Three ways the Age Of The Customer will change marketing in 2016

On January 20, 2016

The relationship between businesses and their consumers is likely to take another interesting turn in 2016, as emerging communication trends continue to change the way people respond to marketing communications. 

The Age Of The Customer is changing the way businesses sell their products.

With the power shifting from the creator to the audience, it's important that marketers are able to distribute content through channels that reach not just any audience, but one that is targeted and open to communication. 

Forrester Research declared 2016 to be the Age Of The Customer, indicating the competition between businesses for consumer attention is likely to increase, resulting in new challenges for B2C marketing initiatives

Here are three ways the organisation's predictions will change marketing communication in 2016. 

1. The customer experience needs to be personal

Consumers are becoming increasingly savvy with regards to detecting the authenticity of marketing communications and expect this content to be as genuine as possible. 

In most cases, people react better to content that is either personalised or at least targeted in some manner. Generic messages are becoming less effective overall, leading Forrester to declare that an organisation's ability to meet these trends will be the difference between success and failure in 2016. 

The general public's attachment to their smartphones provides businesses with an important communication channel. Deloitte reported that 81 per cent of Australia's population checks their phone within an hour of waking up. 

On top of this, more than half (51 per cent) of people aged between 18 and 24 use their smartphones within 5 minutes of waking up. Organisations that target their audience with mobile-friendly email content stand a better chance of appealing to this valuable demographic. 

Most of the population check their phones soon after waking.
Most of the population check their phones soon after waking.

2. Merge traditional with digital 

Despite often being positioned as opposites, organisations that are able to merge traditional communication methods with the emerging digital alternatives are on the track to mastering the essence of an omnichannel strategy. 

According to Forrester, businesses need to do more than simply "decorate" their operating procedures with inconsequential digital features. As e-commerce trends attract more and more shoppers online, traditionally physical organisations are being forced to augment their real-world presence with digital alternatives. 

Forrester noted that success in the digital space is often a key point of differentiation for businesses that do it well, especially as consumers become more adept at responding to the campaigns that resonate with them the most. 

However, few businesses can completely abandon traditional communication strategies  as it's better to use a wider array of channels where possible. In some cases, mailing lists could be the difference between engaging with a specific target audience or missing out completely. 

Not all marketing material needs to be digital.
Not all marketing material needs to be digital.

3. Don't just sell products, sell a culture

While the specific products and services businesses promote are essential to success in their respective industries, there's more to fostering consumer engagement than just specifications and prices. 

According to Forrester, the Age Of The Consumer will see a notable link drawn between an organisation's culture and its financial success. This means marketing strategies need to be selling a lifestyle, not a just a product. 

One example that is becoming increasingly popular with Australian consumers is the demand for products and services that are manufactured and distributed in Australia. 

Roy Morgan Research investigated these trends, finding that almost 90 per cent of consumers around the country are more likely to buy Australian-made products over international alternatives where possible. 

The organisation reported that this proportion has grown by almost 5 per cent in the past two years, and represents a significant majority of the country's consumers. 

To find out more about how direct mailing lists can influence your marketing strategy, contact the team at The Prospect Shop. 

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