You know you shouldn’t, but you just can’t help yourself. Maybe you missed a notification or an email, or maybe there’s a lull in conversation and you can’t remember how to cope. We’re addicted to our devices, and we’re aware of it – pushing many to mute, limit or, in extreme cases, switch off. But while a digital detox may sound tempting, what happens when your customers decide to unplug?

What is a digital detox

A digital detox is as painful and freeing as it sounds and ranges from switching off your mobile phone, social media and never-ending inbox to muting notifications and simply limiting use. It’s also gaining popularity, with one in five UK consumers taking a full digital detox and seven in ten moderating their consumption.

Why are consumers unplugging

We’ve become digitally overloaded. Smartphones and devices constantly connect people to their inboxes, family and other people’s social lives, and it’s affecting our mental and physical health. How?

Experts are blaming technology and people are not only agreeing, but they’re doing something about it.

Should brands be worried

While throwing your phone into the sea (before uploading a photograph to Instagram, of course) sounds like bliss, your customers doing the same thing sounds terrifying. So as a brand, what should you do?

Encourage unplugging

The biggest reason for disconnecting from the screen is to spend more time away from the screen. This is the perfect opportunity to promote any products and services that assist – from holidays and festivals to in-store shopping and fitness events.  

Pushing quality content

When limiting use, social media users will unfollow brands that waste their time. Survive this digital cleanse by understanding your customers’ likes, dislikes and habits to create quality content that pleases, engages and pops up when they are browsing.

Create authentic relationships

The hardest part of a digital detox is not hearing from the people that you care about. Make your customers care about hearing from you by using customer knowledge to create personal connections so that your customers are happy to see you on their return to the digital world.

Explore multiple channels

Following a digital detox, your customers will come to understand what channels they missed and what channels they didn’t. Use this as an opportunity to understand the channels that your customers prefer and to shake up your marketing mix and focus.

Have a go

With reports that digital detoxes lead to increased staff happiness, creativity and wellbeing, maybe it’s time to try out a digital detox yourself to truly understand how it changes your customers’ habits and how your brand can respond.

Digital detoxes – key takeaways

While a digital detox might sound terrifying (for both your brand and yourself) it can actually help you to promote your products, focus on quality content and build better relationships with your customers – all while respecting their desire to lead a happy and healthier life. Try it.