Words have always been important, the ground to establish relationships between human beings. In the Internet era, we have learned that keywords also play a critical role in determining the success of business.
Content marketing, search engine optimization, online advertising, mobile app stores: they all rely on the power of keywords. The connection between a brand and customers makes no exception: when you plan your digital customer experience, there are pivotal keywords you cannot ignore.
"Words are free. It is how you use them that may cost you." (Anonymous)
What do you do when planning a piece of content for your company blog? You look for the most interesting and searched keywords. And when you are about to launch a new website? You take care of the meta and connect the contents to the context (your brand, your identity).
What happens if you put online an AdWords campaign without deep keywords analysis? You will likely spend your budget in useless clicks and bad positioning.
Keywords make the foundations of your storytelling and, at the same time, create the context for your digital customer experience. They have the power to guide your development strategy, not just to influence on your content.
At this point, it is important to clarify that the experience cannot be reduced to SEO tricks, advertising, and optimized online contents. The customer journey unravels across many touch points, in the physical and digital worlds.
What you do to engage customers and create a meaningful experience in each touch point is always more important than what you say. The management of experiences is not just a declaration of intent; excellence is not a copy.
"Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality." (Edgar Allan Poe)
There is nothing worse than facts that do not match the promises. Aiming too high with your words can jeopardize your position in customers’ mind if you cannot meet (not to tell exceed) expectations with facts.
For example, in a recent report, Google states that only 9 percent of users will stay on a mobile site or app if it does not satisfy their needs, in terms of information provided or overall experience. Also, 28 percent will be less likely to purchase products from that company in the future.
However, in the same report, we find out that 69 percent of customers agree that the quality, timing, and relevance of a company’s message influences their perception of a brand.
To sum up, keywords are extremely helpful:
- For customers, as a compass to find a product, identify the essence of a brand and create an emotional relationship with a company.
- For businesses, as a compass narrate the inner values of a brand, and to give a sense (meaning and direction) to every action in a holistic view.
For their own nature, keywords are unstable. Just like there are no tools that work for any kind of business without distinctions, the same happens with keywords: they are very peculiar and change with the evolution of society and technology.
So, keep in mind that what we are about to say might be not valid in five years. Nothing is forever, even more so in an age shaped by mobile devices.
What is the most critical keyword when you need to create and manage digital customer experience? Experience, of course. And yet, you might be surprised to know how many companies still do not understand that ‘experience’ is not just smoke and mirrors to hide a product-centered strategy.
The customer experience is the sum of all experiences a customer has with a company. In the Age of the Customer, the key to succeeding is not product-based; it is concealed in the connection between your brand and people, and constantly rewritten as a result of the digital and mobile transformation.
To sell is the ultimate goal of your business strategy. How can you get there, ensuring that those sales are not once and for all? Engagement is the answer. Customer engagement and employee engagement. You need to engage digital customers and employees, leveraging technology and social media to increase loyalty.
The smartphone and all other digital and mobile technologies split our daily routine into a sequence of moments, each with a specific intent and importance. In a company’s perspective, finding the micro moments of truth (mostly live in connectivity) become critical to engage customers with meaningful experience.
The spread of smart objects and mobile devices does not hide an obvious fact: a meaningful experience always comes from rational and emotional elements. The digital transformation of your business involves both aspects: Loyalty is the result of products or services as much as it is the result of emotional, fulfilling connections.
Businesses must acknowledge that human behaviors and technology evolve together. The analysis of customer behaviors has become a critical part of the experience management. Remember that not all customers were born alike: they embark on very different journeys, with different touch points that can be influenced by very different causes.
In markets where the experience replaces the product as the main element of differentiation, the competition is mostly played on the field of relationships. One-time sales may boost short-term revenues, but it is only customer retention that will sustain your business in the long-term. This is the essence of the membership economy.
We have said that engagement is the primary objective of any marketing strategy for the Age of the Customer. How can you build genuine engagement? Creating digital contents that resonate well with customers and entice them to spend is not easy. The only way to figure out what works is testing, in other words A/B testing.
There is no testing without a precise analysis. Data analysis should be inherent to the entire process of planning and executing a customer experience strategy. Digital screens and mobile devices generate a huge amount of information that you must learn to select, examine and transform into actionable insights. In short, smart data.
No doubt that growth hacking is one of the buzzwords that marketers love the most right now. It revolves around a new approach that supports the adoption of low-cost and innovative alternatives to traditional tools, hacking the business development with growth-focused activities and technologies.
Of course, this is just a selection of the keywords that will guide your strategy in the years to come. You are more than welcome to add your list to the discussion.
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