It is always important to stay in touch with your consumers, but in times of uncertainty, more so than ever.

Published Mar 18, 2020

Cara Edwards, Senior Director, Digital Solutions, NA

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Sentiment and needs change quickly; brands need to be aware of what people are thinking ‘in the moment.’ Digital communities provide a timely, ongoing way to connect with people who matter most to brands.

For any brand, tapping into a group of people who care enough to give ongoing feedback, well, that’s beyond valuable, especially now. In today’s environment, public opinion and requirements are changing on a dime, and digital communities are an ideal means of getting feedback in real-time, over-time. Communities make it possible for marketers to make rapid-fire decisions about messaging and more, with a clear picture of consumer attitudes backing up their decisions.

Within days, brands can recruit for and build a digital community bringing together your most important constituencies, even when travel is impossible, or they’re geographically distributed.  And as communities are highly flexible, brands can assemble target audiences quickly and easily – be they current customers or prospects.

Communities provide a dynamic and engaging forum for members, encouraging continuous sharing, posting, and on-site activities.  Given communities couple this type of qualitative feedback with the ability to conduct quantitative survey work, brands use communities to identify consumer needs – even early stage and follow through with quantitative surveys used to test those ideas and bring them to fruition.  In our world, brands have used communities to evaluate messages that may not have otherwise been tested using traditional consumer insights. 

Few things change consumer behavior more than uncertain times. It affects how people shop, the brands they buy, and the way they live. It is important for brands to be proactive in understanding how consumers feel, and to address challenges as they develop. The good news is that in today’s digital environment brands can adapt in real-time, making sure messages are in tune with most current consumer sentiment.

Plus, there are tangible and intangible advantages for members of a branded community. Consumers benefit by having a direct link to the brands they favor, as well as being able to speak to other community members. In times of change, this direct communication with consumers becomes constructive and relevant. Brands can offer messages of support and address pressing issues. This type of dialogue can strengthen mutual empathy, building deeper brand connections.

Digital communities make it fast and easy to speak to the consumers that matter most to your brand and optimize decision making at all stages.  Communities are non-linear.  They are adaptable, just as consumers are, and its this adaptability that no doubt, is the reason our communities platform is growing rapidly and why our clients regularly tell us how valuable they can be. 

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