Marketers are increasingly aware of the fact that they need to create unique experiences for their customers, and leading brands are restructuring their businesses to put customer experience at the center of everything they do. Adobe Symposium Amsterdam, which took place November 6th at the Amsterdam Arena, focused on Experience Business and provided attendees with inspiration and best practices to take their marketing approach to the next level.
Great experiences can be a key differentiator and increase customer loyalty. A recent study by Goldsmiths University shows that nearly two thirds (61 percent) of customers feel loyal to brands that tailor their experiences to customers’ preferences and needs. The strong relationship between customer experience and brand loyalty was also supported by the discussion at the #AdobeChat during the event.
The building blocks of experience business
When building an experience business, today or in the future, there are four guiding principles to focus on.
Context is the starting line
Content and data are the engines of the business. Combining the art of creating great content with the science of analytics offers brands the opportunity to generate valuable insights on the needs of their customers. Customer experiences are part of a specific context and the better you are able to understand the context, the more relevant the interactions with customers will be.
Design for speed and scale
In order to be able to deliver the right message at the right time, brands must evolve their data strategy into a context strategy. This does not only involve data analysis at scale to identify the right cues, but also requires brands to rethink their global content strategy from creation to delivery.
Milliseconds make the journey
In the current complex marketing landscape, all marketers know that the relationship with customers is not based on a single interaction, but on a series of interactions across multiple channels and devices. This includes multiple departments within an organization. Brands must anticipate, in real-time, every opportunity within the customer journey.
Integrate to innovate
Breaking down the siloes within an organization is necessary for innovation. Technology can be used to unify data, content and processes, and enables organizations to use all resources available to create an integrated strategy.
According to Toccara Baker, Special Operations Consultant for EMEA Adobe Advertising Cloud: “Experience business is all about providing the best customer journey and moving away from a tactical approach to a more holistic approach.”
Bart Van de Wiele, Senior Solution Consultant at Adobe, noted: “Businesses are often too impersonal and transactional. This is why companies need to invest in experience business. In the next three years the biggest change we can expect is in artificial intelligence and machine learning.
During the event, customers like UBS AG, Delta, Daimler AG, Philips Lighting, DSM and VRT shared their insights on becoming an experience business, and the lessons they have learned so far.
Four digital-fueled trends for 2018 and beyond
To be successful, companies should not only address the current demands and needs of their customers, but must also anticipate new trends. During the closing keynote, David Mattin, Global Head of Trends and Insights at TrendWatching, provided a sneak preview of four emerging trends for 2018 and beyond, and shared tactics on how to spot and leverage new trends. According to Mattin, “a consumer trend is a new manifestation among people – in behavior, attitude, or expectation – of a fundamental human need, want or desire.”
On one hand, we are surrounded by continuous change, whether that is new technology or changes in society. On the other hand, human nature does not fundamentally change much over time. Human beings are driven by a set of basic needs and wants — safety, fun, value, and connection. These basic needs don’t change from month to month, or season to season. Trends emerge when new innovations address these basic needs in novel ways. Here’s what we can expect:
- A-Commerce (Automated Commerce) — In 2018, shoppers will look to handover every element of the sourcing, bargaining, purchasing, tailoring and collection of products and services.
- Insider Trading — One powerful way to show customers that your values align with theirs is to make meaningful, positive changes to your internal culture.
- Virtual Companions — In 2018, virtual personalities will prove they have the power to entertain, educate and heal. They will make the leap from assistants to companions.
- Virtual Experience Economy — Digital experiences (including AR/VR) are finally becoming real status currency for millions of consumers.
2018 promises to be an exciting year for marketers and brands in the race to become an experience business. What are your key learnings and insights?