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3 Ways to Connect With Hyper-Connected Customers

February 27, 2014 By Sarah Crossman Sullivan and Jamie Pennington
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Capturing a customer's attention among the hundreds of "dings and rings" we receive with every email and text message has turned many of us numb to their effectiveness. Sending out an email newsletter and having a zillion likes on Facebook isn't enough these days. Customers have evolved. They are more elusive, more demanding and looking to have a personal "experience" online.

Traditional customer capture strategies won't cut it when you're trying to compete with big empires like Amazon, Zappos and others. You have to stand out with a unique purpose. Unfortunately, most businesses in America don't have the bloated corporate budgets to continually monitor, track and capture their customers' trends. And quite frankly, even with those budgets many giant e-commerce marketers continue to miss the mark. Just because a user bought a grill online for her father's birthday doesn't mean that receiving emails offering grill tools will lead to another sale. And, more importantly, they could even annoy your customer to the point of boycott.

Here are the three keys to capturing your hyper-connected customer:
1. Harness the Power of Referrals
So where is the new point-of-sale and what are the biggest influencers in buying decisions? It's the power of referrals. In this tech-savvy world, we advocate going back to basics with a 21st century mindset. The power of a third-party referral continues to offer the best endorsement a company can receive. Top companies are incorporating the power of social media and asking happy customers to endorse their products within their own circles. Many times, there are incentives to do so, such as an additional discount on their next purchase or a bonus structure for referring friends. The ROI is well worth the discount they are offering, and much more effective than a blind ad campaign.

The key is providing real-time referrals. People will often buy based on a referral or testimonial from someone they don't know. But the feedback needs to be fresh, not stale or dated. Providing real-time point of purchase feedback is the game-changer. Couple this with seeing how the product works in your own life and the sale becomes personal. With the right tools, marketers can turn online shopping into an in-store experience, minus the lines, parking issues and hunger pains.

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