Digital devices, especially mobile devices, give greater control to consumers whose expectations are high and constantly evolving, according to INMA’s new report “How the Connected Consumer Is Redefining News Media.” Once individuals experience a positive interaction or service with a brand on their mobile device, they expect other brands to provide similar offerings. Unfortunately, this presents a challenge for publishers because so many of these interactions and/or services are not necessarily set by media companies. Publishers now compete with expectations set by Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, brands that often deliver positive consumer experiences in searching, shopping and connecting.
Therefore, publishers need to rethink how they engage with their audience. Consumers are more digitally connected (and less physically connected) and this constant connection to content can lead to information overload. The INMA’s research suggests that publishers can better meet the connected audience’s expectations and digital relationship by employing “connected marketing” strategies. The approach includes two core principles:
- Create, develop, and maintain a brand that recognize the needs of the connected individual.
- Strive to merge and coordinate the physical, digital, sensorial, and emotional experiences to best meet the needs of connected individuals.
The brand is sum of total experiences. Connected individuals are looking for ease, engagement, interactivity, experience, and control – all in real time. Basically, they expect to connect with the publisher wherever and whenever.
Publishers should also think about targeting users outside of traditional audience segments and demographics. New audience targeting segments should include more custom and personal audience slices. Additional helpful strategies include:
Build a deeper audience understanding
- Understand short-form or long-form content consumption the audience seeks.
- Identify your content’s unique offering for each user segment.
- Know what they content they are looking for on mobile – app, search, etc.
Understand audience commonalities
- Find the commonalities among audiences. Connected consumers expect to be able to choose the frequency and depth of their involvement.
Develop connection points
- Allow the audience to comment or even create content.
- Help in their content discovery.
- Build their understanding of issues through content that helps answers questions.
- Help them shape opinions through content that provides options and different opinions.
- Allow them to share content they value.
Digital devices present new ways for content offerings to be even more essential to the connected user’s day-to-day life. Publishers must work to simplify the user experience and serve content the audience values. Connected marketing strategies allow publishers to strategically use data, personalization and content discovery to simplify through commonalities, build understanding and and leverage the value of journalism.