Your source of insights for a successful digital transformation.

4 Good Habits To Deliver Highly Effective Digital Strategies

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How can you deliver an amazing digital customer experience? This question often raises a business conundrum, because innovative strategies rarely happen by chance. They always require a firm vision of your brand identity and an action plan that comprehend and blend technology, business vision and data. There is no ‘one-fits-all’ solution to solve the puzzle, but we can identify at least 4 good habits to deliver highly effective digital strategies.

Today the only constant is change and the rate of change is increasing. Your competition is no longer a multinational corporation overseas, but the guy or gal in a Bandra (Mumbai) garage using the latest technology to design and cloud print their latest innovation to come and disrupt you. Digital transformation is not optional anymore. It is a ‘call of duty’ if you want to connect with empowered customers and become their first choice at the moment of purchase. Yet many companies still struggle to convert their agenda into new business and operating models. The shift from analog to digital is challenging and requires initiative and commitment. It is not just about actual marketing actions, it involves your identity and vision as a brand and entrepreneur.

Your digital customer experience, in our mobile-first time, must be consistent and coherent across all channels and touchpoints. Your business ambition should be to give your customers what they want, when they want it, in the most compelling way - yet easy and fast.

To deliver on the promise of the perfect client experience in the Age of the Customer, start following a few good habits:

  • Maintain an holistic view: customers expect an intregrated experience with your brand, across all their devices. They might want to start an action on your website, then continue it with your app and close it in your physical store. Conversion has become an omni-channel story. You need to align all areas of business that impact on customer experience: know your buyer persona, map the customer journey and create personalized content. United platform and strategic sinergy are the keywords for marketers.

  • Be an inspirational leader: even the best strategy in this world will never be really efficient when managers and leaders don't share a unique vision of innovation and constant evolution. You must be prepared to think different and use new approaches to solve old problems if you want to be unreasonably aspirational. Put the customer at the core of your vision and start from there to share your ideas and inspire stakeholders and employees. 

  • Think out of the box: it is not easy to foresee the future and be first in line to innovate. Nonetheless, you don't need to be a clairvoyant to understand that there are forces at work to shape a new world, changing the rules of marketing and rebalancing the connection between brands and clients. Mobile is the new trend, but going mobile without a plan can only do harm. Before moving on, try to understand where the market is going and how you can use innovative technologies (i.e. beacons). Be disruptive in your business and don’t be afraid to try.

  • Know where the value is: always ask yourself what is your value proposition and how does it align to your digital marketing strategy. In your product or service? Of course, but that is just the beginning of the story in this new era. You have now two main assets: your identity and your customer. When you create your strategy, try to follow these steps: know yourself, know your customer (using Big Data), narrate your essence with storytelling, engage your clients with interesting actions (Gamification), measure obsessively your results, adapt budget and KPI. And when you have the feeling you've finished, then that is the right time to start again.

Topics: Digital Customer Experience

China Is Rising: How To Adapt Your Digital Customer Experience

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There was a time when China was considered a mere source of labor, with all its factories busy creating  products designed to be used elsewhere. That time is (almost) over. Asian countries are ramping up efforts to compete with Western economies in their point of excellence: creativity. China is slowly becoming the land of innovative companies, and a new type of customer is shaping up. A customer you can't ignore. Numbers are on their side - people and assets - and they are rebuilding markets and customer experience.

The Western way of thinking about China companies has been built on misconceptions and prejudices: "we have ideas and they have labor". Maybe that could have been true 20 years ago, surely not now. In 2014 release of World’s Most Innovative Companies list by Forbes, Asia contributes with one quarter of the firms; and of the Top Ten, five are Chinese. Brands that are not just exotic names anymore: Tencent, Baidu, Xiaomi, Alibaba, Weibo, are the names of the future.

Two recent news confirm that the tiger is roaring more than ever:

  • Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant recently listed in New York after an incredible IPO, has surpassed in market valuation the behemoth Walmart - the world’s largest retailer by revenues.

  • Xiaomi, the Chinese electronics company headquartered in Beijing has become the the world’s third largest smartphone maker, right after Samsung and Apple and surpassing Chinese Lenovo and LG.

Internet and mobile is the field where a few thrilling battles are taking place:

  • Tencent, the fourth-largest Internet company in the world, against Facebook and PayPal for the control of messaging and payment mobile applications (WeChat, TenPay).

  • Baidu, a web service company, against Google and Wikipedia for the control of search and online encyclopedia.

  • Weibo, maybe the mosto popular microblogging website in China, against Twitter and Facebook for the control of social media.

China’s creativity rise will have deep - and sometimes unexpected - effects on your digital marketing strategy and digital customer experience. It is not easy to foresee what is really going to happen in the next future, but some trends are already shaping our new economic world:

  1. Production shift: as Chinese companies focus on development and creation, more than production and wages grow, factories owners will search for more convenient areas to settle their industries. Western companies must adapt their strategies accordingly.

  2. Innovation Made in China: goodbye assembly lines. The world’s most populous nation is already producing companies that are major players in innovation. From now on, more and more prominent companies will come from developing countries. Asia is the new horizon if you look for digital transformation and innovative products.

  3. Say hi to your new customer: the global economy is rebalancing. While consumption in the U.S. and Europe is constrained by weaker job prospects and stagnant wages, in China and other developing nations disposable income is rapidly increasing. We are at the dawn of a new Age of the Customer, the Asian customer (Alibaba is a prime example).

  4. Your next partner will be Chinese: or Indian, because companies from developing markets are already investing around the world. Western markets have become a big store where Asian investors scan for bargains: Chinese companies have invested more than 500 billion USD around the world since 2005. It is likely, then, that your next job partner - or even your employer - will come from a developing country.

What should you do to adapt your digital customer experience?

  • Customer Journey: new buyer personas require a new customer journey map, with different touchpoints. First thing you have to understand is who are you talking to.

  • Content Strategy: another country, other tastes, other backgrounds and cultural substrates. You need to create a proper content strategy and storytelling, personalized and compelling, from these new points of view.

  • Mobile First: the easiest way to reach this new customer is starting mobile. Thinking and acting digital is the necessary premise to connect with them. How? Focusing on disruptive technologies (beacons, Apple Pay), and creating a localized app plus responsive web assets perfectly usable on smartphone and tablets.

  • Sense of exclusivity: this is a high-spending wealthy clientele. They choose you not just for your product, but for your brand and the power of its essence. Your digital strategy needs to offer an outstanding brand experience to enhance the sense of exclusive: digital showroom, virtual personal assistant, augmented reality.
Topics: Digital Customer Experience

Gartner's Top 10 Technology Trends For 2015 That Will Change DCX

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What will happen next? How technology is going to shape the future of business? Analysts and entrepreneurs are obsessed by questions like these. One thing is for sure: innovation is already changing the way customers connect with products and brands, and this process is accelerated by digital and mobile. Being on top of things is the key factor to succeed in an ever-changing scenario. That is the reason why Gartner's top 10 technology trends for 2015 are strategic for your organization.

You have already seen many researches online, but this is not just another prediction made by a business blogger, being Gartner the world's leading information technology research and advisory company. The list of trends for 2015 have the potential for a significant impact on markets and organizations: some have already emerged in the last few months, others will start rising next year. Many of them will have an influence on your marketing strategy and digital customer experience.

You will need to make decisions about them during 2015, although this does not mean that a company has adopt all these trends at the same rate. The list can be divided into three main areas: the merging of the real and virtual worlds, the advent of intelligence everywhere, and the technology impact of the digital business shift. 

  1. Computing Everywhere: we are now in the era mobile mind-shift, and companies have to think and act mobile first. The smartphone market will continue to grow, and we will face the wearables boom, so brands have to put an increased emphasis on serving the needs of mobile users at all touch points of their customer journey.
  2. The Internet of Things: the interconnection of different devices and the automation in all fields is not a dream anymore. As pointed out by Gartner, the combination of data streams and services creates four key usage models — Manage, Monetize, Operate and Extend.
  3. 3D Printing: right now it is still an expensive object of desire, but evolving fast. Worldwide shipments of 3D printers are expected to double in 2015, followed by another doubling of unit shipments in 2016. The reason behind the success is that "3D printing is a real, viable and cost-effective means to reduce costs through improved designs, streamlined prototyping and short-run manufacturing".
  4. Advanced, Pervasive and Invisible Analytics: as we have often said, in the age of big data you can only succeed if you are able to extract useful insight from a huge amount of numbers and statistics. Analytics is the perfect tool to generate strategies from the volume of data generated by embedded systems. To provide the right information to the right person, in right-time, analytics will become deeply, though invisibly, embedded everywhere.
  5. Context-Rich Systems: in the age of the customer there is no content without context. Location-based promotions and push notifications are just two applications of the new capability made possible by the ubiquitous embedded intelligence combined with pervasive analytics. The result will be the development of context-monitoring systems, able to respond appropriately (just think about beacons).
  6. Smart Machines: machines able to understand and interact with humans is not a sci-fi fantasy anymore. Deep learning and analytics applied to an understanding of context provide the preconditions for a world of smart machines. New algorithms will allow systems to understand and learn from the surrounding environment, to act autonomously. The Car that drives itself is just the tip of the iceberg.
  7. Cloud/Client Computing: with empowered customers, the rule is 'give them what they want, when they want it, easy, fast and deliver it though all devices'. The convergence of cloud and mobile computing will help companies in developing centrally coordinated applications that can be delivered to any device, paving the way for next generation digital customer experiences.
  8. Software-Defined Applications and Infrastructure: digital markets require that companies are able to work with flexibility. Agile programming of everything, from applications to basic infrastructure, is essential to deal with the rapidly changing demand of digital business and scale systems up — or down — easily.
  9. Web-Scale IT: some changes are more customer-facing, others will affect other business processes. That is the case of web-scale IT, a pattern of global-class computing that delivers the capabilities of large cloud service providers within an enterprise IT setting. The result of this evolution? More organizations will begin thinking, acting and building applications and infrastructure following the path of Web giants such as Amazon, Google and Facebook.
  10. Risk-Based Security and Self-Protection: if privacy is a concern for many users (Ello the anti-Facebook is the perfect example), security is key for all companies. There is no digital future without security. Progress will require that we all understand that a 100 per cent secured environment is not achievable, it is just utopia. That said, technology can help to set up more-sophisticated risk assessment and mitigation tools. The future is a new models of building security directly into applications: every app needs to be self-aware and self-protecting.

Disruptive technologies will produce a profound impact to your business, but you need to be well-aware that it is how you adopt and use it that will decide in the end if your company will win or lose the race to digital innovation.

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Topics: Digital Customer Experience Internet of Things

How Digital Is Changing Retail Banking Customer Experience

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Usually, when we talk about the effects of digital transformation, we tend to focus on companies producing shopping consumer goods. But there is another ‘industry’ that is effectively searching for innovative ways to deal with customers: retail banking. Digital technology is dramatically changing the way clients interact with banks, forcing them to evolve from traditional bank counter operations to online services. A new era for retail banking customer experience.

Mobile banking is already an important aspect of our daily life, but analysis often just study how Internet and apps have changed payments and deposits. Money sharing is just one side of the coin. The other one, even more important, is how digital is redefining customer experience. At the heart of this transformation we find two trends:
  • The increasing competition from emerging digital banks, lowering the cost of financial services.

  • The emergence of a mobile mind shift, with financial institutions finally focused on putting customers at the core of their strategies and creating a consistent experience.

Truth is customers now evaluate their banking experience the same way they would do for consumer goods retailers, in terms of interactions and experiences. As they use multiple touchpoints, they want banking to be easy, fast, personalized and accessible wherever they are whenever they need it. The ability to deliver a seamless service through all touchpoints - both physical and digital - is crucial to enstablish and mantain long term relationships.

Growing expectations mean that banks must reshape their marketing strategy, CRM and even their identity. The only way to achieve a successful transition to digital banking is to focus on key areas to create engagement, raise brand value and deliver amazing experiences.

There are 4 strategic areas to achieve a meaningful and innovative transformation:

  1. Big Data: if there’s an industry where big data can really elevate service, that is banking. Digital demands new model and assets to collect data, test and transform them into useful insights (i.e. using analytics dashboards)

  2. Content Management: when you decide your marketing mix, you can’t ignore the power of storytelling. To create your brand image and adapt it to times of constant evolution, you need to set up a proper content marketing strategy, to connect with customers and engage them on a deeper level.

  3. Social Media: talking about engagement, social networks are crucial to talk with clients and prospects and let them talk to you. Using Facebook and Twitter, a bank is able to show a warm human face, build trust and answer in real-time to opportunities, questions and threats.

  4. Mobile Experience: today there’s no banking without mobile. Even in less developed markets, financial institutions now offer a complete online service to their clients, providing a consistent experience across all touchpoints (right-time personalization and Apple Pay are just two examples). To convert banking from a cold experience to a simplified, streamlined, friendly and easy one.

And remember: the first step for a real digital transformation in banking is to stop considering your customers as generic account numbers.
Topics: Digital Customer Experience Financial Services Mobile Internet of Things

5 Rules To Build Your Innovative Content Marketing Strategy

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As the years go passing by and technology evolves, we find out that digital customer experience and content creation are more and more connected. In a complex and ever-changing industry scenario, if you want to win your customers' trust and be their first choice when the purchase moment-of-truth comes, you can't just focus on your product or service. You need to build an innovative and possibly unique content marketing strategy. How? One recomm is to stay current on the top trends.

Content marketing is defined as "the technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a defined target audience to drive profitable customer actions". In the Age of the Customer, content is still king. This is particularly true in a market shaped by digital transformation, where clients become more demanding and traditional outbound marketing actions look worn-out and outdated. 

Every single day analysts shape and - more often than not - change their predictions about trends to look for in the next future. New technologies grow and die so fast that you can never really know what's going to happen. You don't need to be a clairvoyant, though, to see those forces at work that turn around the way companies think and act. We have identified 5 main rules that you can't ignore, if you want to build an innovative content marketing strategy:

  • Mobile-first: a recent study says that there will be 2 billion smartphone users by 2015 and, by 2017, around 69.4% of world's population is expected to use smartphones. Not talking about other devices, such as the upcoming Apple Watch. This is just one effect of what is called the mobile mind shift: our life is becoming a collection of mobile moments and your company must adapt to survive and compete. Your new karma should be 'think and act digital first'. Starting from these few keywords: content optimization, responsive design, touchpoints, personalization, gamification.
  • Engagement: when we talk about engagement, we don't refer to customers only. When it comes to content creation, you need to focus on two different stakeholders: clients and influencers. The best way to connect with digital customers is to create something truly compelling, starting from storytelling and going straight to valuable content (posts, videos, webinars, white papers). You can't do all by yourself: the best way is to collaborate with industry influencers. Develop your actions working with specialists who have respected voices, and you will experience healthy effects on your customer base.
  • Lead Generation: engagement is just one phase of your customer's journey. Once you have been able to connect with clients and prospects, you need to mantain interest and drive people to the conversion moment. You can only do it if you offer something valuable, something they need - though they might not even know - but don't have yet. This content should be offered through an easy one-step process, without endless forms to fill out. 'Easy and fast' is the rule for digital customer experience, the same logic that you can find in new mobile payments trend, thanks to Apple Pay.
  • Social Media: today there is no content strategy without social media. Not all social networks are useful for all types of companies. First, you should analyze your business and try to understand where your customers are. Where are them on Facebook, Do they use LinkedIn? Do they share what they like on Twitter or on WeChat? Focus on two priorities: 1. Stay current and look for new channels (i.e. the privacy-loving Ello); 2. Concentrate your efforts on strategic media (Google+ and Slideshare are perfect to disseminate and share content, specially for B2B businesses).
  • Location-based Content: moving from strategic plans to actual actions, in the age of customer you should never talk to all customers without distinctions. The risk is to waste your efforts and reach nobody. Thank to low energy GPS and new technologies like beacons, you are now able to target your clients with surgical precision. Be conscious that Generation C customers not only demand an amazing customer experience easy and fast, but also personalized content when they need it, their own way and wherever they are. Something that seemed impossibile just a few years ago. Today you can't do location-based content without losing a big opportunity, so try to learn how these technology and processes work as soon as possible: beacons, in-store promotions, push notification and right-time personalization.
Topics: Digital Customer Experience Content Marketing

4 Ways to Improve Your Fashion Digital Customer Experience

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The essence of fashion is couture, a French term that refers to the creation of exclusive clothing or accessories, constructed by hand from start to finish. In this sense it can be seen as the exaltation of craftsmanship and analog. Nevertheless the fashion and luxury industry needs now to breathe the fresh air of digital transformation, improving what we could call fashion digital customer experience (DCX).

Everytime they need to shape a marketing strategy, brands and firms working in the industry of heaute couture, beauty, clothing and luxury have to deal with the fear of losing themselves. The brand is the core of all their activities, so the digital customer experience must incorporate company’s brand identity.

Marketers need to mantain a balance between two opposite forces: engage customers on one hand and stay true to brand image on the other. To create a digital connection with customers is more important for fashion brands than for other retail firms, because their clients are always first in line when it comes to trends and high profile experiences. Technology makes no exception.

This is the scenario: digital customers ask for compelling digital strategies, and your company must think and act mobile first. How? Creating personalized content in an ambience able to offer a sense of exclusivity. When? As soon as possibile because wealthy customers have already gone mobile.

Last question: what should fashion industry do to enhance marketing strategies and connect with clients in innovative and amazing ways? Here are 4 suggestions - guided by technology improvements - you can follow to improve your dcx and stay at the top of your game.

  • Beacons: with the launch of iPhone 5 and iPhone 6, beacons have become the main trend for retail strategies. Using these self-powered wireless devices you can enhance your customer experience, delivering location-based offers and promotions with push notification paving the way to right-time personalization.

  • Fashion wearables: Apple Watch is bringing the spotlight on wearable technology. Analysts say that the wearables market is growing five-times faster than the smartphone revolution and big fashion names are already playing on the new trend. In the Age of the Customer, you can embrace innovation by producing trendy technology icons. They are useful, why shouldn't be beautiful too?

  • Exclusive app: retail companies are improving their online presence through customer-facing apps. Going mobile for mobile's sake, though, is something you should never do, especially if you are a fashion firm. How can you adapt this technology to your specific industry? Offering the outstanding brand experience of a digital showroom or a virtual store enhanced with augmented reality to your clients is among your best options.

  • Innovative shopping experience: the former three strategies can be blended in this final one, as being an exclusive brand means giving an exclusive customer experience. You can deliver on this promise with digital only if you stay current on mobile innovations, adapting them to your specific product or service. Apple Pay, personalized push notifications in right-time, virtual dressing room and so on.
With so many opportunities to be groundbreaking, remember always to stay true to your real identity. That's what fashion is all about.
Topics: Digital Customer Experience Fashion Luxury and Beauty Mobile

Top 10 Do's For Your Digital Marketing Strategy

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In a world shaped by emerging technologies where information is readily available, companies are constantly looking at innovative strategies to build their digital marketing. In the Age of the Customer, Internet and mobile have deeply changed the way people live and communicate. Go get ready and adapt is more and more difficult, while it is really easy to miss the mark, if you don't take the necessary precautions when focusing all your efforts to increase engagement and brand awareness. 

Traditional patterns are not able to ensure that your campaigns are executed effectively. In this ever-changing scenario, old strategies can't help anymore when you look for tips and advices to plan your actions, even if they were winning strategies few days ago. New horizons mean new patterns. Mobile technology opens a vast array of opportunities, if you only know how to catch them. That is where our top 10 do's and don'ts come and help.

We start here with our 10 best practices you should never forget when you build your presence across all devices. Our next blog post will be then dedicated to the 10 mistakes you should avoid when creating a digital customer experience.

DO'S

  1. Know your customer: for marketers it is crucial to know who they are talking to and what are needs and desires of target audience. First step: build you Buyer Personas, semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers. Second step: map the customer journey throughout all touchpoints.
  2. Set achievable goals: they say 'always aim for the moon' but in marketing you can only reach your best results if you set achievable mid-term goals. You will then land among the stars step by step.
  3. Use responsive design: in an era defined by mobile technologies, you should never plan your online presence without providing an optimal viewing experience across all devices.
  4. Find your own voice: you will never be able to connect with customers and create amazing content marketing if you don't know who you are. Your company is defined not only for what you sell but also for what you are and say. Archetypes and storytelling become priorities.
  5. Create engagement: if you want to be the first choice when it comes to selling products or services, don't forget to create amazing content and memorable experiences. Use gamification to enhance your customer-facing app: if you can't win them, play with them.
  6. Create tailored content: as we just said, you should never talk to an undefined audience, because in digital marketing talking to everyone equals talking to no one. Right time personalization is what empowered customers expect from your brand.
  7. Stay current: don't forget that marketing is influenced by technology and that digital transformation in an ever flowing river. Be well-aware that every single innovation could change your customer experience forever: beacons, wearable technology, Apple Pay just to name a few.
  8. Go mobile first: analysts say that the first step in digital evolution is the mobile mind-shift. Our life can be decribed as a sequence of connected moments, defined by all sorts of technology (smartphones, tablet, wearables, tracking activity devices). Mobile is not just a plus, it is a categorical imperative if you want to survive in new markets.
  9. Use data: Internet and portable technology create a huge amount of information about your customers, that you can use to adapt and hit the target. We call it the Big Data era in which you only win if you are able to extract useful insights from numbers and codes.
  10. Test & Learn: always test what you are doing online (i.e. with an analytics dashboard) to refocus budget, goals and technological support. Learn from your mistakes and from your competitors, in una continuos cycle. This should be the rule. In an hyper-connected world 'forever lasts just till tomorrow'.
Topics: Digital Customer Experience Content Marketing

HealthKit: How Apple Changes Your Medical Experience With Apps

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Apple’s iOS 8 has received mixed reactions from users and analysts, but there is one thing no one can deny: the new operating system comes with a couple of new features that have a huge impact on the digital customer experience. The first one is ApplePay, that can change the way we purchase, even according to Bill Gates; the second feature is HealthKit and is meant to change our medical experience. How?

There is still a bit of confusion about HealthKit: some identify this new feature with an app (Health), but there is a lot more than that. It is a dynamic platform, working behind the scenes even when you don’t see it running, designed to track and share with authorized stakeholders and apps a vast range of health and fitness data across multiple devices. A huge revolution when used as a serious medical tool.

You might not even interact with HealthKit directly, as it can be seen as a data repository where apps can insert and extract information to process. To make it simple: HealthKit allows apps that provide health and fitness services to share their data with the new Health app and with each other. This ensure a consistent experience to each user, collecting data through device sensors and connecting with Health and even with third-party apps to let you store and access data in one place.

You can use this new feature as a wellness tool or personal trainer, but it will produce the best results in the hands of doctors and medical specialists:

  • It can aggregate data from different apps or connected devices, i.e. smartwatches, self tracking wearables or blood pressure measurement devices.

  • It can automate the recording of medical data, to improve diagnosis accuracy and always present updated information.

  • It can interact with electronic records systems in hospitals or doctor’s office, so that your data could be automatically included in your personal report.

  • In the next future, iBeacons will play a vital role in how patients interact with doctors and hospital rooms.

The Health app designed for iOS, of course, is the first and best so far way to connect with data stored in the platform. It allows you to manually enter data and creates a dashboard for visualizing your whole medical scenario. More important, it includes a Medical ID feature - to record information like medications or allergies - available even when your phone screen is locked in case of emergency.

There are so many opportunities for medical applications that developers are still trying to figure out how to make it work the right way. And there is one last concern: privacy. What is Apple going to do with all our data? And third parties? Cupertino reassures that both platform and app are designed to respect privacy at their core, and that it has also barred developers from selling information or mining it for non medical research. Is it enough?

Anyway, what is really interesting for us it that, finally, hospitals and doctors and wellness players are entering in an era defined by big data and empowered customers. Being businesses in a moment of public funding cuts, organizations must adapt their marketing strategy to become more effective and attract clients/patients. The Age of Customers, with both iOS 8 and next generation Android, may result in a cheaper and faster health service and a better patient customer journey.
Topics: Digital Customer Experience Society Innovation

5 Mobile Marketing Trends Reshaping Digital Customer Experience

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It all started with an SMS. We were in the early 2000s and companies started to collect phone numbers and send off content through Short Message Service. Lot has happened since the first SMS. Mobile Marketing is a relatively new field of study but, despite its youth, it is already crucial in strategies. Smartphones and apps play such a significant role in shaping success that mobile is not only ‘just’ another channel you should add to your plan.

It is becoming, in fact, the most important channel. We are facing a revolution called Mobile Mind Shift: our life can be now described as a collection of online moments, influenced by personal devices (smartphone, tablet, smartwatch). We live in a hyper-connected world where real and virtual coexist. Your goal as a business is to reach your customers in every touchpoint, aiming to right-time personalization.

Markets are evolving in so many different ways that you really need a compass to maintain focus. Content and strategies must adapt to this ever-changing scenario in which clients not only research, compare and buy products on their mobile devices, but also ask for innovative and compelling digital customer experience. Let’s take a look at mobile marketing top trends for the next future.

  • Wearable Technology: when we hear the word ‘mobile’, we usually think about smartphones, tablets, laptops (and now phablets). Now, with the AppleWatch, the trend topic is about wearable technology. Smartwatches, activity trackers, Google Glass: all these devices will change digital strategies forever.
  • Mobile Payments: using mobile devices to make purchases might seem a futuristic dream but now, with Apple Pay, it is becoming reality. No long forms, no credit cards required: ApplePay changes online and in-store payments, thanks to NFC, iBeacons and a secure link between the iPhone payment components and fingerprint reader.
  • Gamification: people love to play games (just think about the enormous success of Angry Birds). Competition is part of the human nature. Everybody enjoys acquiring points or badges, unlocking content and competing with friends. Why shouldn’t those elements of fun work in content marketing, helping in shaping a new and more effective digital customer experience? That's gamification.
  • Narrowcasting: with traditional marketing segmentation, companies create broad clusters of clients and send their message to them, hoping that at least 20% of them is interested in it. With mobile, marketers have now the ability to target fewer individuals who are significantly more qualified, usually based around events and shared experiences, and create content customized with context.
  • Location-Based Content: we can’t ignore one last trend, strictly linked with the previous one. GPS helps companies locate clients and shape proper content strategies for customers while they are in the right location (i.e. stores). Give them what they need when they need it. Location-based promotions and notifications are now essential part of the marketing mix. More relevant and less intrusive.

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 Gamification Content Marketing Mobile

Say Hi to Ello: 3 Marketing Lessons From the New Social Network

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"Simple, beautiful & ad-free": this is the tagline used by Ello the new social network everybody is talking about. It has no mobile app, it is not really open yet (you just can get in by invitations). Nonetheless, Ello has been able to create a huge buzz. No one knows if it will be a success or just one of many 'wannabes' deleted by collective memory in few months. Analysts call it the anti-Facebook, users call it paradise for privacy and marketers call it possible nightmare. Ello may be not marketing-friendly, but there are 3 lessons you can still learn from it.

Ello is willing to create a more privacy-respecting social environment, not requiring users to give their real name or demographics. With a simple call to action ("You are not a product"), it has already caught the attention of thousands, growing at a rate of almost 40.000 per hour in the first days. Might seem a contradiction, but even companies - small business first in line - are trying to understand what kind of potential audience they could reach. 

The aggressive anti-Facebook campaign and the strong mission statement give us 3 helpful insights:

  1. Know your customer: take note of what people want, put this need at the very hearth of your strategy and deliver it to them the best way you can. Ello manifesto declares that "Your social network is owned by advertisers. Every post you share, every friend you make and every link you follow is tracked, recorded and converted into data. Advertisers buy your data so they can show you more ads. You are the product that’s bought and sold". Recent major issues (Apple's iCloud hack everyone?) have brought to light something digital customers really value: privacy. And that's where Ello comes in, shaping its storytelling around the claim that social network should be a tool for empowerment and connection, not a tool to deceive and manipulate.

  2. Be true to yourself: explore your true why, choose your archetype, declare your mission and ideals and shape your content marketing strategy and customer journey starting from these values. Hold true to them even in difficulties. Back to manifesto: "We believe there is a better way. We believe in audacity. We believe in beauty, simplicity and transparency. We believe that the people who make things and the people who use them be in partnership". Ello earned influence not with a big budget but with a great idea and a core value customers could relate to. Every marketing action started from that. It may not charm everybody - technologists have already labelled Ello as an unsustainable funding model - but it is winning nonetheless.
  3. Customer experience first: 'simple and beautiful', these are the first two word we read on Ello homepage. Ad-free is the third. In combination, they create something unique: a customer journey where users could really feel free to be themselves, without declaring who they are in real life. Being able to go coherently from mission to actual customer experience is the key to success: Ello is small (invitations-only right now), simply designed, without flaws and beautiful. It also succeeds because it relies on one ancient marketing rule: limiting availability and making users feel chosen and special.
When you need to track clients (we are in the era of big data and beacons, in the end), when you invest in disruptive technologies - such as analytics dashboard - and customer-facing apps, when you shape your digital customer experience, never forget what this small indipendent social networking site is trying to tell us: customers deserve respect. They are, in fact, the single most important factor in the success or failure of your company. 

Topics: Digital Customer Experience Innovation Social Networking Content Marketing