Connecting With the Perpetually Connected Customer: Part II
In the first part of this blog post, I described perpetually connected customers, also known as perpetuals, who use smartphones, tablets, and PCs. In Change This, digital analyst and futurist Brian Solis explains that these early adopters of the latest trends are “connected to each other and the world-at-large, they’re also connected to technology. They are born digital-first.”
Let’s quickly review the three ways to connect with perpetuals that I covered last week:
1) Understand Their Immunities to Traditional Marketing
First, perpetuals are immune to traditional marketing strategies such as the ubiquitous banner ad. They seek value from the brands that win their business and expect personalized experiences through every device and channel. As marketers, we must think outside the box and draw outside the lines in order to connect with this perpetuals in unconventional ways.
2) Think About How to Regain Their Trust
Second, their default stance toward marketers is this: I don’t trust you. So you must think about how to regain their trust by providing them with relevant promotions and highly valuable products or services.
3) Rise to Their Level of Expectation
Third, perpetuals are prone to frustration if services and information are not timely, efficient, hassle free, and convenient. Remember, they will judge you on the level of service that you provide and quickly ditch you for a more tech savvy option.
How well did you do interacting with these three business ideas last week? Today, I will finish this blog series by looking at three more ways to connect with perpetuals.
In a previous blog post on CMO.com, I encouraged marketing leaders to, “Think mobile unique to deliver mobile delight.” Instead of delivering the same “vanilla” experience to your mobile customers, you should use information that is unique to smartphones and tablets such as device type, operating system, connection speed, location, and sensors to personalize the experience. Furthermore, by combining information in the consumer’s profile (preferences, time, behavior, social graph, and offline data) with mobile unique dimensions, you can achieve even higher levels of personalization. This is not the era of one size fits all. As marketers, we need to understand mobile technology and provide optimized experiences for both mobile websites and mobile apps.
American Express (Amex) is a perfect example of a company that is thinking mobile unique. Their mobile apps provide recommendations to relevant merchant offers in real time for US card members based on their spending history and location―a card member’s “spend graph.” In addition, this new mobile offer engine is a one stop shop to easily find, add, and track offers and savings from American Express and its merchant partners―including those available through the company’s Facebook, Foursquare, and Twitter programs. With a simple “click,” a perpetual can add these offers directly to their card and share them with friends. For example, when I visited Amex’s app today, Wholefoods was offering $10 back when you spend $75 or more. Because I need to stock my kitchen pantry with healthy food and snacks, this offer matched my needs and I jumped at the opportunity to save money. The mobile offers are quick, hassle free, and convenient, making this mobile experience a delight.
5) Think Like a Digital Disrupter
According to Forrester’s Mobile Mind Shift Index, digital disrupters are businesses that strategically think “about ways to increase the frequency of interactions” with perpetuals. Their goal is to pleasantly disrupt their customers with digitalized products that add something of value to their fast-paced lives.
Let’s look at Nike as an example of a company that leads in digital disruption. A typical Nike customer only interacts with the brand every six to 12 months in order to purchase a new set of running shoes. To drive repeat engagement with their brand, Nike created the Nike+ Running App that tracks running activity via the GPS location capability of smartphones.
Nike’s swoosh-wearing, athletic customers value things such as competition, fun, and health, so the company decided to support social graph integration with Facebook. This is one of the first apps to use friend tagging, enabling runners to share daily runs on their timelines and see their “most frequent running buddies and who has cheered them on.” Runners can track their total distance logged, cities they’ve run in, and more. With this app, runners are no longer training solo, but running a virtual marathon amidst the company and cheers of hundreds of friends. The return on investment (ROI) for Nike? The creation of “a globally connected community of sport” as well as increased brand visibility, customer loyalty, and sales.
6) Create Hassle-Free Convenience
Perpetuals value hassle-free, convenient experiences, notes Melissa Parrish of Forrester. Because they hate hassles so much, they will freely give you their personal information and more in “exchange for things like faster and better customer service” and “VIP perks such as skipping really long lines and getting hot restaurant reservations.” Perpetuals prefer alternative payment methods online because “it’s a hassle” to continually enter and re-enter credit card information.
For local residents and travelers, I can’t think of a more challenging city to get around in than New York. Have you ever experienced the challenge of trying to hail a taxi there? Let me introduce you to Uber.com. Uber has made it “uber” easy to get around Manhattan. Using your smartphone GPS, Uber accesses your position, enabling drivers to locate you, pick you up, and drop you off. After you arrive at your destination, Uber charges the credit card on file and emails you a receipt. No cash, no hassle, no headache. A perfect example aimed to please perpetuals.
To Sum Up: Simplify the World for Your Customers
I think today’s takeaway can be summed up with one word: simplify. Think about how you can simplify the world for your customer base. Create simple, user-friendly experiences for mobile consumers. Use digital to disrupt your customers lives with pleasant surprises. And finally, take simple steps toward providing hassle-free conveniences for your customers. When you do, you will find perpetuals smiling back at you (the brand) on a daily basis.