Understanding digital consumers
People, most especially marketers usually box-up and categorize digital consumers into a web of mysteriously connected individuals who exist in a multifaceted cyber world of their own. They are a mystery: they speak a different language, react to information differently and they communicate in a way we don’t understand, turning the world of marketing upside-down. The digital consumers are different, we are made to believe… But are they really? …
The first thing to have in mind when approaching digital consumers is that they are the same people you meet in our everyday life. There is nothing mystical or overly complicated about digital consumers, they are the same people that walk into your store, contact you through the telephone, and the same people you have a meeting with in the office. They are people with emotions, feelings, expectations and goals – like everybody else.
The fact that technology enables people to communicate over long distances, over mobile devices and social media, does not mean it is something to fidget over. People talk to each other from generation to generation, but instead of talking to 6-10 people, technology has now made it possible to talk to 7,000-50,000 people.
Consumers don’t really care about how marketers stereotype them. Concepts like above the line, through the line, below the line, digital, traditional, experiential, linear, analogue, mobile, direct, indirect – or any other ‘box’ we care to slip our marketing endeavors into – are completely meaningless to them. All consumers care about is the experience – how the marketing available to them can enhance their experience and help them to make more informed decisions, or choose a better product or services.
People are the most important element in any form of marketing. A good digital marketer will understand human behavior under different circumstances. That is why the term digital consumer behavior is gaining momentum, consumer behavior is changing and people are reacting differently to marketing based on different digital technological platforms.
Instead of making digital consumers look like an enigma that cannot be solved. We should understand their varying behaviors on digital channels, listen to them and engage in a two way conversation that will ultimately meet targeted consumers need and achieve the marketer’s goals and objectives.