What will the digital customer experience landscape look like in 2022?
As 2022 dawns, the digital experience landscape has changed dramatically. Businesses that adapt to fluctuating trends usually come out on top, while those that fail to adapt to the latest digital developments often take a back seat.
If you want your business to thrive, you need to keep up to date with the latest tools and methodologies that will boost your online presence.
- What can you do to help your business grow faster and smarter?
- What are the lessons to be learned from the crisis in order to accelerate adaptation to the new environmental and economic realities that will affect the consumption habits of your customers?
In order to help you adapt to the recent transformations observed in our industry, we will question certain ideas and notions often presented as immutable truths and which, on the contrary, are called to change in the new context which is emerging on the horizon. .
MARKETING NO LONGER BEGINS WITH KNOWING THE CUSTOMER, BUT WITH KNOWING THEIR PERSONAS
The last two years have reinforced what we already knew: brands need to move from a large communication platform to a local platform and use precise terms, targeting specific consumers according to their personal situation, their needs and what is most relevant to them. To do this, it is essential to understand the nature of their motivations on the ground.
Beyond considering customers' geographic location, we've learned that marketing messages need to be personalized and aligned with the values of the targeted individual, rather than being created around demographics such as age and sex. In any good commercial message, to forge a personal and human connection with the public, it is first necessary to define consumer segments that describe these people according to the multiple dimensions that influence their buying behavior, from their psychographic characteristics to their attitudes and behaviors.
A COMPANY IS NO LONGER COMPETING WITH ITS COMPETITORS, BUT WITH THE LATEST BEST CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Consumer expectations were already on the rise before the COVID-19 pandemic. Gen Z grew up with technology seamlessly integrated into their lives. The GAFAMs have accustomed us to a hyper-personalization of the customer experience, since they have become particularly adept at getting the most out of our personal data.
However, when the pandemic hit, digital transformation accelerated overnight. Consumer expectations instantly skyrocketed in what companies could and should do to satisfy them, including providing a fully digital shopping experience.
Customers now expect much more than just a seamless digital transaction. Knowing full well that companies have access to their personal data, they are looking for a personalized experience within intelligent platforms, capable of anticipating their needs throughout their journey.
In this context, companies must adopt new strategies to adequately meet the growing expectations and demands of their customers.
Here are three that we recommend you implement as soon as possible, if you haven't already:
- Prioritize data acquisition and make it a key performance indicator (KPI) for the entire organization (capture of financial, competitive, behavioral, advertising, promotional and attitudinal data, as well as customer data, sales and products);
- Build an interconnected and agile data and technology infrastructure to support important use and enablement cases across the customer journey;
- Align business objectives with customer needs throughout the customer journey , so that any disconnects between silos of business units such as marketing, sales, customer service and IT are invisible to the consumer.
CUSTOMERS EXPECT YOU TO HAVE EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT
Consumers today expect any brand experience, digital or omnichannel, to be frictionless, relevant, connected, and tailored to anticipated behaviors or needs. In other words, they only think about getting what they want, when they want it.
To be able to offer their customers such experiences, companies must imperatively put data at the heart of the functioning and operations of their organization. Three main stages support the data life cycle: collection, transformation and analysis, activation. To learn more about this question and deepen your knowledge of the types of technologies associated with each of these stages, you can also consult the excellent article published recently by our senior director of analytical marketing, Moulaye Traore.
Returning to the personalization of the customer experience, this requires the integration of a certain degree of automation and intelligence from various sources of data into the marketing plan ( marketing mix ), since data favors more relevant experiences in one or more of the dimensions of digital marketing.
The 4Cs of the marketing mix still apply, but it is important to understand that a predominance of the customer dimension is essential today in order to forge stronger human ties with brands.
- The perception of value for the consumer : Digital must first be approached from the point of view of the customer. The brand can no longer simply display products and services arbitrarily. Through constant interaction with customers over time, the business should be able to determine what they really need. This is where data comes in. The main idea behind identifying the consumer's need is to provide them with a suitable solution, which adds value to their shopping experience.
- Perception of cost : The consumer perceives the total cost of acquiring a product or service, which goes well beyond the price of the product or service offered. Depending on the individual, the total cost may include time, travel and delivery costs, the cost of conscience and social responsibility, or even the opportunity cost. It should therefore be kept in mind that each of these elements can influence customers and their purchasing decision.
- Convenience : Convenience is defined in two ways: obtaining goods and services and the convenience of doing business with a brand.
- Communication (content not promotion) : Digital content marketing is more about communication than promotion. The strategy is to engage customers, be constantly present in real time to answer their questions, and provide them with the information they want quickly. Sometimes the object of the interaction is not even the sale, but rather the presentation and explanation of the products and services offered. It can even be about any other conversations related to the sector of activity of the company. In any case, it is important to emphasize the dialogue with the consumer, which should be open, adapted to his needs and desires.
RELATIONSHIPS ARE KEY
Advertising makes a promise to the brand and then it is up to the product, service and customer experience to deliver on it.
The pandemic has accentuated the importance of relationships between a company and its customers, especially in B2B sales. Faced with a virtual sales environment, companies have been able to maintain dialogue with their customers by capitalizing on the strength of their previous ties. In contrast, prospecting for new customers required an evolved skill set focused on creating value from solutions, not products.
In both cases, trust and integrity are fundamental to establishing quality relationships with consumers and thus stimulating the dynamism of the market . For sales and marketing leaders in B2B organizations, it's required a serious talent overhaul to identify the people best suited to nurture beneficial relationships in this new world of mostly online interactions: a world which relies less on charm than on the quality of the ideas and solutions offered. The relationship of trust is therefore essentially built by listening to the needs of customers. It is the attentive people, who develop relevant and adapted solutions to respond intelligently to the stated demands, who are rewarded.
Trust also plays a huge role in a B2C context. It is the basis of the exchange of perceived value between a company and a consumer. As companies increasingly rely on personal data they obtain with consumer consent, they must of course start by complying with regulations on respecting the privacy of individuals and ensuring the security of the information collected. . However, this situation is also a privileged opportunity to strengthen consumer loyalty and accentuate the differentiation of a brand's value proposition by designing interfaces that are more transparent in terms of privacy controls. Consumers can make more informed and wise choices if they better understand what they are agreeing to share with companies. This clarity in the statements and their concrete implications is, in the eyes of consumers, a sign of honesty, and it promotes the development of a deeper relationship of trust between the company and its customers.
AGILITY: MORE THAN A TECHNOLOGICAL PROCESS, IT'S A MODERN APPROACH
We've heard for years that technology development benefits from agile cycles instead of sequential or linear waterfall approaches . The pandemic has created an irreversible trend requiring marketing to adopt an equally flexible mindset.
As the context changed, some companies found that their message was wrong or their supply chain was unable to deliver it, immediately creating an advertising crisis and/or a public relations crisis. Long-lead creative processes and annual budget cycles felt anachronistic, while all the traditional approval dynamics became constraining.
Creating a mindset conducive to marketing agility requires constantly listening to consumers and identifying their expectations and needs. This openness and acceptance of the needs expressed will benefit the company as a whole, and not only from the point of view of its marketing efforts. Operationally, it also means implementing faster decision cycles and developing greater flexibility in key areas such as creative, budgeting and communications.
THE RIGHT TECH STACK IS NO LONGER ENOUGH, IT'S THE BALANCE (INCLUDING THE TECH STACK) TO SUCCEED IN YOUR MARKETING TRANSFORMATION
With the proliferation of advertising and marketing technology, it's easy to focus on the industry-changing ' tech stack ' . However, there is no point in buying a Ferrari if you drive it at 40 km/h.
For your technology architecture to deliver results, it must therefore be paired with the scale of data large enough to fuel its success, the right use cases to deliver results, and the right approach to human enablement. This last requirement is perhaps the most important. It requires understanding how data and technology will be used across the organization, ensuring that people have the right skills to use them effectively, and that the measurement approach put in place helps drive growth. innovation and success.
If technology, data, human enablement, and use cases are not perfectly balanced, the desired ROI for marketing technology can unfortunately never be achieved.
Do you have questions or need professional support to overcome certain challenges or to adapt to the latest changes in the industry? Our team of digital experience specialists will be happy to lend you a hand, so that 2022 can be a fruitful year and propel your business to new heights!