By Susan Jacobs, Director of Marketing & Client Services, ALL-STATE LEGAL
With the proliferation of new apps and technology tools, keeping your business relevant and visible to the next generation can be a challenge. Competitors constantly seek ways to make inroads into your customer base, creating mobile-friendly tools and online branding venues to speak the Millennial generation’s language and appeal to their constantly connected lifestyle.
In a highly competitive industry, just having a Facebook page and Twitter account is no longer enough. But there are ways to break through the clutter and connect with the next generation. Here are three tips to help you reach out to Generation Y:
1. Embrace new technology tools
The methods companies use to connect with customers has always evolved, but the pace of change has accelerated as new technology tools emerge. The key to managing this change is to remain flexible. The essentials of an effective branding strategy aren’t fundamentally different – you still need to maintain a consistent identity, build long-term relationships and remain responsive to customer needs. But the tools for communicating your brand promise and making an impression on new customers are changing.
Consider a new spin on identity essentials, such as using QR codes on a printed business card to build a bridge between the physical and digital worlds. With the right identity management solution, companies that use QR codes on business cards can enable new contacts to scan the printed QR code using a smartphone or tablet to gain instant access to a managed online identity that enhances professional credibility. A digital business card can provide easy access to downloadable vCards, common contacts on LinkedIn and Facebook, customized Google search results and much more.
2. Think mobile first when planning new client communication strategies
The growth of the mobile web is one of the most significant technology trends today, with mobile web searches steadily comprising a larger share of overall searches and some analysts predicting that mobile Internet traffic will surpass traditional online traffic by 2015. This means it’s essential to optimize your company’s site for mobile viewing: Customers are increasingly likely to first encounter your brand on a mobile device, and they’ll move on if forced to scroll from side to site to view a non-optimized site.
When planning customer communication campaigns, consider professional and corporate identity strategies that enable customers to access branded, mobile-optimized microsites. A business card with a QR code is one example; other options include QR codes on printed brochures or links in text messages and emails that direct users to mobile-optimized websites and mobile company directories to illustrate the firm’s breadth of experience and broad capabilities.
3. Make it easy for customers to engage with your brand on their own terms
YouTube streams approximately four billion videos every dayi, which underscores the growing importance of video as a means of communication. Companies spend millions of dollars every year to create video presentations that convey their value proposition or capture key executives’ thought leadership, but to be effective, this material has to be readily available on the platforms potential customers – including Generation Y – use.
It’s a great idea to post videos on social media pages like Facebook, but the reality is that prospective customers are more likely to encounter your brand via an advertising piece or contact with a banking or finance professional than to look your company up on Facebook. That’s why it’s important to make sure you give them a bridge to your digital identity. With the right identity management solution, you can engage customers on their own terms, using mobile marketing tools to deliver instant access to personalized mobile microsites that can be shared via a QR code, text message, email or mobile wallet card.
Engaging Customers with New Technology Tools
Connecting with new customers in a rapidly changing business environment can be a challenge, but if you remain flexible and willing to embrace new technology solutions to get your message out and build your brand, you can succeed in the Digital Age. Remember that more and more customers – particularly the Millennial generation – will encounter your brand for the first time on a mobile device, so plan your communication campaigns accordingly.
Give customers a way to engage your brand on their own terms, showcasing your professionals’ expertise on platforms that customers already use to access information. Keep in mind that while social media pages can be an effective marketing tool, you’ll need a way to connect prospective customers to your team – and deliver value when they find you online. By following these tips, you can expand the circle of potential customers and keep your brand relevant in a rapidly changing world.