In case you missed it, we have gone through a revolutionary shift in the way that consumers engage and interact with media. We now have computers in our pockets and the result has been a fundamental shift in the paradigm of global consumerism. Television advertising, radio advertising, and print advertising are fading in their significance because they are no longer the most accessible forms of media to the consumer. Marketing through digital platforms has become not only the most effective form of advertising, but also an opportunity to maximize ROI for businesses based on the following trends:
1). Consumers are going digital
Digital has infiltrated global consumerism and the resulting data is staggering. According to a 2014 study by Retailing Today, 81% of consumers will research a product online before they buy the product. Broken down, this makes sense. Consumers are able to compare and contrast products worldwide, from any location. But what does this mean for a business? The ability to sell your products online has become more important than ever. In the year 2017, $3.7 trillion dollars worth of products and services will be purchased through an E-Commerce platform. United States based E-Commerce is projected to grow to $491.5 billion by 2018. Global Consumerism will be completely based on E-Commerce platforms in the future—and we’re already seeing the start of this trend. However, only 28% of US Businesses have an active E-Commerce platform.
Society as a whole responds less and less to mail catalogs, print ads, and television commercials because they fail to merge the two most important factors that go into “buying behaviors”: instant conversion points and accessibility. Quite simply, consumers in the future will respond to media that can easily be found and contains actionable steps to alleviate the pain point experienced by the consumer.
2). Consumers expect conversion points in advertisements
I was having a conversation with a colleague the other day where we discussed Facebook retargeting tactics and the effectiveness of conversion points on digital advertisements. However, the conversation was more so based around the annoyance experienced when an advertisement does not have a call to action. With options such as “Buy Now” and “Claim this Promotion”, consumers expect to be able to buy a product directly from the advertisement. Ads that lack conversion points rely on directing the consumer back to the website, or to an additional action such as a phone call or email correspondence. From a conversion perspective, in digital marketing, we always want to focus on maximizing points of entry and minimizing the effort taken by a consumer to become a paying customer.
3). Consumers expect easily accessible content
The primary driver behind these changes in consumer behavior has been the availability and accessibility of information and content. Tablets and smartphones give the consumer the ability to make informed buying decisions easier than ever before. With over 1 billion users, content consumption has increased 57% since 2014 on Facebook alone. Consumers are presented with a plethora of content online and frequently use social media as their primary source for news and information. As a result, businesses need to blend effective content into their sales strategies. Companies that blog 2x a week or more on average receive 4x as many inbound leads as companies that do not blog. The reason? According to a 2016 Demand Gen Report, 47% of consumers viewed 3-5 pieces of relevant content before engaging with a sales representative. Creating sales funnels around accessible content will not only help with search rankings but also maintaining the perception of the business as an industry leader/expert.
These three trends in the consumption of media will define the future of Global Consumerism. As we experience more and more of these changes, businesses will need to continue to adapt to meet the desires of prospective customers and consumers. Radio, television, and print will still have a place in the consumer paradigm, but they will be far less influential. Through effective digital marketing strategies based on these trends, businesses can grow their customer base, their bottom line, and ultimately position themselves better for the future.