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3 Critical Brand Communications

As approximately 90% of consumers research products online prior to purchase and 65% actually make their purchases online, the time that you have to clearly communicate your brand's intent to potential customers is short. I can attest to time limit; as an individual with a relatively short attention span, I confess that for personal purchases in particular I want to know the facts quickly and succinctly, without the need for a lot of discovery.

I have 1001 other responsibilities and they are all vying for my attention. And at that very moment, with my feet firmly planted in the shoes of the consumer, I wondered unexpectedly, "if this is how you feel, imagine what your customers may think." No better time than the present to set about clearing my vision, noting what I hate most about the whole research-to-purchase process, and then streamline my communications to meet and then exceed my customer's expectations.

SEE: Networking Strategy

Match Your SEO
Your product or service mix should be readily discernable in your site’s meta description; SEO saves a lot of time as consumers browse. The sites where the description immediately matched my search are my favorites – these are the ones I click the little star and add to my sites for future reference. As for those that don’t seem to match my search at all…I’ll simply say that it’s really disappointing, and although I rarely click the “block from future searches” link, because I may need that link for something in the future, the existence of this google search option should give pause to site owners.

High, Mid, or Low
How is your product aligned to help me? Are you my upscale choice or my lowest cost option? This is important because as I peruse your offer today I may have different considerations than I did when I considered the offer the prior quarter. When you make it easy for me to decipher where you fall along the continuum or provide a comparison chart for your offers it reduces my homework time - and for this I love you! Reduced time-to-decision-making and lowered consumer frustrations equal a happier, more satisfied customer.

SEE: Fine Tuning Your Brand

A Little Direction Please
Location is everything, even on-line. I need to know how to contract your services or purchase your goods. Can I pick it up on the way home or order online only? Are immediate delivery modes available or are there incentives for waiting for material that could be delivered electronically? What payment options are available to me? What if I encounter an unexpected issue with the product or service, what do I do then?

Online marketing is the new social norm; so as we all rush to meet that "norm" I am finding more and more “informal” sites that do not provide clear site navigation instructions.

Sometimes, it is a function of too much consumer choice and sometimes it is simply a function of not enough information. Either way, I’ve got to know how to contract your service or purchase your good in 30 seconds or less from the time the thought pops into my head. I must also feel a comfort level in knowing that you care enough about my experience with your product to provide a reliable method of contacting you, should I encounter an issue. Otherwise, you are simply offering me torture, which I will simply bypass for the next online option.

SEE: Website Marketing Kit

Yes to Constructive Criticism
As I peruse the internet and discover these many annoyances, they are not lost on me as a business person. My consumerism is perhaps my greatest critic, spurring me to correct the errors of my own sites. If you can handle it, constructive criticism is at minimum a long-run time and money saver. If it helps to reduce your cost and increases your brand loyalty, you should also realize increased ROI.

About the Author

Maisha Smart, MBA founded Finance and Marketing to help small businesses excel, by bridging the gap between finance and marketing processes. Some of her favorite activities include fine arts, a good debate, and social engagement.

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