The average consumer gets up to 3000 Marketing messages thrown at him each day. This, together with basic personalization, created a general ‘blind spot’ as we like to call it. Consumers have become masters at dodging our Marketing messages. Think about the ad blockers, unroll.me – applications that automate your unsubscribe process to Marketing mails. Because of such initiatives, we witnessed the rise of a new generation called Generation C or GEN-C.
Aspects of GEN-C
Important to know is that the naming of this generation does not connect to a specific age group. It’s more a state of mind or attitude, meaning that either one of us could be part of this generation. You’re probably thinking: by having a certain ‘state of mind’ or ‘attitude’ could suddenly make me part of a certain generation? Hold on, let me tell you why….
First of all, Generation C or GEN-C is a term that google created to describe a new movement in customer culture: customers who are deeply connected, active member of a community and highly collaborative while being highly critical. These type of customers are in the driving seat, they determine what messages they want to receive but also the pace and speed in which they want to engage with brands.
The first C: Constantly Connected Consumer
The rise of mobile devices like smartphones, tablets and smartwatches that enable consumers to interact with each other via various platforms made society evolve to what it is today. Consumers crave instant feedback, whenever we post something on facebook, we expect immediate response from our followers. Also, did you know that 95% of all whatsapp messages get read under 3 minutes after they are received? Customers are starting to expect this kind of engagement from brands.
A modern example of brands attempting to give this instant feedback gratification to consumers is Uber, which lets their consumers know when their Uber is arriving (in minutes), which obviously is a key-question for uber-customers. Therefore the focus on providing a highly convenient experience in a hyper-connected world is one of the reasons Uber is so successful.
The other C: The need for Context
Good Marketing is about bringing the right message to the right device while great Marketing is about context. Bringing the right message to the right device at the right time. Or how we like to call it “Context”. That’s the second reason how GEN-C came to be. Yes we know that personalized promotional emails have a 29% higher unique open rate, but that will only bring you that far. By utilizing context the interaction between both your brand and your customer becomes hyper personalized which increases the overall customer experience.
The most accurate example of this type of contextual Marketing is ‘Waze’, let me explain why that is. Based on the context (a.k.a. my location), data (my meeting across town) and additional big data (traffic jams, estimated time, ..) Waze will notify me when it’s best to leave in order to arrive on time. Basically, I no longer need to think and that’s what customers are starting to expect whenever they engage with brands. Convenience is the new Marketer’s currency…
Finally, highly Critical is the standard
Finally, because the consumer receives a ton of messages (3000) per day. The consumer has become an expert at dodging Marketing messages. Therefore it is extremely important for brands to interact with the customers on their terms based on their behaviour. Otherwise, your brand’s message could be filtered out…the balance has shifted: today the risk of having a consumer disconnect is higher than the potential opportunity for them to engage on our campaign.
A look into the (not so far) future
Before we look at what’s ahead it’s nice to know where we came from and how it evolved over time.
Firstly, we had our general Marketing campaigns which focused on the message. Or how we would like to call it ‘Conventional Marketing’. Which was sent in to masses with very little personalization.
But then when we saw the effects of personalization, saying that 77% of consumers choose, recommend or pay more for a brand that provides a personalized experience. Which then started the evolution to content-driven Marketing with inbound Marketing strategies, beginnings of lead nurturing-campaigns, etc. With a strong focus on the sale.
But also that quickly became a standard. Consumers became used to the fact that companies only send relevant information. And if they don’t, they wouldn’t engage with them anymore. Therefore Marketing evolved from not only utilizing what they know of customers but also what they did, in other words: Contextual Marketing.
But if we look ahead we know that even this will become a standard. So how would one marketer be able to cut through all the noise? By focusing on the convenience.
As society is becoming lazy (yes admit it, I’m one of those lazy guys too), we highly value our time, so we can accomplish a lot by doing the very minimum. Based on the contextual features of Marketing today, the customer will align themselves and purchase from brands that identify them as individuals at every step and make experiences as simple as texting a pizza emoji for instant delivery (remember Domino’s Pizza) or walking into a store and purchasing products without even passing the checkout (Amazon).
Let’s be honest, the Marketing landscape is a very dynamical one. And we’re sure that convenience will become the basis of another, more advanced way of Marketing in the future, just like personalization is now. Therefore it’s important to start implementing the new way of Marketing. Because it may be that conventional Marketing works for you now, but that doesn’t mean it will work for you tomorrow, next week, month, year, ..
Summarized, the goal is thus to become Content-driven – Contextual – Convenience first.
Oh, and one more thing – the Salesforce Marketing Cloud can help you get there…