Where mass communication is still part of the marketing strategy of many companies, the online possibilities drive companies to a more direct approach towards their (potential) customers.
E-mail marketing, as the first online direct marketing approach is still effective with a second place of the best ROI of marketing instruments. It is direct, it can be personalized, it has a big reach and the costs are low.
Social media marketing has also all the functionality to be direct and stimulate interaction with the customers. The customers seem to have the power in the social media, but as a business you can nurture them with personalized content. Even better is the so called user generated content which are distributed by your audiences. This is so powerful and influences other customers in their customer journey. Philips customers use YouTube for reviewing the new innovative launched One Blade in several countries. This also stimulated word of mouth, spreading the news with very successful commercial results.
Companies with an incorporated social media strategy
In June 2016 Facebook announced Facebook live, so people can stream live any activity or event that they feel is worth sharing. This is really visible and a direct form of being online and spread your message, also as a company. Facebook messenger is being used by KLM passengers during the boarding process, with extra service elements added. And since the ash cloud in 2010 in Iceland, KLM made a significant change in their direct approach towards their customers. They used Facebook and Twitter as service and selling channels and connected with their customers directly. There was less telephone contact and less email contact and more usage of social media. It became part of their ecommerce strategy, and now KLM one of the leading companies in using a direct online approach towards their customers.
WhatsApp is another example to have a direct approach to your customers with your ecommerce strategy. Since 2015, Suit Supply, a company that sells suits for men, uses WhatsApp as a service channel to answer questions and give advice to their customers. And of course, a purchase button and payment options are present in the WhatsApp functionality of Suit Supply.
Already mentioned before, to be successful in the direct approach strategy it is also important to personalize the offers and content for your (potential) customer. Collecting smart and real time data of the online (and offline) behavior of your customers is the key success factor in your ecommerce strategy. Also read web analytics and big data. This is also called Hyperpersonalisation. Only in this way the customer will notice that you fully understand their needs on the right time and the right place. This stimulates interaction and loyalty and create sustainable, long-term relationships.