Communication is any process by which information is exchanged. When you say "communication" to digital marketers, most automatically think e-mail. Well, that's not the case anymore. With e email marketing overload and limited time, consumers are often more receptive to other forms of communication that can reduce e-mail use. Therefore, marketers must think more broadly about their digital communication strategy.
Five Forms of Digital Dialogue
As digital communications evolve, so have the forms of engaging with your target market:
• E-mail. As the most mature digital communications channel, e-mail can be accessed via a variety of devices. It's most effective for providing a broad range of content, including promotional, behaviorally triggered, and newsletters. It can also be used as a digital identifier and driver for many forms of social media. While most e-mail communications move one way -- from companies to individuals -- it also should enable consumers to respond.
• Mobile. Mobile offers a variety of information formats, including SMS, e-mail, picture messages, video messages, social networking, and, of course, voice. Further, it provides purchase choices via mobile search, maps, and widgets as well as delivery alternatives, such as scanner-friendly tickets, mobile content, and entertainment (including games). Mobile also facilitates immediate responses from consumers. It's particularly useful for reaching teens.
• RSS. RSS provides an alternative for content distribution, especially for time-sensitive information in a user-controlled environment. It can extend relationships and build lead generation through use of private feeds to distribute tailored, trackable information.
• Chat. Is mainly focused on providing one-to-one cost-effective pre- and post-purchase customer support. It's also an alternative channel for consumers to communicate with each other and share information.
• Social media. Social media enables dialogue because consumer and marketer can post messages to each other. While social media gives users and brands an environment in which to connect and interact, marketers should exercise care and participate in a transparent manner. To preserve credibility, their communications shouldn't be promotional in any obvious way.
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