Archive for November, 2012

How to Reach Presumers (Pre-Consumers)

 

We have all heard the expression that the customer is always right, and in our current market, the consumer is more in control now than at any time in our history.  Expectations are running at an all-time high as consumers want the best, they want it now and first, and they want a real, human connection, too.

The demand for consumers to be in charge of their purchasing decisions has driven a new phenomenon – consumers are now PRESUMERS.  Rather than waiting for a product to be developed, attending the launch and making an order, consumers are now TELLING companies what products they want, helping to design them, and via crowdsourcing and rampant self-entrepreneurship are doing it for themselves and circumventing traditional methods altogether.

This appeals to a key element of human nature.  We love to get the first look at something – the sneak peek, the insider insight, the first look and PRESUMERS love nothing more than getting involved with, pushing, funding, and promoting products and services before they are available.

So what are the key factors driving this trend towards PRESUMERS?

According to Trendwatching, the five drivers converting consumers into presumers are:

1. FIRSTISM: More, faster, better, special, now

While the desire for something new is, well… nothing new, what is different is how consumers now seek to make purchases and shop in the future tense.  By helping to develop products that are not available yet, they are literally consuming their own future.

2. STORIES: Great story, great status

Having what is new, before it is even available, is all about bragging rights and status for the consumer, so, naturally, being a presumer is the ultimate in consumers showing off. Getting something before everyone else, in fact being involved in developing a new product is the ultimate consumer brag, perfect for sharing via tweet, post, status update and other social media forms.

3. BELONGING – Come together, right now

Being part of the creation of something new gives presumers a sense of belonging to a special and unique club, and given them a a sense of community.  It gives them a bedded-down tie-in with the brand, and with the other consumers who are fellow-advocates.  This investment is likely to have longevity too, as they can become brand disciples potentially for life.

4. OFF = ON – Online is offline is online…

Presumers want the same feeling of ‘special’ they get from their online interactions with brands as they do in a traditional retail setting and the in-store ‘pre-launch’ is the perfect vehicle for this.  They get excellent customer service, they get the new, but it is still ‘in store’.

5. NEW PLATFORMS: Disrupted funding, making and selling

DIY has taken on a whole new life in the world of the presumer.  Platforms such as crowdsourcing have created a new ‘make it yourself’ phenomenon leading to a whole new generation of startup entrepreneurs who are quite literally creating new companies in their bedrooms.  To reinforce the financial power of this trend, it is expected in the USA alone, this trend will raise USD 2.8 billion this year.

So what is the takeaway from this?  It is worthwhile remembering that as consumers become more educated, more mobile and more web-savvy every day, more and more consumers will become PRESUMERS.  And if you don’t give them what they want, now more than ever, they are just as likely to get out there and create it for themselves!


Yours in PR

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Are You Joining in the Click Frenzy?


It is fascinating how time, the seasons, and the calendar all have such an impact upon consumer purchasing patterns.  It used to be that we all filled up our cars at the petrol station on a Tuesday, and each year we wait anxiously for the Boxing Day sales but there are new consumer trends that, for some at least, will change this behaviour.

Tonight in Australia, the largest mass online purchasing offer that has ever been created takes shape in the form of Click Frenzy.  According to news reports, more than one million Australians have already registered for the sale, which goes live at 7pm AEDT tonight.

This latest craze is an interesting hybrid of a flash-shop, an online sale, and a digital voucher, backed by big time hype, the likes of which have barely been seen before.

What I am wondering is, will these flash-in-the-pan, marketing-driven sales actually have a significant, measurable impact on how people budget for the Christmas retail bulge, and will it wean them away from more traditional spending patterns than are time and calendar-sensitive.

For my own part I have participated in time-sensitive sales before, including those for airlines and hotel rooms, in which a very few items at very low prices are offered and are snapped up almost as soon as they go online.  While this may create a ‘win’ for the lucky few, there is the danger of a customer backlash if what is offered – in reality – differs greatly from what is actually available for sale.

In the longer term, does this have the potential to change consumer behaviour, to recruit a whole new group of online shoppers that have never dipped their toe into the waters of e-commerce or voucher sales or flash stores before; or will it backfire in spectacular fashion due to high demand and low availability?  Or perhaps like many over-hyped events, will it simply run out of puff?

Time will tell, and that time is 7pm this evening – let me know if you are taking part in this consumer experiment. To click or not to click… that is the question!


Yours in PR

Is M-Commerce Retail’s Final Frontier?


Retail is experiencing nothing short of a commerce revolution and the speed of change is accelerating, and with Australian consumers known to be early-adapters and with mobiles at mass saturation point in the market, the implications for Australian businesses are profound.

According to Michelle Hammond of Start Up Smart, Mobile Commerce or M-Commerce is one of five key new trends that are transforming the retail marketscape.

She cites the latest eBay Online Business Index (OBI),  which reveals that nearly half of Australia’s top eBay businesses said they would optimise online content for mobile.  These findings were backed up by new research from Nielsen’s who have underscored the power and potential of this new trend.

So what does this actually mean for business?  It seems the attention span of consumers is shorter than ever, and the edge that M-Commerce has is in shrinking the time-lag between the initial stages of product research and identification and the eventual purchase.

Businesses who want to tap into this mobile marketplace need to enable their web presence not only with an online ‘store’ for purchases, but to take that extra step so that there are only a few easy, linear steps in the sales trajectory.  While Julius Ceasar famously Came, Saw and Conquered, for M-Commerce the mantra needs to be ‘I see’, ‘I want’, ‘I’ve bought’.

It seems to me there are a few must-dos for business here.

If your business has a good or service for sale, there must be a way to complete that transaction online.  Cataloguing and uploading your inventory may seem painful but it is a crucial step.

It is worth considering in addition to the traditional ‘online store’, can you develop an ‘App’ that you can offer for a free download for your customers?  The development of these Apps need not be expensive, and is a worthwhile investment to set you apart from your competitors.

If, on the other hand, your business offers more esoteric and less tangible products, such as knowledge, advice and expertise; then think about how to ‘commoditise’ your business… if you are selling your insights, why not distill them into a buyable format – can customers buy your book, or pay for a consultation?

Once you are M-Commerce enabled, you place your business in a space where you can recruit your customers as your secret sales team – why not prompt purchasers after they have bought your latest product to ‘share’ the sale via social media, and incentivise them for doing so?  This ‘word of mouth’ sales endorsement is nothing new, and is so easily adaptable in our digital age.

How is your business faring in the push towards fleet, fast, flexible commerce of the future? I would love to hear your insights on this.


Yours in PR

Publicity Queen Scores Two Covers in Two Weeks



There are times when as PRincipal of Publicity Queen I could not be prouder of what my team have achieved, and recently I had that experience when not just one but two of our clients made front page news within a fortnight across two States.

Both the Hobson’s Bay Leader (pictured far left) and Brisbane’s mX newspaper (pictured left) featured colourful and informative coverage of our clients, namely Oktoberfest Brisbane and Animal Aid.

These achievements take our total to more than 20 front page covers that we have achieved for our clients, and it is a reminder to both me and my team of talented Queens of just what is possible when great story ideas, teamed with great pictures and content, when pitched by a gun publicist, can achieve!

These latest cover are now framed, mounted and adorn the Publicity Queen Wall of Fame in the office, and it occurred to me to share with you exactly what we do to celebrate our wins here at Publicity Queen.

I wonder how other businesses celebrate their successes and share that sense of achievement with their staff?  I would love to hear from you exactly how you ‘share the love’ in your businesses, giving recognition and inspiring your teams to succeed.  Do write and let me know.


Yours in PR

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