Monday, August 31, 2009

Discussion Question 4

For my discussion question, I reviewed “Consumers Have Changed, So Should Advertisers” By Augustine Fou. This article addresses the ever-changing business environment and the provisions that marketers must make to their efforts and the new expectations that consumers have. In the past, marketers would just throw their marketing efforts out to the masses and hope that some target customers would take the bait and it would eventually turn into a sale. However, he comments that in this day and age, consumers to target are “harder to find, block advertising, and have new expectations paired with irreversible habits.” I find this very true and relevant, which tells me that all marketers need to severely step up their efforts in order to gain or maintain their competitiveness and stay up on the newest trends. Because the advertising dollars are a scarce resource, we as marketers must do all we can to stretch them to the fullest and as discussed in class, remain focused on ROI and focusing on conversion to actual variables(sales, visits, brand image, etc).
Consumers Search Rather Than Navigate: In this section he breaks down the demands of consumers in today’s market and discusses the importance of a properly formatted and easy to navigate webpage, paired with the ability to search for information in an efficient manner. In today’s digital age, it is a demand and expectation from consumers that information they are requesting is available aat their fingertips.
Consumers Want Information Now Rather Than Later: This section is a very relevant one to all of us I am sure. As an end user we expect at the very least information at a moment’s notice and various opportunities at our fingertips. This is tied back to the availability of technology in our world and we cannot handle a wait for anything with the expectation to have our needs met.
Consumers Want Lots of Information: This is also tied back to the availability of technology in our lives, and we all utilize it to search for more and more information. If I see an ad on TV, I am enabled to immediately search for more info on the internet and in the same sense, expect information to be effectively disclosed to me or I may not bother to investigate it further.
Consumers Seek Trusted Sources for Information: Amidst years of distrust from the government, corporate scandals, and other sellers, consumers have come to trust only people like themselves. In our class discussions, everyone trusted consumers like us and very few trusted our political leaders and similar figures. For example, Wikipedia has numerous editors who catch issues almost immediately and can often be found more credible than publications and the like.
Consumers Prefer Collaboration Over Isolation: This is very true in our world where we rely on one another through our various networks for information and use the channels for communication to facilitate those relationships. This also stretches out to things like epinions, Zagat, and the like to get credible information.
How Marketers Should Respond to the Irreversibly Changed Consumer: He gives various tips in this section for how marketers can leverage their understanding of marketing to the new consumers in this digital age and how to best overcome their challenges ahead of them. These are the following recommendations he made which are very relevant to us in this new world of marketing that I would like to share:
• Consumers won't ever stop using search to find what they want in their own terms so marketers should deploy search on-site if they don't have it and make their information findable by search.
• Consumers won't ever want less real-time information and communications so marketers should make their information easy to access and use (e.g. on mobile devices) and respond in real-time to customer complaints or compliments.
• Consumers won't ever demand less information so marketers should make lots and lots of information available and let the users judge for themselves.
• Consumers won't ever just take an advertiser's word for it so marketers should create venues and mechanisms that allow people to judge the trustworthiness of the information.
• Consumers won't ever be alone in making a purchase decision so marketers should facilitate the sharing of information and empower others to review and recommend their products.

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