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It’s 2018, and society at large has determined that social media, text and instant messaging, e-mail, and various other methods of electronic communication are here to stay. Some of these technologies, which may have been seen as a passing fad as little as ten or fifteen years ago, are now solidly cemented into our culture.

As southeastern Wisconsin’s experts in digital marketing, we have a couple of insights about the significance of the statement in the paragraph above, and today we think it’s worth highlighting a few things that may be relevant to you as a small or medium-sized business owner as you engage your audience using these technologies.

First of all, because these technologies are “here to stay,” general media consumers are no longer in a state of awe about the miracle of these technologies. They are a normal part of life now, and so they are starting to ask questions about the nuts and bolts. They want answers to questions like “how did Google predict that so accurately?” and “how come Alexa can seems to know my every move?” In short, they are asking how technology companies obtain, store, protect, and use their personal data.

And, on the whole, this new scrutiny of the general public has been a good thing. Social media companies have been asked to become more transparent about their data sharing policies, and they’ve responded by giving consumers more tools to control how their own data is stored, used, and shared. The public has responded generally favorably as well. Instead of abandoning these technologies in droves, consumers seem to be largely satisfied by the answers and tools they’ve been provided, and they are sticking with their favorite platforms. In a way, it’s like many of these companies have faced their first real “test,” and they’ve come away stronger than ever.

But there’s a lesson for the owner of even the smallest business, too. Your audience is paying attention. An unsolicited and unwanted spam-style e-mail that they might have ignored even five years ago will make them now take pause. When you ask your customers for personal data, they might expect you to explain exactly how you intend to use that information, and you should be prepared with a clear and satisfactory answer. In short, there are new rules in 2018, and the people you are trying to engage are aware. It means now, more than ever, digital marketing efforts need to be performed with transparency, integrity, and honesty.

At Milwaukee SEO Company, we’ve always been all about performing search engine optimization and digital marketing ethically. Not only is it simply the right thing to do for our clients and the people of southeastern Wisconsin, but we also understand it’s the most effective way we can help your business. If you need assistance putting together a digital marketing campaign that is respectful of your audience’s data and communication preferences, give us a call today and let us partner with you in growing your business.