Are you hyperconnected? We are offering you a personalized customer experience

When Pre-Internet becomes Jurassic

 

Let’s start by outlining a 2.0 consumer identikit. If you recognize yourself, give us a sign!

With the explosion of technology, you have found yourself catapulted into the age of the Internet and 24-hour connection. And the best part is that digital technology has radically changed your habits, your way of relating to others and, in general, your daily life, to the extent that it feels almost impossible to remember what life was like before its arrival.

Love letters written in ink, without WhatsApp and the dreaded double blue checks; endless phone calls on the landline, with your parents shouting at you to hang up at a certain point; traveling by car with a paper map instead of Google Maps; searches spent flicking through dusty catalogs (search engines didn’t exist!); booking a hotel in loco, etc.: now, all these things seem to belong to a very distant Jurassic period and only live in our memories.

What’s happening now? If you are hyperconnected like the majority of 2.0 consumers, you will certainly have become an everywhere shopper. What does that mean? With the possibility of interacting from anywhere and from multiple devices (from fixed ones, such as your desktop, to mobile ones, like your smartphone, etc.), you have developed such a “callus” as to search and expect companies to interact with you on every channel available. This behavior, defined as omnichannel, makes you look increasingly like a cricket jumping quickly from one channel to another. You no longer distinguish between online and offline, or between a fixed device and a mobile one, as you search for the best purchasing and relationship path with the brand.

Knowing how digital technology has proved to be a powerful transformational lever that increasingly integrates with “traditional” channels, brands must be capable of being present in the right ways on each of these new touchpoints. Indeed, customers like you, who are used to passing from physical points of contact to virtual points of contact seamlessly, want a customer experience where they feel as though they are actors of the company’s decision-making processes. Indeed, they express clear needs online that brands must know how to interpret and anticipate, managing these expectations in an excellent way.

What’s more, the digital “maturity” that you have reached has also made you more aware and has altered the way in which you find out about a product and make your decisions. Indeed, now, the custom of turning directly to the company to obtain information on the brand and on its products/services no longer exists. Instead, consumers tend to prefer searching online and reading about other users who use that brand, giving weight to the opinions and reviews found on the various websites.  

 

What can we give our 2.0 consumer?

 

It is for the reasons mentioned above that brands must map the customer journey and be present on the channels used by customers in order to avoid fragmented customer experiences: to be able to stand out from their competitors, they must aim to create a personalized purchase path where each of the company’s channels plays a fundamental role. As Frost & Sullivan reveal, in 2020, the customer experience will beat price and product differences in terms of convincing the customer to opt for one brand over another.

Andy Betts from Martech Today believes that the biggest challenge that brands and digital marketing operators are facing nowadays is managing to “connect” the touchpoints with which the brand communicates. This is in order to constantly thrill and engage customers with personalized customer experiences across different channels, formats and device types so as to embrace their expectations, making them feel “pampered” and appreciated.

If you are a brand and you want to ensure constant engagement from your hyperconnected customers, you must offer “unified” experiences that are relevant and homogeneous across all your channels. At the MarTech Conference that was held in San Francisco, Jason Heller from McKinsey underlined the way in which the decision-making process (decisioning) must be integrated into the martech stack: the company must allow itself to be led by customer data.

 

How can we connect touchpoints for a better customer experience?

 

Although an approach that puts the customer at the center of decision-making processes (customer obsession) can be undertaken through a brand’s content strategy, the keystone is represented by supplying personalized content that engages the reference audience. But, first of all, the company must have three clear focus points:

- Focus on the customer

Segmentation into buyer personas is a good start, but you need to go deeper and put yourself in the shoes of your own customers: you must know each one of them, with a clear view of how they behave and what they view. If you want to retain them, you must be targeted: start by experimenting with new digital experiences built on understanding your audience’s behavior and search intent, and check the dynamics and results of these campaigns, always adjusting your aim with data on performances.

- Focus on technology

With the growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI), brands can take advantage of technology to obtain in-depth insights in real time on their audiences. Indeed, with the user’s entire customer journey set out before them, this can allow marketers to take personalization to the next level, combining and customizing customer experiences alongside the purchase path.

Deep learning technology helps, in particular, to:

- collect data on industry trends, consumer behavior and search intents

- test messages through channeling with performance measurement

- ensure that messages reach the right customers at the right time in the right format and on the right channel

- Focus: organization design

To face this challenge a change on a cultural level within a company is required, which must arrange for a unified organization from a customer-centric point of view: indeed, companies must structure themselves around their customers.

According to Betts, the martech ecosystem has the right technology to successfully straddle this new era of personalization, but it is still missing the right approach. Certainly, as the statistics indicate, a basic awareness is starting to develop, but more needs to be done: martech organizations must plan, structure and align themselves from a customer-centric point of view.

Gartner reveals that by 2018, over 50% of companies will invest in customer experience innovation, while Forrester explains that 94% of marketers are focusing on their own capabilities in terms of data analysis, personalization technologies and the management of customer profile data to offer personalized experiences. May it be the right time to take off?

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