize for change. Connectivity changes the dynamics on how to compete and win the marketing race. It should also take into consideration all stakeholders involved especially its customers insights and recommendations about the product. It is no longer a one way street. To increase competitive advantage it should give importance on the influence and connectivity of its customer ad analyse the behavior of its target market. Technology is just the backbone of a company’s success, a more strategic approach is to analyse the “psyche” of the guests, their core desires and aspirations, techno graphics and technological user consumption. To be equipped with tools on how to counter brand attacks online and acknowledge brand ambassadors. To embrace connectivity, we have to consider mobile connectivity, experimental connectivity and social connectivity. Resort guests of all ages can now utilize and maximize connectivity, the older markets can now adapt to the changing trends of mobile. The rise of the silver surfer or the baby boomers are adapting to change from emails to mobile.
2. Summary: Marketing Amid Paradoxes
Paradox 1 – Online interaction versus Offline interaction
A successful business always combine online and offline strategies. Businesses with physical stores would complement an online store. For the resort, we do not rely heavily on online bookings or online forms that the guests fills out. We make sure that we also have phone interaction to add a personal touch in assisting our guests while we customize their outing packages. Moreover, a personal chat available in the website would also help in an exceptional customer experience and satisfaction. Leveraging on mobile, businesses can use transmitters to alert the customers about promos discounts and other offers. In the case of the resort, this can be warning, announcements and safety measures while they are inside the resort premises. Analytics and guest behavior can also be maximized by analyzing logs, entry and exit pages to determine guest behavior while they are on the website. Split screen also being used to increase awareness on a certain brand. The resort uses a survey sheet to be filled out and submitted to the front desk, this is an offline strategy that shows love for customers. Thus, online and offline should coexist.
Paradox 2 – Informed customer versus Distracted Customers
Consumer purchase decisions are highly influenced by 3 factors. First, the media publication online or offline. Second, the opinion of friends and relatives. Third, their own personal opinion or knowledge of the product or service based on experience and reputation. Among the three, the widely used factor is the opinion of others before they engage into a brand and make a purchase. With the resort, we give high importance on customer feedback since this can go viral in a form of word of mouth. Distraction begins when starts researching about the company with the use of the internet guests. They get distracted because of other information available in other forms, for example in information on blogs, and other info from Google. Apparently, the strongest influence still comes from the trusted crowd because it is the most convenient source of information. The challenge is to win the customers attention given that in today’s world, the average attention span is down to 8 seconds. Applying the concept in the resort, a 30-second elevator speech can win potential guests. Confidence and in depth product expertise is a necessity for our reservations team. The company should I-Impress, C-Converse tapping core aspirations and sentiments and B-Build Positive Reputation to the brand’s benefit.
Paradox 3 – Negative Advocacy versus Positive Advocacy
Connectivity is an avenue for guests to express their sentiments about a brand, celebrity endorsers have little to no impact to consumers these days, people now trust true sentiments from a non-celebrity for its sincerity. Connectivity is an avenue for brand advocacy. Brand advocates who are not necessarily popular may influence potential guests at the resort more than the paid artists of this century. Brand advocacy has three types, promoters, passives and detractors. A net promoter can be measured by subtracting the percentage of detractors. The total average should be the positive word of mouth. In the resort, we tally numbers of promoters, neutral and negative promoters, if it is a blog we give a point score per line and if the positive is greater than the negative then it is a positive blog review. The challenge is to change the mind-set of the negative detractors by communicating to them privately, however there will always be negative detractors. On a lighter note, detractors are also the tools to further improve our guest relations, products and services.
Another advocacy is the prompted advocacy, this usually dormant, the brand recommendation will only be triggered when an old or new customer gave opinion that triggers the person to react once again. One old post in the resorts FB page can trigger prompted advocates when new comments appears in the thread once again. The essence is in today’s digital arena, brand haters may trigger brand lovers and vice versa.
A. What are some cases in your industry that capture the paradoxical nature of connected customers?
(Answers and applications in our business are presented in bold from the previous question)
B. How do you plan to embrace the paradoxes?
In our resort business, we have to combine online and offline strategies for a full and successful marketing plan. Make love for customers the core culture of the company and address the needs of the brand promoters and haters. Listening and answering each and every sentiments would build a good and positive overall online reputation.