This was yet another sunny day! Shamim, a 26-year old smartly dressed guy in office attires, was frantically roaming around trying to get a CNG to get to his workplace. After several failed attempts at getting one, he was finally being lucky as a flagship bottle green-CNG started slowing itself in front of Shamim. However, to his dismay, Shamim discovered that it was not an empty one– there was a passenger inside who had told the driver to pull over. The moment Shamim was preparing himself to get busy again with the CNG-hunting mission, an ecstatic voice called by his name followed by the word, “DOST!’. Shamim could hardly believe his own eyes as the passenger sitting inside that CNG was his best friend from school, Shihab, whom he lost contact with about seven years ago.
“Dost, can you recall me?” Shihab asked.
“Why not! Can’t believe we are meeting again here like this!”. “Allah knows how many ways I tried to collect your contact info!” replied Shamim.
Shihab: Same here, my friend, I missed you so much!
Shamim: Dude, why aren’t you in our school’s Facebook group? I tried to look you up so many times!
Shihab: Oh my friend, I don’t feel like using these so-called social media platforms.
Shamim: Come on! If you are not digitally present at this age, you don’t exist!
Shamim and Shihab went on to talking to each other reminiscing their old days on their way to office together in that same CNG. For our story’s sake, we focus on the last statement Shamim made to his friend: “If you are not digitally present at this age, you don’t exist!” This is no different in today’s business world as well. In this age of Google & Facebook, your brand and business seriously don’t exist if you are not found through search. If your updates don’t come to my newsfeed regularly, it’s tough for me to remember your name as another 10 of your competitors are continuously competing to be in front of my eyes. How do I know of the existence of a new chic restaurant/hotel, which never appeared in my newsfeed or in Foodbank review? Even if I have heard the name of your restaurant, how do I reach your outlet if you’re not found in the Google Map? How does your multi-million-dollar resort will come to my knowledge, if none of my friends ever checked in there?
Our behavior has changed! Yes, our way of gossiping, thinking, passing time have changed heavily in the last couple of years. You probably have a hard time bringing all your friends in a group hangout in some physical location. But your Facebook/Viber/WhatsApp group must be very active; which is probably buzzing with new notifications as you read this story. Have you ever gone to a tour operator’s office to make a tour plan by taking their help? No, you haven’t. Ask your dad or uncle- they possibly did! I bet you almost always make your tour plans all by yourselves: Looking at the Facebook page reviews and comments and choosing the one with best reviews within your budget.
The point is, digital media is not only influencing your consumer’s decision making process but also gradually transforming the way they take their buying ACTIONS. In some extreme cases, consumers today even feel like making hotel reservations and purchasing tickets from online! This kind of influence of digital media is creating such an ambience where one will never be able to make you their customer if they aren’t present digitally simply because they don’t exist to you. Same thing is happening in almost every aspect of our purchase decision. Thinking of buying a Car? Flat? Furniture? Choosing school for your kids? For all of these you now search for the best reviews and better deals. I repeat you SEARCH. So does your customer! If it’s not found in the search result, it simply doesn’t exist.