Your source of insights for a successful digital transformation.

How Beacons Will Change Customer Experience and Marketing Strategies

ibeacon_dcx

Less than a month has passed after the presentation of the iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch and, finally, the launch of the new iOS 8. As a result, Apple has drawn the attention of all analysts to the new (but not so very new) technology called iBeacon. This technology could change forever the way people shop in physical stores and the way companies shape their marketing strategy and customer experience. No doubt it is creating a revolution, but there is still some confusion around iBeacon and beacons in general, so let's try to understand.

It’s time to get things straight, starting from the first, basic question: What is a beacon? With this term, we refer to a small wireless device designed to constantly broadcast radio signals to smartphones, tablets and other devices nearby. The word ‘beacon’ means lighthouse and that is exactly how it works: emitting signals that mobile apps can listen to trigger an action.

Beacons work with BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy), a protocol whose signals can penetrate physical barriers while consuming only a small fraction of the battery power if compared to classic Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. iBeacons, designed to work with Apple devices from iOS7 on, is the ultimate evolution, able to constantly scan for BLE and wake up apps created to communicate with it - even if they are dormant and not running.

Just imagine how this new technology can augment the way clients explore shops and interact with products and brands. Your company will have the ability to properly map the customer journey in the physical store because, with this technology, you can understand exactly where they are and shape a different engagement action (i.e. Gamification) for every single touch point.

We are talking about right-time personalization here! Beacons give you the chance to finally enter the Age of the Customer: engage your clients in the exact moment they are looking at your products, strolling through your aisles or checking their smartphones (or wearable devices) for further information or promotions. You can now send them really relevant and contextual alerts and offers, in real time. From a welcome message to a quick reminder, the only limit is your imagination.

Here are few hurdles companies must take into account as they approach the ‘beacon era’:

  1. Clients’ Bluetooth must be switched on, otherwise the BLE won’t work at all.

  2. Clients must have your app installed on their devices.

  3. Unrequired push notification annoy already overwhelmed users.

  4. Your offer could get lost in the messaging overload, when lots of different beacon-driven push notifications are delivered in a small timeframe.

Who is going to benefit from beacon technology? Retail brands (i.e. fashion firms or CPG manufacturers) are first in line, as they are already starting to test these new location-based sensors to implement better marketing strategies and digital customer experience. There’s a huge amount of information to get through (we are in the age of big data, in the end). The whole industry is more and more focused on how to find, engage and track customers, but we are still in the rollout phase and there is lot to explore and learn.

Stay tuned, because one thing is for sure: because of beacons, marketing will change super soon, and super fast!

Topics: Digital Customer Experience Innovation iOS Retail Content Marketing

Why iPhone 6 and iOS 8 Will Change Your Digital Customer Experience

ios_8

Two weeks have passed since Apple has unveiled two new iPhones - the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus - and the Apple Watch (a.k.a. iWatch). One week later users could start to download iOS 8 and the picture finally became clear. The new version of the mobile operating system delivers new features that could change the way we think about digital experience. Customer-facing apps will never be the same with these new technologies. So will your strategy.

Sometimes size does matter: first thing that you notice when you look at the new iPhones is their size. Along with faster processors and better cameras, they come with larger screens and an iPad-like design, trying to push the market towards the 'phablet' era (something other have failed to do in the recent years). That means can also enjoy an iPad-style landscape mode that displays more content on the screen.

It may result in a huge chance for all companies investing in Gamification. In the Age of the Customer, we all love to play games, and that's something marketers can rely on when shaping their digital engagement plans. New camera features and timelapse videos and you will spread the game layer across our world, replacing traditional loyalty and engagement strategies with more effective tools. Easy, mobile and fun.

In addition, iOS 8 brings two important features that can help you improve your content marketing and engage with your clients in a more efficient way: 

  • Interactive Notifications: with iOS 8 notifications will be actionable, so that interruption and app switching are minimized. Users can now reply to a message right from the banner or accept an invitation from the lock screen, without interrupting what they are already doing.
  • Continuity: also a feature of OS X Yosemite, Continuity will help users achieve a flawless experience when switching from smartphone to tablet to laptop. Your customer experience could start as an app and continue as a website; your brand or product will really be omnipresent because all products are designed to work together. 

The new phone comes with a twin-product, the Apple Watch, a real game-changer for the wearable revolution. This new technology is already changing the way companies plan and execute their digital strategies to connect with customers, enstablish a strong brand identity and lead clients to their products.

We foresee three big opportunities:

  1. Apple Pay: the iWatch finally implements the long awaited NFC technology, destined to improve the experience of payment and purchase. Synchronized with Passbook and protected by a 'secure element', Apple Pay promises to bring one touch payment to reality.
  2. Self Tracking: technology improvements have brought to us devices that are able to monitor and record a huge amount of personal data, creating an irresistible need to self track. We measure everthing from distance walked to calorie consumption to heartbeat. Companies can use data to improve their actions and shape a gamification strategy.
  3. Health: one of the most anticipated new features of iOS 8, Health is a native app that can monitor phisical and medical data, created to interact and echange data with other devices (iWatch) and third-party apps developed with HealthKit, a new technology that allows them to access health and fitness information about the user. The idea is already changing the way doctors track patient's wellness: in the US few research hospitals have already launched HealthKit trials to track diabetics and patients with cancer and chronic disease.

New boundaries have been set. iPhone 6 and iOS 8 need to change your priorities in digital customer experience. The next future has so much in store for your company; you will be able to engage your clients in a whole new way. You just need to build a proper marketing machine to take advantage of this new exciting era.

Topics: Digital Customer Experience Gamification Innovation iOS Content Marketing Payment

Neosperience Wins 2014 Top Innovation Italy Award

Neosperience_Wins_2014_Top_Innovation_Italy_Award_640

Neosperience has won the Top Innovation Award Italy 2014, an honor appointed by the President of the Italian Republic to the best tech company of the year. The prize has been awarded in the prestigious setting of the Accademia dei Lincei in Rome. Dario Melpignano, CEO of Neosperience, has received the award from Stefania Giannini, Ministry of Education, University and Research, on behalf of President Giorgio Napolitano.

Neosperience is the first technology platform ever to receive this recognition in all six edition of this award, the most prestigious in Italy. Neosperience has been chosen "for developing an app platform integrated with social networks, that allows gelato shops to increase their customer base through geo-referenced campaigns and offering innovative services to their clients."

Accademia_dei_Lincei

"I am happy and proud to receive this important award - said Dario Melpignano - which testifies the results of our teamwork and the centrality of digital customer experience for companies that want to innovate and evolve with digital. MyGelato App demonstrates the urgent need for companies to evolve their connection with customers across all digital touchpoints, to reach new markets and generate new revenues. This award further motivates us to go on shaping great experiences like Carpigiani MyGelato and help companies manage their relationship with clients in a more effective way, delivering massive business results thanks to these new powerful tools."

Topics: Digital Customer Experience Neosperience Apps Neosperience Retail Fashion Luxury and Beauty Awards

How to Use Big Data to Enhance Your Digital Customer Experience

big_data_dcx

Once upon a time, companies struggled to retrieve information about their clients, due to lack of technology and trust. To shape a proper marketing strategy, they needed to fight for every single bit of data collected through researches, statistics and interviews. That time is now past. In the last ten years, things have deeply changed. We have now entered the Age of the Customer, where Big Data can help you to enhance your digital customer experience, overcome challenges and stay competitive.

As described by Gartner in 2012, Big Data is "high volume, high velocity, and/or high variety information assets that require new forms of processing to enable enhanced decision making, insight discovery and process optimization". This means: thanks to the cloud and high-performance computing, companies are able to collect and analyze huge amounts of information in real time.

Where do these data come from? The Age of the Customer is a new paradigm made possible by the mobile revolution. Our life has become a collection of mobile moments and we rely on smartphones, tablets, computers to build our daily experience. Add the new ‘wearable technology’ trend to the equation and you can understand why digital is now crucial for innovative marketing strategies.

Today people easily give their personal information (demographics, buying habits and even their heartbeat rate) to companies and, in return, they expect an amazing, powerful experience with your brand. They look-out for deals that work best for them and favour the product that provides them with the most personalized connection. Market competitiveness and profitability is impossible if you can’t create and implement excellent digital customer experiences, giving to your clients what they want, when they want it, easy and their own way.

As said, Big Data is a great opportunity, but it could easily turn into a threat. In fact, you need to be well-aware that all the data you could find out there is basically worthless if you are not able to scan, process and turn it into actionable strategies. There are so many numbers and touchpoints that you may feel overwhelmed if you still use older data processing technologies and routines.

What can you do to take the best and discard the worst?

  • Start with a good analytics platform if you don’t want to get lost.

  • Go through real time data and turn it to useful insights.

  • Build your buyer personas (segmentation first, then personalization).

  • Map your digital journey.

In one word: use data to know your customers, anticipate their needs and answer every time they need and everywhere they are. This should be the very purpose of investing in Big Data.

 

To help you provide a strategic advantage to your organization, Neosperience has crafted the first DCX 7-Steps Checklist, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation. Download the free guide here:

Download DCX 7-Steps Checklist

Topics: Digital Customer Experience Innovation Analytics Storytelling Content Marketing

How to See Around Corners and Stay Relevant Towards 2050 Megachange

The_Elements_of_Megachange_Towards_2050_640

Demographic trends are powerful and sweeping. It took 250,000 years for the world’s population to reach one billion people. In just 200 years, population growth accelerated faster to reach seven billion. In 2050, Earth will be home to nine billion people.

This growth will not be uniform: some nations’ populations will soar. Half of the population increase by 2050 will happen in Africa, which will hold three times as many people as Europe. Nigeria will have about 390 million citizens by 2050, roughly the same as the US; by 2100, Nigeria will be the world’s third most populous nation.

By 2050, some 30 megacities will hold more than 10 million people each and 70% of the world’s people will live in cities. More people will speak Mandarin, but because it is so difficult to learn, Mandarin will not replace English, which will remain dominant.

Islam will have expanded due to population growth. The number of people who follow a religion will grow just because China has recently allowed its citizens to be openly religious, and its enormous population ensures that religions will gain more adherents.

The world of 2050 will be far more connected. Since 2025 cloud computing will have become the one computing paradigm, and let anyone store data anywhere. People will gain more control over their data and will try to protect their privacy. Crowdsourcing will play a larger role in generating ideas. The public will be a greater force in driving communication, which will be simpler and more networked. Social networks won’t just be for entertainment; they’ll play bigger roles in the work world, as we can expect more than half of the population will be always connected and online in a social supercloud.

Democratic countries, striving to make a meaning of the word ‘citizenship’ out of geographic boundaries — 200M Italics widespread all around the world have a much greater impact than 60M “Italiani” in Italy — will become more authoritarian, while countries with more rigid systems will experience pressure from their citizens to become more open.

Nations like Brazil and China have already surpassed expectations because economic growth builds on itself. Emerging nations will keep growing and by 2050 they’ll be fully emerged. Goldman Sachs predicts that China’s gross domestic product will hit $70 trillion, far more than US GDP. Europe will have to raise the pitch of its voice and say even more interesting things to be the bearer of values that have grounded the development of Western society as we know it.

History indicates that as the middle class grows, it invests in education. This will accelerate emerging economies even more, since innovations spread more quickly through an educated workforce.

Globalization will fully develop by 2050, as today this global trend is not as developed as people think. Foreign direct investment is less than 10% of all fixed investment, and only a few people study (2%) or work (3%) outside their homelands. Globalization will coincide with Asia’s re-emergence as the dominant force in the world economy.

During this globalization, Asia’s share of the world economy will almost double, and the US’s and Europe’s shares will shrink proportionally. As the economy globalizes, so will innovation, with disruptive innovations taking place in transportation (self-driving cars), wearables, neuromarketing, labor, stem cell and genome research, nano tech and at least one major breakthrough research that we are not able to predict here.

We will continue to explore space, but more pragmatically than in the early decades of the space race. Satellites, robot and space-based observatories will multiply, but manned flights will decrease. Several more decades of observation should let people determine if life exists on other planets. This will further challenge the definition of what it means to be human: are we alone in the cosmos searching for meaning, or is life on Earth one of the many variations of life in the universe?

Topics: Human Capital Management Society Future Innovation Social Networking Neuromarketing Automotive Retail Wearable

Personalize The Digital Shopping Experience Turning Desires Into Needs

digital_shopping_experience

Neuromarketing key discoveries of this decade applied to digital customer experience show insights on how to connect with customers in new ways across physical touch points, typically the stores, combined with customer-facing smartphone and tablet apps.

Sophisticated brain scanning machines and physical monitoring devices provide insight into consumer behavior, allowing marketers influence it by adjusting stimuli to draw out a desired mental and physical response in customers during their digital shopping experience.

Going shopping is a pleasurable leisure activity. People enjoy looking for something special, both online - mainly on their mobile devices - and at the store. Successful bargain hunters experience a physical reaction similar to that felt by someone winning a prize or taking a drug. The heart rate accelerates, and the beta waves in the frontal region of the brain vibrate at a high frequency.

Customers don’t differentiate anymore between what they “want” and what they “need.” When they start desiring something, it becomes a want-need and they strive to satisfy that desire.

Digital marketers can increase this longing by using such tactics as:

  • Make shoppers work for their purchases – Searching for bargains among messy, packed racks or negotiating prices makes customers earn a purchase.
  • Create a scarcity – The message is buy now, compete for a scarce item or miss out.
  • That’s not all – Retailers cut prices, offer bonus items or incentives, like buy-one-get-one-free deals.
  • Create a sense of inadequacy – You have bad breath, body odor and stained teeth. A cure awaits in a product or service.
  • Price manipulations – Sellers reduce the amount of product in a package while keeping the same price or they price items at €2.99 rather than €3.

Companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Twitter collect detailed profiles on every user to develop campaigns designed to operate below consumers’ awareness levels.

Similarly, tools like Right-Time Personalization (pdf), one of the main features of the Neosperience Cloud, can generate personalized customer messages using algorithms based on the titanic amounts of detailed personal information available about Internet users and their past purchase and social network profile and behavior.

In the Age of the Customer, customizing your marketing to match users’ preferences and interests, tailoring content marketing and communications based on customers’ known preferences and desires produce a sincere emotional response in recipients.

The resulting connection between people and your brand forms at a deep-rooted level within the brain, causing people to mistake that manufactured connection for personal opinion rather than an instilled commercial message.

Start today building a personalization layer on your digital customer experience strategy to manufacture a deep emotional connection between your brand and some desirable personal goal or worthy aspiration. And never forget to make a wise and ethical use of this immense power.

Topics: Digital Customer Experience Society Neosperience Neuromarketing Retail Fashion Luxury and Beauty

Digital Strategy For The Age of Customer All Marketers Should Know

age_of_the_customer

Markets have always been places where two opposite forces meet and face: the seller and the buyer. For centuries the power balance has basically been a matter of production and distribution.

In this scenario the seller was the strong element, with control of prices, point of sales location, and information about products and clients. The only thing people could control was the buying decision, influenced by brands and companies. Now things are quite different, as we have entered the Age of the Customer.

Over the last couple of years analysts have been talking about this new era for businesses, but what exactly is the Age of the Customer? How does it change the marketplace and what companies should do to get ready and adapt? Let's start by saying that products and services are still controlled by the seller and the buying decision is still in the hands of the buyer. What has shifted is the information: thanks to the internet and mobile revolution, the information is now easily available without being controlled and overseen by the seller.

This revolution has two main consequences:

  1. Clients are more and more empowered and connected.
  2. Companies struggle to deal with clients and to engage them.

The dynamics of the markets and the speed needed to remain competitive have deeply changed. Today there's no market without mobile, big data, digital transformation and digital customer experience. Empowered customers can choose from a potentially infinite set of suppliers so, if you want to connect with them and be their first choice, you must become obsessed by them. Customers demand new levels of engagement and connection.

There's a new paradigm for marketers, built on 3 imperatives:

  • Mobile mind shift: our lives have become a collection of mobile moments, influenced by smartphones and other personal digital devices (i.e. wearable technology such as Apple Watch and Google Glass). Mobile is not just an add-on: you need to reach your customers mobile-first. "I want to get what I want anytime, anywhere, easy and my own way."
  • Big data: thanks to the cloud and high-performance computing, companies are able to collect and analyze huge amount of information in real-time, but they're not always able to step from numbers to strategies. There are so many customers and touchpoints that marketers often feel overwhelmed. The solution? Big data, turned into useful insights to build buyer personas and shape your digital strategy.

Digital customers expect that you are able to anticipate their needs and answer every time they need and everywhere they are. Tricky but also full of opportunities: you 'just' need to put the digital customer experience at the very heart of your marketing and business strategy, invest in real-time data and content creation, finally shifting from traditional in-store sales funnel to an always connected mobile-first point of view.

Topics: Digital Customer Experience Gamification Innovation Storytelling Content Marketing

How The Wearable Revolution Changes The Digital Customer Experience

iWatch_wearable_technology

Now that the Apple Watch is here, ready to be sold everywhere in the world, the trend topic is about smartwatches and wearable technology. According to recent researches, this new device is expected to take a large market share from other devices. Not in the future but right now. It is inevitable that wearable technology will change digital customer experience.

It is not accidental if the buzz about Apple Watch is even more pressing than the one about iPhone 6. Numbers speak for themselves: 50 million units of wearable technology are expected to be sold in 2014 alone, 180 million by 2018. The wearable market is growing even faster than the smartphone revolution (five-times faster, this is the incredible rate). Apple Watch, Google Glass, activity trackers like Fitbit and Jawbone UP and even the Oculus Rift, they're all leading characters of the wearable revolution. Devices that are already changing retail and the way companies plan and execute customer experience strategies.

The first example of widespread worn electronics was the calculator watch, back in the 80's, but today wearable technology is a generic category that includes different clothing and accessories incorporating computer and advanced technology. All packed with catching design (thus the name 'fashionable technology'). Every single device has its own influence on digital marketing and helps companies bridge the gap between in-store and online customer experiences. 

Google Glass is an optical head-mounted display released in 2014. It allows users to communicate with the device and internet via natural language vocal commands. Once you wear it you won't even need your hands anymore. Google Glass is currently tested among a variety of industries, including medical, fashion and luxuryfood and security. Main uses for business could be: digital showroom, product comparison, location based notifications and advertising.

Apple Watch, designed and produced by Apple, it finally implements customer experience-related features such as long awaited NFC technology, adding one more thing: Apple Pay. A new process, based on a 'secure element' included in these new devices (iWatch and iPhone 6) designed to improve customers' life and their purchase experience. Once customers have added card information to Passbook, Apple uses a dynamic code that allows to pay with one touch, thanks to link between the iPhone payment components and fingerprint reader. This could revolutionize banking and financial services, as makes purchases - both in-store and online - easy, fast and secure.

Activity trackers (i.e. armband or wristband) are devices that monitor and record fitness and health metrics like distance walked, calorie consumption, heartbeat and quality of sleep. They answer the need for self-tracking and can be used by companies for customer related marketing activities connected to Gamification and Right-time Personalization. 

Companies are now able to collect a huge amount of data thanks to wearable technology. The use you will do of this data in your digital customer experience strategy is the most important decision for those of you who want to compete in the exciting arena of our Age of Customer.

Topics: Digital Customer Experience Gamification Society Future Innovation iOS Retail Fashion Luxury and Beauty Inbound Marketing Payment Wearable

How Apple Pay Makes the Difference in Your Digital Customer Experience

Apple_Pay_Digital_Customer_Experience

Money is probably as old as human civilization. People once used sheep and goats as money: domestic animals and food served as currency in ancient times. Metal coins have been around since 700 B.C., and the Chinese began using paper money in 140 B.C. It became a popular means of tender during Europe’s Renaissance and later in the American colonies.

But paper money has drawbacks. For instance, it’s easy to steal. And if something valuable, such as gold, does not back it, notes can proliferate and lose their worth.

After World War II, money began to convert from paper to plastic. In 1950, Diners Club introduced a credit card that people in New York City could use to pay for restaurant meals.

Payment-card technology turned a new page in 1979, when Visa brought out an industry first, the electronic data-capturing terminal. This is the now-commonplace system whereby a merchant or consumer swipes a plastic card with a magnetic stripe through a unit that automatically secures authentication and approval from the cardholder’s bank.

Today, with 12B USD between credit and debits and 200M credit card transactions a day just in US, the way people pay for items matters more than ever.

Now in most developed countries credit cards are the dominant payment form. However, the ubiquitous credit-card magnetic stripe, with exposed numbers that make it so easy to compromise is as outdated as VHS videotapes.

A truly mobile wallet has long be described as imminent, but it remained elusive; most industry efforts has been a disappointment or have not yet worked well enough for mainstream adoption.

One reason for this might be that most people that worked on mobile wallets started by focusing on a business model centered on their own interests, instead of focusing on customers and their experience.

Following its user-experience centered tradition, Apple unveiled yesterday a new payment process called Apple Pay.

Apple Pay key element is a new chip, called “secure element”, embedded in the upcoming iPhone 6 and 6S that keeps your personal information secure and private, linked to Passbook.

With Apple Pay, that will be release in October as an update to iOS 8, you can easily use your future iPhone 6 camera to take your card information and add it to Passbook. After that, you can just pay with your touch, thanks to link between the iPhone payment components and fingerprint reader.

It’s important to notice that when you add or use a credit card, Apple doesn’t store the credit card number or merchant information. When you pay, Apple uses instead a dynamic code that last for the duration of that only transaction, that will remain private between you, your merchant and your bank.

This for the physical world, thanks to NFC-enabled POS (Point of Sales) devices.

To extend this innovation to make online purchasing just as fast and secure, improving a process that is really really cumbersome, with long forms you have to fill out every time you shop for an item, Apple introduced yesterday one-touch checkout.

As in the physical world, also online you can make a purchase within a digital customer experience app with no card number entry, no need to type addresses, or expiration date, in essence: no card information shared with merchant, thanks to the one time payment number generated by the secure element embedded in your phone.

At Neosperience, we bet Google and PayPal have been up all night updating their strategic plans. It looks like that the time to allow your customer pay you with a touch has finally come.

Topics: Digital Customer Experience Society Neosperience Apps Innovation Neosperience iOS Retail Financial Services Fashion Luxury and Beauty Payment

How To Use Vine To Loop Your Content and Engage Your Customers

Vine

Could a six-second long looping video clip change the way customers connect with brands and products? Six seconds, really? Some marketers may think there's not enough 'space' for creativity in such a short time but, when you look at digital engagement and social networks, big not always means better. Here lies the secret of Vine, the mobile video sharing service so many companies are already using as a powerful customer engagement tool.

It was founded in 2012 but, more important, acquired by Twitter the same year. It's not a coincidence. Twitter seems to be the perfect environment for a service like Vine: a constant flow of 140-long (or short) messages marked with hashtags.

When you think about 'fast and now' there's no better social network than Twitter. It has words, it has pictures, it has social sharing. What it lacked was video. With Vine they filled the hole.

Two years have passed after its launch and Vine is becoming an important part of the content marketing mix for many companies. Of course some brands and products are more suited to marketing on Vine than others, but what really makes the difference is the message you want to deliver. Great content is the key for a great video. It's not only what you say but how you say it. You have to build your content following the rules, as they're not the same rules you rely on when you create a video for YouTube or Vimeo.

Six seconds is all you have to engage your customers, improve their digital experience and hope they will share it through their network. The results of a well conducted Vine campaign? Brand awareness, engagement, social shares and, hopefully, leads. If you're not convinced yet, here are a few numbers you can't ignore: 100 million people are watching vines across the web each month, and over 1 billion loops are played every day. 

Once you have decided to make your first video, what are the rules to follow?

  1. Never sell hard: the connection with the brand or product must be subtle. Advertising the 'classic-way' just won't work on Vine. 
  2. Talk to your community: never upload your video just because 'Vine is cool'. Know your community, because they're your audience and sounding board (heard about 'word of mouth'?)
  3. Create a story: we know how important is storytelling in content marketing. It is even more important with vines. Create a story and leave them wanting more.
  4. Use your imagination: the format is strict but open at the same time. Use your six looping seconds with creativity and imagination, focusing on your message and identity within your digital customer experience.

If you want to learn how to implement your content the best you can, the easiest way is to learn from companies that have done it already. Let's take a look at the most used types of vines:

  • How-to Video: provide a fresh take to old problems, teaching 'how-to' fixes in just six seconds.
  • Behind the scenes Video: your customers may want to know more about you or your product.
  • Creative Ads: explore your creativity and create amazing advertising (i.e. stop motion, animation).
  • Highlight product: does it have a special feature? Highlight it while entertaining your customer.
  • Promote UGC: create a video and ask your customer to do the same in a 1-to-1 connection.
  • Run a contest: few companies are doing it already. Create buzz with a creative contest.
  • Use looping: to establish your brand identity or your message.
  • Create a short film: take advantage of the 'six-seconds' rule, creating connected videos in a neverending film.
  • Play with your customer: keep your followers entertained with a game. Use gamification to engage and delight your digital customers.

Vine is an evolving platform and there's plenty of room for your ideas and creative inbound marketing thinking. You are encouraged to create your experiment and experience.

Is yours a retail, fashion and luxury or automotive firm? Loop your message: a six seconds well designed story will make your business stand out.

Topics: Digital Customer Experience Social Networking Content Marketing

Welcome to the Push Economy: Discover, Learn, Use Push Notifications

Welcome_to_the_Push_Economy_Discover_Learn_and_Use_Push_Notifications

Push notifications are a style of Internet-based communication where the request for a given transaction is initiated by a central server. It is contrasted with pull, where the request for the transmission of information is initiated by the receiver client app.

Push notification services allow to propagate small messages to devices (smartphones, tablets and computers) by applications and apps registered to receive those notifications. Each device establishes an accredited and encrypted IP connection with the service and receives notifications over a persistent connection.

Brands can connect with push notification services through a persistent and secure channel while monitoring incoming data intended for their digital customer experience app. When new data for their app arrives, the brand prepares and sends a notification through the channel to push notification services, which deliver the notification to the target device.

Push notifications not new: web conferencing and instant messaging are typical examples of push services. Email can also be push: The SMTP protocol is a push protocol. However, the last step — from mail server to your smartphone, tablet or computer — typically uses a pull protocol like POP3 or IMAP.

Nevertheless, as smartphone and tablet growth continues to accelerate, push notifications continue to grow in importance as a channel for apps to communicate with and re-engage users.

In the Age of Customer we live in, where markets have become conversations and customers are the storytellers, push notifications are the most effective way for brands to suggest behaviors and trigger actions: when customers are at the right place (i.e. close to one of our stores), in the right time (i.e. when we have a few people in our store and so plenty of potential attention time from our store employees), with the right piece of information (i.e. a promo or instant sale).

As location and microlocation-based targeting allows for increased relevancy, with customers more likely to tap a push notification applicable to their location, digital customer experience apps can and should be used to increase both digital and in-store sales and become part of the traditional marketing mix.

Smartphones are means to connect and stay engaged with customers during the entire shopping process, both going mobile-first in any e-commerce initiative, and from pre-store to in-store information and promotion and drive-to-purchase experiences.

Once a customer leaves a store, the mobile engagement does not stop there, as building a post-store experience and maintaining the customer engaged is crucial to building brand loyalty.

By taking advantage of push notifications (also in graphics on Apple iOS since 9-9), brands can and should keep on building long-lasting relationships with customers through retargeting, loyalty programs with gamification, inbound marketing and a strong mobile-first customer service.

 

Download The Mobile Engagement Playbook, a collection of relevant insights based on many years of Neosperience's expertise that'll help you to overcome the challenges of the digital transformation and grow your business exponentially.

Get The Mobile Engagement Playbook

Topics: Gamification Innovation Neosperience iOS Analytics Android Retail Storytelling Content Marketing Fashion Luxury and Beauty

Oculus Rift, a Game-Changer for Digital Customer Experience

virtual.reality

Sometimes we can find traces of the future of marketing and business not in essays, numbers and researches but in novels and fictions. Take digital transformation and gamification. In 2044 Parzival escapes from the exhaustion of Earth's fuels thanks to OASIS, a virtual reality network simulation. It’s the beginning of Ready Player One, a novel written in 2011 by Ernest Cline.

Back in 1992: Neal Stephenson, a science fiction guru writer, creates his masterpiece Snow Crash and the Metaverse, as a successor to the Internet as we know it. The Mataverse is a ‘collective virtual shared space’ in which both physical and virtual space could converge. In Snow Crash, Hiro Protagonist - his name reminding us the importance of archetypes in storytelling - is a freelance hacker living in a ‘meta universe’, a sum of virtual reality, 3D virtual space and augmented reality, all fueled by a super-fast Internet. How do both Parzival and Hiro get into their brand new virtual worlds? By using and wearing virtual reality peripherals and devices. Is it just science fiction? Could it be the future of business and digital customer experience? Just ask the Oculus Rift.

Since the 60’s sci-fi authors have dreamed about a future where their characters could enter a new reality thanks to technological appendices, an extension and optimisation for their limbs and senses. Bear in mind that virtual reality and games have always been strictly linked (OASIS is nothing more than a universe large MMO game). From novels to marketing, the story doesn’t change. Digital customer experience is more and more focused on gamification, an easy way to connect with customers and leverage engagement and sales.

Virtual technology plays a vital role in how companies are changing their digital strategies. The Oculus Rift could become the next step in this path full of opportunities. Talking of games, the Rift is a game-changer for digital customer experience. It is a virtual reality head-mounted display using head tracking, positional tracking, high resolution and speed wireless connection to enhance the experience of a parallel virtual world in a 3D perspective.

Games and software developers have shown great interest in this new technology since the very beginning, but they’re not the only ones. If games are designed to mimic real-world fighting, in Norway the Army has started using Oculus Rift to drive tanks and simulate a real warfare. Just game and war, as usual? Not really, because there are still lot of opportunities to explore.

Why not create a customer-facing app to shift from static e-commerce website to virtual concept store, offering an amazing digital customer experience while you sell your product or service? You’re are a retailfashion and luxuryautomotive firm? Why not offer a digital showroom that your customers can visit to explore, search and even touch your products? The only limit is your imagination.

Stay focused if you look for useful tips to leverage your digital strategies. The future might be already here: more real than real.

All Play and No Work Makes Jack a Zippy Boy

All_Play_and_No_Work_Makes_Jack_a_Zippy_Boy

Millions of people around the world play these games to have fun and escape the tedium of work. What draws so many to do the same things over and over again in games that they do at work – and why do people enjoy games much more than work?

The simple answer is in one word: engagement.

In the second industrial revolution we live in, incorporating the power of games in the redesign of work, thus making work more engaging and making workers more productive, is imperative.

And the same applies to those of you involved in digital customer experience (DCX) strategy and design: comment about this new discipline echoes the first reaction most people have when they enter a 3D world – the boundary between physical and digital is not as precise as one thought it would be.

Games are getting better at engaging people: you can take advantage of the opportunity of this lesson learned by understanding that  as it happens for your customers  engaging your co-workers is more relevant to their performance than commanding them to do a piece of work.

Serious games at work give players a sense of achievement and excitement by immersing people in environments where they can compete, explore and socialize:

  • Pose challenges that foster collaboration, experimentation, creativity, productivity and employee engagement and motivation, starting from your colleagues true why.

  • Include a consistent reward and ranking system that shows a true commitment towards meritocracy.

  • Identify the ideal balance between knowledge work that is exactly in between too easy, thus dull, and too hard, thus frustrating.

Start by experimenting initiatives like FedEx Days, and engage your sales team in one of the most effective strategic thinking initiatives you can undertake: the gamification of your sales process.

You will soon realize that incorporating the power of games in the redesign of your work will make it more engaging and will make your co-workers much more productive.

Topics: Digital Customer Experience Gamification Human Capital Management Society Future Innovation Social Networking Neuromarketing Content Marketing

How To Create Buyer Personas, Shape Their Digital Customer Experience

buyer_persona

One of the first tasks every company - working in a digital or traditional brick-and-mortar market - has to face is the definition of the target customer. Who are you talking to? Who should buy your product or service? It's not always easy as it may seem, especially in a global world where customers have evolved to be more and more connected, thanks to smartphones and tablets, and informed.

In spite of this evolution the main task for marketing professionals remains the same: to define the buyer personas and design for them a proper storytelling, map their digital customer journey, shape the appropriate content marketing strategy.

Before even thinking about 'what we say', we need to be aware of 'who we're talking to'. Here comes the core question: what is a buyer persona? Is it the a specific customer stereotype or a more complex subject? How can you use it to leverage your digital customer experience?

A brief definition: buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers, based on market research and specific insights gathered from the actual customer base (i.e. through interviews and surveys). What is the purpose of researching and creating such a fictional character? Buyer personas help you understand your actual and prospective customers better. More, they help your create a tailored content based on the specific needs, behaviors, and concerns of different groups. 

When you sell your product or your brand you never talk (or should talk) to everyone, because talking to everyone in marketing is often equal to talking to nobody. This is even more important in a digital context: your digital customer needs be an active participant in the experience you're selling - and that you should be able to map as digital customer journey - to be sure you're able to attract the most valuable visitors and leads to your business.

If you want to send a lead nurturing email, would you prefer to send it to every contact in your database or just to the segment you know is ready to listen and act? 

A buyer persona provides an insight to determine where to focus your time and align the whole organization. You can define it in a positive or negative way. Negative Buyer Personas are also important (even though their definition requires even more research and study), because they give you the benefit of being able to segment out the bad apples and achieve a lower cost-per-customer.

That's why a well detailed persona - positive and negative - should always include customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations and goals.

So how do you create your buyer personas?

  • Start defining your target customer, prospects and potential audience.
  • Interview your customers both online and face-to-face.
  • Study how different customers interact with your product and brand.
  • Use forms on your website to collect important personal data, incrementally.
  • Consider sales team's feedback on your actual and potential leads.
  • Analyze all data collected, shape your buyer personas in a continous cycle.

The definition of your buyer persona is not just another task. It is, in fact, so crucial that we have included it at the very the beginning of our 7 Steps Checklist you can follow to create an effective digital customer experience.

Topics: Digital Customer Experience Innovation Neosperience Automotive Retail Storytelling Content Marketing Fashion Luxury and Beauty