E-Commerce Link: Acquisition 2.0
Selling on the Web is quickly becoming less about marketers’ supply meeting up with customers’ demand, and more about customers actively bringing demand toward supply. The question is: Who is driving the bus?
Given the Web’s increasingly social nature, today’s customers are bypassing “interceptive” strategies like search marketing and are instead choosing a variety of nontraditional paths to discover products and services—faster and easier than ever before. What’s a savvy marketing executive to do?
The answer may seem radical. Today’s marketers must help customers find, consider and purchase products and services by creating authentic digital experiences. That’s the new twist—and it’s not just a load of hyped-up social media spin.
This new paradigm will be fueled by the recently announced Data Portability Working Group. This consortium of unlikely partners (including Plaxo, LinkedIn, Google, SixApart, Facebook and Yahoo’s Flickr) is banding together to ensure users of the “social Web” can have power over the data they’re putting out. By ensuring social media sites and services are interoperable, the user experience becomes simple, and the social information becomes portable and shared. It’s the first step toward providing marketers with a serious “social marketing platform.”
Acquisition in a Socialized Web
Fundamental elements of the customer/marketer relationship are changing. Why? The Web is inherently interactive and, yes, increasingly social. Therefore, how customers interact via the Web with your brand is proving to be experiential.
Marketers are continually hearing the mantra: “Participate and have a conversation with customers.” This is because customers are finding new ways to participate in various online activities. Sure, they still love search, but they’re rapidly finding more social and participatory elements such as product reviews, product design suggestions and a new thing called “crowdsourcing” (more on that in a moment) to be helpful and even fun.