How to Connect with The Hyper-Connected Consumer
The hyper-connected consumer is an increasingly important demographic to the brand marketer. These people leverage their social networks for buying recommendations much more than others. In fact, it’s often the first place they go.
This has big implications for how the brand marketer connects and maintains relationships with this growing consumer group.
Hi, this is Tod Hirsch, today I’m going to talk a little bit about the socially connected consumer and the circle of trust. Before I get started, I’d like to give a quick shout out and attribution to Brian Solis. He wrote a book called The End of Business as Usual. I just finished reading it, I highly recommend it and I’m adapting my little circle of trust here from a diagram in his book called the Trust Zone. So thanks again to Brian and please keep up the great work.
The Hyper Connected Millennial Generation
Before we get into the Circle of Trust, I want to provide a little background. These are the up-and-coming generation. They are known as the Millennials or Generation Y. They were born between 1982 and 1999 and they are really the first true digital generation. They’re digital natives. There are roughly 46 million of them in the US alone depending on how you count them. And they are generally between the ages of 30 and 13 years old.
The key difference with the Millennials is that they’re hyper-connected. They’re constantly interacting with their social graph. Whether that’s Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or all social networks that have come out. They may seek their intent to buy something, they may ask questions about value, they may seek rewards or they may engage with the brand itself. Now, of course, they’re still using search and traditional advertising still plays a role. But the key difference here is that many of the Millennials are going to their social graph first and this has profound implications for the brand marketer.
What Are They Talking About?
One of the key differences about the social media conversations that are going on is that it’s not just about the latest new commercial. It may be and that’s certainly part of the brand experience. But what people are really talking about is….did it improve their lives If I buy this product, what will my experience be? They’re asking their social network this question. They’re asking, “Is it a good value for my money”. They talking about customer service – good or bad. They’re looking up reviews. They’re doing their homework because they can.
How Do You Get into Their Circle of Trust?
So if you’re a brand marketer. How do you get into the Millennial consumers’ social graph. How do you get into their Circle of Trust? Turns out it’s not that easy.
One thing for sure, it’s definitely not this.
360 Degree Brand Marketing
Now advertising most likely will always be with us. But with advent of social networks and the hyper-connected consumer, marketing has just got a little more complicated. It’s what I like to call 360 Degree Brand Marketing. And it’s really more of a holistic view of the entire customer experience. Everything from the brand narrative, getting found online – findability. To producing quality content that actually solves people’s problems. To the actual product itself, customer reviews on 3rd party sites, community engagement, customer service and at the end of the experience – advocacy encouragement - encouraging people who like your product to spread the word about it.
All of these things together equal a positive or negative brand experience for the hyper-connected consumer.