As Social Media proliferates the media landscape and kidnaps our attention and time, it’s bringing with it changes that were unimaginable just recently.
- Consumers are starting to expect a social experience online. The explosion in social media marketing has led to a growing consumer expectation for sites to offer social and interactive components. If I can interact with my friends when I’m on Facebook, why can’t I have the same experience on a brand website too? If I can win prizes when I play a game on a social network, why can’t I win rewards on a brand site?
- The crowded web is pushing sites to become more personalized. It is increasingly harder for brands to stand out and gain the attention of potential consumers and advocates on the crowded web. To have any chance of succeeding, organizations need to tailor their offers and content to the individual user, but this requires a better understanding of that person.
- Shortened attention spans online create a need for a frictionless online experience. For example, traditional registration forms create an obstacle to on-site engagement — “identity fatigue” is real. Need evidence that people are tired of maintaining separate identities and passwords at each site they visit? Recent research indicates that three in four consumers avoid creating new user accounts, and will change their behavior as a result. Fifty-four percent may leave the site altogether. And of those that register, 76 percent admit to giving incomplete or incorrect information. Some marketers think they are avoiding this problem by only asking for name and email address. But, really, how much targeted marketing can you do with just those pieces of data?
- Multiple research studies show that we turn to our friends for recommendations when we are making a purchase or looking for information. Facilitating these types of conversations through word-of-mouth marketing has always been the role of the brand marketer, but now there are more tools at their disposal.
These forces are impacting how we measure success online. While we used to be focused on getting as many people to the site as possible while tracking site traffic, today it is much more important to get the right people to our site. The quality of site traffic has become more important than just the quantity.