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Are You Meeting Your Customers' Online Marketing Expectations?

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Brand new tools and methods of engagement are changing the business landscape, and modern brands are thriving because they recognize it. Whether it’s the channels, platforms, strategies or method of operation, modern brands are connecting with customers in new ways and consumers are taking notes.

Here’s a stat for you: 72 percent of consumers want a multi-channel marketing approach but only 39 percent are actually receiving it. When there’s this big of a disconnect between consumer expectations and business offerings, something’s up. Businesses providing a multi-channel approach understand that conventional brands are evolving.

One channel at a time. Users are busy and inundated with content. So why is their demand for multi-channel marketing so high? The Internet acts as a tool to enable engagement, but no specific channel enables all forms of digital interaction.

Related: 5 Examples Your Brand Can Follow to Build an Online Community

For this reason, every interaction with the modern brand is fragmented to individual channels. A YouTube channel can provide tutorials, demos or product previews of feature content. Meanwhile, a Google Plus page with relevant business information provides directions, at-a-glance facts and customer reviews. In each case, the specific goals of the brand and the specific needs of the user are met through the channel’s unique capabilities.

Know your goals, your available channels, and pair the two together for maximum success. Use each arm of your multi-channel campaigning to express the full identity of your company and connect with users to satisfy their specific needs. An engaged audience is a happy audience, and an engaged brand remains fresh in users’ minds.

One platform at a time. There once was a time when digital marketing was, for lack of a better word, simple. Then again, that was when modems and “you’ve got mail!” were the soundtrack of Internet use. Since then, the Internet and marketing has become far more complex. As of earlier this year, almost 425 million devices in U.S. homes were connected to the Internet. Outside of the house, 90 percent of American adults carry a cell phone, and 60 percent of them are smartphones.

Every user you target wants to reach your company and interact with your brand on their own terms. Fortunately, the modern brand is adaptable to customer needs. It can quickly adapt to present information, forms and media in a format that’s best suited for the platform performing the query.

Related: 5 Ways to Build Your Brand in Short Chunks of Time

Your business should act in a similar manner. Websites should be mobile ready, media should be mobile optimized, and apps should work on both tablets and phones across all available brands. Go to your customers, and their sales will come to you.

One innovation at a time. In this competitive startup world, keeping abreast of evolving technologies is tantamount to an image of innovation. Yet many businesses fall short. Only 11 percent of consumers think shopping in a store is more convenient than shopping online. Despite the growing trend of online shopping, only 53 percent of physical businesses have a website at all.

To get a leg up on the competition, the modern brand uses the bleeding edge of technology as fertile ground for innovation and engagement. In addition to nailing down the fundamentals, the modern brand is quick to adopt burgeoning technologies and networks, such as Pinterest and Google Plus. They are plugged into all relevant traffic sources and happy to produce fresh content to evoke a reaction and make users think. It not only maintains a reputation of rapid development and creativity, it also makes itself available wherever its customers are headed.

One interaction at a time. As important as technology is, the modern brand understands that none of it really means anything unless that capability is paired with human interaction. That understanding is motivated as much by business savvy and evolving customer expectations. Some 74 percent of businesses report that social networking is now vital to lead generation strategy, and 25 percent of customers who complain about a company on social media expect a response within just one hour. Are you ready to keep up?

While PR campaigns, marketing materials and content help frame the personality of your business, social media enables the expression of human personality in a direct and decisive way. Actual conversations with customers, personalized service and rapid response can show your team is human, and that you're current and potential customers are being heard.

The modern brand is strategically deployed, thoroughly plugged in and actively listening to its customers. Help guide your customers to the channels they want and beat that 39 percent statistic.

Related: Why Your Content Isn't Going Viral (Infographic)

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