Consumers are inundated with advertising. They can be exposed to a brand’s message 10 times before even finishing their first cup of coffee in the morning. From an advertiser’s perspective, that is a very powerful thought. From a consumer’s perspective, it is overwhelming. So overwhelming, in fact, many consumers have begun to “tune out” advertising.
The reasons for tuning out are abundant but none fall short of the fact that the traditional way of speaking to consumers is boring. Now, keep in mind, I did not say traditional advertising is boring but the traditional way of speaking to consumers is boring. Companies have a unique opportunity to break through the clutter by changing how they are speaking to their consumers. Consumers are savvier now than they ever have been. They are seeking out engagement with brands. They want to feel that they are a part of the brand and truly “own” it.
Everyone has heard of Twitter, Facebook, You Tube and Flickr. While these are great channels to increase consumer engagement, don’t feel limited to these. I recently saw a newspaper ad promoting a text offer. The offer was for a free appetizer if you text to a certain number. Great idea and now the company has my information to use for future advertising and I’m going to dine at the restaurant to redeem my free appetizer.
A few companies that are successfully engaging their consumers are Dell, Ford and Zappos. They are successful because they have identified the appropriate ways to engage their consumers while staying true to their brand. Dell, for instance, is available for customer service on their social networks. They search out people talking about Dell and comment back, actively engaging the consumers in conversation about the brand. In addition, they run specials just for their online followers which have increased sales tremendously. Dell’s social media efforts helped to create $1 million in revenue.
When brainstorming for 2010, remember to think about ways to engage the consumers with your brand!