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Are we over-communicating to our customers?

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Are we over-communicating to our customers?

In a world that is exceedingly inundated by messages, it is, perhaps, time for businesses to think about whether we are over-communicating with our customers.

When email came to this land as a communication tool, we were hyper-happy to engage ourselves in email marketing because we could reach the maximum number of customers or potential customers with no cost or least cost. The practice still continues.

When text messages entered the market as another tool, we became obsessed with it. Initially, texting was an effective tool, but now text marketing has become synonymous with stress-evoking communication after all these years.

Many these days complain that they often receive four to five promotional texts from companies in a single day. We are now in an SMS-frenzy environment.

Ask any company’s IT inventory about how many messages it sends out every month. They will most likely not be able to confirm the number. They simply send them out because they think it is easy to promote their products and achieve their KPI (key performance indicator).

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However, when the question of effectiveness arises and how the messages help maximise sales, there will be doubtful answers. Some companies try to analyse the data, but it does not deter them from sending too many text messages.

Texts matter regarding financial transactions, and customers are happy to receive them. There are signs in the market that they are picking up communication fatigue when they receive too many promotional messages.

In multiple cases, many companies are seen sending the same messages on multiple channels such as WhatsApp, Viber and Imo. It would be unwise to think that we are successful in making the customers see or read the message by doing so.

Over-communication can easily turn into noise, something that may annoy customers. This is the digital age and customers’ attention is precious. We often hear that people only have the patience to watch a video for 30 seconds in social media environments.

This author tried to find out whether any market research company or any agency has done any survey on communicating with customers in Bangladesh. There is hardly any. While running brand equity surveys for various companies, the agencies must remember to ask questions about over-communication.

One agency researched social media users’ feedback this year, but the survey was related to adverts. It found that nearly three out of four users (74 percent) thought there were too many ads on social media.

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Among the adults (over 35 years), the proportion is 78 percent. Sixty-three percent of users said they only see a few things advertised repeatedly. Forty-four percent of users found the ads to be irrelevant to their needs. Among the aged 35 and older, it is 51.

Communication must be relevant and meaningful. Take telephone marketing, for example. The sellers of FDR, sea fish, internet, real estate etc., call indiscriminately, and they need to know when to call. You will find hundreds of people who have saved these numbers as ‘do not receive’.

The issue of over-communication needs to be taken seriously because it makes it difficult for the audience to track and remember, and ultimately, the businesses gain little or nothing.

The author is a communications professional



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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

In a recent announcement, Snapchat revealed a groundbreaking update that challenges its traditional design ethos. The platform is experimenting with an option that allows users to defy the 24-hour auto-delete rule, a feature synonymous with Snapchat’s ephemeral messaging model.

The proposed change aims to introduce a “Never delete” option in messaging retention settings, aligning Snapchat more closely with conventional messaging apps. While this move may blur Snapchat’s distinctive selling point, Snap appears convinced of its necessity.

According to Snap, the decision stems from user feedback and a commitment to innovation based on user needs. The company aims to provide greater flexibility and control over conversations, catering to the preferences of its community.

Currently undergoing trials in select markets, the new feature empowers users to adjust retention settings on a conversation-by-conversation basis. Flexibility remains paramount, with participants able to modify settings within chats and receive in-chat notifications to ensure transparency.

Snapchat underscores that the default auto-delete feature will persist, reinforcing its design philosophy centered on ephemerality. However, with the app gaining traction as a primary messaging platform, the option offers users a means to preserve longer chat histories.

The update marks a pivotal moment for Snapchat, renowned for its disappearing message premise, especially popular among younger demographics. Retaining this focus has been pivotal to Snapchat’s identity, but the shift suggests a broader strategy aimed at diversifying its user base.

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This strategy may appeal particularly to older demographics, potentially extending Snapchat’s relevance as users age. By emulating features of conventional messaging platforms, Snapchat seeks to enhance its appeal and broaden its reach.

Yet, the introduction of message retention poses questions about Snapchat’s uniqueness. While addressing user demands, the risk of diluting Snapchat’s distinctiveness looms large.

As Snapchat ventures into uncharted territory, the outcome of this experiment remains uncertain. Will message retention propel Snapchat to new heights, or will it compromise the platform’s uniqueness?

Only time will tell.

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

While it is tempting to try to appeal to a broad audience, the founder of alcohol-free coaching service Just the Tonic, Sandra Parker, believes the best thing you can do for your business is focus on your niche. Here’s how she did just that.

When running a business, reaching out to as many clients as possible can be tempting. But it also risks making your marketing “too generic,” warns Sandra Parker, the founder of Just The Tonic Coaching.

“From the very start of my business, I knew exactly who I could help and who I couldn’t,” Parker told My Biggest Lessons.

Parker struggled with alcohol dependence as a young professional. Today, her business targets high-achieving individuals who face challenges similar to those she had early in her career.

“I understand their frustrations, I understand their fears, and I understand their coping mechanisms and the stories they’re telling themselves,” Parker said. “Because of that, I’m able to market very effectively, to speak in a language that they understand, and am able to reach them.” 

“I believe that it’s really important that you know exactly who your customer or your client is, and you target them, and you resist the temptation to make your marketing too generic to try and reach everyone,” she explained.

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“If you speak specifically to your target clients, you will reach them, and I believe that’s the way that you’re going to be more successful.

Watch the video for more of Sandra Parker’s biggest lessons.

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Instagram Tests Live-Stream Games to Enhance Engagement

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Instagram Tests Live-Stream Games to Enhance Engagement

Instagram’s testing out some new options to help spice up your live-streams in the app, with some live broadcasters now able to select a game that they can play with viewers in-stream.

As you can see in these example screens, posted by Ahmed Ghanem, some creators now have the option to play either “This or That”, a question and answer prompt that you can share with your viewers, or “Trivia”, to generate more engagement within your IG live-streams.

That could be a simple way to spark more conversation and interaction, which could then lead into further engagement opportunities from your live audience.

Meta’s been exploring more ways to make live-streaming a bigger consideration for IG creators, with a view to live-streams potentially catching on with more users.

That includes the gradual expansion of its “Stars” live-stream donation program, giving more creators in more regions a means to accept donations from live-stream viewers, while back in December, Instagram also added some new options to make it easier to go live using third-party tools via desktop PCs.

Live streaming has been a major shift in China, where shopping live-streams, in particular, have led to massive opportunities for streaming platforms. They haven’t caught on in the same way in Western regions, but as TikTok and YouTube look to push live-stream adoption, there is still a chance that they will become a much bigger element in future.

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Which is why IG is also trying to stay in touch, and add more ways for its creators to engage via streams. Live-stream games is another element within this, which could make this a better community-building, and potentially sales-driving option.

We’ve asked Instagram for more information on this test, and we’ll update this post if/when we hear back.

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