The key is to invest in your customers as much as they are investing in you to provide them an experience beyond the transaction.
Recently, the Harvard Business Review published "Know What Your Customers Want Before They Do," an article in which the three authors compared the traditional retail shopping experience (reliance on assistance from sales people) vs. today's experience (influx of information to the consumer who's bombarded with information, media, messages, reviews, etc.). The authors discuss how the retail experience is moving online and the importance of the consumer point of need:
"Advances in information technology, data gathering, and analytics are making it possible to deliver something like - or perhaps even better than - the proprietor's advice. Using increasingly granular data, from detailed demographics and psychographics to consumers' clickstreams on the web, businesses are starting to create highly customized offers that steer consumers to the 'right' merchandise or services - at the right moment, at the right price, and in the right channel."
Harvard Business Review refers to this opportunity as the "NBO" or "Next Best Offer." According to the article, the four-pronged approach to crafting a brand NBO includes:
While these efforts don't strike me as rocket science, I do think it's important to recognize the many ways to leverage data and how this can help better reach and communicate with customers, offering something of value to them as opposed to a general message.
This line of thinking reminds me of the Google "ZMOT" or "Zero Moment of Truth," which is detailed in the e-book "ZMOT" by Jim Lecinski. ZMOT refers to the decision-making process consumers experience (largely influenced by digital) before making a purchase. This includes social/peer interactions, research published, professional or peer reviews, endorsements, or comparison shopping.
Through various digital platforms, fingertip knowledge and relevancy have become two of the most powerful tools for consumers. This empowerment comes in a variety of forms - ranging from the public disclosure of previously "hidden" fees to the confidence gained by reading thousands of reviews on any given product. Consumers are becoming savvier, and this coupled with the economic downturn makes it more difficult than ever to capture their attention for the NBO at the ZMOT.
When it comes to digital marketing and ways to initially integrate more relevant messaging into your current efforts, below are some things to get you started:
Data can be overwhelming when you start to aggregate it and decide to start leveraging it better for marketing communications. Data is available from CRM segmentation, website analytics, social platforms, search tools, advertising analytics, competitive data, purchase behavior data, psychographic data, geographic, and the list goes on. The key is to invest in your customers as much as they are investing in you to provide them an experience beyond the transaction.
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As group director of marketing services for Nurun, Amy Manus is responsible for ensuring clients' interactive strategy and objectives translate into targeted, measurable, and successful digital media campaigns.
Amy leads and manages the media team at playing a key role researching and evaluating the digital media landscape, directing clients' innovation and emerging media strategies, inclusive of social media and mobile. She is instrumental in the Nurun's global advertising strategies and development, working with teams in Canada, Europe, and Asia.
Amy is a member of the Interactive Advertising Bureau and the Atlanta Interactive Marketing Association. A native of Cincinnati, Amy received her bachelor's degree in marketing and minor in speech and communications from Clemson University.
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