Technology is bringing about all kinds of changes for business. But how has it changed the way businesses target their customers?
E-Commerce Helps Cut Out Middlemen
With the growing dominance of online sales, businesses no longer have to rely on lots of middlemen to sell their goods for them. The retail industry is now much more evenly split between businesses that choose to go it alone and sell directly to customers and those reliant on big retailers. The big retail companies that sell products on the behalf of businesses are still very important, but it’s no longer impossible to go it alone for smaller businesses.
So, what does a business to make a success of going it alone in online sales? All the best businesses that sell directly to customers have a swift and secure online sales operation. That means having a well-designed website that satisfies the needs of the customer. And once a business’s reputation grows, the word will spread, and their independent ethic will be fully justified. That doesn’t mean it’s easy going though; the risks are high, but the rewards are too.
Online Communications Makes Targeting More Specific
The internet also makes communicating and building links with potential customers much simpler too. Just ten years ago, the idea of having a conversation and two-way relationship with customers wasn’t an option open to businesses. They had to rely on traditional marketing methods, but now all that is possible. This places customers and businesses on the same level, so businesses no longer have to be cold and distant entities detached from the world of real people.
Internet marketing allows businesses to keep hold of customers too. For example, email marketing can be a great aid for businesses looking to keep hold of customers who they’ve done business with in the past. People often need to be reminded of what a business is doing and email marketing lets businesses advertise directly to them. Some businesses send out weekly or monthly newsletters with news of new stock and sales that are currently on.
Targeted Advertising is Revolutionizing Sales
Scattergun style advertising is now a thing of the past. Nowadays, businesses can be very specific in the kinds of people they target with their advertisements. Most companies don’t want to target everybody. So, they first have to decide who their ideal target customer is. To make this decision they have to look at who their products or services appeal to. If they’re selling video games, they know they’re predominantly selling to males aged 18-30. Then they can go about targeting these people with their adverts.
Most online advertising now uses second-order proxies. This is when consumer activities and web visits are tracked so as to build up demographic profiles. This helps businesses place their adverts in the most useful places possible. Contextual advertising is similar, but this places adverts depending on the individual, deciding which adverts suit them best.
The advances in the business world are happening at breakneck speed, and the process is still ongoing. Who knows what will change in the coming years!