To successfully attract, acquire and retain a customer, you need to effectively engage them. That is obvious! What is not obvious to marketers is that customers behave very differently today compared to only five years ago. Let’s consider the key changes in customer behavior that impact your digital marketing.
Customer behavior #1: Customers are very distracted and have a very short attention span
The always on, always connected, multi-screening and multi-tasking customer is overwhelmed and fatigued with the flood of information from multiple channels. The digital savvy audience has a high burst of attention at the beginning that drops rapidly.
The cost of attention is the most dramatic business expense increase in the last 25 years. If your content strategy still includes scholarly but complex whitepapers, long videos or anything that takes more than a minute to skim through then you are probably not engaging your customers effectively.
Customer behavior #2: Content bingeing is the new drug
Customers have become used to accessing content when and where they want it. They are not interested in periodic and episodic delivery of information. Viewers are no longer watching a TV show at 8PM on Thursday. They binge on multiple episodes over the weekends or when they have time using DVR and on-demand services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. They have also become used to bingeing on short video clips on YouTube instead of watching one long 30-minute video.
If your marketing campaigns still deliver one piece of content at a time to the target audience then you are missing a big opportunity. They will spend less than a minute consuming it and then they will be gone unless you have more to offer.
Customer behavior #3: Shift in control of customer journey
20 years ago, if you were in the market to purchase a car, it is very likely that your journey began with a visit to a car dealership. You picked up the brochures, got your questions answered from the sales person and requested a test drive. You were almost completely dependent on the information provided by the dealership and possibly one or two magazines. This dependency almost gave a right to the vendors to interrupt you with advertisements, visits, phone calls, direct mail and email to deliver the relevant information at the time and place of their choice.
Today, you embark on a digital journey without ever setting foot in a dealership until you have gathered all the relevant information and narrowed down the choices. This behavior has pervaded each and every purchase decision we make today. In short, the control of a customer journey has shifted from the vendors to the customers.
This shift in customer behavior will have far reaching consequences for your customer engagement practices. It is already affecting your lead capture campaigns with only 1 in 33 paid clicks converting into leads. It has made your traditional marketing automation and email-marketing campaigns irrelevant with less than a 3% click through rates.
Your lead capture and lead nurturing campaigns will be severely affected unless you rethink your customer engagement practices, processes and marketing automation tools.
Aligning with changes in customer behavior
These new rules help you align your digital marketing with the changing customer behavior:
- Make content snackable – Restructure your content into bite-sized content. The audience should be able to get a gist of each piece of content (by skimming and scanning) in less than 2 minutes even if the start to finish content may take longer. More than 50% of the content should take less than 1 minute to consume.
- Make user experience engaging – Try to convert detailed facts into visually pleasing infographics. Use illustrations to explain complex concepts. Increase the use of video and animation clips.
- Make customer nurturing bingeable – When your audience is engaged, nurture them as deeply and as long as you can. Reconsider your marketing campaign where you let them download or view only one piece of content. Instead, let them binge as much and as possible when they have time.
- Make the customer journey “personalize-able” – Let the audience personalize their own journey. Assist them with relevant content recommendations. Instead of interrupting their flow, enable them. And as they consume your content, observe their behavior and generate deep insights.
This change of user experience encourages your audience to engage willingly and naturally with you. Very soon you will witness more visitors converting into leads on your web site and more leads getting nurtured into qualified sales opportunities.
Curious about how to let customers personalize their journey? Click here to arrange for a demo of Zoomifier Lead Incubator.