A shift is occurring from "selling" to "buying". Obviously, this shift does not mean that selling is a thing of the past; as a matter of fact, on the contrary. Only the rules for sales and customer management change. That people are increasingly controlling purchase processes, is an obvious fact. They are also buying more than just products or services: they are buying the satisfaction of a negotiated discount, a promise (that satisfies them), etc.
They purchase from businesses, based on the confidence their peers have in those companies, on consistent user experiences, word-of-mouth and even the smile of the salesperson at the store. The same and much more goes online as well. People are rushed, overwhelmed with messages, have less time to spare and simultaneously more to do.
"The competition is only one click away", is perhaps an old adage among online marketers, but it remains just as valid as before. In a global evolution where people want to have the peace to do whatever they want to do - and more and more online - some companies have the tendency to scream even louder than before to obtain the precious attention of the digital customer. In this cross-channel reality of interaction scarcity, listening is crucial.
Listening is about more than social media: data-driven cross-channel marketing
And I'm not referring to the "listening" that is sometimes emphasized in the social media context of reputation monitoring, trend analysis and needs & evolution detection to optimize the marketing activities in real time and across all channels (although this is also important).
I'm referring to listening to the explicit and implicit data and signals that the online customer is constantly giving and which are easy to detect, at least for those who are listening and particularly working in a cross-channel and highly integrated "data-driven" manner.
More than ever, we must look at these signals that serve as triggers for the personalized, often automated interactions in lead nurturing and online sales processes, but which are also triggers for purchases if you use the right message at the right time and through the right channel for the right call-to-action.
The word "right" is used a lot here. So, how do you know what is "right"? Again, by listening, gathering and combining data into insights, being customer-focused, working in real time and across all channels.
Besides the triggers that are "given" by the potential client, there are of course also situational triggers (for example, price reductions in the sector where you are active), company focused triggers (for example, changes in your company ecosystem) and social triggers.
Social and digital triggers are becoming increasingly important. Whoever wants to be ready for them, will hear the same concepts over and over: listening, data, customer-focused, real time and cross-channel. That's why combining social media with other channels is so important and triggered marketing so important: it's about getting it "right" and avoiding irrelevant interactions and thus marketing fatigue.
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