Consummer behaviour - Agenda Afrique nwes

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Marketing structures have been turned upside down by the social media and the upheaval brought on by new technologies. Consumers are becoming more active, finding their voice and even zapping! Marketing is adapting itself and opening a dialogue to cope with digital advertising.

Consumers are versatile beings and have evolved over time and through different eras

New technologies, competition and globalisation have an impact on today’s markets. The social medias and the web 2.0 have changed marketing standards, which have as their objective to stimulate the needs of consumers. With the changing relationship between customer and business, companies must realign their strategies to develop a sustainable competitive advantage.

From now on, the establishment of dialogue marketing signals the beginning of a veritable interaction between business and customer. Communication will no longer be a one-way affair. The relationship is being extended towards the consumer. From this point on they will be solicited by businesses. Consumers express themselves through social networks, searching for information. They are willing to give their opinions, share their doubts or their comments on a product, and the social networks give them this opportunity. Today’s consumers are also more and more informed. They multiply their connections and interact together. Consumer opinions can be a formidable tool, which can levy a positive influence on their entourage, but they can also bring about the downfall of a brand or company. The technologies and discussion forums overwhelm individuals. They are becoming more and more materialistic, and in defining their consumerism, they choose sides.

Consumers occupy a new place

They have become participants in their relations with businesses. Thanks to social networks, they communicate and receive rapid responses to their questions. True communicators, they have discovered the weight of their words and their potential influence. Marketing experts can no longer neglect consumer opinions that flourish on the web, and will have to modify their strategies and convictions in regard to these.

At the moment, dialogue marketing is outstripping more traditional methods, such as opinion polls and customer surveys. Consumer behaviour is changing. It is no longer necessarily rational, and is influenced by multiple factors and the unexpected. Faced with these changes, marketing must redouble its inventiveness and development to be able to adapt itself to the progressively more frequent reversals of consumer opinion.

Henceforth, it’s the customer who possesses the information and the faculty to influence the market. Marketing as we know it must rethink itself. Traditional techniques must realign themselves with new ones. Bloggers, open-minded industry people and opportunity creators must be listened to. Communication between companies and researchers, faced with new technologies, must be rapid. Universities will have to open the door to businesses, who will have to face up to new realities. For their part, businesses must be prepared to open up and create partnerships with research centres.

Another article: Predictive marketing: tracking down sales before customers!