2 Kasım 2014 Pazar

The Changing Consumer Behavior And Character On Digital Platforms

Consumers have now diverged from the definition of a “consumer” with the fact that Web 2.0 has become the centre of our lives. Rather than consuming, they are now drawing the frame for how one can consume. While once upon a time it was the profit-oriented corporate organisations who could speak up, mold the online world, and create the content, right now the power is in the consumers’ hands. Mobile technologies have intertwined our physical and virtual universes within this era when commenting, actively participating, and transparency are effective. Since then, we have been living as double-identity individuals. So which brands are going to address which one of our identities? How will they engage us more closely? How are they going to analyse our behaviour?..  

In order to understand the experiences that this new type of consumer is going through, it is required to decipher his needs and behavioral inclinations as well as understand his buyer persona. Deciphering does not mean being more digital and more technology-focused. It means identifying the technological insight about the brand and adding that onto the product experience as a benefit.
So how will the buyer persona be transferred to the digital insight?.. At this point, research emerges as the breaking point that will define the target audience. On digital platforms, where content is king, maintaining sustainability is what matters. Creating content is a job that requires long-term commitment. Plus, the most crucial question is whether the content is meaningful for ‘Mehmet Bey’ whom we would like to address. In case research is not formulated in a sufficiently ‘meaningful’ way, the content and the digital insight introduced to him will in no way be tailor-made.

In the first phase, a web inventory needs to be created in order to define the character of the target audience and reach it. It is a must to utilize the main web analyses during the inventory process. This is also the phase where the consumer’s voice is heard. In this phase, direct and indirect comments, perceptions that have spread like viruses, primary and secondary research data, and social networks, where the consumer can be heard, must be indispensable resources alongside bounce rate, organic traffic, page traffic, mobile traffic, and conversion rate. In the second phase, the business genius of brand managers must step in. Existing user profiles should be gathered and (if they exist) sales statistics must be analyzed. The data obtained from the two phases must be designed in harmony with the product/brand platform and research must be formulated using either face-to-face/telephone or online panels.

In the future, the business world will become the playground for everyone talented. The day when Social Media + Digital = Business, the boundaries set by the old-fashioned organizations will be removed. The forsight resulting from the analysis of digital trends is as follows:

Integrated, horizontal systems will be connecting devices and objects. In 2020, there will be 50 trillion interconnected objects. Wearable technologies will encompass the whole body experience. In 2018, the global wearable technology will be worth 5.8 trillion dollars. This means we are still at the embryonic stage in wearable technology. Mobile platforms will be dressed in more visual identities. Platforms in the concept of Snapchat, where there is minimum text and where aesthetic visuals are on the rise, will be in fashion. Security and privacy will be game-changing elements. Brands will create their own softwares. In 2017, an investment of 3 billion dollars will be reached. While there will be no place left without internet, Africa is expected to become a center for innovation.

Which Digital Transformations Must Brands Not Miss Out? 

1. Device Transformation – Touch, not PC. 
We are in the phase of passage from PC’s to a mobile life. Even though Turkey follows the world from behind, the numbers on adaptation to mobile life keep increasing. According to the data from the Information and Communication Technologies Authority, the smart phone penetration in developed countries has reached 60%. In Turkey, however, this ratio is at 28%. Today, Facebook is not where it would like to be in terms of advertising income due to the fact that mobile users are increasing. Brands must now focus on non-PC advertising activities.

2. Communication Transformation – Not being imprisoned inside the traditional, being reborn from it. 
E-mailing and tele-marketing activities are on the decline. Communication established by way of social media is twice more than last year. It is inevitable for brands to adapt their conventional platforms to digital. For example, contrary to the idea that “journalism is dead”, digital platforms will provide skillful journalists with room for opportunities. Small, agile, and clear-focused business models such as Politico.com, Realclearpolitics.com, Seekingalpha.com, and Minyanville.com have already proven successful. Perhaps after this, three-four journalists will come together to establish Thedailyscoop.com and they will concentrate on provocative analyses through social media. Once they obtain sufficient income, they will hire better journalists and focus on investigative journalism.

3. Content Transformation – Not bundling, breaking down. 
Long-tail marketing exists so that everyone can be reached with every product. Therefore, long-tail media and their contents touch everyone as a group. However, rather than the traditional media tools (Newspaper, TV, Radio, SMS...) called the bundle, we need specific media channels that make the target audience feel that they are interacted with for a single purpose. Applications are among the trendiest tools to meet that need.  

4. Social Transformation – Not development, maturation.
In developing economies, the platforms that have celebrated their tenth anniversaries (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), are now in the period of recession. Facebook and LinkedIn are experiencing pressure to gain new users each quarter. Since the growth of this platform is replaced by maturity, we are to witness social platforms that respond to different needs.

5. Retail Transformation – Not just the Channel, but the Channel Experience. 
The significance of e-trade within retail keeps increasing. Brands will be focusing on making their customers, who are already inside the supermarket, pay without the help of humans but through digital platforms only. Retail 3.0 encompasses that transformation.

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