How direct marketing fits into the online customer journey

On April 5, 2016

The customer journey, for the most part, has changed significantly. Naturally, this means marketing strategies have also had to evolve, as organisations find new ways to catch the eye of potential customers and create longstanding relationships.

It's impossible for modern businesses to ignore the online component of the customer journey. With so many of these relationships beginning online, anything less than an omnichannel marketing strategy misses what are now the formative phases of the customer journey. Thankfully, resources such as mailing lists allow businesses to have a valuable early entry into these conversations.

Communicating with connected customers

The connected customer is a blessing and curse for businesses. While the online habitats of these people offer marketers a whole new range of communication platforms, they're also packed with competition. By understanding the nature of connected consumers, businesses can ensure their methods of communication are reaching the right audiences in ways that meet their expectations.

Online audiences have a short attention span.

Online audiences are often associated with having a short attention span, a concept that's evolved out of the sheer amount of content available for viewers on these platforms. The notion that these audiences are becoming increasingly time poor could alter the way businesses structure these conversations, according to the President of Nielsen's Global Retailer Vertical Patrick Dodd.

"Retailers must move from a linear marketing approach to a value exchange model in which customers receive a tangible, personally relevant benefit for their time and attention," he explained.

"Consumers will be quick to distinguish marketing messages that are simply trying to sell from tools that actually help their shopping efforts, such as advanced order placement or mobile price-matching features."

Email B2C marketing can have a positive effect in these cases, especially as the Nielsen study discovered that people are willing to click through to other resources included in these messages. The survey found that people are willing to click on advertisements placed in emails. However, they're even more likely to compare prices with other retailers, so it's important that businesses acknowledge the value of being competitive.

Online communication continues to evolve

The world of online communication is evolving rapidly – and it's not just consumers who are racing to keep up. The latest Communication Trends Report from Kite Communications found that businesses are just as adept at latching on to the latest apps and social media networks as their customers.

Even Snapchat is not immune from enterprise use, with the popular smartphone application openly welcoming businesses through its Discovery platform. As audiences are increasingly time poor yet demanding up-to-date information, apps such as Snapchat that offer live reporting in a bite-size format could be the future of communication for almost any audience or context.

The lesson here is that, in their quest for customers, organisations can't afford to ignore any new major trends or developments in social media. If people are signing up, there's no reason why organisations shouldn't follow suit.

Mobile devices are the key to customer engagement.
Mobile devices may be the key to customer engagement.

It still starts with mobile

If marketers intend to make the most of an increasingly mobile workforce, they need to be reaching them on the platform that follows them everywhere they go.

Google reported that mobile devices are the key to spontaneous searches while people are out and about. According to the research, searches suffixed by "near me" have grown by 130 per cent over the past 12 months, again reinforcing the idea that customers are more interested in the here and now than anything else. 

To find out more about integrating mailing lists into an omnichannel marketing strategy, contact the team at The Prospect Shop today.

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