Consumer desire for speed and ease has risen exponentially. And in an ERA where the demand for instant results is needed, whether in form of products delivered or services fulfilled – everybody has to respond promptly AND every business has to act quickly.
As the world moved at this speed, impatient and impulsiveness have been very alarming. Consumers have developed a behavior of “want it all” and “instant gratification” as evident in the use of:
- Social instant messaging
- Automated online ordering system
- Faster shipping systems
- Real-time social updates
- All-in-one gadgets
- Chat-based real-time customer service
This is a very crucial time for marketers as these type of behaviors disrupted some business operational procedures. Marketers need to strategize to catch up and be able to sustain a system suited to the type of situation and consumer behaviors. Otherwise if disregarded, could further drag the company down or lose a big segment if not the whole of the business.
3 Most Significant Challenges
1. Product or Service Availability
It is very important to remember that product and or service availability and convenience have repercussions on value throughout the marketing program. Moreover, it has great impact on customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction- and a “satisfied customer does not mean he/she will always be loyal.”
So, you need to take into consideration the following measures to meet nor exceed customer expectations and strategize.
1.1 (Your Brick & Mortar and Digital Presence)
- Where are you, and how or what are the available options for your customers to reach you?
- Are your products readily available and accessible?
- Can your customers expect real-time services or can you at least deliver their needs/wants in a reasonable time-frame?
Simply having web sites, blog sites, social media accounts and print ADS won’t make you successful.
In this digital age, content is KING. Do you have an effective online presence, information dissemination and a content marketing strategy? Same as with your traditional marketing collaterals, do they:
- Create recall
- Serve a purpose or a cause
- Offer ease of use
- Help solve people’s problems
If you answer NO to these questions. It’s time that you take action and implement steps to rectify these issues.
2.1 (Content & User Convenience Example)
We’ve come to expect things so quickly that researchers found people can’t wait more than a few seconds for a video to load. Ramesh Sitaraman, a computer science professor at UMass Amherst, examined the viewing habits of 6.7 million internet users in a study released last fall. How long were subjects willing to be patient? Two seconds.
REALITY CHECK! It’s imperative that you think about SPEED.
What is new today is the number of businesses that are now focusing on speed as a means of developing a competitive advantage.
When a big part of the market has a new need, marketers naturally responds without delay. Thus, you should begin building your businesses around these needs (speed & instant gratification) and take advantage.
- Frequent collaboration is necessary in a fast-changing environment. Your team needs to be proactive in studying and observing the market and the competitors.
- Sky high your customer’s expectations to drive business growth and get ahead of your competitors. Do not let your customers settle for less by making the availability of your products and services more instant and convenient.
- Always be ahead as impatience and impulsiveness will only continue to increase, and you need to take advantage of them.
(Express Delivery Offering Ex.)
Retailers, smelling profit in impatience, recently began a battle for same-day delivery supremacy, with Walmart and eBay challenging Amazon in the category.
In Boston, one city where Amazon same-day delivery is available, shoppers can place an order by 11 a.m. and, for an $8.99 fee plus 99 cents per item, have it that day. Walmart launched Walmart-To-Go last year, charging $10 for same-day delivery, though it’s not yet available here.
Consumer trends continue to evolve as we head into 2016. Consumers express the need for an even smarter smart phones, a craze for apps, a faster route to purchase and an appetite for more visuals. And where price is immensely competitive, speed can be the distinguishing competitive advantage.
3. Customer Engagement & Retention
Customer engagement and loyalty are the two most important metrics for achieving business success. Customers who get an engaging and a positive customer experience are more likely to stay with the company, thus repeat sales plus positive word of mouth.
There are a lot of methodologies, but you just need a simple matrix to keep your traditional and digital marketing aligned and functional. First things first, you need to have solid plans based on the following:
- How do you filter and get your customers?
- How do you interact with your customers; and manage your after sales and muster their loyalty?
- Identify your prospects
- Understand customer’s decision journeys to know where to focus marketing; and
- Manage their expectations
(Acquisition, Customer Experience & Retention Example)
Cambridge grad student Valla Fatemi has yet to try same-day delivery, but he relies on Amazon Prime, a $79-a-year membership that offers shoppers benefits such as free two-day shipping. “The two-day shipping is huge,” Fatemi said. “It’s gotten me in the mode of expecting things at my door pretty quickly.”
(Unique Offering Example)
“Most of my generation has grown up not having to wait for anything,” said Zack Dillahunty, 23, who finds dates using the Grindr app on his iPhone.
Key Take Aways
- Be keen to encourage the quest for instant gratification with systems in place such as live chat support, faster social media customer service, etc.
- Provide easy and faster payment options and flawless delivery to your customers to prevent any hindrances in the buying process and fulfill their instant need of buying NOW.
- Use your digital presence to support your brick and mortar. Connect with consumers using social media to turn followers into buyers (Sales Conversion) and establish good relationship and retain loyalty.
- Optimize your current business processes, search for things that can be improved in terms of speed and easing customer needs.
“The need for instant gratification is not new, but our expectation of ‘instant’ has become faster, and as a result, our patience is thinner,” said Narayan Janakiraman, an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Texas, Arlington.
The need for the instant gratification is already here. We are now facing the age of impatience, the only question is. Will you seize the opportunity and fulfill the needs of your customers/clients in a more efficient and faster matter?