The evolution of the Customer Journey: a trip into the Client-Company relationship

Touchpoint, content and customer experience, here’s what to focus on

Stefano Saladino
Project Leader @ContentWare Summit

From value creation to brand image, the B2B and B2C communication differences are now becoming increasingly transient. Indeed, what is emerging is a H2H (human to human) approach where it is the relationship established between brands and consumers that makes a difference.

For this reason, companies that want to speak profitably to their interlocutors must be aware of new communication methods and know how to build the right combination of content and containers (touchpoints). In this way, they can transmit a strong customer experience that is able to involve and engage users.

But what are the three dimensions of the customer journey that every company must focus on?

1) Touchpoint

- Linear purchase paths no longer exist

The digital revolution has brought with it an overcrowding of touchpoints. It no longer makes sense to evaluate the effectiveness of your communication unless it is in the overall context in which your brand “lives”, or rather, in the mind of the consumer. We therefore need to integrate our messages with the sole objective of focusing on the needs of those we are addressing.

- Different but integrated goals

Knowing that, on average, four touchpoints are used before making a purchase, we must remember that every point of contact fulfills a specific conversion function. It should be considered and evaluated taking this into account. Therefore, a specific design is required that enhances the point of contact and coordinates it with all the others, so as to convey an omnichannel experience. There is no longer any competition between online and offline. The consumer journey must not encounter any interruptions: fluid is the new paradigm. 

 

Find out what is an omnichannel experience! 

 

2) Content

- Content chaos

By multiplying channels and content initiatives, we are reaching hyperproduction (just think that in one day we produce 1,100,000 Tinder swipes!). How can we win over the consumer’s attention? 

  • Immersive content (virtual, augmented, mixed reality, 360 degrees)
  • Real time visual storytelling: given that consumerization occurs on all levels, we need to offer stories that are in line with the chosen channel
  • Personalized content experience: we are in an era in which the user can no longer be “hit” in an indistinct way. Instead, potential can be found in reading and understanding data thanks to Artificial Intelligence algorithms that allow people to use content which is aligned with their browsing journeys and, therefore, with their interests
  • Screenless surveys and answers: technologies like Alexa are emerging that start out from human language comprehension. This means that there will be an evolution in presenting ourselves in the virtual world
  • Content atomization and modularization: generations and targets exist that need to use content in different ways
  • The new role of the influencer as content creator: influencers are those people who have managed to generate an audience thanks to their ability to produce content and take advantage of this contact platform to convey certain information.

 

3) Customer Experience

- The importance of creating an audience and not leads

The paradigm in which we see the user only as a pawn that must reach the end of the buyer’s journey and make a purchase must be overturned. Our primary aim is to make them become loyal brand customers: don’t think about conversion straight away. If they are retained, it happens naturally.

- Life cycle marketing

Carrying out content marketing helps us bring existing customers into a dimension of continuity. Indeed, it is five times harder to engage a new customer than it is to maintain an existing relationship with an engaged customer.

- More attention to content design

In developing content, we must take into account a number of aspects, including the importance of stimulating emotions (we have a selective memory in this regard!), the ability to combine design with useful information, and studying the best content infrastructure to distribute it successfully.

In all this, considering the importance of initiating a two-way dialogue with the audience, the need arises to intercept the real interests of those who follow us along our touchpoints. In this way, we can offer them the most relevant content. For such an effective and timely action, extremely advanced technologies are required.

One of the most interesting solutions in the martech landscape is offered by intelligent DAM (Digital Asset Management) systems. They are able to manage any piece of content, from its creation to its publication, as far as its interaction. Thanks to AI algorithms, the analysis of this interaction extracts data on people’s preferences. Among these systems is THRON, a tool that allows companies that handle large amounts of content to manage and take advantage of it with extreme ease.