When I sat down with Digital Survivor webinar presenter, public speaker and co-author of Age of Conversation, Gavin Heaton, to get his take on experience marketing, here’s what he had to say about the new Consumerverse.
What can marketers do to influence the customer experience ahead of the buying curve?
Gavin, in your recent Digital Survivor webinar, you mentioned that 70% of buying decisions are already made before a customer connects with a brand. With the majority of customers now deciding on their purchases before they even reach the marketing funnel, what can marketers do to influence the customer experience ahead of the buying curve?
Today’s customers can innovate faster than us. They have the tools, the technology and the time.
Customers are the new centre of gravity and are driving business. In this ‘consumerverse’, analytics are revealing, on the one hand, the hit and miss randomness of broadcast messaging and, on the other, the growing importance of guided conversation designed to engage consumers.
Every view, click, link and interaction can now be digitised. With low energy Bluetooth beacons now cheaply available, we can track, follow and engage people through their digital device in the ‘real world’. Just as we would track users on our website, seeing where they go, where they stop, where they buy etc., so too can we do this in today’s Wi-Fi-enabled shopping malls and open areas.
The most fundamental question that these customers ask themselves, when making a buying decision, is: ‘What’s in it for me?’ (WIIFM).
Currently, we’re living in a world where there is a mismatch between the buying journey and the selling cycle. As marketers, we need to find a new way to engage with our customers at the right time, in the right channel, with the right answer to WIIFM.
One of the strongest answers to the WIIFM question is speed. With access to networks and knowledge, consumers are able to make decisions at the speed of that network; what they’re looking for is:
Trust – can they believe what they’re told? Is there a way to validate that trust through their network? Who else trusts and believes this person/brand/business?
Authenticity – is opinion offered openly and without hidden inducement?
Authority – is there deep knowledge or experience on offer?
Where once we’d develop detailed account plans for selling, these days we need to build maps to help our customers buy. To do this, we need to understand the journey they take to purchase, which means mapping the journey across five dimensions:
How do we do this effectively?
When we understand that experience is the currency of a brand, we have a focus for engagement and interaction. From here we can bring our social, mobile, analytics and cloud capabilities to bear on the challenge. We can answer WIIFM at every customer touch point and we can build experiences that not only centre on the consumer, but are designed to create value for both our customers and our brands.
Gavin presented ‘The Physics of the New Consumerverse’ as part of Sitecore’s Digital Survivor webinar series, which is running until August 2015.
To watch Gavin’s webinar on-demand, or to register for any of our upcoming Digital Survivor webinars, please visit www.sitecore.net/digitalsurvivor
Robert Holliday - VP Enablement Service - Greater Asia, Sitecore
As VP Enablement Service - Greater Asia at Sitecore, Robert is charged with driving strategy in collaboration with the local senior management teams responsible for Sales, Marketing, Customers and Alliances. Robert works closely with corporate and regional offices to implement and localise the global strategy to grow the business and ensure customer success with Sitecore's leading customer engagement platform.