How We Fail The Connected Customer

Digitally savvy marketers are aware of the second and third screens, they are aware of the always on customer.  They think mobile first when targeting consumers in engagements, but what marketers are still getting wrong is the connected customer.  The biggest mistake I see marketers make that are thinking second and third screens and mobile first is when they think of the “connected customer” they think of the always online, just a second away from Facebook or Google.  What they don’t realize is that the “connected customer” actually means a customer that experiences the world in such a way that it is powered by the always on infrastructure mobile and digital enables.  The connected customer isn’t just someone who is always online, it’s someone that gets value out of the always on state and gets to experience relevant, timely and anticipated needs or even what I call “holding open the digital door”.   Being polite and asking the consumer if you’d like us to take something one step further for you and hold the door open, in a manner that wasn’t expected but is a nice gesture that improves the consumer experience.

Managing Multiple Screens

It’s not enough to simply present messaging across mobile devices the same as you would a desktop device.  Mobile devices tend to be much more connected to “in the moment” decision.  Knowing this marketers should be thinking about mobile as a means to empower the consumer to make the decisions faster, and get connected as easily as possible to the experience they are looking to complete.

For example if a consumer is on a mobile device looking up hotels, they should be able to see very quickly availability, cost of room, and a quick way to make a reservation either by phone or online.  If a customer is researching product that a retailer sells, they should be able to find pricing, a price match guarantee to ensure in store closing of sales. Customer reviews and ratings of the selected product and inventory levels at the closest location.

Customers on mobile screens no longer need responsive design experiences, but responsively relevant experiences.  Creating a website that looks nice on a mobile device isn’t good enough. If you are looking to keep your conversion rate up, you need to ensure that the information presented is relevant by device.  Cell phone users have different needs from tablet and PC users.  You can learn more about what your consumers seek by device type by using your web analytics and voice of customer data segmented by device type.  There are some assumptions you can make as best practices based on the generally available data present today, but knowing your consumer by device is more important as more consumer shift to mobile device usage.  This also means you need to rethink your cross device measurement strategy, and the world of digital analytics will be rocked by this.

Cross device measurement will likely draw new insight providing better views of how multi-screen experiences truly matter, and add a layer of complexity to multi-channel attribution analytics on top of everything else.  This of course assumes you already have a good handle on your traditional marketing analytics platform today.

Passive Insights

Taking the mobile device and second screen even further, the next mistake marketers make is not thinking about all the passive data available to you from your customer.  Mobile device isn’t just about the device, but about location, about mobility and about time of day.  All of which is passively tracked by the mobile device, and can be utilized to provide richer more relevant experiences.

It means connecting the offline and online world to create digital concierge like services.  Lets go back to the hotel experience.  You no longer need a loyalty program with points, instead a great hotel should recognize all customers that access their site from airports through their app, and as part of the reservation process let them know that an Uber can also be arranged for pick-up and billed to their room, or if the customer is high value the transportation will be on the hotel and is already available for picking-up the customer from a specific location in the terminal, and their check-in will be provided in real time upon arrival to the hotel where a bellhop will be ready to greet them with their key instead of waiting in a line, and recommendations for dinner locations and if desired reservations can be completed or confirmed on their mobile device.

None of this is based on future technology, it’s all possible today.  It does however mean re-looking at the current experiences offered.  Further the customer could even be told whom their guest staff will be, creating a sense of a dedicated team that is humanized.  Who will be on the desk, who will be doing the cleaning of their room, who to expect at the door upon arrival. It would use technology to tie into the moment, the location and back end information to create a truly personal experience beyond traditional CRM capabilities.

Making Experiences Not Marketing Messages

It’s no longer enough for marketers to think that they are only accountable for creating a message.  For getting something in front of the general public and their job is done.  Great marketers, and successful companies will push their marketers to think about experiences.

Marketers need to create connected experiences that bring customers in from the top of the funnel and nurture them all the way through the bottom of the funnel and beyond to create loyalty marketing that is not based on points and gimmicky rewards, but based on reasons for customers to become advocates.

Connected customer means not only customers that are always connected and plugged in, but connected in a way that every step is relevant and on brand and designed to enhance the experience.  This is created by the next wave of marketers, they are Experience Architects. They don’t just think in digital worlds, but they think in the real world of the consumer.  They are digitally savvy, but customer centric and focus not on the digitally cool, but the seamlessly connected.

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