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.
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.
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.
Apple's introduction of iOS 7 in 2013 was very low-key when it came to iBeacon. The company's presentation offered no details about iBeacon's possible uses. However, the tech industry immediately saw the product's potential for marketing -- iBeacon could well revolutionize how companies and their customers interact.
The use of haptic interfaces, or touchscreens, continues to influence every aspect of business from personal computing to Point of Sale (POS) systems. A Business Wire report projects a compound annual growth of the touchscreen market of 19.5% for the next 4 years, and the customer or client is not the only one at the end of your touchscreen applications. What this means for your business is that if you haven’t fully incorporated touchscreen technology, you risk being left behind in the wake of rapid technological change.