Resolve To … Bridge Customer Experience Gaps
Marketers talk a lot about omnichannel communications. But for many, the concept remains more aspirational than something they’re currently doing.
Part of the problem is the way organizations are structured. Too often, the teams responsible for understanding what customers want, to engage them and deliver outstanding experiences, exist in separate organizational fiefdoms. They might communicate and collaborate, but they don’t always have the technological means for doing so in real time. As a result, when customers patronize one physical or digital channel, such as a social media site, their experience might be completely different than what they find on a digital storefront or in a physical outlet.
Today, more than 85% of global consumers surveyed by the Chief Marketing Officer Council and Pitney Bowes said they want a blend of both digital and physical channel experiences. But only 13% believe brands are living up to this expectation.
Brands: now is the time to overcome this hurdle. Cloud-based tools are rapidly evolving to help bridge gaps between marketing, analytics, advertising, and commerce functions in order to deliver real-time, personalized, omnichannel experiences to customers.
“These systems are going to be about knowing and understanding customer behavior, what they’re doing at different touch points, and integrating relevant pieces of information to determine what the next-best ad for a specific consumer should be,” Adobe's Eadie said. “As soon as next year, I think you’ll see more advertising execs resolving to deploy systems enabling more intelligent omnichannel communication.”
Resolve To … Crank Up The Creativity
It goes without saying that to reach, engage, and influence today’s consumers, brands must go above and beyond simply advertising, and make customers feel understood, appreciated, and–dare we say it–pampered. But if every brand is going out of its way to do this with relative digital “sameness,” the effectiveness of such programs may stall or stagnate.
This is why marketers should resolve to crank up campaign creativity and design thinking in 2020.
Investing in creativity can help firms achieve higher returns over a six-year period, according to a report by Forrester, which says brands that move portions of their marketing budgets out of commoditized areas of technology and into creative resources stand a better chance of differentiating themselves.
“The job of the marketer is to steer brands away from the sea of sameness by connecting the brand to customers’ needs and stirring an emotional response,” said Jay Pattisall, principal analyst at Forrester. “Creativity delivers this emotional connection and differentiates brands from commodified technology and digital sameness.”
Resolve To … Live Up To Your Brand’s Purpose
While customers continue to care about the experiences brands provide them, they aren’t entirely self-serving. Many—especially young people—also want companies to serve a higher purpose.
Numerous studies during the past few years attest to this reality. A global Accenture survey, for example, found 62% of the 30,000 consumers they asked want companies to take a stand on current and broadly relevant issues, including sustainability, transparency, and fair employment practices. Similarly, an Edelman study reported two-thirds of consumers worldwide now buy on beliefs. And a Deloitte Insights survey revealed more than 80% of consumers would pay more for products if a brand was more environmentally or socially responsible.
Major brands have certainly taken notice. Companies such as Anheuser-Busch, Apple, Coca-Cola, Gillette, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks, Microsoft, Nike, and Patagonia, among others, now articulate what they aspire to be, and then build authentic, purpose-driven advertising campaigns around those identities.
For example, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, whose eldest son is disabled, has a personal connection to delivering technology that helps with accessibility. It’s evident that the company genuinely cares about such causes. It has spent considerable time and money highlighting its work in this area, such as its highly regarded “We All Win” Super Bowl ad, which struck an emotional chord with audiences by showing how the software giant’s adaptive gaming controllers enrich the lives of disabled kids.