Over the last week, I spent a ton of hours with some really smart people learning about cutting edge strategies in tech as part of DC Week. One thing that really resonated is the idea of a connected consumer — not just one using social media or mobile devices, but a truly connected consumer who’s digitally plugged in all the time.
How do the insights from these speakers translate into strategic opportunities for your business? Here are some options:
Know Your Customer
Your customer is no longer the nuclear family (mom, dad, and 2.5 kids sitting around the dinner table every night enjoying a home cooked meal like some Norman Rockwell painting. They’re connected consumers plugged in 24/7. Most use their cell phone as an alarm clock and check their email before getting out of bed — smart phones may single-handedly account for the declining birth rate in this country.
If they watch TV at all, it’s with a laptop sitting on their lap or while texting on their phone — people don’t really call each other anymore and the only calls you get are telemarketers so you don’t answer.
Entertainment is YouTube or streaming video, so those expensive commercials you painstakingly created and paid dearly to transmit are not reaching eyeballs.
This not only affects your ability to reach connected consumers, it means a different business model because while I’m shopping your store, I’m checking out the prices and product availability of your competitors. If you want my business, you’re gonna need to WOW me with offers catered to my personality and needs.
One message I heard across a number of speakers is that mobile is a bridge between real and virtual worlds, so don’t think you can reach me in one or the other. The connected consumer demands:
make the real world and virtual world work together to give me what I want
I wanna know where my friends are hangin’ out, so I can join them.
I wanna know where to get a pair of boots like I just saw some girl at the next table wearing and who has the cheapest version of the exact brand of jeans I’m wearing right now.
I wanna see all the information you put on your website about the car I’m thinking of buying while I’m in the showroom getting ready for a test drive. And, I wanna ask my friends what they think about it before I sign the papers.
Giving the connected consumer what he wants means ubiquitous WiFi, QR Codes, apps that let me take a picture of a product, then find it and give me information about it including where I can get it nearby and how much it’ll cost. And let me pay for it without standing in line at the register — using my smart phone to charge my account.
The connected consumer wants an information-rich shopping
experience, connectivity to their social network,
and simplified exchange.
What Else Does the Connected Consumer Want?
Stay tuned for more in my next post.
As a connected consumer, what else do you want? What changes in the way products change hands would make your life easier? What tasks would you like to use technology to replace ?
As a business, how have you adapted to the connected consumer?