Target Users, Not Customers


aaron shapiro Huge Inc

What's the difference between a user and a customer?

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of listening to a DigiDay interview with Aaron Shapiro, the CEO of digital agency Huge in New York city, when Aaron brought up the concept of a user versus a customer.

Specifically, Aaron was discussing how the digital customer should really be defined as the digital user; that is, everyone must have a digital strategy of how they are going to interact and speak to their users online because they are many more users (think Facebook, Twitter, etc) than there are customers.

Business is being defined by the internet.

There is no such thing as an ‘offline business’ anymore. Here’s why:

  1. In 2012, 50% of transactions will be a result of digital. This means that the product was either  bought online or the user researched the product online and then went into their local bricks-and-mortar retailer and purchased there.
  2. 89% of users research a purchase online before pulling the trigger -- regardless of whether they purchase in store or over the web

According to Aaron, this means brands need to establish a digital relationship with this individuals. They need to classify them as users of their product, not simply customers.

As a brand, what are you doing to establish a relationship with your users? 

As an agency, what are you doing to establish a relationship with your users?

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