Brands are losing control over the conversations about themselves. It’s no longer sufficient for brands to influence buying decisions through conventional mass medium marketing communications.
Increasingly, consumers stop relying and believing in what brands claim, to make their purchase decisions – they are skeptical about what is being advertised. Instead, they seek peer validation from other sources. A recent Google study shows that consumers seek information/ verifications from 10.7 sources before they decide on what to buy/ who to buy from. They will verify what they read on the ads, web sites and flyers.
The new consumers want to have a say on the brands they consume.
Brands need to stay in tune and understand that the dynamics of the marketplace has changed.
Brands need to ask themselves – in their respective industries, what are the conversations about their brands, where are these conversations taking place and who are talking about them. How are decisions being made about them? The first step that brands can take to start playing in the ZMOT space is to …
Brands, find out what people are saying about you.
A good place to start listening is your own records of customer feedback about their experience with your products/services – these experiences are often what are being shared about your brands out there, as good and bad reviews.
Conventionally, surveys and focus groups conducted to understand motivation behind customer behavior. The digital space can provide more REAL LIFE and REAL TIME information about how consumers are interacting with and interpreting your brands.
You should also monitor web chatters and social mentions about your brands. There are many tools available for deployment. Here is one place to start http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/4-free-tools-to-help-you-socially-monitor-your-brand/
You may also enlist the help of social media consultants to develop a high-resolution view of your brand reputation in the digital space
Now what do you look out for?
- How often your brands are being mentioned?
- What are your brand’s reputation and brand sentiments?
- Where are people talking about your brands and your category? Public/ specialty forums? Social networks? Interest Group discussions?
- Who are talking about you? Opinion leaders? Staff? Customers?
- When are people talking about? During the consumption of your products/ services, or after?
- What are people talking about the category you are in?
- What are the key drivers for their choice in your category? Can you rank them?
- What are the good and bad experiences generated by your brands?
Consumers can be the Chief Marketing Officers of your brand.
There is a wealth of intelligence out there to help you create a blue print of what you should do to win in the zero moments of truth – how to navigate the new paths to purchase, as well as how to pitch yourself in the consumers’ consideration set in order to stay top of mind.
Start listening to the conversation today.