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How SoMoLo will Continue to Connect Merchants and Consumers in 2013

somoloNow more than just reaching out to the masses with a hit and miss marketing campaign, the integration of social media combined with local merchants and mobile marketing tools, better known as SoLoMo,  has made it possible for merchants to focus their efforts on reaching the consumers that will matter most to their business.

There are a number of growing trends in how merchants are working to meet the needs of their customers, promote their business and increase sales. Social media platforms, targeted and more personalized email marketing and adaptation of mobile are playing a big role in the success of many businesses. The predictions for the New Year shows SoMoLo as the major tools merchants will use in their marketing efforts.

Contrary to beliefs that email has been dying a slow death, Constant Contact, a company that specializes in email marketing, points to email as the growth point for engagement marketing and predicts that it will remain the preferred method of communication among consumers. Email will also continue to be the marketing channel of choice for consumers simply because they have more control over their inbox. They can take advantage of those offers that interest them, delete those that don’t or unsubscribe if they no longer want to receive offers from a specific company.

But it’s important for merchants to understand that as consumers have become savvier about the internet, they are also becoming more selective about what they allow in their inbox. Email campaigns need to be well thought out and provide attention-getting and relevant content. A poorly executed email campaign will turn potential customers away before they even make it to your site.

This past year has also seen consumers move from desktop PCs to mobile devices when it comes to searching for local business information. In 2013 it’s going to become even more imperative that small businesses take advantage of mobile search and provide consumers with mobile optimized websites.

As social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter continue to grow in popularity, merchants are seeing these platforms as an excellent opportunity to connect with customers and potential customers. Social media can provide businesses with a personable face and make them more approachable to the consumer. Customers can leave feedback on products and services as well as ask questions before and after the purchase. Merchants who actively engage in connecting with customers through social media have a far better chance at success than those that don’t.

In a recent press release, Gail Goodman, CEO of Constant Contact summed up what merchants can look forward to in the year ahead.

“We live in a world that’s more social, more ‘all-the-time’ and interactive than ever before. 2013 will bring innovation that integrates marketing channels and helps small businesses market like the big guys. It will be easier than ever to get engaged with your audience and drive real, measurable results. Consumer mobile adoption will require even the smallest small business to mobile-optimize and enrich their online presence to get easily discovered, consumers will demand personalization like never before, and new measurement tools will help small businesses see the value of engagement marketing.”

As social, mobile and local continue to grow in popularity with consumers, merchants are finding that these platforms are providing them with an opportunity to connect with consumers, establish and maintain a solid customer base and most importantly increase revenues and solidify the success of their business.

 

The Wall Street Journal

 

 

Krissa Ashton

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