Don’t be always-on - Always be on point
To meet the needs of the ever-connected consumer, companies and brands have been striving to be always-on, feeding the market with empty communication in abundance. A costly affair with no real winners. Instead, brands should utilise the new possibilities presented by technology, empowering them to show character and give value to their consumers at decisive moments. The outcome? More satisfied consumers and better sales.
- By: mikkel Bach-Andersen
- Published: 13-04-2016
In recent years, agencies, consultants and other self-proclaimed experts have been advising companies to be “always-on”, i.e. maintain a constant pressure of communication towards potential buyers. A few campaign bursts throughout the year could no longer stand alone to meet the need of the modern consumer. In response, companies and brands sought to continuously stay top-of-mind by investing tremendous resources in producing a constant flood of banner ads, e-mail promotions and posts on various social media, making the brand sound like a skipping record. Consequently, strong brand stories became and continue to become diluted and even worse; audiences are now irritated or immune at best. We are reliving the era of the annoying telemarketer - but in a digital world.
For example, tapping into current events and industry fads is increasingly mistaken for relevant and timely communication. A disturbing phenomenon causing companies to change direction constantly - but agility must never become boneless. Without a defined framework and governance, it becomes a slippery slope with no regard for customer needs, ultimately compromising the brand.
In a world where there’s a fine line between failure and success, no team is better than its weakest spot. Similarly, companies are only as good as their weakest communication, and the always-on credo seems to have led companies down a wrong road, where brand, vision and strategic direction has been sacrificed on the altar of frequency and topicality.
Revitalising old virtues in a digital era
Keeping one’s head above water in a world flooded with communication calls for an increasing presence in the market, and companies should continue to speak up whenever they have something at heart to position themselves. Thus, branding should remain a top priority, but companies should be equally dedicated to the subsequent communication efforts further down the sales funnel. Fail to do so and you will miss the opportunity of converting brand preference into sales, and accordingly profiting from your spending and stimuli.
Back in the days, advertising’s primary purpose was to build enough brand preference to lead customers to your store instead of the one next door. When buying a suit, your local tailor would welcome you like a perfect gentleman, take your measurements, listen to your needs and offer his help. What’s more, he would remember your name, measurements, recent purchase and what you talked about in order to provide you with an even better and customised service when you came back.
Nowadays, when the modern consumer goes browsing and researching online, she is still receptive to the charms of someone willing to listen and cater to her needs. Meanwhile, many companies push an abundance of generic content into the market, rather than targeting individual needs, thus missing decisive opportunities to offer real value to their customers.
New technology has enabled companies to harvest tremendous data describing consumer behaviour and mind-set. From search behaviour, cookies, clicks and consumed content, companies are able to monitor every step of the consumer journey and properly prepare. Modern technology could help companies take customised sales and service offerings to the next level - however, much potential has yet to be unleashed. Companies should be better at...
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Mikkel Bach Andersen
Mikkel is Group Account Director at Kunde & Co. For more than 5 years he has helped primarily international companies use marketing and branding as business drivers.