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.
As senior media director for the Razorfish Atlanta office, Amy brings more than 15 years of media expertise that spans across both traditional and digital media. Often noted for her passion of media and dedication to finding the right solution, Amy ensures clients business objectives translate into targeted, measurable, and successful initiatives. Although her skill set is vast, her greatest expertise centers in the worlds of media research, strategic media planning, interactive planning and buying, social media, analytics, and search engine marketing. Amy has worked with world-class organizations such as AT&T, The Coca-Cola Company, Pleasant Holidays, Clarins, Disney, Equifax, and Loews Hotels to name a few. Aside from her work at the agency, Amy has been a regular columnist for ClickZ's "Data Driven Marketing" vertical for the past five years and has been a contributor to notable industry media including Adotas, Media Post, The New York Times Online, and the IAB. Amy holds a double major in Marketing and Speech and Communications from Clemson University.
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