We are entering an age when knowing who your customers are and their activities is not enough to succeed. It’s no longer sufficient to know which devices they use and simply call it a day. Even knowing where they use their devices is not enough to deliver truly relevant customer experiences. All of these data points must now be combined through event data and points-in-time references to be actionable.
Yet that doesn’t mean that marketing is getting any easier. You have the challenge of deciding where to focus first and then determine what’s beyond that. Marketers must decide what information should be actionable today versus what data can be mined to provide predictive value in future strategies.
To make the most of this transformational shift in consumer behavior, marketers must come to grips with the benefits that connected consumers seek from brands. You must ensure that your technology and branding initiatives are delivering the following three elements: freedom, acceleration and intimacy. (Source: GFK)
Freedom: Simply put, people want convenience and simplicity. They expect brands to deliver easy and meaningful experiences on their terms and good customer service from the moment they engage with a brand.
Acceleration: Connected consumers live in a fleeting world and they expect brands to deliver at lightning speed. Jumping between devices and tasks is the new normal and marketers must embrace short attention spans in order to keep up. Delivering engaging experiences in the fast lane is the new Holy Grail of digital marketing and customer relationship management. Brands that can’t keep up will lose out as fast as customers lose their patience.
Intimacy: Consumers like personalized experiences, and thanks to advances in technology, they have come to expect them. By optimizing data and harnessing the tools at hand, brands today have the potential to move past mass customization to more adaptive methods of delivering consistent experiences across channels. It’s the only way to get attention in a fast-paced world in which consumers are showered in messaging.
The question for many marketers is not whether to use artificial intelligence or machine learning to help make sense of new forms of event data; nor is it the sheer scale of operationalizing this data for analytics, insights, targeting and personalization. Instead, the question that lies ahead is how do you balance the new AI-driven websites and the use of AI bots along with providing information and support during those moments in synchronous and asynchronous ways.
This complex question will be the challenge that marketers face in the coming year. How do you deliver the human experience at scale while focusing on optimizing the interactions? As the old saying goes, “The world we lived in 30 seconds ago has changed” This is the best advice you can get to think about our new world.