Your source of insights for a successful digital transformation.

How Social Commerce War Will Change Retail Customer Experience

Pinterest_ecommerce

How would you describe the essence of social commerce in one scene? Imagine this: you open your Facebook app while commuting. You scroll the newsfeed looking for juicy gossip about people you barely know. A picture grabs your attention, showcasing a new pair of running shoes from your favorite brand.

Now that you see them in full HD, you definitely feel you want those shoes, right away. And there’s no need to close Facebook app; you just click on the buy button on the image and that’s it. A revolution for the retail customer experience.

This is exactly the kind of win-win situation all retailers are expecting to get now that all major social networks - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest - are rolling out e-commerce functionalities. What will become of the traditional customer experience in retail? It won’t be the same again.

It’s still too early to understand when (and how) social media buying will drive real numbers:

Even with the amount of airtime and media coverage social media gets, it’s still in a stage of infancy in comparison to other marketing and referring channels.” (Lou Paglia, co-founder of Jirafe)

Despite the difficulties - and the lack of results - of the first experiments, the buzz around social commerce is steadily growing, with brands eager to be first in line. The reason lies in the following numbers:

  • People spend more time on social media than any other channel, with 60% of this time spent on smartphones and tablets;

  • 74% of customers confirm they rely on social media to look for information and guide the purchase decision;

  • 33% of customers admittedly bought a product/service driven by a promotion or a new launch on a brand’s social media page;

While desktop and browser transactions still make the difference, a shift is happening before your eyes. Customers recognize social media as a primary source of information to discover products, receive promotions and find opinions in their trusted circle of friends.

It’s a fact: be it traditional brick-and-mortars or e-commerce firms, these platforms are now absolutely essential for companies that want to connect with empowered customers and boost revenues. With social-driven retail sales and referral traffic rising at a fast pace, sales officially join customer engagement as the main purpose of social media marketing.

SOCIAL RETAIL EXPERIENCE

Now that mobile connections cuts customers’ daily life into multiple micro moments - driven by very specific intents - the challenge for your brand is to show up in the social feed with the right content at the right moment. When customers are ready to buy.

In fact, social media buying brings in a whole new set of opportunities to revamp your marketing strategy:

  • Advertising: social media offer better targeting options, to understand exactly who are your potential customers;

  • Content: social networks now offer refined ads formats (i.e. Facebook Carousel) to enhance your content marketing;

  • Referrals: social media drive much more retail traffic than other digital channels, becoming the main e-commerce referral (a 200% growth in the last 12 months);

  • Data mining: no doubt that a key advantage of social business is the ability to collect sensitive customer data, to improve the overall digital customer experience.

When social companies started testing ‘buy buttons’, with the aim of attracting more investments in their platform ads, there has been no doubt that shopping was destined to play a critical (if not the most critical) role in the further evolution of social media.

The new generation of mobile devices (phablet, smartwatch, wearables) and the increasing interest in mobile payments have forced online players to enter the race to conquer customers’ wallet.

Facebook - still accounting for 64% of total social revenue - leads the way, but competitors are not just sitting and watching. Visual-focused networks like Pinterest and Instagram are, for their very nature, fully fitted for this kind of transformation. And do not undervalue Twitter, YouTube and all that will come soon: LinkedIn, Google+, Tumblr, Xing, Renren, Snapchat.    

Facebook_Buy_Button

FROM LOGIN TO CHECKOUT

Social login, social authentication, check-ins and local reviews served as first bite of the tasty dish to come. They opened the gate and social commerce inevitably came thereafter. And now social media are rapidly switching from opinions marketplace to products marketplace.

Not by coincidence, at the end of 2014, we have included social shopping in the list of the most promising social trends that will define customer engagement from this year on. Delivering real-time connections, social networks seem perfect to offer short term and personalized deals. If it didn't work in the past, it was because there was a missing piece.

A piece now displaying its full potential: the smartphone. We all know how deeply mobile devices are reshaping the way we live our life, communicate with other people and connect with products and brands. The impact is so strong that many analysts consider the mobile mind shift the biggest social and economic revolution of the last two centuries.

Buy buttons, shop tabs, buyable pins, sponsored products, carousel ads: recently we have witnessed a surplus of commerce-oriented features from social media players. What will really happen? Let’s see what major players have in store:

FACEBOOK

Mark Zuckerberg & Co. started testing buy buttons months ago, to strengthen the position as number one social commerce player out there. Brands love Facebook for its targeting data features; with the credit card management and the click-to-buy button, powered by Shopify, it could soon become a complete e-commerce platform.

TWITTER

Last September, Twitter presented its personal buy button, but customers didn't really noticed it. Now that the fuss is all about social commerce, the company will try to relaunch its e-commerce ambition. Right now they are rolling out new product pages, distinct branded micro-habitats living in the platform to gather all tweets about a brand or product.

PINTEREST

If you think that Pinterest is just place for fashion addicted serial re-pinners, you may want to review your position. Right now the visual social network is considered the most promising in terms of e-commerce potential. Only time will tell if buyable pins - that let users purchase anything they see on the site - will really turn Pinterest into the Internet's new shopping hub.

INSTAGRAM

Instagram is already a major choice to build customer engagement and brand awareness campaigns. Until today, however, it has been slow in responding to the challenge posed by social media buying. To recover and oppose Pinterest's strategy to transform viewers into customers, Instagram now offers a 'shop now' button, integrated with a checkout process linked to the official brand website. 

YOUTUBE
Pictures can be the ideal trigger for purchases, but innovative advertising still relies on great images in motion. That's the reason why YouTube decided to move its pawn across the board, betting that users will not skip pre-roll ads and shop instead. A risky play, that could pay dividends in the long term. It surely is a great opportunity for advertisers to capitalize on their investment.

Success (or failure) of social media commerce will ultimately depend on whether brands will be able to capitalize on buy buttons or not. One thing is sure: together with proximity marketing, mobile app development and one-touch payments, social buying will form the foundation of retail customer experience in the years to come.

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 Social Networking Facebook Content Marketing Payment Mobile

Neosperience Wins the Alpine High-tech Venture Forum Award

Neosperience-1

The year goes on great for Neosperience, winner of the 2015 Alpine High-tech Venture Forum Award. Neosperience has been chosen based on its products/technology performance and its ability to combine the best techniques of mobile, social, information and cloud to deliver the ideal experience to every customer, on every screen.

Dario Melpignano, CEO of Neosperience, has received the award during the ceremony that took place in June 25, 2015 in Lausanne, Switzerland, at the end of the Forum, co-hosted by the Swiss Chairmanship.

The Alpine High-tech Venture Forum is organized to promote innovative companies across the technology spectrum of Life Sciences, Clean Technology and Information Technology.

After the 2015 Aviva Digital On prize, another award comes as recognition of Neosperience’s leading-edge business technology in the digital customer experience market domain.

The Alpine High-tech Venture Forum Award joins the list of awards received in the last few years by Neosperience, highlighting the relevance of the technology developed to help companies implement their digital transformation.

It comes in the wake of important recognitions: the Top Innovation Award Italy 2014 - appointed by the President of the Italian Republic to the best tech company of the year; the International Events & Relational Strategies GrandPrix 2014; Gartner Cool Vendor and Red Herring Top 100 Europe and Global, the most important global awards in the technology world.

Download DCX 7-Steps Checklist

Topics: Digital Customer Experience Innovation Neosperience Awards

3 Mobile SEO Best Practices To Improve Customer Experience

cezanne_smartphone

How much traffic will I lose due to the recent updates in Google’s search engine algorithm? Any single entrepreneur has asked - at least once - this question to his SEO specialist. The Mobilegeddon brought us all into the SEO-pocalypse.

Despite what a lot of people have been saying recently, search engine optimization is not dead. You still have to adopt best practices; just you need to refocus your efforts towards mobile optimization: mobile SEO is critical to improve customer experience.

Released on April 21th, the mobile-friendly update is already affecting results page, starting from the online searches. Sudden panic is now unnecessary; we knew those changes were coming. Google’s focus on mobile search comes with no surprise, as it is a mere reflection of social and technological changes. Digital transformation is primarily a mobile transformation.

Think about it: the ultimate goal of any search engine is to offer the best content related to specific keywords, so that users can have all useful information to take decision or action. Every update, therefore, has inevitable consequences on the way brands plan their digital customer experience and create relationships with clients.

And the last mobile-friendly update is shaking this connection like nothing else before. Year after year, we spend more and more time using mobile devices. We mostly don't have time for long searches on a desktop computer; everything we need and we want is right there in our palm. Our life gets fragmented into a constant sequence of micro moments, real-time sessions driven by a specific intent.

The most important micro moments always happen within the framework a mobile device. It's pure instinct: the first thing we do, when we need information, is to pick up the smartphone. 60% of the entire traffic on Google already comes from mobile searches, and 80% of users admit that the smartphone is their favorite device to search the Internet (affecting especially local businesses).

The rise of mobile searches presents marketers with a considerable challenge: build an optimized identity on digital properties to increase opportunities and sales. The smartwatch and wearable technology will only accelerate this evolution, making it mandatory for everyone (even traditional retail & consumer products firms) to upgrade digital presence in the name of mobile friendliness.

Google’s algorithm, after all, does nothing more than respond to the impact of the smartphone on the way empowered customers decide what and where to buy. They want everything and they want it now, easy and seamlessly. And they will ultimately reward websites (and brands) that are fully optimized for mobile with higher rankings in their personal 'mind list'.

mobile_seo_retail

If you don’t show up in the first pages when they do searches on Google using ‘your’ keywords, it's like you don’t exist at all for them. Digital transformation can only be achieved through constant optimization, the key to be sure you are delivering an amazing customer experience.

When your competitors are optimizing their presence effectively and you are not, then you will perform poorly, with an harmful impact on everything from traffic to conversions to revenues.

Do you think SEO is dead? Well, think again. 

What’s really surprising is that so many brands, despite the Google-Paranoia, have yet to begin optimizing their website, social media presence, content marketing, app development and general practices. While your traffic may not have disappeared overnight, it doesn’t guarantee you actually survived the Mobilegeddon.

The mobile-friendly algorithm is not just one of many updates. It’s a complete shift in the search dynamics. As more customers rely on their smartphones to find the information they’re seeking, your company will slowly be left behind and disappear.

What should you do to avoid this unpleasant fate? Stop considering SEO as a mere technical aspect of your business; incorporate optimization into your mobile marketing strategy. To deal with the challenges of digital transformation follow these mobile SEO tips, suggested by Brian Honigman, CEO of Honigman Media, in an article for The Next Web.

FOCUS ON PERFORMANCE

Mobile optimization is not just a responsive website. When you set your On-Page SEO priorities, you will have to take in mind that not all customers access your digital properties using cutting edge smartphones combined with fast connection. The key is to find the perfect balance between quality and performance, to ensure that your website operates smoothly for every uses and device.

DESIGN FOR THE EXPERIENCE

A well-designed website is just one piece of your digital cake. Social media pages; mobile app, e-mail & newsletters, e-commerce store: all these elements actively contribute to define the success of your business. More and more frequently, the tipping point of the customer experience is not the branded website. Being innovative means design for the omni-channel experience across all touch points.

OPTIMIZE FOR LOCAL SEARCH

Local businesses, together with online retailers, are the ones most likely to be hurt by badly optimized sites and pages. Why? Studies shows that up to 56% of mobile searches have local intent, and 78% of local mobile searches then result in an offline purchase. Customers mostly use the smartphone for local searches (stores, restaurants or services): "if your business has any local elements, it’s important to leverage these search habits and optimize your site accordingly."

There’s still so much confusion about what mobile optimization really means, that companies are often caught in frenzy and groundless fear.

Search engine optimization is not about looking for tricks to cheat the machine; it is about improving yourself to offer the best user experience to human beings.

 

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: 3 Trends Linking Digital Marketing Strategy To Mobile Technology

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 Innovation iOS Android Content Marketing Mobile Apple

Top 5 Social Media Mistakes That Can Kill Your Brand

social_media_fail_of_brands

Long gone are the days when social media were the most underrated element of the marketing funnel. Even old-fashioned B2B companies now acknowledge the value of their presence on Facebook & Co.

The fact that everyone is online and social, however, doesn’t mean that brands have a better understanding of what makes a successful social strategy. Many still get it wrong, committing brand social media mistakes that might kill their company.

The reason behind the increasing interest in social networks is they have a huge potential for businesses looking to improve inbound marketing and increase their reach, traffic and leads. What started as a battle of likes, shares, retweets and pins (with undefined ROI measuring) has quickly evolved into a customer experience matter.

Actual figures even go beyond the wildest expectations analysts had just five years ago. According to Gartner, “global revenue from social media - composed of advertising, games and subscription revenue - will reach 29 billion dollars by 2015 up from 7 billion in 2010, increasing fourfold in five years.

While brand reputation, engagement and customer delight still make the primary reason why top managers decide to bring their company online, social media are quickly evolving into something more complex than just entertainment. They can help you fix bad customer experience, being now integral part of your customer journey.

Social commerce is just the latest - and inevitable - trend in digital marketing. It’s no secret that all major social networks are working on implementing buy buttons: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, they all aim at increasing advertising shares and making users buy without leaving the site (or the app).

Retail industry advised: social media may still only drive a small share of total online sales, but their impact is already impossible to ignore. There is not other online channel driving bigger increases in retail traffic (+200% in the first quarter of 2015, according to a new report by Business Insider).

More than desktop computers and laptop, the smartphone has become the perfect habitat for social media to display full potential. On figures, together with games, social communities are the most downloaded and profitable mobile apps. Even traditional e-commerce firms are changing skin to resemble the idea of 'network'.

brand_social_media_mistakes_1

In the digital era, social networks and mobile technology go hand in hand towards a (not-so-future) customer experience where clients will instinctively buy what they want, whenever they want, simply by tapping on a product included in the social news flow.

With this in mind, it’s no wonder that social media spending is projected to grow steadily in the next years. In their State of Marketing 2015 report, Salesforce stated that:

  • 70% of marketers plan to boost social media ad spend;
  • 70% of marketers plan to increase budgets on organic social media marketing;
  • 66% of the marketers confirm that social media is now core to their business, with a dedicated team in place.

It is of utmost importance that your brand and products are always available, across all touch points of the journey map, whenever people take action in the decisive micro moments of mobile purchase decision.

Sales, engagement, loyalty: you should never ignore the power of social networks. You can only disregard Facebook & Co. at your own risk. Why social media are so important in the Age of the Customer? Here are just few benefits of a well-designed social presence:

Social media marketing requires a strategic approach, not a rough-and-ready mentality. There are hundreds of pages dedicated to the embarrassing (and sometimes tragically funny) mistakes social media managers do while trying to be smart, funny or amusing.

Branded social presence online is a full time commitment, a game with very specific rules and harsh penalties. Just log into your Facebook account and you will see how many companies still treat their page as a ‘plus’, something they do because everyone else in doing.

But the social media world is not all about sunshine and rainbows. There’s a fair amount of pitfalls and traps that might ruin the entire structure of your digital marketing strategy, that might put your brand image at risk. If you don’t learn how to avoid them.

brand_social_media_mistakes

Here are the 5 social media mistakes - you probably do without knowing - that can kill your brand.

Want to Be Everywhere

The first and most common mistake is the will to be everywhere, regardless of the actual benefit and value. Many companies open accounts and build pages without considering the difference between the social networks. Pinterest is not Facebook; Twitter is not LinkedIn. They have specific rules, and they don't necessarily fit your brand identity and marketing purposes. Don't try to be on every single network that exists.

Post Randomly (and Pray)

Consistency is the most disregarded keyword in the social ecosystem. When you try to be everywhere without specific plan, it's like throwing a wooden stick in the air, hoping that someone is there to catch it. You want to establish yourself as a thought leader, a reference for your customers, but you will never do it if you just randomly post unorganized content, praying for shares and likes. 

Consider Social a Side Thing

Social media should be integrated in your digital customer experience. This is the only way to reach effective engagement and retain customers' loyalty. If you consider social management outside the context of your omni-channel marketing routine, your business will never be social in nature. If that happens, you will never see results, no matter how high is the budget you spend on it.

Treat Customers as One

The old idea of broad target groups of consumers subject to your push communication is now out of time. The greatest consequence of social networks on marketing is exactly the creation of a two-way communication, mostly bottom up. Too many brands treat all fans as one big entity instead of individually unique. Sure, targeting still happens, but the connection with customers should never be dehumanized. Answer promptly, with a human touch.

Pay, Promote and Spam 

Success on social media is not about the numbers. How many followers or like you have on your page doesn't really matter if people is not engaged in a productive conversation. Yet many managers still rely on cold numbers to measure and allocate resources. The ultimate purpose of social media strategy is not to collect more fans than your competitor, nor to fill the page with self-promotional useless contents.

In the digital era, there's a fine line between being social and being spam.

 

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: 5 Content Marketing Facts You Need To Know (To Be Truly Epic)

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 Social Networking Facebook Branding Content Marketing Inbound Marketing Mobile

Mobile Engagement: Google’s Micro Moments Change The Rules

micro-moments_google

Do you remember the Mobilegeddon? In the last two months, Google has announced several updates to the search engine algorithm and AdWords: all in the name of the mobile mind shift.

The updates were in response to the impact of the smartphone on the way customers make purchase decisions. Google wants you to think in terms of Micro Moments, ‘in the moment’ opportunities that will change the rules of mobile engagement.

There was a clear statement behind the mobile-friendly update and the new image-format ads: mobile devices have completely disrupted the way people communicate and connect with others, products and brands.

What used to be our predictable, daily sessions online have been replaced by many fragmented interactions that now occur instantaneously. There are hundreds of these moments every day - checking the time, texting a spouse, chatting with friends on social media.” (Google)

As the smartphone becomes an indispensable companion in our daily lives, we are witnessing a change in the way people search for information and decide what product/service fits their needs the best.

Think about it: when you need to find a quick solution to your problem or to scan deeper into a certain topic, the first thing you do is to reach for your smartphone. It is now pure instinct, especially for younger generations.

This is the Age of the Customer in full display: we don’t just go online, we live online.

How will this trend affect different industries (retail and consumer brands above all)? Consider these insights, collected by Google researchers:

  • 91% of smartphone users turn to their phone to look for instant ideas while doing a given task;
  • 82% of users turn to their smartphone while they’re in a store, to decide which product to buy and influence the purchase decision;
  • 62% of users are more likely to take action right away toward solving a new task because they have a smartphone;
  • 90% of smartphone users have used their phone to make progress toward a long term goal or multi-step process while ‘out and about’;
  • 69% of online customers agree that the quality, timing, or relevance of a company's message influences their perception of a brand.

Rather than spending long periods of time to research on a desktop or laptop, we now turn to our mobile devices in a continuous series of small sessions. A completely new customer behavior. The challenge for brands, then, is to be visible and reachable whenever customers pick up their phones during these moments.

mobile-engagement

Fragmented interactions create multiple touch points across all channels. You can’t leave them out when planning your digital marketing strategy. Customer experience turns into mobile customer experience, and the idea of a linear customer journey is now dead and gone.

The customer journey map, shaped by mobile connectivity, is fractured into hundreds of real-time micro moments, driven by specific intents. Each one is a critical opportunity for your brand to engage customers and guide decisions.

Micro moments, as defined by Google, basically unfold through a set of "I want" demands:

I want to know
I want to go
I want to do
I want to buy

They're all micro moments, and they’re the new battleground for brands.” (Google)

With these very words Google has launched the new website Micro-Moments, a place to gather all insights on customers’ mobile behavior, and help marketers understand the opportunities and challenges of connecting with customers when it matters most, with relevant messages.

Brian Solis, one of the first media guru to talk about Google’s micro moments, has clearly stated on Forbes that micro moments are the real game changers for both customers and brands:

Here’s the thing, in these micro-moments you are present or hidden, engaging or disingenuous, helpful or inconvenient. Customers expect answers and direction their way, in the right time, on the device and in the channel they are using.

After defining the ‘Zero Moment of Truth’ - that moment when the customer journey begins with a search - Google takes a further step into the fragmentation of our life as human beings and customers. Breaking the map into smaller, decisive fragments.

Here’s the battlefield you may want to control to become customers’ top choice. The constant flow of communication makes it difficult to differentiate yourself from competitors. Shorter attention-span make it even harder to acquire customers and retain their loyalty:

Google’s concept of micro-moments represent the new frontier (and reality) of digital marketing. It’s all real-time and everything is on demand.” (Brian Solis)

What can you do to ensure that your brand is there when customers need it?

Map the Customer Journey

Map to learn exactly what stages people go through when interacting with your brand, starting with the Zero Moment of Truth.

Trace Key Micro Moments

Use the map to understand those moments when people want to find info, make purchases, learn about products.

Identify Customers’ Needs 

For any given micro moment, discover the needs, desires and wants that drive customers' behavior. Put yourself into their point of view.

Use Big Data to Improve 

All the data you gather about customers with mobile technology have the primary purpose to find what you might be missing and should improve.

Deliver Content With Context

You can leverage mobile devices to deliver the right content at the right time. Personalized experiences are the key to survive in de-massified markets.

Always Exceed Expectations

Study new ways to meet and exceed customers' expectation. As Walt Disney once said, "Whatever you do, do it so well that people will want to come back".

Test & Optimize the Journey

Find your set of KPIs and measure results constantly. The only way to know if you're delivering a great experience is to improve while dealing with customers.

If the future of society really resembles the picture created by Google, the destiny of your brand identity and digital customer experience starts with identifying these pivotal micro moments. To discover how to take instant action and offer instant gratification to your customers.

"Micro moments happen all the time and all along the consumer decision journey. And they’re becoming the new battleground for brands – where hearts, minds and dollars are won." (Google)

Here's Google livestream event about Micro Moments, with Matt Lawson (Managing Director, Ads Marketing at Google).


 
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 Future Analytics Android Retail Content Marketing Big Data Mobile

5 Digital Marketing Lessons From Game Of Thrones

game_of_thrones

Now that the fifth season of Game of Thrones is behind our back, millions of fans (just like us) are trying to recover from the absolute jaw-dropping finale. Shock is the only constant in George R. R. Martin’s epic series.

If there a TV show out there that can teach us something about the world of digital marketing, that is HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Before starting, a necessary ‘spoiler alert’. While in this article we will avoid references from the finale, it may still include some spoilers from previous seasons of the show.

Despite all controversies about the actual contents of the series (too many naked scenes, too many gruesome deaths), there is no doubt at all that Game of Thrones is a great brand, probably one of the best Tv productions ever created.  

And it not just great programming, but also an amazing opportunity to learn few lessons about the art of marketing in the digital era. Taking a ride in Westeros you can find remarkable insights, hidden in the intricate plot twists, the raw dialogues, the extreme characterization of all elements.

It’s no surprise to us that both the novels and the Tv series have gathered legions of faithful supporters, particularly among the youngest (the so-called millennials). Armed with the inseparable smartphone, they are picky customers, demanding and extremely hard to please.

Customers of the ‘post digital transformation era’ know what they want and waste no time looking for your brand. Either you’re there when they need it or you don’t exist at all. They ask for exciting experiences, stories that jump off the screen and inspire loyalty. And Lannister, Targaryen and Stark have pleased them all.

In fact, the Game of Thrones brand has everything needed to appeal digital customers:

Another season has come to an end; ten episodes full of emotional turmoils. And now we will all have to wait in the cold for another year, wondering what the author and the producers have in store for the next season. Nobody knows who will win the Iron Throne, but one thing's sure: the story will raise the bar, even more.

targaryen_got

While we ponder, it’s also worth considering why - as marketers - we’re so enthralled by the destiny of the Westeros. Game of Thrones’ massive success is more than a simple fortunate event. It’s a well planned strategy. Here are 5 digital marketing lessons we can learn from Game of Thrones.

BRACE YOURSELF, GOOGLE IS COMING

We start by borrowing the motto of House Stark, "Winter is Coming". If you’re a fan of the show, you know that Stark is the most ill-fated family of the whole world depicted by Martin. The deep meaning behind these words is one of warning and vigilance. Even when things are good, you must always be ready for unexpected changes.

What’s the greatest marketing challenge in the Internet era? To get noticed by Google and recognized as the first reference to fulfill customers’ needs. Google algorithm, with the mobile-friendly update, could be ‘winter’ for your mobile marketing if you can’t deal with the Mobilegeddon. Knowledge is power: stay in control by staying up to date.

CONTENT IS CONSTANT WAR

In the first season of the show, Cersei Lannister offers one of her most chilling warning: "When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.” Same with content marketing, the ground you build amazing customer experience on.

In an inbound marketing perspective, empowering customers means being what they want to consume, the best resource they find in the purchase process. Game of Thrones gives hints: create an epic storytelling, always exceed expectations and make customers anxiously wait for what’s next.

LOYALTY IS THE KEY TO WIN

Varys ‘The Spider’ explains the two principles that guide most people in Westeros: “Those who are loyal to the realm, and those who are loyal only to themselves.” The world of Westeros is based on one simple fact: every single person is loyal to someone.

Every business wants loyal customers, the key to succeed in the long term. Customer retention is cheaper than acquisition, but way harder to get. You need to be customer obsessed and give people a reason to keep coming back to you: loyalty programs, gamification dynamics, a remarkable customer experience.

ALWAYS DELIVER YOUR PROMISE

The entire Game of Thrones plot revolves around the story of someone who makes a promise and tries to deliver it, no matter how hard it is. The Lannistersalways pay their debts”; Brienne of Tarth tries to protects Catelyn’s daughters; Arya Stark wants to avenge his father’s death.

At the core of every brand there’s a distinctive promise: what you are is what you ultimately deliver to your customers. Every single touch point of the customer journey is shaped by your ability to deliver that promise. In the Age of the Customer, when you sell your products, you always sell yourself too.

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE ENEMIES

Knowledge is power”, says Petyr Baelish 'Littlefinger' to Cersei. If you know what your enemies are doing, then you’re always one step ahead. The game of the throne is played with swords and shields, but also with strategy and analysis. Only the weak has no knowledge.

To stay top of mind, you should know what everyone else is doing and, most important, you should never underestimate your competitors (just look at the ‘retail vs e-commerce’ war). If you know who your competition is, what they offer and how they engage with customers, you can get ideas and discover opportunities.

And remember: in this ever-changing scenario, disrupted by innovative technologies, you can’t rest on your laurels.

You know nothing, Jon Snow”.

 

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Customer Loyalty: 5 Celebrity Lessons From Lady Gaga & Co.

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 Gamification Social Networking Branding Archetypes Storytelling Content Marketing Inbound Marketing

Top 10 KPIs To Measure Mobile App Development Success

mobile_app_Neosperience

The mobile app market is expected to reach 36.7 billion dollars in revenues by the end of 2015. With so much at stake, competition is rapidly evolving into a fierce battle to conquer users’ attention.

With app stores rapidly becoming crowded, how can you measure the success of your efforts? Mobile app development is not just a matter of downloads anymore. You need more specific KPIs to understand what’s going on.

Obviously, downloads are the first and most eye-catching key performance metric any company will analyze. They tell you how many people have chosen your app and whether or not your launch strategy was really effective. Like all other marketing-related fields, though, a single number means nothing without context.

Many years ago, when app stores were much less competitive, getting your app installed could be considered a great accomplishment in itself. Today, it is just the first step of the mobile customer journey, and it does not guarantee success in the long term. Too many users install apps that immediately fall by the wayside, forgotten and neglected.

A business development plan for the Age of the Customer can’t do without a customer-facing app, to bridge the online and mobile experiences. That said, the number of downloads does not indicate whether or not a mobile app campaign has been successful.

Yet marketers often still focus this KPI, spending all their budget in huge one-shot advertising campaigns (maybe even on traditional media) rather than planning a long-term customer engagement strategy.

According to a new research from eMarketer, mobile ad spending will reach 28.72 billion dollars in the United States in 2015; 3 billion will come from mobile application install ads, up 80 percent from 2014.

Considered in a broader digital marketing perspective, a well-designed app is a unique opportunity to add value to your strategy and instill the idea of a cutting edge brand, unlocking the power of a truly amazing digital customer experience.

While a mobile-friendly website is still considered the most important business card, in many respects it is not the top priority anymore. Apps now account for 86% of the time spent on mobile devices, replacing web browsers as the primary door to access the Internet.

In a world where the smartphone has become an extension of the body (particularly for younger users, the so-called millennials), an app should be never treated as a simple porting of the official website.

Your brand will be in the hands of users practically 24/7; your products and services will be one tap away in the purchase moment. This is an opportunity you should not waste. To ensure success, your app should bring something fresh and exciting to the table, enhancing the mobile customer experience and stimulate emotional connection with the brand.

With the launch of other disruptive mobile devices (i.e. the smartwatch, with Apple Watch and Android Wear already battling), and the connectivity of cars, objects, houses and stores, new apps will invade big and small digital screens.

This trend forces developers and marketers to adapt their output to the needs of tech-savvy customers. The number of downloads, needless to say, is totally inadequate when considered as the only KPI to measure engagement and loyalty.

app_KPI

To optimize the reach of your app, you need something more. What? More specific and dedicated KPIs. Every app is different, and there is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution, a set of key performance indicators working with no distinctions.

You need to pick the ones that fit your app. The ones that fit your business goals. And measure them in a given period of time. Here we share the top 10 KPIs to measure mobile app development success, according to Neosperience.

ACTIVE USERS

To download an app (specially when free) it’s the easiest thing in the world. What happens next is critical: how many of those that have installed your app actually use it? Monthly and daily active users tell you the truth about how much the world loves your app.

VISIT FREQUENCY

How many times users open the app and interact with your contents? The fact that they have the app installed in their smartphone is useless if they just open it once and for all. Hold frequency in check; the usage during the first week is a plausible signal of what will happen in the future.

SESSION TIME

The length of a single session is a performance indicator you should always consider in correlation with the number of active users in a given time and the depth of visit. This is even more true for gaming apps or section dedicated to the gamification dynamics.

DEPTH OF VISIT

This is an important engagement metric. The depth of visit is the number of screens or pages visited in one session. This information gives you two critical insights: how engaging and useful your content is; and how seamless and smooth is the experience you actually deliver.

CONVERSIONS

When the primary objective of your app is to sell or convert (i.e. retail app, fashion branded app and e-commerce), you should measure conversions in a given time. A conversion can be a purchase, a subscription or registration, depending on who you are. But remember that lifetime value is always more than a one-shot sale.

REVENUE PER USER

The potential of a loyal user base is pictured by a metric too often overlooked: revenue per user. This number indicates the overall value of an individual to your app business; not just in-app purchases (the Holy Grail of mobile marketing these days), but the app spending across all other digital channels.

SOCIAL SHARES

If your app is content oriented, in-app purchases are not the only KPI you might want to monitor. Mobile customers, more often than not, connect the app they install with their social media account. Social shares indicate interest in the content you deliver, and are perfect to increase word-of-mouth and build a trustful community.

RETENTION RATE

When you plan a loyalty strategy, one sale is nothing compared to repeat sales. Customer retention is cheaper than acquisition but harder to achieve. In a mobile market where a roughly 65% of users stop using an app no more than three months after install, retention rate in a given time is perfect to tell you how much your customers are engaged.

ACQUISITION COST

To know what’s the cost of customer acquisition, you need to understand where existing users found your app. App stores, in fact, are just one of many channels to promote your app. Search engine advertising, organic search, in-app referrals or social networks: different tools with different costs. This metric shows you the most efficient way to reach your potential audience.

USER EXPERIENCE

You can have the hottest app in the whole Internet, but it’s customer happiness that ultimately proclaims your success. And happiness is strictly connected with the user experience. Defective UI, bugs and crashes keep users away. Always check reviews and ratings to understand what customers think and what needs a fine tuning.

Success is marked by having loyal users that are regularly engaging with the app: spending their time to visit the different sections, converting, making purchases, playing with it. In the race to mobile engagement the app install is only the opening sprint. Find the right partner and develop a long-term omni-channel customer experience strategy.

 

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 Neosperience Apps iOS Analytics Android Mobile developers Apple

5 Content Marketing Facts You Need To Know (To Be Truly Epic)

viral_social_media_post

A great customer experience always lies on great content marketing. With digital transformation in full swing, content has become the new focal point in the overall brand marketing effort.

Great content is never static. It moves with society and technology. In the wake of recent trends, we have traced 5 content marketing facts you absolutely need to know. And yes, they are all true.

In the last decade mobile technology has had a considerable effect in increasing the points of contact between brands and customers. You website is still the primary digital business card you have, but not the only one. The spread of digital properties makes it mandatory to focus efforts - and money - on your online and mobile customer experience.

"Roughly 27 million pieces of content are shared on the web every single day."(AOL, Nielsen

That number will only continue to grow, showing the role of epic content as true king of the marketing landscape. Would you spend your - low - budget on traditional advertising rather than the set-up of a smooth ‘content creation machine’?

It’s a fact that inbound marketing delivers 54% more leads than traditional outbound marketing.

Content marketing has flipped the traditional marketing models from the push paradigm to pull.” (Jeff Bullas)

Marketing for the Age of the Customer can’t even exist without content. In the pre-Internet age ‘space’ was the main element of competition; today brands challenge to retain ‘attention’. The attention of customers is critical to succeed in crowded markets and pave the way for trust and loyalty.

The following stats highlight how competitive content will be in the next years:

  • Content marketing (30%) is considered the most commercially important digital marketing trend for 2015; more than big data (14.6%) and marketing automation (12.8%) (Smart Insights);
  • Marketers now spend 25% of their budgets on content marketing, and 78% of CMO’s think custom and personalized content is the future of marketing (Yahoo Advertising);
  • 86% of companies are doing content marketing, but 56% admits they do not have a defined strategy for it (Content Marketing Institute);
  • 53% of marketers rank content creation as the single most effective SEO tactic (NewsCred).

Content_marketing_stats

Quality is the most important factor you should focus on to increase conversion rates in the inbound marketing perspective. Remember: remarkable content is never product-based; it’s a solution that puts together customers’ needs/desires and company goals.

Content marketing is not about luck; it’s about producing and distributing relevant content, to deliver your message, strenghten your brand identity and empower your customers. 

You are your content, and what you share is what you narrate about yourself. That becomes even more true now that you deal with customers that spend most of their time sharing thoughts and opinions on social networks, using their mobile devices.

Smartphones, tablets, and - last, but not least - the Apple Watch, disrupt the way people communicate and, consequently, how brands build engagement. And content marketing is a puzzle with many moving parts:

  • Start with finding your true why - your vision and mission;
  • Build upon your archetype - the foundation of brand identity;
  • Blend storytelling and technology - evolve to involve;
  • Involve different channels - blog, social media, email marketing, online advertising;
  • Use content to deliver highly personalized experiences at the right time.

If you want to create an amazing digital customer experience, all pieces of your content marketing need to match perfectly. Relationships rely on honest, relevant communication across all touch points of the customer journey. And the content you create is your first line of communication with prospects and potential leads.

content_marketing_tacticsSo, what does the actual landscape look like? Here are the 5 content marketing facts we have promised. They might not surprise you, but it’s way more surprising how many companies still ignore them. 

NEED A PLAN?

Just like anything else in life and business, you need a plan to create a competitive content strategy. You can’t just throw online articles, blog articles and social posts, expecting that customers come to you miraculously. That will never happen, and even Google won't notice you. Coherence and consistency, these must be your keywords.

MIND THE COST

Don’t think that it all comes down to being creative. Yes, the ability to stand out and delight customers with unique content is priceless, but content marketing has a cost (usually 33% of all marketing budget). Not all content is good: you need ideas, you need expert people, you need technology and software. You do need a budget.

BE SHEARABLE

As Hubspot says, “Distribution is what makes content relevant for a specific buyer persona.” Creating invaluable content is useless when nobody reads it. Be sure that you design 'shearable' contents: Nielsen research reveals that users share content when it is trustworthy, helpful, current, relevant, and easy to access on all devices. Or it's about cats.

MEET THE EYE

Internet is a huge database of information. How can you attract customers with your piece of content evenly distributed around the web? Remember that any channel has its own rules: information and delight might come from long articles but the most loved pieces of content are infographics, engaging videos and amazing visuals. Be epic!

STAY SOCIAL

By 2016, there will be an estimated 2.13 billion social network users around the globe (Statista). One numbers says it all. While a mobile optimized website and blog are still the core of your online identity, if you want to connect with customers on all levels  you have to rely on the power of social relations. And if your company still refuses to have a social account … well, you are in trouble.

Blogging, online advertising, social sharing, mobile apps, gamification dynamics, notifications, in-store promotions: they are all based on great content.

What matters is that big companies are embracing big content, and in so doing they are changing the expectations of YOUR customers. Whether you like it or not.” (Jay Baer)

Do you still deny the value of content marketing?

 

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 Social Networking Facebook Branding Archetypes Storytelling Content Marketing Inbound Marketing Mobile

WWDC 2015: El Capitan, iOS 9, Apple Music, Everything Apple Announced

wwdc_2015

The battle rages on. The WWDC 2015 sounded like a prompt answer to Google I/O. Apple tried to overshadow the eternal rival in the race to the future of technology. Did Apple settle the score?

From the stage of the Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple unveiled the details of everything coming soon to iOS, OSX, Apple Watch. With a juicy ‘one more thing’: Apple Music.

No doubt that the last months of 2014 were all about Apple new product launches:

  • Apple Watch - a single product to bring the wearables and smartwatch industry back to life after decades;
  • Apple Pay - a one-touch secure payment method to disrupt the banking customer experience and change the way we pay and make purchases;
  • HealthKit - a platform, connected with iOS 8 and other devices, to collect and aggregate health data for medical purposes.

But 2015, till now, has seen nothing but Google: with the I/O keynote, the Big G has taken a critical step to become way more than your favorite search engine. With Android ruling the market of operating systems, the company aims at becoming the main reference for everything you do in your daily life.

Android M, Android Pay, Project Brillo and the Internet of Things, Google Now on Tap, Jump and the virtual reality: all the announcements looked like a direct challenge to Apple, and there was no doubt that people at Cupertino would steadily reply.

While Google I/O was a mainstream event after all, the WWDC did not betray its very nature of a meeting for developers. Two hours of low-key - yet solid - changes and evolutions to Apple's products, from the new versions of OS X and iOS to the update of Siri and Watch software.

Except for that controversial ‘one more thing’, there were no real fireworks. Nonetheless, we have the feeling that both Apple and Google have just warmed up the engine with skirmish keynotes to prepare for the real war. That will change the mobile market and revolutionize digital customer experience

If you didn’t sit through the keynote and missed the announcements, here’s a recap of the highlights of the annual WWDC conference for software developers.

el_capitan_apple

OS X 10.11

The kickoff of the keynote focused on the newest update for the Mac operating system, OS X 10.11, also known as El Capitan. Don’t expect a revolution or a redesign of the whole interface; the new release is more about tweaking the actual experience and improving behind-the-scenes performance.

Here's what you need to know:

  • The new OS X will use 'San Francisco' font developed for the Apple Watch as default.

  • You will finally have the ability to snap windows or split the screen with two windows.

  • Safari will try to challenge Chrome and Firefox with minor improvements (i.e. the ability to mute individual tabs).

  • The Metal 3D graphics SDK will improve gaming features and accelerate app launches.

ios9

iOS 9

The keyword to understand the improvements in the mobile operating system is ‘intelligence’. Apple will transform your iPhone into the essential companion for everything you do in our daily life. As a consequence, Siri becomes the heart of iOS 9.

  • Siri - proactive and able to offer contextual reminders and advice about what you are doing or planning to do. It will also suggest apps to launch or people to contact, based on previous usage behavior (just like Google Now On Tap does).

  • Apple News - the rebranding of Newsstand brings in a Flipboard flavor to your smartphone. This is a whole new app that enters a crowded competition and uses your preferences to create custom glossy magazines.

  • HomeKit, Carplay and HealthKit - all major features announced in the previous months will get a new life, with the ability to control everything with a tap, from smart objects in your home to in-car connections and health measurements.

  • Apple Pay - despite the warm reception, the new mobile payment system is struggling, due to the lack of commitment from business and financial partners. Soon users will be able to add their credit and debit cards into Wallet (the former Passbook), and buy things on Pinterest with a tap. Also new and compelling loyalty features, already being tested to become part of the upcoming Neosperience Gamification features.

apple-watch-wwdc-2015

APPLE WATCH

Now that Google has promised 7 new models of Android Wear, combined with 4000+ new apps, Cupertino answers back with the new version of the operating system for the best seller Apple Watch. Soon, there will be several improvements and tweaks:

  • Third-party apps - developers can have their software work entirely off the Watch, with better performance and native integration;

  • Watch faces - you can now include the ones that use your own photos;

  • Time travel - if you turn the crown you can jump ahead in time and view your calendar, predicted temperatures, schedule meetings or flights;

  • Digital Touch - you can draw and send coloured sketches;

  • Nightstand mode - finally the chance to turn the Apple Watch into an alarm clock.

Apple-music

APPLE MUSIC

Here we are at the long awaited ‘one more thing’ of the WWDC 2015. Apple Music comes from the awareness that streaming is replacing download (legal and illegal) for music fruition. The growing success of Spotify, Pandora and Google Play Music forces Apple to rethink iTunes.

Apple Music, coming next June 30, is a cross-platform music streaming service powered by iTunes and filled with plenty of options that could make it the first choice for iPhone users (priced 9.99 dollars/month, 50% more for a whole up-to-6-members family). In a single app you will be able to:

  • Access the complete Apple music library and stream it on demand (including the music you already have ripped from cd’s or downloaded from iTunes).
  • Receive suggestions based on what you usually listen, with the For You tab and even human-curated personalized playlists.
  • Listen to Beats 1, a live radio station dedicated entirely to music and music culture and broadcasted 24 hours a day.
  • Browse the Hot Tracks, Recent Releases, and Top Charts, connecting with your favorite artists through the Apple Music Connect option.

One piece was missing in this year's edition of the WWDC: Apple's plans for the TV (Google just revamped Android TV)Except for this, the conference echoed Google I/O. The enemies are both building a wide, smarter, responsive ecosystem to connect everything from your home to your wrist, from your smartphone to your car. Who do you think will win?

 

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Why iPhone 6 and iOS 8 Will Change Your Digital Customer Experience

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 iOS Automotive Android Wearable Mobile Internet of Things Apple

5 Key Takeaways From 2015 Internet Trends Report

Internet_trends_2015

Nothing beats a great report when you need to understand concisely where we’re going. When it comes to technology, a major choice has always been The Internet Trends report by Mary Meeker, one of those Internet oracles you'd better take seriously.

The 2015 Internet Trends arrives 20 years after the inaugural report, published in 1995. Since the first release, the scenario has changed so much that you can now hardly remember the world before the Internet.

Let’s start with one single eye-opening fact: back in 1995, there were 35 million Internet users globally, with a penetration stuck at 0.6% of the population. In 2015, connected people have reached 2.8 billion; that means 39% of worldwide population is now online, at home and on mobile devices.

When the Internet story started, there probably wasn't a single person - except for sci-fi writers and dreamers - who could have predicted how this single technology would disrupt how we communicate and how companies build their customer experience. Connectivity constantly reshapes our daily lives, and almost every human being is influenced by it, in one way or another.

The 196-slides deck by Mary Meeker, partner at venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, and Byers, has the great quality of delivering an overview of most pitfalls and opportunities that will guide the evolution of markets - and digital marketing strategies, consequently.

  • In 1995, only 1% of the world population used mobile phones. In 2014, that number has reached 73%, with a 40% penetration of smartphones.
  • The Internet has opened a whole new business: the market cap of the top 15 Internet companies is now $2.4 trillion; 20 years ago it was roughly $16.8 billion.
  • 51% of users come now from Asia, 23% from China; traditional markets fall behind, with Europe at 19% and the USA at 10%.
  • Today, the USA still have 11 of the world’s top 20 companies, but Asia is rapidly growing: China is now officially a tech giant with 6 companies, followed by Japan (2) and Korea (1).

These few insightful statistics create a broad picture of a social - and business - environment, shaped by innovative devices, where both people and objects are connected.

2015-internet-trends-report-4-638

Point here is: the world has gone mobile. While people have embraced the change, too many companies are still slow to adapt, focusing on traditional marketing funnels rather than what really matters: the customer.

Purchase and loyalty decisions are mostly based on customer’s expectation that they can get what they want with ease and speed, wherever they are and whatever technology they are using. Clients expect that you are able to assist them across all touch points of the customer journey, on any device.

While the overall subscriptions rate starts to slow, customers now possess the whole world in their hand. Information is just one tap away. Internet and engagement walk together, a correlation reinforced by the rise of time spent on mobile devices, where customer are online 24/7.

2015-internet-trends-report-5-638

As users, we are re-imagining all aspects of our lives; it’s about time that businesses do the same with their strategy and approach. Here are 5 takeaways from the 2015 Internet Trends Report that you can use to improve your customer experience.

THE INTERNET, REINVENTED

The Internet has reinvented the consumer and retail industry, forcing brands to re-image the way they connect with clients. Now the rise of innovative technologies and mobile devices turns the table again, encouraging a further evolution of technology and content. New frontiers are ready to be set: virtual reality, the Internet of Things, social media buying, mobile payments, real-time user generated broadcasts, messaging customer service. The Internet reinvents and gets reinvented day after day.

POWER TO MILLENNIALS

New generations mean new ways to explore the world and experience products and brands. The birth of a new generation of empowered customers is driven by the so-called Millennials. High spending and high demanding, these customers are submerged in a mobile ecosystem with totally different needs and desires. They love their smartphones, prefer visual content (Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat), and use social networks as main reference for opinions and information.

CONNECTIVITY EVOLUTION

Mobile technology brings in the need to get what you want when you want it. Patience is a virtue that empowered customers don't often pursue. The smartphone, together with other mobile devices (activity trackers, wearables, Apple Watch) and sensors, simplifies the access to just-in-time information: car directions, breaking news, events, public transportation schedule. Branded contents and services must be timely personalized too, 24/7.  

THE NEW COMMERCE

Digital disruption has brought a challenge within a challenge for traditional retail companies. Worldwide competition is a whole new story; traditional commerce has been replaced by a new digital arena, paving the way to e-commerce and social media commerce. The Internet has changed how we track of our finances, how we do research, and even where and how we buy products and services. One-touch mobile payments (Apple Pay and Android Pay) will be the next step in this evolution.

INTERNET IS YOUR JOB

Technology, society and business trends are so strictly linked that it is now impossible to talk about the Internet without mentioning the deep revolution of the marketplace. Said that many of the most profitable brands are now Internet-related companies, we have also witnessed a huge transformation in the meaning of 'job'. The widespread of connectivity has favored flexibility, allowing people to use online platforms (such as Airbnb, Uber, and Etsy) to increase their income.

We search online and mobile; we buy online and mobile. We live online and mobile. What about your company?

Here’s the full 2015 Internet Trends slide-show.
 

The emergence of mobile devices - and the need of a mobile-firts approach - is one of the key elements of 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 Society Future Innovation Content Marketing Mobile

Why Digital Customer Experience Is More Than a Website

woman_using_mobile

The website is dead, long live the website. In the Age of Mobile, designed by the emergence and spread of the smartphone, digital branding is more than a fancy website.

By 2020 there will be 6.1 billion mobile users, leading the mobile charge despite the rise of new mobile-based services. Multiple assets come into play to shape a compelling digital customer experience, and the website is just one piece of the puzzle. 

According to the latest Mobility Report by Ericsson, by the end of this decade smartphones will account for 80 percent of all mobile data traffic. Some 70 percent of the entire world’s population will be using smartphones. This figures help you measure how critical mobile devices (smartwatch and wearables included) are becoming to how people communicate and connect with others and brands.

BEYOND THE WEBSITE

Not so long ago, digital assets basically revolved around a website made to show the brand identity and gather page views. In a rush, every company wanted to be online, without a reasonable understanding of what mobile really means. That ultimately led to digital for digital’s sake, with no vision or long term digital marketing plan.

Vanity was the keyword. The online presence was a mere showcase, with no feedback or two-way communication; the customer experience was optional and real engagement almost impossible. Until social networks and the smartphone came in to disrupt business and bring both customers and brands into the Age of Mobile. And Google changed the rules to bring the web in our hands.

Since then, we have witnessed a discrepancy in how people and organizations have faced the digital transformation: while customers go digital, embracing the mobile revolution and adopting smartphones as first screen, companies still struggle to think and act mobile-first, and even to adapt their website to the mobile friendly algorithm.

With clients empowered by technology, a pretty facade can’t hide the lack of tangible digital assets management. If you aim at encouraging real engagement and customer retention, you need to start from those 2.6 billion smartphone subscriptions. And the website is not enough.

THE MOBILE SHIFT

The definition of digital experience already involves a multi-faceted digital customer journey, not necessarily starting from your website. The mobile and social shift has one huge consequence: markets become conversations, customers turn into stakeholders and companies transform into publishers. 

Most frequently, the tipping point of the online experience is not the branded website. Customer-facing apps, search queries and advertising, blog posts, landing pages, social media, e-commerce: you need to preside over all pieces of content around the net to build your storytelling and deliver your promise.

Being true to yourself, in the mobile age, goes beyond a responsive website. It implies a continuous work on all channels to offer a complete, omni-channel experience across digital touch points. The user experience gets absorbed in the digital customer experience and mobile becomes the bridge to connect online and physical worlds.

CONTENT GOES MOBILE

All elements must be well-coordinated and all departments must work together to deliver the best experience possible. One missing piece and the result will be a bad customer experience. Technology is relevant to define the outline of this new omni-channel journey, but you will miss the point if you focus first on technology.

The best way to guide people across the conversion funnel is to offer distinctive content and fulfilling relations; your digital properties are just tools, not the purpose. High‑quality and relevant content marketing - verbal, video, visual - is a primary driver, fundamental for the customer experience to be interesting and ultimately cost-effective.

And your content should spread across all digital media. Marketers often distinguish between paid, earned, and owned media. Tools are different, the goal is the same: to generate awareness and engage customers with an amazing customer experience.

THE UNIFIED EXPERIENCE

It is now widely accepted that the experience will soon be the main brand differentiator, and the primary field of competitions for innovative companies. As a consequence, influence and control have shifted from technical IT departments: marketers will soon spend more than IT on technology innovation (Gartner).

Marketing, IT, employees, management, customer service, front and back office: truth is, all branches of the organization have - or should have - one objective. In the inbound methodology, this objective can be translated in the ‘Attract, Convert, Close, Delight’ process.

Why customer experience can't be lessen to a website? Because clients of the Age of the Customer want to be empowered, and demand that your company can be accessed anytime, anywhere from any device. You will be able to empower people only by matching these areas:

  • Technology -responsive website *and* customer-facing app, taking advantage of a native user experience, iBeacon, mobile payments, virtual reality, Internet of Things;

  • Content - personalized and tailored to specific buyer personas and buyer's journey stage);

  • Context - every piece of content must be suitable for the specific context, so that data can align closely with customer needs;
  • Relations - even automation needs a human touch, because buying experiences are based on how customers feel they are being treated.

Online or offline, web pages or retail stores, it makes no difference. The customer wants to connect with a unified experience. Behind a compelling digital customer experience there are many different components, but what people see is the final picture.

Today, organizations come across the challenge of retaining their customers with a fully integrated system that goes far beyond the website. To offer the complete experience to every customer, on every screen, start by choosing the right partner that combines the best techniques of mobile, content, social and cloud. 

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: The Evolution Of Mobile Customer Experience - 4 Steps To Improve

 

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 Innovation Social Networking Branding Content Marketing Inbound Marketing Mobile Internet of Things