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How to Avoid the Age of Your Competitor’s Customer

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You have been thought to compete in markets with strength in manufacturing and distribution. With control of prices, point of sales location, and knowledge about products and customers.

But in just six years mobile technology has fundamentally changed two things: the dynamics of the markets and the speed needed to remain competitive.

The same forces that once favored your organization, reversed the scenario creating advantage for your customers:

  • With their smartphone, they can compare prices, get product reviews, and buy anywhere, whenever they want.
  • Hybrid commerce mobile Apps, where the smartphone is used to deliver a blended physical-digital purchase experience, are emerging everywhere.
  • Marketing your products in this whole new world requires a different approach than marketing in the internet as you learned to know it.

You need to step into Digital Customer Experience, starting from a mobile-first empowered customer journey, and enter the age of customer with courage and determination. And your marketing and sales plans must acknowledge this shift in power, or you will face soon the age of your competitor’s customers.

Your marketing and sales efforts must acknowledge a powerful customer who can now choose from a potentially infinite set of suppliers. Your must be focused on providing utility and convenience, which doesn’t necessarily mean discount, but i.e. better care and understanding. In brief, you must become obsessed by your customers.

Almost without realizing it, in just six years from the advent of the smartphone as we know it, a billion people worldwide have this device their constant companion. Whenever we have a free moment, we pull out our smartphone and check email or Facebook, search for a restaurant, play a game, watch a video, or browse a map.

Our lives have become a collection of mobile moments in which we pull out a mobile device as if it was a magic wand to get something done wherever and whenever we want.

The result of this accumulated experience with mobile Apps is that our minds as customers have shifted. Not only can we do new things. We now also expect new things. We expect that all organizations we deal with meet our expectations by delivering us heightened digital experiences anytime, anywhere, personal, and simple.

Forget the web. Time has come to reach your customers mobile-first:

  • Digital Customer Experience activities must incorporate convenience and value, and stay true to your brand positioning.
  • Your customer journey is now pinpointed by a series of mobile moments, points in time and space when your customer pulls out a mobile device to get what he or she wants immediately, in context.
  • As Apple’s father said, you must think differently. But this is not enough. You must also execute differently, implementing a Digital Customer Experience strategy that allows you to connect with your customers in a whole new way across smartphone and tablet, computer, smart TV, connected objects, and physical stores.

Are you taking advantage of unique marketing opportunities, like in-store micro-location targeting, maybe linked to new in-App advertising possibilities provided by Facebook, or are you still throwing away your budget with incapable “digital” consultants, anchored to the web?

Smartphones and tablets have become an extension of yours and your customers’ brains. All the time we turn to our phone or tablet and look for a service that can help us directly.

  1. Stop excusing yourself and procrastinating by saying that your customers are old, and realize you will not have new ones sooner than you think.
  2. Think your Digital Customer Experience is the heart of your digital marketing, and your App is central to it.
  3. Understand the scale and scope of the mobile mind shift.
  4. Many people will find you by using search engines, so ensuring that your site is perfectly fit for mobile devices, also to keep a high search ranking, is essential.
  5. Use your responsive website to drive your customers to your App to engage them more effectively, offer direct access, right-time personalization, convenience, and fast support. Encourage social networks-powered word-of-mouth as your model for public relations.
  6. Don’t make direct pitches; instead, engage your customers’ community.
  7. Use mobile videos to entertain your customers and make your App “stickier”.
  8. Measure your App effectiveness, track customer involvement and the return on your investment.
  9. Don’t reinvent the wheel: deliver a native App that executes sell-side business logic built with a reliable software platform, optimized for the Digital Customer Experience domain, to combine best practices with a proven technology and make your initiative successful.