Today’s world operates at the speed of now, where immediacy of information is the expectation. It’s more than a trend—it’s the way technology has changed the consumer mindset. As marketers, we must adapt so we can continue to reach consumers when, where and how they want to be reached. Here are 5 ways you can keep up with consumers who want information….and want it now:
- Mobile Matters
When consumers want something, they go to their phones, and the first tool that they use is search. Consumers expect to locate information easily and efficiently and become frustrated if they cannot. In fact, 53% of visits are terminated if a mobile site takes longer than three seconds to load. Without a fast mobile site, consumers will close out and you, in turn, will lose out.
- Location, Location, Location
Searches with a zip code or the words “near me” have fallen drastically over the last couple of years, but consumers still want location-based information. Essentially, consumers are providing less information and expecting the same or better results in return. This makes getting high-quality, local SEM results more difficult. However, for companies willing to meet the high expectations through geo-fencing and location-based advertising efforts, it can pay off in a big way. How? Research shows that two out of three consumers are more likely to buy from a company with a mobile site customized according to location.4
- Be helpful—don’t just push your product
Know what customers are trying to find with certain keywords and cater to it. You don’t have to be a mind-reader, but you DO have to be helpful. Think like a consumer and provide the information they want to find…quickly. What hours are you open? Are you running any sales? What other unique features does your product have? Allow customers to easily access that information upfront and provide a relevant, rewarding experience. After all, these experiences are the building blocks to a positive relationship and help lead to conversions, both in the moment and down the road. A brand interaction that is helpful is 1.5 times more likely to lead consumers to purchase and recommend the brand5. An experience that is just neutral actually tends to have a negative impact, where interruptive and intrusive experiences, such as pop-up ads, can be brand-damaging.
- Search…and Research
In the past, consumers performed minimal research ahead of completing small purchases. Now that research has become easier—and Google has become a verb—everything has changed. And in the culture of immediacy, consumers cut right to the chase. There has been an 80% increase in searches including the word “best” over the last two years, as consumers seek to make purchases quickly and confidently. Including words like “best” in your SEO and SEM strategies will yield the “best” results.
- Online + Offline = [smiley face emoji]
While the importance and impact of mobile continues to grow, offline marketing cannot be forgotten. Three out of four consumers are more likely to visit brick and mortar stores after finding helpful search information online. A seamless online and offline, or “omni-channel,” experience is critical! Businesses that make in-store and online experiences seamless will undoubtedly become trusted brands. And in today’s “now” culture, a trusted brand often becomes a relied-upon, go-to choice in future moments of immediate need.
2Google Data, Global, n=3,700 aggregated, anonymised Google Analytics data from a sample of mWeb sites opted into sharing benchmark data, Mar. 2016.
3Google Data Jan – June 2017 vs. Jan – June 2015. U.S
5Source: Google/Purchased, “How Brand Experiences Inspire Consumer Action,” U.S. smartphone owners 18+=2,010, brand experiences=17,726, April 2017.
6Source: Google Data, U.S., Jan. – June 2015 vs. Jan. – June 2017. Top 500 “best” search terms