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Top 6 Rules of Gamification: How To Engage Customers Playing With Them

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Games are everywhere. So many aspects of our daily life are influenced by game mechanics that marketers recognize their seeds everywhere. Companies have used games for years, both for B2C and B2B strategies, with one big aim: create brand awareness to drive engagement. This is gamification: the science of applying game theory and dynamics in non-game contexts. Like any other science, you need to learn the rules of gamification to learn how to engage customers playing with them.

To fully understand the importance of gamification today, we need to go back in time: in 2011 Gartner announced that, by 2015, “more than 50 percent of organizations that manage innovation processes will gamify those processes”. We already discussed about the importance of gamification for digital customer experience: a game layer is spreading across the world, influencing digital marketing strategies and replacing traditional loyalty marketing as the most effective tool.

In the Age of the Customer, loyalty programs are not enough to connect and engage with empowered customers, submerged in the ground noise made by traditional marketing. Here gamification enters the scene as the perfect way to promote awareness, engagement and brand loyalty. The secret of conversion, in a mobile scenario defined by games, is to play with your customer. Or, even better, to let your customer play with your brand and product.

Creating a game, though, is not enough to enhance the connection between the brand and the client. Gamification is not separated from the rest of your digital marketing actions; it must be included in an overall strategy and focused on your customer experience - as in the 4 inspiring gamification examples we outlined before.

What are the rules of gamification? You need to be well-aware that a good strategy should always:

  • Be results driven: gamification is not about building a fancy game. The game is a tool, not the final purpose of your plan. The target is producing increased awareness and improved performance for products, services and your brand as a whole.

  • Put emphasis on social: games and social networks are key to understand how the customer is evolving in a mobile ecosystem. Your actions should aim to the gamification of life, and never forget the power of “Feedback and Progress” dynamics.

  • Be behavior focused: as we have highlighted the importance of location based content, keep in mind to increase engagement with context-related content. That is even more true for games, with beacons, wearables, widgets, push notifications and tailored content for power users.

  • Promote UGC: the communication between brand and client is two-way. User generated content is essential to embed the customer into the experience, build a community and foster engagement.

  • Expand brand identity: when you create a game to connect with your customers - or employees - you are putting your own identity into play. Like any other marketing tactic, games narrate your specific system of meanings, shaped through the years, starting from archetypes to brand identity and storytelling.

  • Change behavior in real life: every gamification strategy aims at increasing customer engagement. And there are many ways to get to the finish line. Gamification is not only about conversion and progression, but also about changing people’s lives, inspiring new behaviors in health, finance and even core beliefs. Games are serious business!

As practical advice: if you want to connect with your customers 
in a whole new way discover Neosperience Engage, the end-to-end mobile marketing solution to turn on smartphones like magic and deliver personalized experiences to customers close to, or inside the store.

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Topics: Digital Customer Experience Gamification

Top 3 Digital Customer Experience Tools For Innovative Strategies

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Managing the customer experience has never been an easy process, even when mobile technology was just a dream for science fiction writers. Now that the passage from analog world to digital is a reality and passive consumers have been replaced by empowered customers, sometimes it really looks like a daunting task. But where there is a threat, there is opportunity, if you can rely on top digital customer experience tools to  innovate your strategy.

Our market scenario is clearly defined: the mobile revolution is running 8 times faster than the web adoption, and by 2017 about 69.4% of world's population is expected to use a mobile device. Smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, wearables and even futuristic gadgets like Google Glass and Oculus Rift are at the front line of this revolution. The main side effect is the mutation of people, immersed in a liquid and pervasive digital environment and empowered by the overproduction and endless reproduction of information.

Given this precondition, keep one thing  clear in your mind when you search for new tools to add to your marketing mix: you will never find a ‘one-fits-all’ solution that is useful and relevant no matter which brand or business you are in. Innovation implies that every single tool is strictly linked to the right context and will not work without a proper digital and content strategy in place.

At the end of the day, it is not the tool itself but what you decide to do with it that will give sense to your customer experience.

CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAP

‘Consumer mapping’ is not a new topic in marketing studies, but the mobile mind shift is redefining the boundaries of the connection between brands and clients. Customers are moving outside the traditional purchasing funnel, made complex by multiple touchpoints.

The conversion path is not linear, so organizations need to take the different stages of the customer journey - both physical and digital - into consideration. The blending of analog and digital is key to understand the inner gears of the journey: apps, beacons, push notification, location-based content, games, NFC. With a properly shaped customer journey map you will be able to understand: how clients interact with you; areas to improve; technologies that fits you better.

SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM

Social networks are an integral part of how you conduct business today. A content marketing strategy is not even conceivable without Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Vine and all the big and small services that help understand customers and build engagement. Too often companies underestimate the power of social media.

To win the race, you should always follow two simple rules: stay current, look for new channels and potential revelation wonders; focus your efforts on strategic media, not wasting your time and money on sites irrelevant for your specific type of business. It is not easy to hold everything in check, and that is the reason why a social media platform could be essential to manage, analyze and plan your social presence.

ANALYTICS DASHBOARD

Whatever you do, never forget to measure obsessively! Seems like a good advice but, in the age of Big Data, it is not always easy to understand what to measure, when and how. Mobile technologies offer a wide range of information that companies can use to better understand customers and market scenario. Too much data - and say thank you to wearables - can be dangerous if you don’t have a tool to make sense of it.

You can only succeed if you are able to dive through this huge amount of numbers and statistics to convert them into reliable marketing actions. Planning, execution, redefinition: there is no step of the process you should not measure. Since measurement is the core of every improvement, you need to adopt an efficient tool to know how things are going and adapt budget, actions and KPI. The Analytics Dashboard is essential to coordinate your efforts and understand if your digital customer experience is working and how to improve it.

If you want to create a strategic advantage to your organization, discover Neosperience Engage, the end-to-end mobile marketing solution to help brands engage with customers by delivering personalized experiences to customers close to, or inside the store.

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Topics: Digital Customer Experience

How To Use Beacons To Engage Customers: The Mattel App Experience

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Over the last few months we have highlighted the influence of new technologies on innovative engagement strategies in the Age of the Customer. We have also emphasized how Smart Bluetooth beacons can improve in-store customer experience. The new release of Mattel’s La Scatola dei Giocattoli app, developed by Neosperience, gives us the chance to describe this retail revolution where Apple’s iBeacon technology is used to serve right-time content to nearby customers and drive conversion rates  at brick-and-mortar stores.

In the era of mobile mind shift, the retail customer experience is always nourished by technology and aimed to enhance the connection between brands and clients, taking advantage of engagement and gamification dynamics. Beacons - small devices that use Bluetooth Low Energy - make the perfect companion for this strategy. The world of toys built through the years by Mattel is renewed by Neosperience Engage, an end-to-end mobile marketing solution that delivers upon a fundamental need for better and useful customer-facing apps, easy to understand and use.

With the use of proximity marketing technology and personalized call-to-actions, smartphones come alive when customers are near or inside the store, allowing brands to engage them with location-based content and personalized offers. La Scatola dei Giocattoli app works as an ideal bridge linking the digital world of the smartphone to the physical store in innovative and more compelling ways, aiming both at the rational and emotional perception.

The third pole of this partnership is the large-scale Bennet, first retail chain in Italy to take advantage of beacons. The choice to focus not only on retail shops but also hypermarkets is ideal to increase customers’ benefits exponentially. This is how the connection between the app and iBeacon works: whenever the user is near or inside a selected store, a push notification will wake up her smartphone, delivering a message and recommending her to watch a brief product of the month promo. A non-intrusive action rewarded with an exclusive discount voucher.

Personalized offers through push notification create the missing link to connect two worlds - at first glance - distinct and disconnected. Beacons offer an incredible opportunity to improve content marketing for the Age of the Customer, an era where the customer (not the brand) should be at the core of every business strategy. With Neosperience Engage, Mattel is taking part in the retail revolution driven by mobile and disruptive devices, an ultimate passage defined by personalized customization, me-commerce and in-store engagement.

Innovation is the beating heart of digital customer experience: companies need to be able to offer information and promotions tailored on customers’ habits and preferences, creating a continuing and flawless dialogue between brand, products and clients. This is the only way to boost the shopping experience, leading retail firms to - finally - embrace digital transformation, a process that is redefining the boundaries of our daily life.

If you want to ensure a strategic advantage to your organization, discover Neosperience Engage, the end-to-end mobile marketing solution to help brands engage with customers by delivering personalized experiences to customers close to, or inside the store.

Discover Neosperience Engage

Topics: Digital Customer Experience Retail

4 Inspiring Gamification Examples to Enhance Your Customer Experience

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In the Age of the Customer, games and marketing are strictly connected. Without this simple - but sometimes neglected - presumption, it is impossible to understand the key role of gamification for companies investing in innovative digital customer experience strategies. And because it is always better to learn from the best players, we have chosen a few inspiring gamification examples, that you can use to enhance your customer experience.

Gamification describes the trend of employing game mechanics to non-game environments. In a world shaped by the mobile mind-shift, this implies the use of disruptive technologies (i.e. beacons, wearables) and devices (from smartphone to smartwatch) giving birth to new mobile-centric business models. The final goal? To achieve higher levels of engagement, both with customers and employees.

Mind you: gamification is not the silver bullet to wash away all your concerns, a one-fits-all idea that will attract customers like some kind of magic. Once you know that, you need to understand how to implement the element of fun to make it really valuable. Games are fun but also tricky: how can you use them to shape a more effective digital customer experience? At Neosperience, we are well-aware of game dynamics value for customer-facing apps and, in general, for customer experience strategies (i.e. projects like MyGelato App for Carpigiani and La Scatola dei Giocattoli for Mattel).   

Luckily, you can learn from companies that have already integrated game mechanics into their strategies. Here are 4 top examples of successful gamification in business.

U.S. ARMY - AMERICA'S ARMY

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Armies are not strangers to using games - and videogames - for strategic and training purposes. American Army, created by the U.S. Army, is considered the best example of how governments can use gamification to promote awareness, loyalty and, in this specific case study, attract new recruits. This recruitment tool, first released in 2002 and still alive and well, comes as a multiplayer tactical shooter that brings the reality of war into a game, so you can check whether you have what it takes to become a soldier or not. The goal is clear: earn the the Badges of Honor and become a member of the American Army. After millions of new potential recruits, the success is clear, and this is now the U.S. Army number one recruitment tool.

M&M's PRETZEL ADV

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This might not be the most complex gamification campaign of all times, but in 2013 M&M's has given us one of the best examples of how to fuse engagement, games, social media and advertising into one simple - yet catchy - strategy. Created to re-launch the new pretzel candy, it is based on one idea: build an image that functions as a game. A full-page graphic shows traditional M&M's candies, and just one pretzel candy. Your goal? To find the one and only orange pretzel, in classic 'Eye Spy' mechanics that helped launch the product and solidify social media presence on Facebook (6.000 shares and 11.000 comments).

MY STARBUCKS REWARDS

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Starbucks has always been considered one of the top players when it comes to customer and employee engagement and loyalty. Their entire philosophy is focused on offering a better service, and My Starbucks Rewards makes no exception. Born as a traditional card loyalty program, it has swiftly evolved into something more complex, that involves the physical store and the mobile app. Clients register and every time they make a purchase, they accumulate stars to earn free drinks and food. More, there are three levels that the user can reach, depending on the degree of loyalty: to upgrade you need to visit a Starbucks store, and the more you do it the more you grow. A never ending game with actual rewards, easy, free and in mobility: the perfect mix for success.

NIKE+ COMMUNITY

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The last example is probably one of the most interesting, showing how a game can convert a broad community of users into a community of loyal customers. Nike is always first in line when it comes to innovative digital strategies but, with Nike+, the brand has done something more: foster lifestyle changes by helping their customer keep fit and, in the meantime, sell its products (shoes and tech accessories such as Fuelband) and core values. Made for running, this platform collects personal data from the users to control and display their latest achievements, allowing users to compare and compete with people from all over the world and friends connected to social media.

Topics: Digital Customer Experience Gamification

4 Rules Of Mobile Engagement For The Age Of The Customer

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Since the dawn of time, engagement is probably the hardest step in the inbound marketing funnel; surely the most intriguing and challenging for companies. Before even thinking about conversion, you need to connect and engage with customers, a transition you should never take for granted. Even more so in an age defined by disruptive technologies. As the scenario changes, so do marketing strategy and digital customer experience. What are the rules of mobile engagement in the Age of the Customer?

The ability to adapt to evolution is prerequisite: mobile technology is not just one of many trends crossing our way and passing by. It is, in fact, the most important event in recent history, as it is reshaping not only the lives of billions around the world, but also the connection people have with brands and products. We are not talking about the future, we are describing the present. Companies don’t own the power to dictate the communication agenda anymore: the balance is tilted towards the customer, the real core of every digital marketing strategy.

Mobile is accelerating the process, creating what we may now call the Age of the Customer. The figures speak for themselves: we already have more than 6 billions mobile subscribers in the world (87% of world entire population) and 1.2 people accessing the web from their mobile devices. And if you think that this trends doesn't affect you now, there is one thing you should never forget: you probably already participate in the mobile ecosystem, even though you have not established your mobile presence yet.

If you struggle to keep the pace, try to remember that engagement strategies through mobile should be structured to:

  • Help people have fun;

  • Help people share experiences;

  • Help people do things.

That’s what you must do if you want to go beyond the first step of the funnel and carry on with the process, from connection to conversion. We have explained the ‘what’, it is about time to talk about the ‘how’. What are the new rules of engagement to ensure a connection with the empowered customer of the mobile era?

  • Mobile connection: you may think that having an app is enough to connect with clients in mobility. But the app is just a shell you need to fill with your engagement strategies. Fortunately you now have plenty of good technologies ready to enhance your strategy to create innovative experiences: push notifications, beacons, Internet-of-Things.

  • Tailored content: technology is useless if you don’t know who to absorb it into your marketing mix. Personalization is probably the most tasty effect of the mobile mind-shift. Custom tailored content and location based offers are just two of many examples of how you can use proximity marketing to reach your customer when he is near/in the store and ready to decide or purchase.

  • Gamification: everybody plays a game, and marketing today can’t do without the mechanics of games. Quoting an old motto, ‘If you can win them, play with them’. Gamification is the name of this new trend, the perfect way to promote engagement and brand loyalty. If you let your customer play with your brand and product, you will find it easier to drive him through the conversion path. If games are so important today, why shouldn’t you use the element of fun to shape a more effective digital customer experience? Score points, unlock badges, compete with friends, augment reality, you name it.

  • Responsive design: you can have the best content and the most efficient strategy in the entire world, but everything you do is absolutely pointless if none can watch and live it. That is exactly what happens when your brand presence is not optimized for the mobile experience. Responsive is the approach of web design with strong emphasis on the viewing user experience. The aim is to create a flawless passage between devices, helping companies to shape contact actions across all platforms and touchpoints.

If you want to ensure a strategic advantage to your organization, discover Neosperience Engage, the end-to-end mobile marketing solution to help brands engage with customers by delivering personalized experiences to customers close to, or inside the store.

Discover Neosperience Engage

 

Topics: Digital Customer Experience Mobile

Why Mobile Will Help Improve Retail Customer Experience

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There was a time when brands could differentiate themselves from competitors almost entirely based on the product they made or sold. That time is long gone and, in an increasingly digital world, retailers cannot rely just on the things they sell anymore. That is not enough to gain customers’ attention and win their trust. You must offer an amazing experience, absorbing new technologies in an omni-channel strategy. Mobile, of course, is the first and key factor to improve your retail customer experience, online and even in-store.

The moment in time we all - common people and companies - live in is defined by two main changes: mobile mind-shift and the Age of the Customer. Our ecosystem is shaped by mobile technologies; they beat the rhythm of our daily life and reshape the selling and shopping experience. Mobile commerce is among the fastest growing segments in retail, estimated to rise to $62 billion dollars in the next five years.

The result of the interconnection between all these trends is the transition from a passive consumer to an empowered customer. A passage that deeply affects retail strategies: new customers not only want retailers to deliver key services via smartphones and tablets, but they pretty much expect them to do so.

The best way to explain what is going on is to share some facts (taken from recent researches):

  • The mobile revolution is 8x faster than the web adoption;

  • Mobile is already the primary way customers shop online;

  • 63% of customers expect to be doing more shopping on mobile in the next 2 years;

  • 60% use a smartphone while they visit a store, 50% on their way to the shop;

  • 61% have a better opinion of brands offering a good mobile experience, 41% have turned to a competitor after a bad mobile experience;

  • 47% confirm they use their smartphone to search for local information, and 46% look up prices on a store’s mobile site prior to going to the store.

Companies, then, need to rebuild the whole digital customer experience from scratch. How? Taking note of the following trends to use innovation in their own benefit.

  1. Product customization: in our new world made ‘flat’ by globalization, hyper-connected people refuse the homogenization of products and services. The future trend in retail is what analysts call ‘mass customization’: to get the attention and enhance customer loyalty and engagement, retailers need to offer increased customization. Online shoppers are interested in purchasing items personalized to their own particular taste (no better place than a digital showroom). 

  2. Me-commerce: the opportunity for retailers is not only in ‘what’ they offer online, but also in ‘how’ they present it. People enjoy looking for something special, even more when that is offered with a special customer journey: personalizing the shopping experience is the way to be relevant in the era of ‘me-commerce’. Content and communication need to be tailored based on customer’s interests and preferences.

  3. In-store connection and engagement: technology offers to retailers an invaluable opportunity to cntinuously connect with customers when they are in the store and - more likely - ready to make a purchase. How? Adding beacons and push notifications to your marketing strategy, the perfect way to deliver tailored content and capitalize on the power of Internet-of-Things and gamification. The key is ‘responsive website plus branded app’, but remember that going mobile without a plan can only do harm.

  4. Mobile payments: in the last stage of the customer journey, aim of every retailer, the sale, digital transformation is radically changing the way we buy, and the purchase moment makes no exception. Since Apple launched Apple Pay, mobile payments have raised to a whole new level. Thanks to the wearable revolution - and despite the quarrel between banks, credit card companies, and retailers (too long value chain and consequent too high fees) - Apple might succeed where Google, PayPal, and Visa have failed: offer a one-touch system that speeds transactions, unifying the mobile payment market.

If you want to ensure a strategic advantage to your organization, learn about the DCX 7-Steps Checklist crafted by Neosperience, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation.

Get the DCX 7-Steps Checklist

Topics: Digital Customer Experience Retail Mobile Internet of Things

5 Myths About Digital Customer Experience

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A myth is not only a traditional story that involves gods or heroes (as explained by the expert Joseph Campbell). It can also be defined as a set of beliefs accrued around a phenomenon. Beliefs that - more often than not - prove to be false or inaccurate and perpetrate just because people continue to talk about them until you believe they are real. Customer experience and digital transformation are surrounded by such unproven opinions. In an economical scenario bound by uncertainty, companies struggle to understand what is going on, so they end up nurturing misbelief. Here are the 5 most common myths about digital customer experience.

You can easily see how things are changing around us: mobile and digital are reshaping the way customers connect with brands, and companies need to rebuild their strategies from scratch. The rise of new markets - with China slowly becoming the land of innovation - and the birth of new disruptive technologies - Internet of Things, beacons, wearables and Apple Pay just name a few - mean that digital transformation is not an option anymore.

If you wish to survive in a market where the power has shifted from brands to customers, and people demand not only a product or service but also a compelling experience, an amazing journey, it is an imperative that you accelerate your digital transformation now. This revolution is so fast and huge that too many companies and entrepreneurs still seek shelter in old myths and business models. They hide behind thoughts like “We don’t need to change”, “We don’t have such a competitors”,  “Nobody is complaining so far” and they slowly - but inevitably - approach the downfall.

If you want to be the first choice in your customer’s mind, and avoid the risk of slipping out of your time, you should put these 5 false myths about digital customer experience aside:

  1. DCX is just a short trend: someone could say that digital customer experience is just a fad, one of those trends that every now and then grow and die as a meteor in the economic scenario. The influence of mobile on marketing strategies and the dawn of the Age of the Customer are enough to understand that DCX is not destined to fade away. We are living in the midst of a revolution and digital transformation is happening right now - not in the future.

  2. DCX is customer service: to confuse the experience with the service is a mistake. Customer service is just part of the process - usually the final, post-conversion one. The overall experience should be managed at a higher strategic level, because it implies decisions at the different stages of the customer journey: from awareness, to consideration, to purchase decision.

  3. DCX is all about data: we always stress the importance of big data to decide the best actions in the actual scenario. But analyzing data is not enough: new technologies mean the opportunity to know your customer at a deeper level, but you need to be able to scan through a huge amount of information to separate what it’s useful from what is worthless. The ability to measure and turn data into actionable strategies makes the difference.

  4. DCX is marketing: even analysts sometimes reduce customer experience to a simple action you could add to your marketing mix. They miss the target: it is not about offers, discounts, coupon and push notifications. You should always put your brand identity and your client on top of your strategy, trying to connect both with the promise you deliver and the story you narrate. DCX is a journey, not a single action.

  5. DCX is expensive: digital transformation means innovation, that often requires internal reorganization. It involves people, business models and strategies, so you might be tempted to not get in the game and think that the best change for you is no change at all. Wrong. Improvement may not be inexpensive but, if you get stuck while the world around you spins at a faster pace, you will find out - probably too late - that the final cost will be much higher. You will lose competitiveness and ultimately become ineffective and inadequate in a world in a world that developed more than you.

If you want to ensure a strategic advantage to your organization, learn about the DCX 7-Steps Checklist crafted by Neosperience, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation.

Get the DCX 7-Steps Checklist

Topics: Digital Customer Experience

How Digital & Mobile Are Changing Sports Customer Experience

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Sports and marketing have always been connected, way more than the average fan would think. Teams are brands, supporters are customers: with match attendance dropping year after year, sports companies need to find new ways to connect with their clients. Add the self-tracking mania to the equation and you will have a picture of how digital and mobile technologies are changing the sports customer experience of millions around the world.

Pay television is the disruptive technology that changed a 40 decades old scenario, born from the ashes of the Second World War. Nazi Germany was the very first to understand the essence of sport as a mass experience, able to shape belief and drive behaviors. Radio and television, in fact, were the real starring characters of the 1936 Berlin Olympics. 

Almost 80 years later we have witnessed a second media revolution for sports. London 2012 will be remembered as the first ‘Social Olympics’: social media and smartphones have been a major part of the experience, both on field and on bleachers. Digital has become part of the Games’ marketing, leading to a widespread fan participation. ‘Sports customer experience’, enhanced by digital, was born.

We can identify two different areas in which DCX technologies have a strong influence: the way we do sports and the way we experience them.

THE WAY WE DO SPORT

Mobile innovation and digital transformation have brought a major side effect: we can now collect and analyze a huge amount of data in real time. Scanning through this neverending well called big data, companies can use analytics dashboards to understand how their customers think and act, and common people can use customer-facing apps to know themselves better. Our daily life can be cut down in a sequence of numbers and statistics: here lies the secret of self-tracking.

If you go out and look at people running, doing sports or even walking, it is more than likely that you will find them looking at their smartphones or synchronizing activity trackers or smartwatches with their fitness apps. The wearables revolution is changing the rules of sports: everybody feels the need to track information like miles, calories, heartbeats, comparing results with the ones of their favorite athletes (yes, there is a specific app for that). Sports teams are also adapting their strategies, using these products to improve performance during training sessions.

There is a very good reason if brands like Google (with Google Fit) and Apple (HealthKit and Health App) are investing in this sector. The wearables market is growing five-times faster than the smartphones revolution: 180 million units of wearable technology are expected to be sold by 2018.

THE WAY WE EXPERIENCE SPORT

Mobile for customers is a big opportunity, but for business can be a major economic threat. Teams and brands are facing one big challenge: customers are no longer restricted to experiencing a match live at the arena or played on TV. Digital media and mobile give you a better in-depth perspective, and that changes the way we live these kind of events. This trend affects both in-stadium and out-of-stadium experience, and companies need to adapt their strategies to use new technologies and connect with empowered customers.

How could they react to the match attendance dropping? Here are few strategies to survive the mobile shift:

  • Experiential apps: almost every team has its own app, dedicated to hardcore fans and filled with exclusive content (sometimes accessible only with a premium account, just think about NBA Game Time). Sport is getting personal: social media and apps offer a behind the scenes look that humanize athletes, helping marketers to shape ‘one of us’ campaigns to engage customers.
  • Smart broadcast: the era of ‘one-for-all’ content is over. With smart Tv and mobile devices every fan is able to shape a personal experience of the match, while it is happening. Broadcasting has become the front line of innovation, enhancing the viewing experience with new features to bring the fans even closer to the game. 3D screens, video mosaic, immersive devices like Oculus Rift and device interconnection are two examples of this exciting new frontier.
  • Gamification: fantasy league is just the basic action for gamification tactics with sport. San Francisco 49ers football team is using one of the first indoor positioning systems in a stadium, to improve participation and trigger specific activities during the game. Thanks to beacons and push notifications, every fan can experience a personal map of the stadium, with different itineraries, discounts and location-based personal content.

 

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: 10 Industries Using iBeacon To Improve Customer Experience

To help you ensure a strategic advantage to your organization, learn about the DCX 7-Steps Checklist crafted by Neosperience, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation.

Download DCX 7-Steps Checklist

Topics: Digital Customer Experience Mobile Internet of Things

10 Ways To Improve Customer Experience With a Smartwatch

KITT_smartwatch

Anno Domini 2014: the year of the smartwatch. While this technology is not a recent invention, 2014 will be surely remembered as the year business got serious about it. Once again, the main buzz was created by Apple with the launch of the Apple Watch, even though Samsung was already selling its Galaxy Gear. As the market grows, companies will need to adjust their marketing strategies to engage customers with this new shiny object intended to improve our customer experience.

Long time has passed since David Hasselhoff talked to his supercar KITT using a watch, and a watch that has become smart is not a dream anymore. Apple Watch represents a new chapter in the relationship people have with technology”: with these words Apple presents the new object of desire on its website. It is not an distorsion of reality, because the smartwatch is now on the front line of the wearable revolution. Certainly it is attracting the attention of marketers, even more than activity trackers and futuristic objects like Oculus Rift and Google Glass. Smartwatches aim at something more than just self-tracking or 'immersive' games.

Apple Watch, Samsung Gear S, Microsoft Band, HP Chronowing, Moto 360, LG G Watch R: behind these fancy names lies a digital transformation ready to reshape the way we live and work with a possible impact comparable to that of the mobile phone. Your digital customer experience will need to change accordingly. How? There are at least 10 ways to improve customer experience using a device that is forcing the door into your marketing mix to become inspirational for all engagement strategies.

  1. Apps: the hardware is just the beginning of the story. Marketers are already exploring opportunities (NFC, sensors) and limitations (small screen, no keyboard) of this little big game-changer, to use apps for lead generation, customer engagement and service purposes.

  2. Mobile connection: the watch user experience has limitations. That is the reason why it is designed to work in connection with a smartphone or tablet. Great news: you can add a new - and inexpensive - weapon to your marketing armory.

  3. Health: healthy living has become a key paradigm of many companies (think Apple’s HealthKit). All models have built-in sensors that measure activity, heart rate or walking distance. You can use them to enhance your gamification actions.

  4. Payments: the mobile mind-shift has already changed the way we shop; with the growth of mobile commerce. NFC is the second step in this path, with Apple Pay as a good example of how near field communication and one touch payments will change retailing.

  5. Social Media: maybe smartwatches will not increase social media consumption but they surely change how we interact with Facebook, Twitter & Co. Having social networks always active on your customers’ wrist is a great opportunity if you are able to create tailored content for small screens and engage users with this new type of conversations.

  6. Geofencing: thanks to location tracking, new devices know exactly where you are. To take advantage of this information, companies have to connect their watch apps to smart objects at the point of sale, such as beacons. Geofencing is perfect to connect with customers in the point of sale.

  7. Push notifications: strictly linked with geofencing and beacons, push notifications allow to propagate small messages to trigger actions when the customer is ready to connect with your products or brand. The smartwatch is the perfect companion for your loyalty and engagement programs.

  8. Gamification: despite the small screen, ‘watchables’ are already used as gaming platforms. Their sensors and the capability to connect with other devices are more than useful for your company if you want to deeply engage customers with gamification (i.e. influence, status or progression dynamic).

  9. Email marketing: a smartwatch could hardly manage a full email client, but the Apple Watch will show new incoming emails and even allow users to respond directly on the small screen. This will open a wide range of opportunities for DEM campaigns and location-based content emails.

  10. Internet-of-Things: as already said, the most intriguing feature - fitness and health tracking apart - is the interconnection between devices made possible by the Internet-of-Things. It will ensure to your clients a compelling journey across all devices and touchpoints. In other words: the amazing digital customer experience you have been looking for.
Topics: Digital Customer Experience Wearable

How The Internet-of-Things Will Transform Digital Customer Experience

internet_of_things

When you look at news and articles about how technology is changing daily life and marketing strategies, they usually highlight the importance of social media, smartphones and computers. But that is just part of the story. We are surrounded by increasingly intelligent devices and objects able to ‘talk’ to each other. This interconnection is what we call the Internet-of-Things, something you have already seen in action - though you may not have realized it - that is changing the digital customer experience.

Internet-of-Things (IOT), formerly known as machine-to-machine-communication, has become more than a mere interconnection between embedded devices. It is, in fact, a paradigm shift that will change forever the way people interact with objects and customers interact with brands. It all started with small and big household appliances (i.e. smart fridge, smart oven or surveillance device), and that is the reason why the term IOT is often used in connection with home automation.

But the Internet-of-Things has already come out of your house, and domotics is just one of many applications of this technology. Automation in all fields is not a dream anymore. Even today some objects don’t even need active human intervention to work and interact. Just think about services like IFTTT (‘If This Then That’), that simplifies and automates your life online as a plausible substitute for the semantic web that didn't materialize; Nest Labs, that designs and manufactures self-learning and programmable thermostats and smoke detectors; or activity trackers, that wake up when you ‘do not’ do something you should.

The Internet-of-Things will have a major impact on a number of industries. We are facing the birth of the final frontier in connecting users’ entire physical life to the digital world. It is not by coincidence that IOT has been included in Gartner’s list of Top 10 Technology Trends for 2015. Now that we are in the era of mobile:

  • Your customers’ expectations grow.
  • marketing and business models need to change.
  • You can’t ignore the opportunity to connect with your clients in new - and more compelling - ways.

Here are few examples of how IOT will impact your company and require a change in your digital marketing strategy:

  • Big Data: connected devices will create a huge amount of information and you need the ability to translate numbers into strategies. More than ever, you need an integrated platform to make sense of all data and use them beyond CRM. Every single action that you take must be rooted in big data.

  • Customer engagement: the time of powerless consumers in over. In the Age of the Customer, empowered and hyper-connected clients - with people and objects - demand new ways of engagement across all touchpoints and devices. Your content marketing must be tailored and available ‘easy, fast and my own way’.

  • Effortless experience: in a world where people can find whatever they want wherever they are, you need to provide a seamless digital customer experience, specially if you are a retail or e-commerce firm. In the near future, mobile payments will become almost invisible thanks to the communication between objects, and you need to get ready to adopt disruptive technologies like Apple Pay and wearables.

  • Personalized promotions: beacons make the perfect example of how the dynamics of IOT could be used by brands to improve their point of sale experience. As production cost falls, thanks to the automation of factories, brand will focus on the next step of the process: promotion through connections. Push notifications and location-based promotions are just two simple examples of how objects will communicate with customers.

Delivering on the promise of the Internet of Things requires that you get a deeper understanding of your customer and gain insights to offer the best possible experience. But the challenge for brands and products will not change: become more relevant in the mind of your customer in the physical and in the digital world, that eventually will merge into one.

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 Internet of Things