Success is dependent on how well one responds. Professional marketers are constantly having to evolve as industries shift. The competitive landscape, in market dynamics and consumer expectations, plays a mammoth role in how marketers respond to these shifts in the industry.
Over the past few years, the shopping experience has become seemingly easier for consumers, while becoming more competitive and increasingly challenging for brands. As marketers, we have had to adapt to this ever-changing landscape whereby, we are no longer able to simply “push product” or create clever ads.
Today’s consumer has unparalleled access to information and therefore our target audiences are more informed and able to decline our “lucrative” offers. Unless a change is made, marketing and advertising will become irrelevant and fail. Therefore a pivot is needed, a pivot in marketers’ mindset towards marketing.
Consumers are becoming more and more influenced by digital, we can see this by the growth that e-commerce in South Africa alone has gained over the past 5 years. With a greater part of the population having access to the internet via mobile devices people are more inclined to search online for what they are looking for; be it brands, products, services or simply to find additional information i.e.: reviews of these offerings.
We see this prominently in the travel industry; where the consumer’s online journey doesn’t end once they’ve finalised their booking. They continue to research their destinations, their airlines, their luggage requirements as well as looking at various other pricing options for their flights and hotels.
This is a key demonstration of the fact that the consumer now holds the power and therefore we need to focus our efforts to drive intent.
Away with “high” and “low” consideration
There is no longer high and low, there is only consideration. If people are searching then they are already considering. In a recent study conducted by Google, they found that 43% of shoppers used Search in their most recent shopping journey to research, browse and even become inspired. Those shoppers were recorded to have spent 50% more than those who didn’t use search before making a purchase.
This is a telling statistic, people are making informed decisions to guide their purchases and are more willing to spend based on the amount of information they can gather on a product/brand.
UX is about more than just design
Ensuring that your company or client’s website is showing up in search results is a step in the right direction but it’s only a step in what could be a very long conversion path. The power of search only exists in ones intent to click on it. It is critical now more than ever to ensure that the destination of that click leads people to a site that is useful to them.
¼ of all the shoppers who participated in the Google study were reported to have spent 108% more after having used a brand app or brand website. As marketers, we have the ability to use search to bring people to your site where you are then able to deliver an experience assistive and demonstrative of your brand/products.
We need to be constantly evolving to meet the extraordinary expectations of today’s digitally literate consumers. The site needs to be updated more often, and information needs to be readily available without being cluttered. Shoppers search multiple times and visit a multitude of websites while making their own conversion paths and will not accept brands that offer an unremarkable experience.
A picture is worth a thousand words but a picture that speaks is priceless!
Engaging and informative content extends well beyond a website or search. Platforms like YouTube have become learning centres for people of all interests. This makes it the ideal platform as it quite literally has something for everyone, making it a consumer rich environment in which to grow conversions.
One successful example is Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Treats, which experienced a 4% sales lift during the back-to-school season thanks to activating on YouTube. 40% of beauty shoppers who said they watched a brand’s video ad on YouTube reported spending over 40% more in their most recent shopping journey than shoppers who didn’t. This is a solid indicator that people are being influenced by video ads, provided they are informative and assist the consumer in some way.
The digital landscape is a constantly evolving one, an evolution that is being driven by consumer actions. To survive this arid landscape of change, marketers need to be able to adapt and adopt new mindsets in order to make a more interactive conversion path for consumers.