While terms like “digital transformation” are firmly entrenched in the zeitgeist of the marketing world, its true expression as a means of taking prospects further down the sales funnel from awareness to consideration is far more nebulous. The ability for marketers to gather and use data to create meaningful, personalized brand experiences has traditionally been at the expense of context.
Social media sites are addictive. In fact, Internet addiction disorder was considered a possible addition to the newest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders released in 2013.
More than half of people acknowledge they have some addictive behavior when it comes to social media.
Marketing has never been easy, but it used to be much simpler.
If there is one guiding principle for businesses, it is: Give the customers what they want. (How many ice cream shops could stay in business if the only flavor offered was plain vanilla?) What customers want today is a multi-channel experience. They have grown increasingly tech-savvy and more comfortable with using everything from desktops to kiosks in order to research products they are considering, to communicate with companies, and to make purchases. Companies that give them want they want will thrive, and those that do not will falter.
Creating a great Omni-channel customer experience, however, is far more than merely enabling access through a variety of devices. It is a cohesive plan to guide each customer throughout his or her purchase journey. Although not every enterprise needs to create an identical multi-channel experience, there are certain important characteristics that all successful Omni-channel models share.
People love to listen to stories. In ancient times, groups would gather to hear tales told by wandering storytellers or poets, and even today, millions of children get a nightly bedtime story before being tucked in. Movies, television shows and plays offer visual venues for "hearing" a story. Furthermore, the love of stories seems to transcend economics, cultures and geographic boundaries.
How much do you know about your customers? There is a good possibility that you do not know them as well as you think. Despite having collected a lot of data on past and potential customers, you might not be able use the data in any type of meaningful manner. You may know that "Jane" always buys "Brand X" cat food, that "John" is 25 years old or that "Joe" makes purchases at all hours of the day and night, but how does this information help you create a personalized experience for them? Unless you just happen to sell products for cat care, these tidbits of information are relatively useless for most businesses. In other words, collecting data is easy -- connecting it is the challenging part.
The name "Gucci" has been synonymous with high quality and luxury since the 1920s, when the company began producing classically styled leather goods. By the 1950s, movie stars and other celebrities were regularly seen in Gucci fashions or sporting Gucci accessories. Gucci items quickly became status symbols. This allowed the company to charge top prices for its goods, but catering to such an exclusive clientele meant that the company had to offer outstanding customer service while remaining on the cutting edge of fashion.
For more than three decades, brick-and-mortar stores have been waging a battle against online retailers. Every year, online stores gain more of the market share. In recent years, several chains that were once retail giants have been forced to declare bankruptcy, close many of their locations or sell their brand to a competitor. Although the fight has been deemed as hopeless by some, the reality is that brick-and-mortar retailers do not need to abandon ship yet. They just need to use every tool available to encourage shoppers to opt for in-store purchases.