The differences between perception and reality

A new study released last month by the IBM Institute for Business Value Analysis shows a remarkable variance in perceptions regarding the reasons why consumers interact with companies via Social Media community networking sites.

When consumers were asked to rank in order the reasons for a visit to a company website after reacting to messages from a Social Network location, the most important consideration motivating the visit was a desire to acquire some form of discount. Over 60 % of respondents initiated the visit as a means to discover a pricing advantage, or simply to purchase the goods or services offered by the merchant.

On the other hand, the most highly ranked reason anticipated by the web proprietors was the expectation that the visit was made to gain information about new products.In fact, consumers ranked new product information as the fifth most important function, with only 50% of the visiting consumers interested in new products.

Perhaps the most revealing aspect of the survey was the reality that businesses ranked offering a consumer discount as the least important item , placing it last on a list of the top ten reasons for a visit to their website, the exact opposite of what customers were looking for.

In short, it is now crystal clear that an effective Social Media marketing strategy must meet or exceed  consumer expectations by providing access to regular discounts, deals or other offers as a priority,not as an afterthought. It is critical to focus on customer demands as a core structure in a successful Social Media marketing strategy. This effort is certain to provide its own reward, since you cannot get a more focused Social Media R.O.I. than a campaign that is centered on volume and revenue.

Remember, the old business plans are simply not as effective today as for earlier generations of customers.The “under 50″  smarter, more informed client demands a two way dialog and will actively react to specials, discounts or other offers. If your business will listen to them, the customers will tell you what they want. You do not need to change the way that you merchandise your business,you need only heed the communication from a youthful audience and broadcast your message differently. Just as importantly, a Social Media marketing venue is less expensive, more effective and more real time mainstream than older traditional choices like newspaper, T.V. and radio.

Todays consumers want to feel connected, and it is the responsibility of your business planning to adapt to a changing marketplace that provides customers instant gratification. The perception of most business owners is that customers visit their websites seeking information. The reality is that your customers are  demanding action, often in the form of a savings discount. Most sales on the Internet generate higher mark-ups than brick and mortar expenses. Share some of those extra margins with your devoted clients and watch your sales volume and profits rise.

Learn more with a visit to Boostwave Consulting…www.boostwaveconsulting.com , or call 602-492-1211 and schedule a no obligation conversation with our market experts. We know what the customers want and we’ll help you plan the best way to fill those needs.