Profiting from internet connections
The internet has created a worldwide community of people continually sharing information on their consumer experiences. Marketing specialists are experiencing a tremendous challenge keeping pace with information on market response to their company’s products and services.
Increasingly consumer networks are sharing information across the world instantly. This is shaping consumer sentiments even before a product reaches a particular country. The movie industry finds that it is now more profitable to release a movie practically in all countries simultaneously. This is to avoid negative publicity by critics in one country dampening movie attendance in other countries.
This dissemination of information by consumers and critics through the internet is happening with greater and greater volume and speed. The result is an ever widening gap between the rapidly evolving market demands and an ability of businesses to respond to these demands.
Local consumer taste and expectations are being shaped as much by information on the internet as by traditional media like television, radio and newspapers.
At a very small cost, a small business can now broadcast a video on the internet reaching targeted local audiences through social media campaigns in direct competition with large corporations utilizing large marketing budgets over traditional media.
To be effective in utilising the internet for business requires investment into understanding market information on the internet. Timely knowledgeable responses to market feedback is critical in a 24/7 information cycle.
The twenty first century consumer is getting information from both online and offline social networks. Those who are not online are kept in the loop at group meets about what is trending on the internet. A product failure can go viral and spread worldwide within seconds.
Recently, a smart phone company released a bigger, thinner phone and very quickly the message went out that the phone can bend when placed in the back pocket. Seeing is believing, and so videos of individuals testing this out were posted onto video sites. The professionals finally came out advising those who were concerned to get a strong smart phone casing to solve the problem.
Businesses need to engage with online consumer communities to provide the right information for consumers to make informed buying decisions.
Businesses need to get feedback about consumer perceptions of their brand.
Increasingly it is consumers who are defining what a brand represents. Businesses therefore need to engage with consumers and develop strategies to guide brand perception through the release of factual information in a timely manner to consumers through traditional and online media.
The internet has now created a level playing field for big and small businesses. But to be competitive all businesses have to engage consumers and the wider community in conversations that allow all parties to shape brand perception through informed decision making based on facts.
The business that adopts an open communication strategy with all stakeholders from suppliers to employees, consumers and the communities they operate in will have a competitive edge that can translate into high growth and greater profit.
International Business Consultant
Reboot your business plan for sustained high growth
Do share this article on social media and with those interested