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August 2020 Edition

Digital Communication

Are You Communicating (Digitally) With Your Customers and Prospects?

By Dawn Varga

August 26, 2020

Maintaining clear, frequent, and useful communication with your prospects and customers is vital to the success of your business. In today’s world that means more than in-person communication…it also means digital communication. Consumers spend much of their time on digital devices researching products, reading reviews, following brands on social media, and taking in the myriad amounts of information being shown to them. To compete in today’s market, it is more important than ever before to make sure your company is being found online and communicating digitally with consumers.

Here is just a sampling of the places and ways your business should be communicating online.


Your business website is the cornerstone of your online consumer communication. Your website should be user-friendly and provide clear, accurate and up-to-date information. Make sure it is responsive and works well on both desktop and mobile devices. The design should not only be pleasing to the eye, but also readable. Take care in choosing your colors and fonts. Make sure the navigation is intuitive for the user. And most of all, make sure your website is successfully optimized for better performance in search. It takes time to rise in the ranks on the search engines, but make sure that SEO is part of your marketing plan.


Consumers take peer reviews seriously when searching for a company to do business with. Make sure you have claimed your listings on the major sites (Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc.) and ensure the information is accurate. Communicating misinformation can cause consumers to go elsewhere. Implement a program for requesting new customer reviews as well as responding to current customer feedback. Consumers want to see good ratings, current reviews, and a business that takes the time to respond to reviews, whether they are positive or negative. And make sure you monitor all these listings for new reviews so you can communicate your responses in a timely manner. 


I spoke at length about the power of social media in last month’s newsletter, so here are the highlights. Consumers are spending a large amount of their time on social media sites and use them to not only communicate socially but also to research products and services. Maximize your reach by being present on all the major social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). Communicate valuable information that helps your readers make informed decisions. Monitor your listings for consumer comments, reactions and reviews and engage with your audience and communicate with them accordingly. 


Great communication is particularly important when it comes to your online ads. You have limited space to grab consumers’ attention, so your ads need to effectively communicate your products as well as your brand identity. The combination of tantalizing text and eye-catching imagery can lead to online advertising success. You must also make sure that the webpage the consumer lands on when they click on your ad is also engaging, relevant (did they find what they were looking for?) and that it encourages the user to perform an action or take a next step with your business.  


Communicating in the way consumers want to engage with you is also essential. Providing internet-based communication options on your website, in social media, on your online listings and in your search ads and allowing consumers to choose their preferred method can increase your opportunity to reach more people. Texting increases these opportunities significantly since 90% of text messages are read within 3 seconds (Dynamark). However, offering text, chat, email, click-to-call, and instant messaging as communication options can increase engagement and lead to more direct consumer communication. 

Businesses need to communicate effectively with their customers online because they are a huge voice to other consumers when it comes to sharing their experience and either advocating for or against our companies, products, and services. The increasing importance of internet-based digital media -- social networks, search engine marketing, online reviews, and mobile communication options -- has forever changed the way we communicate with consumers and consumers communicate with us.   

Need help managing your company’s digital consumer communications? 

Contact OnTarget Digital Services to find out how we can help!      

Communicate with customers

Businesses Must Communicate with Customers, Regardless of Open Status

by Sarah Steimer, Managing Editor of Marketing News

August 24, 2020

As states phase in—or out—of their reopening plans, customers require unambiguous and frequent information from businesses

Inviting customers to your store, restaurant or salon during the pandemic is no longer as easy as flinging your doors open and encouraging visitors to pop in and say hello, à la the morning village scene in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” There are new rules for guests to follow, cleaning schedules to adhere to and pickup options to proffer. As states and regions open, close and reopen again, the key to good customer service—and likely your business’ survival—is clear communication.

To build the best communication strategy for your business, consider the five Ws and one H: who, what, where, when, why and how.

“[Be] very proactive with very clear education,” says Karen Albritton, partner at Thinc Strategy, a business management consulting company. “Tell me what I might not know.”


“[A relevant communication plan] starts with really understanding the customer and understanding who is likely to want to come back right now,” Albritton says.

Your customers may seek different levels of interaction from your business, regardless of which reopening phase your region is in. For example, some people may be comfortable visiting a sporting goods store and letting an employee fit them for a new pair of shoes, while some would prefer limited face-to-face time and still others would rather order online and pick up their products curbside.

“Make sure you’re communicating that these are the different options you have, because different customers are going to have different levels of comfortability,” says Deana Thornton, director of commerce marketing at Mailchimp. 


Homemade Ice Cream
The Best (and Easiest) Ice Cream You'll Ever Make

Recipe by Barefeet in the Kitchen

Rich and creamy homemade vanilla ice cream recipe that only requires five ingredients!

1-3/4 cups heavy cream
1-1/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp. fine sea salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract


  1. Pour 1 cup of the cream into a saucepan and add the sugar, salt. Scrape the seeds of the vanilla bean into the pot and then add the vanilla pod to the pot. Warm the mixture over medium heat, just until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add the remaining cream, milk, and vanilla extract (if using extract). Stir to combine and chill in the refrigerator.
  2. When ready to churn, remove the vanilla pod, whisk mixture again and pour into ice cream maker. Churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer the finished ice cream to an airtight container and place in the freezer until ready to serve. Enjoy!


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