The other day I wrote quite a long post on the future of integrated communication from a digital perspective. I stressed the fact that in order for your brand to create and maintain strongs brand in the future you’ve gotta provide people with true values not just fun stuff that entertains. On top of that I’ve also written a quite extensive post on how all your brands belong not to you, but to the consumer. You might wanna tap into that one too before reading this post. Here we go:
You’ve lost control of almost all of your sales process. Accept it and change or die. (Had to go punk style)
That actually happens to tactical communication as we know it when all rules are changed? What happens to ads, prints, point of sale, direct marketing etc?
Let’s me elaborate on that based on an old communication model called AIDA, Attention, Information, Desire and Acquire, first described in 1898 by E. St. Elmo Lewis. Some people say it’s dead since way back. I say it’s more alive than ever but it’s transformed.It serves a great purpose when explaining to you guys and girls heading brands and companies out there how you’re supposed to rock your brands in the future.
Information, desire and acquire in the hands of the consumers
How your brand communication is changed on every level as we move into the future of communication.
A- Attention (Awareness): attract the attention of the customer
Yesterday: Use creative advertising that intercept whatever the consumer is doing and make him/her crave your brand
Tomorrow: Here’s the good news. If you know branding, advertising and all that good stuff we’ve been doing for years. You’re in for a ride. Brands will realise that TV, Print, Outdoor, Banners – all those yummy above the line things – will rule the next 10 years. There’s simply now way to grab peoples attention but to shake them around in a medium where you cannot miss them. Of course, people say young kids does not watch TV, but they still do if it’s relevant. On top of all those old things you of course gotta get your shit together when it comes to the product. In transparent times – failure is not an option!
I – Interest: raise customer interest by focusing on and demonstrating advantages and benefits.
Yesterday: When we tried to get hold of more information about products our resources were limited. Of course we could ask friends. But what were the chances of us having the exact same crave for a product. We then relied on newspapers, magazines and TV channels. Honestly. Who believes the reporter for a car magazine wasn’t bribed in one way or another when writing that excellent article about the new BMW 3 series you’re looking for. On top of that you can be sure the PR people did their best to make sure he was positive anyway unless he didn’t fall for fancy dinners and test drives accompanied with wonderful wines and spicy women in the south of spain. We even had use for the phone catalogue. That pile of paper served its purpose.
Tomorrow All changed. Let’s say the advertising agency has gotten your blood running in your veines. What’s next? Easy. Google or a status update in Facebook. And BAM – you’ve lost control. That Google search will turn up, not that brand that he or she is looking for. Instead we’ll land on review sites, price comparison sites, blogs, forums, social networks and more. The results in Google will all be based on the intelligence of the people, or at least the people that knows how to build brands for the future.
What to do: Start changing your mix. Head over to that post of mine that I mentioned above and study how to change your media mix. Build value. Make sure people benefit from linking to you. Set your prices so that Pricerunner and other comparison sites list your shop first. Spread content everywhere.
D – Desire: convince customers that they want and desire the product or service and that it will satisfy their needs.
Yesterday: You OWNED this one. Clever managers educated clever sales people. The consumer, stuck inside your defined space where you built up a POS (point of sale) presence that made him/her crave your products. Of course you spent money on industrial design and shit. But compared to today you relied on the retail channel to do their work.
Tomorrow I OWN this one. Me and my friends. As I’m getting closer and closer to deciding upon which product I’m gonna get I ask around. What does people think, what do my friends say, comparisson sites etc.
What to do: Make sure you focus ten times more on your product development, turn your industrial design department into GOD. They should steer the entire company forward. If you’re lucky we’re coming to visit you. But like a kid, armed with her/his wishlist for Santa Claus, the consumer of tomorrow knows exactly what she/he wants and what the right price is.
A – Action: lead customers towards taking action and/or purchasing.
Yesterday: Let me follow you to the cashier” – Remeber this one? To break free and decide not to buy your product when been given a 30 minute sales pitch is prettyd darn hard.
Tomorrow If you’re unlucky (or lucky depending on your digital competence) you’re looking at closing the deal online. Usability, language, design, visualisation, payment processes etc etc etc. Alone behind my computer or mobile device, that’s where I’ll be. And the second I feel insecure, doesn’t find where to go next and so on, that’s the second I leave without buying anything.
What to do: Get wired. Never again hire marketing people that doesn’t know how to convert people. Change Microsoft Office into A/B testing in your hiring profile. Send your troopers back to the school. Have them learn everything there is to know about online commerce – cause you’ll need it.
Last but not least. Of course there are brands out there that doesn’t have to give a shit about this. After all, we will not buy nuclear plants for some time still over the Internet. The rest of you – get going!