Today’s online customer wants right now. They want relevancy. They want you to be where they are and when they’re there. They want you to answer, to listen, to help and to provide incentives. They want you to engage.

Asking a lot? You betcha. Do you have to comply? If you want success, absolutely.

Welcome to the social B2C customer mindset.

From our experience building marketing communications that are relevant for today’s customer, there seem to be a few keys to social B2C marketing. In effect, they turn traditional B2C marketing on its head, incorporating experience, social engagement and harnessing the power of the new “right now” social customer.

Be relevant

Yes, you can still use your marketing messages to drive campaigns, target specific segments and sell your products and services. It’s the channels and frameworks you use, and the mindset you engage with, that have changed. You can gain relevance by listening, understanding, connecting and building trust. The insights you learn are keys to effectively engaging, winning product preference and creating brands that people love. You learn why your customers use your products versus other ones and what makes them tick. What sorts of campaigns do they respond to? Do you pique their interests when your voice is more down to earth versus sounding like you’re a call center across the globe? If you can learn to market based on first listening, your customers will be more apt to listen and respond back.

Be an experience

The social mindset of your customers is changing. And no, it’s not just a passing trend in route to a new upheaval of awareness. It’s an evolution in the way businesses and customers interact. Your customers don’t just give you call from a print ad any longer. It may once have been that easy because the tools didn’t exist to move them otherwise. Now your customers might search and engage your brand on the web. They might retweet your tweets or like your posts or activities. Are you hearing them and responding? If you are, great work. You’re ahead of many still conceptualizing their social engagement plans or working through who will tweet, how often and what it all means, anyway. Your customers now hold a digital microphone. Providing them exceptional experiences via quick and efficient response and products people want them up give them the opportunity to say great things.

Be laser focused

Sure, we all understand the principals of customer focus in addressing needs and wants, but the focus needs to flow through the entire organization. It’s truly a brand thing that’s built right from the inside out. Everything from the front desk employee to the person who manages your Facebook page should be onboard with your vision and laser focused in what your customers want. If your winning team is out there connecting with people, they’ll connect back with you in ways that last.

Rock your service

Sit around the table with your team and discuss ways to be better engaged and provide service that people remember. Be helpful, thoughtful and needs-driven. You should also be where your customers are in order to rock your service beyond your website, front desk or shingle. If they’re on blogs, forums or online groups, chose one of your rockstars to be there and answer questions that clarify and solve needs. If they’re on Facebook, be there with a page that’s interesting and thoughtful, well thought out and refreshed often.

What are your keys to B2C Marketing?

What relevant B2C marketing tips can you share? Are you actively learning from daily interactions with your customers? What do you think from a consumer perspective? Comment below and let’s open up a discussion about connecting as businesses to the new social consumer.