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Social media takes over TV as key influencer of consumers

16 Feb 2017

The role social media plays in influencing consumers is growing, overtaking TV as the key influencer in consumer decision making.

According to Teradata, modern consumers can now dictate how and when they interact with a service provider via a plethora of touch points, and, correspondingly, ensuring ‘individualised’ experiences that are consistent and positive has become exponentially more complex for businesses.

“Compounding this challenge is the entrenched position of social media in people’s lives today,” explains Umporn Tantipech, principal consultant, Teradata.

According to Deloitte, social reviews and recommendations have recently taken over from TV advertising in terms of influence on buying decisions.

“Given that social media is now our number one digital destination, companies are forced to earn the right to engage with their customers,” says Tantipech.

“Being able to do so on a one-to-one level begins with the ability to integrate client engagement on third-party domains, together with the company’s other service channels, online and offline,” he says.

Tantipech says customer-centric organisations must consider a number of key points to establish the capability to link seemingly-disparate activities with identifiable customer and prospect transactions across multiple channels.

Manage ingestion and storage of massive data volume 
Businesses must capture a lot of granular data to build up enough of a behaviour and purchase history to gain useful insights about an individual’s hidden needs and preferences. To do this successfully for all customers and prospects requires a sophisticated data management foundation that can scale and handle massive data volumes. 

Curate data streams into ‘fit for purpose’ usage 
Businesses want to communicate in a targeted way with individuals. To do so, the raw input data on each individual has to be structured for use by the campaign management application. Data becomes a valuable asset when it has been curated for ready accessibility to achieve a desired outcome. 

Creativity to build emotional attachment and drive opt-in 
There are privacy and data security restrictions, and consumers should (rightly) determine who has access to their data, so a key challenge is to gain explicit opt-in to access their social media data. 
This is where creativity can play an important role to gain cut-through and encourage opt-in. When married with analytics, the right message can strongly influence whether consumers would give permission for an organisation to have access to their data, as well as sharing it amongst the customer’s network. 

“Laying the data management ground work is an important step in joining up customer management across owned and earned media,” says Tantipech.

“Without it, a business will find it almost impossible to scale up into automatically repeatable activities that will add value to both the customer and the organisation.”  

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