The connected customer
On average, the British household owns over 7 internet devices and unsurprisingly, smartphones are the most common followed by laptops and tablets. More than 60% of all email opens are with a smartphone (Communicator Benchmarking Report 2016), with 50% of all mobile searches conducted in the hope of finding local results and 61% of those searches result in a purchase being made according to Search Engine Watch. The customer is more connected than ever and this is changing buyer behaviour.
A change in behaviour means a change in strategy
A change in behaviour means an impact on the customer journey. Journeys are no longer linear –now we must focus on the multiple touch points to create the ultimate customer experience. The change in customer journey has developed a change in consumer behaviour and expectations, meaning brands need to evolve their products to be one step ahead to stay competitive; without evolving, you’ll fail to fit the needs of your customer and you’ll be lost amongst the noise of your competition.
“One hit wonder”
Crocs lacked diversification to suit their customers’ needs and as a result, saw their profits plummet below the success they’d achieved when they first started back in 2002. Crocs have now stepped up their game and have evolved their products to be more relevant to other target audiences, such as children, with flashing shoes and connections to the latest super heroes on our TV screens.
It’s still important to remember that a customer will create their own journey. This is where you need to understand their existing journey and identify where you can add value at the right time to create a seamless experience so that your customers and prospects are ready to make that important decision. So how do you know what content is the right content? This is where a single customer view (SCV) comes into play!
Single Customer View
I’ve spoken about this at a number of events and identified it’s long been one of my trend predictions for 2016. Some people ask if achieving a SCV is just a figment of our imaginations and if it’s really possible, but what I’ve seen with Communicator customers is that brands, both big and small, are starting to build a single customer view. This includes The NEC Group.
‘A single customer view provides the ability to track a customer’s entire journey across all channels in one single view.’
“Email is our Lifeblood”
Chris Pile, Head of Digital & Creative at The NEC group recently spoke with me at the Figaro Digital Summit on May 5th about the group’s journey to a SCV. With many touchpoints across a lot of different brands covering physical venue and online services, and with 500+ campaigns a year both B2B & B2C, emails drives a significant value of revenue each year for The NEC Group.
With an outdated database and the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) coming in to force in May 2018, now was the right time for the team at NEC to get a better understanding of their customers with email being their lifeblood.
A content strategy was created with the help of Communicator which includes a 5 step automated journey, from a welcome to post-purchase campaign that has resulted in saving time and investment for their email marketing team.
We now live in the age of the savvy customer and sending impersonalised email marketing messages is now a huge risk for engagement. So how do you overcome this and achieve the ultimate SCV in email marketing? The unique identifier is the customers email address! Your customers will know they’re being tracked and with the additional information they provide you, will expect an enhanced experience in their buyer journey. If you aren’t using the information to tailor the experience, they may begin to question why you’re collecting it and this falls back to the rules and regulations of the GDPR. Starting with your customers email address can create a truly seamless multichannel, personalised and relevant experience from a brand – all driven by data.
Who knows what the future will hold with the customer journey, we could be all sat with virtual reality headsets on watching life go by in a different universe! Set the foundations to build upon your email marketing strategy and let the customer create their own journey to enhance the customers' experience with a single customer view.
Image source: © Atlantic Productions Alchemy VR to be credited in every use. First Life VR launch at the NHM.