5 Ideas to Better Connect With Consumers

Patti RennerLeadership requires vision. You’ve heard that before, but it comes to mind again as the savvy presenters here at Forrester’s Marketing Forum 2011 prognosticate on what will come and explain what is now. Vision seems to be an underlying concept for planning strategy around what’s to come – especially as it applies to direct digital marketing.
Of course, some folks prefer to base their marketing approach on analysis alone, by digging into the research and data. However, some of it conflicts. Articles declaring the death of traditional marketing are released around the same time others claim direct mail is making a comeback. Even a Forrester analyst recently declared the Web is dead. All these mixed messages and uncertainty can lead to a marketer’s indecisiveness. However, there’s really no time for that.

The next digital age isn’t coming – it’s already here. And marketers must reinvent themselves and their approach in order to stay on top of the game.

Forrester analyst Julie Ask, shared that smartphone sales have now outpaced PCs. And future phones should no longer be viewed as some sort of hand-held computer, but as a personal lifestyle tool that will enrich our everyday experiences in ways we have yet to imagine. And for every obstacle reluctant marketers can come up with the screen is too small… people still love the feel of paper, etc.), the vision of designers and engineers is giving birth to technology that goes beyond what seems advanced today.

“Imagine if we can…” Finish the statement, and you capture the essence of how you should begin your planning as you navigate this new era. Dennis Shirokov at FedEx shared his success with this approach, and how it helped to redefine the way they serve and market to customers. But it starts with building a case based on what should be.

Watch the mental road blocks to digital melt away when you approach your planning with “Imagine if we can….” Find some time to explore. Doodle. Play with ideas. Record them to share. Blow out the stops.

Build a story for your brand around what “Imaging if we can…” could mean to the way you connect with (and market to) consumers. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Build your plan on your vision – based on what’s best for your brand and its customers. It’s those imagined possibilities that can shape amazing digital experiences. Start small, get some quick wins, then enjoy the momentum.

%d bloggers like this: