Relevancy is the name of the game when it comes to any customer experience today. Everyone is going digital at some level, especially consumers, and omnichannel is a growing factor in how individuals experience the world. For Gen Z consumers, for example, devices aren’t an addition or afterthought – they’re an integral component of daily life. And consumers of all ages have been conditioned to want a personal experience regardless of channel. Brands can leverage the three Cs – Content, Context, and Consistency – to target those consumers in hyper-relevant ways that take real-time customer insights and convert them to meaningful in-moment customer experiences.
Content and micro-moments
Content continues to be critical to success in delivering targeted customer experiences, especially when it comes to marketing. Advertising via banners and other traditional formats can still be important, but with 615 million devices running ad blocking software (as of 2017), if you’re not engaging people organically, you may not be engaging some users at all.
Serving up content that meets micro-moment needs is an ideal way to meet users across channels in an organic way. Google defines micro-moments as those times someone turns to the web for a specific purpose or out of reflex (such as checking social media on a smartphone). For example, Google says 91% of people reference information on their smartphone while completing a task – those are examples of micro-moments during which people want to know how to do something.
Google categorizes micro-moments as:
Want to go – the person is seeking directions or location information
Want to do – the person wants to know how or where to do something
Want to know – the person is seeking any type of information or knowledge
Want to buy – the person wants a product or service
Companies that create content that serve these micro-moments are more likely to engage individuals in a relevant and organic fashion, driving brand awareness and conversions. But to back up this context-driven customer experience mechanism, you must be able to get real-time customer insights and fold those into agile marketing campaigns and tools.
Context and personalization
Micro-moments are a great example of how seemingly personalized content can drive more engagement than general content. When a person turns to their device for a specific reason and is answered immediately by content from your brand, it feels a bit like a personal interaction.
But the brands that are slaying digital marketing, product placement, and sales are taking it a step further. “Generic” personalization isn’t something that impresses consumers today; anyone can create a mail merge and slip consumer names into a letter or email. Companies such as Netflix and Amazon have ensured consumers are used to much higher levels of personalization than that. When Amazon can predict what you’re going to want to buy next and Netflix can recommend your next binge-watch with as much accuracy as your best friend, you’re not going to be impressed with brands that can’t level up across channels when it comes to customization.
Luckily, you don’t have to be a giant conglomerate to data-scale your way to personalization. First, you must invest in the right tools and insight-driven platforms to get the job done. Then, you need to work with the data you have to make smart customer-experience and marketing moves.
Consider hi-fi audio brand Marantz. Among other things, it offers wireless speakers. Like other wireless products, the speakers can be set up with custom features by the consumer – including a name that can be used when managing items on the home network. Marantz has access to the setup information and noticed that many people named their speakers “Bathroom” (or something similar). The brand took a well-educated gamble, developing waterproof speakers that sold extremely well. Marantz even marketed the speakers directly to consumers who had named previous versions “Bathroom.” Their effort to contextualize earned them up to a seven percent email purchase rate, which is huge.
Context often starts with your own data (as in the Marantz case). Because your data is unique to you and your customers, you can leverage it for agile marketing and customer service that creates in-moment experiences that drive revenue and conversions. It’s important to invest in the right platforms for these purposes, but you can also leverage other third-party platforms for data you can integrate into your own media planning.
Google Ads let businesses of any size leverage enormous banks of data to target (and retarget) specific consumers with their ads.
Facebook and Instagram let you launch social media ads or sponsored content targeting users of certain ages, locations, income levels, and family types – and you can even target by interest. That makes it possible to target 20-something single moms interested in baking, for example, which can lead to extremely personalized advertising.
Other platforms, including YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat, and Pinterest, offer targeted advertising and are working toward developing as comprehensive a data bank as Facebook.
Mobile app advertising is a growing option for personalized marketing.
Context isn’t just about marketing, though. Brands can collect feedback from consumers’ forum and blog comment information, web traffic numbers, and other data to help them understand which content, products, and services are likely to perform well with very specific sections of their market.
Consistency leads to brand awareness and culture
Content and context aren’t a one-and-done proposition, though. You have to consistently provide for the consumer or they’ll turn elsewhere out of boredom or frustration or simply because they forgot you even exist. The omnichannel world is cut-throat – if you’re not consistently driving awareness of your brand, you’re literally out of sight and mind for consumers.
This is one reason retargeting is such a powerful marketing tool for brand awareness – when you leverage the right data and context, your message seems to follow users across channels. In an omnichannel experience, your message can even jump from a physical, in-store experience to a digital one on a mobile device seamlessly.
But it’s not enough to constantly pepper users with content. Consistency also implies maintaining your brand’s tone and feel – the details of the content still matter. You can see we’ve come full circle with the three Cs, which can work together to drive awareness, boost conversions, and increase revenue for brands that are marketing in the new omnichannel age.
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