Powering Through Consumer Spending Stalls

As American consumer spending wanes many companies are facing a familiar challenge. Reduced spending should be met with an emphasis on practical value and building an inescapable path to conversion for prospective customers.

How can content creators provide the most compelling online experience that builds loyalty while encouraging spending in a time when employment is likely rising and cash becoming more plentiful?

Make things better

Talk about nonspecific marketing advice… Making things better isn’t just about the user experience, it’s also about the overall value of the interaction. What does the consumer get out of it, and is it really remarkable? I see digital marketers struggle with this concept every day. No, people don’t want to download another mobile check-in app that gives them a 5% discount on their next purchase of $347.00 or more. Challenge ideas from the perspective of the consumer and then create a digital experience to match very high expectations.

Capture the lead

When you build something noteworthy in the digital space you’ll also need a non-invasive mechanism to capture the lead. If we assume that spending isn’t going to dramatically increase in the first quarter of 2012 we should also plan to collect as many leads as possible, so when consumer cash frees up we are ready to attack a large list of qualified opted-in customers. Of course creating a value proposition worth signing up for is another challenge entirely – see my previous point on making things better.

Double down on digital

Sticking with consumers through the tough times means creating an ecosystem of digital nurturing that covers email, paid media, social media, mobile and organic search. Omnipresence and ownership of the space without losing dollars to waste ensures smart firms stay top of mind. Of course those digital channels should all be powered by humans, so doubling down on digital means acknowledging that yes, this is a real thing and then spending the money it takes to run the program.

Go for the kill

Soft selling and nurturing are important parts of modern digital marketing. But when the time is right to strike are you prepared to implement the hard sell tactics that win new customers? Measuring and reporting help determine that timing, but it’s up to you to pull the trigger and change from loyalty marketing to sales driven success.

General advice? Absolutely. Supporting data? None to share this time around. In uncertain economic times we should all keep our eye on the digital ball and recognize the difference between building relationships that go nowhere versus digital ecosystems that ladder up to sales.