Smartphones are number one in consumer’s hearts (and hands). In fact, studies show that the average person spends roughly 86 hours a month mindlessly scrolling through numerous screens on their device.
That provides hundreds of opportunities for marketers to capture their audience’s attention and provide them with a positive brand experience.
Currently, 84% of marketers believe that they are effectively delivering this, while half of the consumers actually disagree. However, as screen time only continues to increase and positive customer experiences can help drive brand loyalty, how can brands improve?
Today’s brands collect and have more access to data than ever imaginable. To put it in perspective, in 2016 humans created and collected more data every 48 hours in comparison to the data that existed between 2003 and the beginning of time. Inevitably, this is the result of developments in technology, and for marketers has led to improvements in their activities. Because of this, customer data is a crucial and compulsory principle today. Such technology and its ability to collect, manage and handle large, sensitive amounts of data have allowed marketers to learn more about their consumers in order to develop contextually relevant, individualised and positive customer experiences. Collecting valuable data points such as purchase behaviour, customer devices, locations and context along with psychographics and demographics helps create a better understanding of the consumer’s needs, wants and preferences in order for marketing and advertising dollars to be better spent. Therefore, such data helps improve the customer experience and overall customer journey as activities can be monitored and modified to increase the chances of customers visiting, buying and interacting more with brands.
While collecting customer data is an essential component in understanding consumers to improve the overall customer experience, understanding how to use human emotions within marketing also plays a significant role. Studies show that not only do customers attribute positive brand experiences through their “rational brain” but emotions also play a significant role. Therefore, it is argued that in order to improve the overall customer experience, a customer’s rational and emotions need to be addressed and satisfied. Additional customer behaviour based studies also reveal that consumers don’t differentiate experiences within your brand. For example, consumers do not believe they are simply interacting with your website, your retail store or your customer service line as individual aspects of your business, however, it is perceived they are dealing with your brand – and it makes sense for them to think so. Through these interactions, consumers are creating an emotional connection and perception of a brand. Furthermore, comprehensive psychological studies revealed that advertising efforts that build emotional connections to become more personalised and contextually relevant to a consumer were more effective for long-term brand growth. Such studies highlight the importance to understand how to use human emotions in marketing and advertising to make brands more relatable and humanised to deliver positive brand experiences.
Unfortunately, many brands believe the best way to build an emotional connection and improve customer experience is through loyalty programs. The fact that customers have roughly 4 loyalty cards in their wallets may back up this claim, however, a US study discovered that 100 billion loyalty points remained unclaimed over the past year! That’s the equivalent value of Google and more importantly, demonstrates 100 billion lost opportunities to fulfil their mission of enhancing customer experience. While loyalty programs are a way to collect consumer data in order to better understand purchase behaviour and preferences to formulate better experiences, such statistics show that they’re often missing the mark. Loyalty programs need to drive consumer engagement across multiple platforms and provide instant gratification to today’s always connected consumer.
Not only are loyalty programs proving to be missed opportunities for brands to deliver more valuable customer experiences, however, the hours upon hours of digital moments consumers are having also provide further opportunities. To better explore this, it’s best to understand what Google describes as micro and macro moments. A micro-moment is an intent-driven decision. A customer may know exactly what they want and know exactly where to go to get it. In comparison, a macro-moment involves a lot more curiosity and time to spare and is likely to contribute to a significant proportion of the 86 hours of endless smartphone scrolling. In fact, these macro-moments happen regularly and leveraging this can help lead consumers on an engaging and profitable customer journey. After all, the winning formula for a compelling customer experience and driving engagement is the ability to listen, learn and inspire your customers through every single interaction. Ultimately this is done through collecting data through various customer touch points, such as online, in-store and through loyalty programs and implementing innovative technologies to foster a seamless, holistic and positive brand experience.
No longer do brands simply sell products or services – they produce experiences. In fact, customer experience has become a top priority for brands and businesses today, as it helps attract and retain customers, along with increasing revenue and brand loyalty. In order to develop a customer experience strategy that fosters engaging and relevant brand experiences, it is essential to have access to data and technology to identify a “single” truth and in-depth understanding of the customer.
RGC Digital Marketing is a marketing and online advertising agency in Sydney with experience in digital media and online strategy. To find out how we can help create engaging consumer experiences for your brand, please contact Richard on (02) 8883 2988 or email firstname.lastname@example.org