There’s a group of friends in my neighborhood that will occasionally exchange emails about sports, last weekend’s get together, politics, etc. While most will throw a post or two into the mix, the string of emails is typically dominated by one particular individual. We’ll call him Dean. Dean has a strong opinion about everything. He’ll even throw in the random funny comment. He’s the life of the party… online. Until you meet him in person. Then he becomes the nerd from the lab whot has a hard time making eye contact with anyone (as it so happens he really is a scientist working in crop genetics).
What’s going on here? How can someone so witty and out-going online be such an introvert when you meet them in person?
As digital communication becomes pervasive, people are cultivating their personalities online, and they aren’t always the same personalities displayed offline. An entire generation of the digitally sociable are far more comfortable online than in real life. What does it mean for marketers when your customers’ online personalities and their real life selves are total opposites?
The answer to this question will have huge implications for marketers. The buying habits of an individual will likely change depending on the channel that marketers use to deliver a message. A person like Dean is going to be far more comfortable shopping for a new car online as opposed to walking into a dealership and dealing with “real” people and the hard sell of a car salesperson. Understanding this will often determine the success, or failure, of a particular marketing campaign.
So much buzz is happening today about the merging of online and offline behavior data – truth is, it’s very difficult and not many marketers are really doing it well. But it’s a skill that needs to be developed sooner rather than later! To create relevance for your customers, you need to know how and when to engage with them – or it may feel like you’re trying to sell to Mr. Hyde rather than Dr. Jeckyll.
About the Author:
Bob McCarron is the Financial Services and Insurance Practice Leader at SIGMA Marketing Group. Connect with Bob on , or follow him on .