Companies that fail to effectively leverage on technology to connect with consumers may go under in 2021, experts have predicted.
They have also identified 2021 as a reawakening year for businesses that suffered set back in 2020 following the lockdown and other economic challenges
Principal Consultant, ADSTRAT BMC Limited, Charles O’Tudor, told THISDAY that companies that want to remain relevant this year must key into what he described as ‘online communities.
He pointed out that the new marketing culture is necessary to build a sustainable interaction platform between consumers and brands.
“Online Communities Customer interaction has many faces. It can take the form of social media comments, instant messages, phone calls, emails, or even through the hashtags on their posts. Aside from these, there’s another kind of customer interaction that helps brand owners reinforce retention-online communities.
“These online communities serve as a platform for their customers to interact with each other. With brand owners taking full cognizant of this in 2021, they can connect well with consumers and create deeper relations between them and the brand they are projecting,” O’Tudor said.
The expert, who described the approach as participatory in nature pointed out that a research carried out by CMA revealed that 37 per cent of shoppers stick with companies because of online communities.
“Having the option to participate in discussions about a brand makes consumers trust a company more. Consequently, this increases the likelihood of them purchasing from the brand. This was backed by a MarTech study that revealed 2 out of 3 brands with online communities experienced a revenue increase thanks to strong community engagement. Aside from boosting retention, online communities, in a similar light to hashtags, are also a great way to understand the wants and needs of your customers. This reduces the need to extensively monitor social media for trends as you can see what they are discussing right on your servers,” he added,
Another marketing communication expert, Bolaji Okusaga, who described 2021 as a watershed said it’s a year for brand owners to rebuild.
He admitted that 2020 was tough but added that the year has successfully created a new communication architecture that sets the pace for the New Year.
“With experience of 2020, we don’t need anybody to tell us that language of communication has changed and marketing platforms have been altered. In 2021, businesses need to be more strategic in communication to connect with consumers. 2021 is a year to rebuild and this comes with dynamic trends that must align with global strategy.
“There must be technology-based strategy that is deeply ingrained in our day-to-day lives as well as the operations of various industries for brands to stay relevant in this fast-paced landscape. We shouldn’t forget that consumers have become more sophisticated; delivery platform has changed and language has changed,”
Speaking further, Okusaga, who is the Chief Executive Officer at Precise, a reputation management firm, also advised business owners not to play down the importance of marketing communication support in 2021 despite economic challenges as it would be needed to rebuild profiles and reputation in the market place.
“Meanwhile, despite the challenge the global economy is currently facing, it will be difficult for businesses to do away with marketing communication support in 2021 because the time to rebuild their profile is now and this cannot be creatively built without marketing communications agencies.
“The competitive contest has changed because money that ordinarily in the past would be pushed to build brands offline is now being pushed into internet economy and that has suddenly created another competition for brand owners. In this era when consumers identify what they want online, any business that fails to go there to connect its patrons will lose and lose forever,” he stated.