Channels Change, Experiences Don’t

February 23, 2018 Chris Moody

For the first time ever, Facebook usage has declined year-over-year.

Every year, Edison Research and Triton Digital produce the Infinite Dial study covering how Americans use social media, audio, and other technology. One of the highlights of the 2018 version is that Facebook usage decreased from 67% of Americans ages 12 and older to 62% of that same audience.

Jay Baer suggests there were three main reasons for the decline: discord, distrust and disinterest.

Traditionally, most marketers have embraced a hub and spoke model that puts their owned experience (usually a website) in the center to be surrounded by other channels – email, social, etc. But, history is filled with many companies that pushed all their chips to the center of the table and built businesses around a single channel. One algorithm change – gone. A quick cash-out or exit – gone. A fundamental product change – gone.

Building a business around a channel is akin to moving all of your belongings into a stranger’s RV. Your stuff might be safe and sound inside that vehicle, but it could drive off with everything you own on a whim.

Today, the hub needs to be the experience of your customer.

It may still center around your website, or your mobile app, but you need to own the content, the experience and the interaction with your brand. As consumer preferences change and they shift where they spend most of their time, you’re in a position to adjust to meet that demand. A modern day food truck-type experience: Be where your customers and prospects are and give them what they want. If they decide to live or work somewhere else, you can pack up the truck and park it at their new location.

Many brands are still channel dependent, and that needs to change.

Spend some time on Facebook, or Instagram or Pinterest, and you’ll find niche companies that have mastered how to use a particular channel. It could be fruitful for years, but there is a steep assumed risk. Usage or sentiment of a channel can change independently of how your brand utilizes that channel.

As we build the cross-channel campaigns that create the intended customer experience for our brands, we can deliver a relevant, contextual experience for each channel without betting the house on it. The core should be the experience you want to centrally manage for customers, and a platform that lets you create that regardless of channel.

Want to read more about cross-channel campaign trends? Download a complimentary copy of the report here.

About the Author

Chris Moody

Chris Moody is the head of global content at Cheetah Digital, where he leads a content team to help B2C marketers be even more successful with their cross-channel marketing efforts. Chris frequently speaks at leading marketing events and guest lectures at universities on effective marketing with limited budgets. Chris may be the only person in the world with "That's what she said" on his wedding band.

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