Our digital world has changed how consumers and brands interact. That means all brands – no matter how big or small – need to re-think how to build customer loyalty. Simply put, consumers are now more powerful than brands, as individuals share their experiences through social channels and search multiple touchpoints to get the best deals and products.
Those brands need to stay relevant and adapt their thinking. Gone are the days when there was a general audience for a product that was produced. All a brand had to do, then, was sell that product with one marketing campaign. Instead, brands need to understand how a consumer feels and what is important to each individual – and that means brands need to personalize their message.
Some brands are fortunate to have agencies that can give them everything they need to stay ahead of their competition and connect with their customers – from insights and strategy to validation, creativity, and analytical reporting. However, many brands rely on their in-house marketing teams, and more often than not these marketing teams work in a silo of that brand. Essentially, brands have been placed in a black box model based only on their customer’s analytical behaviors. But with the right technology solution, brands can free themselves from the black box and become brilliant.
In order for brands to be brilliant, they need to create relevant and timely engagement with their customers in a multi-channel world. They must have the ability to react in real time, as customers expect 24/7 engagement – and that engagement must be meaningful to the individual. They need to understand each customer as an individual. Only then can those brands who “get it” gain a competitive advantage as they drive sales and customer conversion to and through the funnel.
For instance, let’s look at how many sessions it can take for a customer to convert (or buy), and why that is important for brands and marketers. In our digital world, an individual might frequently visit a brand’s website but does not convert or buy. Instead, this person enters the site from various channels, like a Facebook or Google ad. He or she sees the same pop up for 10% off with each visit, and even with that offer, still does not convert. Instead, those pop ups become generic offerings that many consumers have become accustomed to seeing and simply ignore. Now, if we take this example into the real world, this could be a customer who frequently browses a brick and mortar store that has seasonal discounts displayed in the window. But this is not why he or she enters the store – instead, it is because the store is familiar and the store owner recognizes that customer, making him or her feel special.
With the right technology solutions, brands can gain a deeper understanding of their customer’s behavior and see them as humans behind the data by combining data and insights from both the cross channel digital world and the real world. This means taking advantage of the holistic knowledge from both digital and physical world characteristics – including variables like location, weather, time, etc. – that together determines an individual customer’s daily and even minute-by-minute experience and behavior in the world. This then enables brands to engage with customers like humans do.