According to Forbes magazine, U.S. companies will spend up to $120 billion, by the year 2021, on digital marketing. Most businesses have realized that a digital marketing strategy is imperative to the success of their organization, but did you know, digital marketing is also one of the best resources for meeting and exceeding consumer expectations? Here's how.
1. Alleviate negative experiences within a few minutes.
In 2017, it is imperative that all businesses have an online presence, but even more important is that they are maintaining and monitoring their online channels. Companies with strong cross-channel marketing strategies and great monitoring tools can alleviate a problem within minutes of a complaint.
Companies that fail to proactively respond to, contain and manage online customer requests and complaints will inadvertently create a digital paper trail of poor business practices. Unanswered and unresolved complaints about serious and sensitive issues have a nasty habit of going viral.
Aberdeen Group Inc. claims that companies with the strongest omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers, as compared to 33% for companies with weak omnichannel strategies.
Quick and positive responses show understanding and respect. Consumers who receive a quick response via social media are more likely to recommend the brand to other consumers.
An organized and well strategized digital marketing plan will help industries that suffer from higher levels of customer frustration by preemptively minimizing potential issues and by exceeding customer service expectations.
2. Create more confident, informed, and satisfied customers.
Consumers expect to be able to find information about products and services online. A successful digital marketing plan will answer common questions and concerns and provide consumers with helpful information to help them make more informed purchasing decisions.
"Digital interactions influence 36 cents of every dollar spent in the retail store, or approximately $1.1 trillion total."
Here is a list of things that consumers commonly search for prior to making a purchasing decision:
- Product Images
- Product Dimensions (height, width, weight)
- Product/Services Cost
- Product Variations (size, color, etc.)
- Reviews - This is a huge influencer for consumers. Lack of reviews can influence a decision worse than a negative review.
If you sell products online or have an online catalog, your plan should include a strategy for improving product descriptions, images, and details so that your customers receive exactly the product or service that is presented.
A great digital marketing strategy will provide your customers the information they expect and want while alleviating questions and concerns prior to a purchase thus creating confident, informed, and satisfied customers.
3. Encourage consumers to engage with your brand and provide feedback.
Digital marketing solutions help consumers interact with and feel connected to brands. One of the most effective ways to maximize customer value is to stop focusing on general customer satisfaction and start focusing on connecting with consumers at an emotional level. Doing so will tap into a customer’s basic motivation, fulfill their unspoken socialization needs, and create the feelings of security and belonging.
Emotionally connected consumers are more valuable than highly satisfied customers because they follow advice, give recommendations, buy more products, and display less price sensitivity. Companies that deploy emotional-based strategies in their digital marketing program should formally measure the customer experience to understand significant connections and drive financial improvements.
Allowing customers to provide feedback, both positive and negative, gives you the opportunity to make improvements to your products and services based on real wants and needs. Most importantly, your adjustments to your products and services will make your customers feel heard and will keep them coming back.
In the end, some companies have learned the hard way that irreparable brand and public relations damage will occur because of slow online responses, misleading information, and alienating business processes. All of these problems can be avoided through proper digital marketing management and oversight.