MARKETING AFRICA MAL 18/17 mal 18:17 online - Page 12

COMPLACENT MARKETING DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION AFTER DIGITAL MATURITY By Diana Obath T he debate around what consumers want has increasingly become skewed towards creating online experiences and content, more so for the current generation and largely for the current consumer. technological transformation should be to make consumers lives easier both online and offline. Michael Abrash, Chief Scientist at Facebook’s Oculus terms this future as an ‘always-on, go-everywhere mixed reality’ setting. Social media has grown from a pass time to a communication platform, and then to a business tool. Soon, it will become a money transfer tool and people will no longer need phones as they will be able to make calls from social media – all thanks to recent innovations by Facebook. The struggle for brands however is still the question on combining online and offline worlds for product marketing. The end game of the Presently, there exists a disconnect between what consumers want and what brands think they want especially when talking about online experiences. The gap exists because the present online setting is not giving consumers the same experience offline. The online experience and offline experience needs to be harmonized. The current scenario is muddled in a digital obsession, but by brands. ‘‘ Social media has grown from a pass time to a communication platform, and then to a business tool. Soon, it will become a money transfer tool and people will no longer need phones as they will be able to make calls from social media – all thanks to recent innovations by Facebook.’’ 10 MAL 18/17 ISSUE Case in point, IBM recently conducted a survey asking consumers to name the most important thing to them when engaging with brands. Majority of the responses collected were consistent around the need for brands to be quick and more convenient. In the same study, brands were asked the same question on behalf of their customers. Brands all had the same thinking - their customers wanted more digital experiences because the present day consumer is more “digital savvy” and the consumer also wants more control of how they consume a product or service! The point of departure between what brands want and what consumers want from the IBM survey is the clear fact that brands assume technology is more important than utility. And this is exactly why brands are assuming online is the answer to all their problems while consumers just want their lives to be made easier and their problems solved spot on! More often than not, digital success stories have focused on brands that have successfully moved offline sales