The world was already on track to keep growing increasingly more digital and more personal, but after a year of primarily virtual interactions as a result of COVID-19, digital-first and customer-centric has become an even more certain reality across industries.
What does this mean for brands and agencies?
A digital-first setup puts the customer in control and demands innovation in planning experiences online and off.
Across all the (virtual) conferences, webinars, and reports our team has engaged with this year, we’ve seen that successful innovation planning must consider three main consumer trends: hyper-relevance, integrated customer journeys, and data transparency.
Stay hyper-relevant to build loyalty
With a plethora of engaging content at their fingertips 24/7, consumers now expect highly personalized experiences online and off. Brands should use data and the patterns it reveals to understand consumer preferences and make the right predictions to meet customers where they are.
This presents a loyalty opportunity. If you can build a great a customer profile — complete with product, user, purchase, and behavioral data — you can create experiences that keep them coming back again and again.
To do it right, aim for smart segmentation, geotargeting that reaches customers in real time, and scale content across your platforms.
Create integrated customer journeys
URL and IRL are blending together, meaning interactions with brands never stop. To stand out, you need to deliver the right message at the right time while remaining cohesive across owned channels.
How does that work? Build a digital ecosystem that supports each customer’s journey. Your touchpoints and the messages revealed at them should feel related but unique. Most importantly, they should deliver exactly what the customer is looking for when they most need it.
Build trust with data transparency
The more you know about a customer, the more relevant your brand can be. It’s no secret that takes a lot of data.
It also takes balance. The more data you have, the more careful you need to be that you’re managing personalization without jeopardizing Personally Identifiable Information (PII).
So, be transparent. If you’re going to track someone’s location, tell them why that’s necessary to build a great experience. And, keep the customer in control. Let them opt in and out or offer different ways to pay. The more choices you provide consumers, the more agency and trust they’ll feel.