Posts tagged "customer experience"

Adobe Summit EMEA 2017: Know Before You Go

After weeks of waiting it’s finally upon us and we have some great things planned for you! We’ve got some incredible speakers, sessions and networking opportunities, and it’s bigger and better than ever before. With digital marketing best practices, inspirational content, great food, amazing music & even cycling, we like to think we’ve got it covered! With so much going on, we’ve put this guide together so you have everything you need to know before your Summit experience.

Download the Mobile App

The Adobe Summit EMEA mobile app gives you the latest information so you can get the most out of your Summit experience. You can search and schedule your breakout sessions, interact with speakers, rate sessions, view conference maps and access many other useful resources.

https://summit.adobe.com/emea/connect/mobile-app/

Download Adobe Spark Post

Create stunning social graphics in seconds at Summit with Adobe Spark Post, click the link below to access the Summit remixable visual:

https://adobesparkpost.app.link/CadpErXNSC

Summit at ICC ExCeL London

With registration open from 7:00am and the opening keynote session starting at 8:45am you won’t want to be late. Fortunately, ExCeL has an informative travel guide to help plan your journey:

http://excel.london/visitor

Wifi

There’s not just exciting content on the stage, there’s a huge amount of content online. So don’t miss out and get on the Wifi when you arrive:

  • SSID: _Summit2017
  • SSID: _Summit2017-Legacy
  • No security key needed

Relax

So you can now relax knowing that the essentials covered: arriving, with the app downloaded, and Wifi waiting. But there’s still a few more things you can do to be prepared:

Summit Blogs

The Summit team have not only been busy preparing for this year’s Summit, we’ve been busy writing. Whether you need more information on the sessions or just want to read up on what it means to be an experience business – we have a blog post for you:

https://blogs.adobe.com/digitaleurope/tag/adobe-summit/

CMO.com

CMO.com will be at Summit again this year, so please come see the team at the stand in the community pavilion. If you’re not familiar with CMO.com, then we’ve got a selection of articles featuring the Summit speakers to whet your appetite:

Raiffeisen’s Wenger Brings The Benefits Of Centralisation To 270 CEOs: http://www.cmo.com/interviews/articles/2017/4/26/raiffeisens-wenger-brings-the-benefits-of-centralisation-to-270-ceos.html

Digital Strategy Director Chris Worle Learns From Unexpected Journeys http://www.cmo.com/interviews/articles/2017/5/3/hargreaves-lansdowns-chris-worle-learns-from-unexpected-journeys.html

Sagren Pather Believes Web Analytics Can Lead To Surprise And Delight http://www.cmo.com/interviews/articles/2017/5/5/sagren-pather-on-why-priortising-web-analytics-leads-to-surprise-and-delight.html

The Physical World Is Major Stop On Digital Journey For Tamara Lohan http://www.cmo.com/interviews/articles/2017/5/4/physical-is-major-part-of-the-itinerary-for-mr-and-mrs-smiths-tamara-lohan.html 

Livestream

For your friends and colleagues who didn’t get a ticket to Summit EMEA 2017, they can watch the live coverage of tomorrow’s keynote session streamed on the Summit website, from 8:45AM BST.

summit.adobe.com/emea/

Social at Summit

I am biased but one of the best bits of Adobe Summit is the social buzz. We’ve got a great social programme planned for you so please follow @AdobeSummit & @AdobeExpCloud and join the conversation on the hashtag: #AdobeSummit.

And don’t forget the live Twitter chat on “Becoming an Experience Business” starting at 2:00PM using: #SummitChat

Uniting All Departments for Business Success: The Vertical Industry Track at Adobe Summit

Cutting-edge technology is only as effective as the people who use it, and the processes these people have access to. If teams and departments aren’t properly synchronised, the impact of even the best technology can be severely limited—but when vertical integration is handled intelligently, it can provide powerful opportunities for brands to achieve groundbreaking customer insights, and deliver experiences that delight at every turn.

That’s why the Vertical Industry track at this year’s Adobe Summit EMEA will focus on client success stories in vertical integration—along with solutions for specific industries, including retail, financial services, automotive and manufacturing, B2B and high tech, telco and media, and travel and hospitality. Throughout these 45- to 90-minute sessions, we’ll explore how leading digital brands in each of these industries are leveraging a combination of people, process, and technology to achieve unprecedented connections with their customers.

VI1: Taming Turbulent Conditions—A Manufacturer’s Digital Transformation Story

In this session, Adobe’s Jill Steinhour and Airbus’s Laurent Fradin and Jérémiah Bousquet will lead an in-depth discussion on the most significant trends impacting the manufacturing industry, along with offering insights on how digital leaders in B2B organisations are navigating digital transformation and bringing customer experiences to new heights. They’ll explain why and how Airbus initiated a transformation plan that led to a corporate digital platform, how the company identified new opportunities and disrupted their traditional business, and how their digital transformation efforts led to the creation of an innovative platform that enables company-wide participation.

VI4: How to Build a Customer-Focused Experience Business in FSI

The recently released Adobe and Econsultancy Digital Trends Report showed that optimising the customer experience is the single biggest opportunity for the FSI industry, with 34 percent of  respondents placing this as their biggest priority for the year. But to deliver great experience, brands will need powerful data, great content, and the right people and processes. In this session, experts from Adobe, Hargreaves Lansdown, Raiffeisen Bank, and Aviva will discuss how to acquire data-driven insights, create terrific content, and transform into a digital-first organisation.

VI6: Making Experience Your Business in the Retail & Ecommerce Industry

Consumer shopping behaviour continues to evolve, and retail organisations are challenged to understand the interplay between people, process, and technology capabilities in a digital world. This session introduces insights from the recent Digital Trends in Retail survey conducted by Adobe and Econsultancy, and gives a bird’s eye view of the current and future digital transformation priorities and challenges of retailers. Topics will include conversational commerce, best practices in transforming into an e-commerce business, and the journey to becoming an award-winning omnichannel retailer.

VI2: Exploring Best Practices for Digital Transformation in Media, Broadcast & Telco

Digital transformation in media, broadcast, and telco is a fast-moving sea of change, chaos, and disruption. Audience acquisition, cross-channel engagement, measurement, and digital revenue opportunities are quickly evolving. In this session, Adobe customers and partners will discuss how they’ve implemented strategies for success to grow their digital businesses. In addition, research firm Ovum will explore focus areas for navigating digital transformation in global telco organisations.

VI3: Making Experience Your Business in the Automotive Industry

Ongoing disruption and evolving customer expectations are pushing automotive OEM brands to evolve into the mobility providers of tomorrow. Through case studies and insights from Adobe clients and teams, this supersession will explore how leading automotive brands are delivering differentiated customer experiences in ways that are globally scalable and operationally efficient. Speakers will also highlight how automotive brands can evolve to remain relevant for the future.

VI5: Travel Transformation Digitally from the Inside Out

Travel companies are seeking to transform their brands through a great customer experience that blends the physical and digital into a seamless journey. Lufthansa is leading the way to such seamless customer experiences through its new customer-driven strategy, SMILE (Surpass My Individual Lufthansa Experience). In this session, participants will learn from Lufthansa’s outside/in approach as speakers share their transformational story of creating an experience business that shaped a culture as well.

We look forward to seeing you at Adobe Summit EMEA 2017, and if you haven’t registered to attend, there’s still time. Just click here to find out about all the other exciting events happening at this year’s Summit.

Delivering Exceptional Experiences at Scale: The Content & Creativity Track at Adobe Summit EMEA

When it comes to delivering exceptional customer experiences, great design has emerged as a powerful way for organisations to differentiate themselves. In fact, the success of web and mobile experiences depends increasingly on the visual and interaction design behind them. Great design makes great content shine, and great content is essential for building the experiences that create loyalty—and that boost revenue over the long term.

But one instance of great design is not enough. For a brand to succeed, it needs to differentiate itself from the competition not just once, but through consistent delivery of exceptional customer experiences, at scale. Brands can achieve this by embracing design-driven thinking, and using that thinking to fuel relevant content that creates personalised and compelling experiences. The Content & Creativity track at this year’s Adobe Summit EMEA will explore the thinking behind great design, and lay out practical tips for using design to achieve your own competitive advantage.

In addition to having the Coca-Cola Company’s VP of Global Design speaking, here are the sessions I’m excited about in the Content & Creativity track at this year’s Summit.

CRE2: Make Your Content Marketing Programs More Impactful, with Video

Studies show that video boosts conversion, builds trust, and encourages higher engagement, which is why modern marketing organisations are embracing video as a key ingredient in their content marketing mix. But the challenge of designing personalised, relevant, cross-platform video content globally is no small feat. This session will dive into how your team can create compelling video content quickly, collaborate across global teams to deliver an amazing video experience, and build reusable visual elements while maintaining your brand.

CRE3: The Importance of Design in Delivering Great User Experiences

Sony Interactive Entertainment (PlayStation) has built its success on understanding how to design interactions that delight its customers. This session will explore the design challenges and successes across the many areas of user experience that the design team tackles, and will look at how Adobe’s tools are adapting to address experience design demands.

CRE4: Design-Driven Business

Design-led thinking is at the heart of all major brands, driving both competitive advantage and greater business results. Great products start with great design. In this session, Simone Cesano will discuss how Adidas continually transforms its products and brand by placing creativity and great design at the core of its business strategy. This session will explain the importance of being a design-led company, and explore specific principles you can apply in your organisation to effect your own transformation.

We look forward to seeing you at Adobe Summit EMEA 2017. If you haven’t yet registered to attend, there’s still time – just click here to find out about all the other exciting events happening at this year’s Summit.

If you want a killer customer experience, start with an effective data strategy

Companies seem paralyzed faced with the speed and power of digital players like Netflix, Uber, or Airbnb and the horde of start-ups that are helping them disrupt the business of long-established players. Beyond their velocity and agility, it is often their success at appealing to customers with an experience reinvented using new technology that makes the difference. In a world where information is becoming more transparent and more accessible and travels instantly from one end of the planet to the other with social media, there is a bonus for the player offering the current “killer app.” However, behind this seemingly simple, straightforward success ultimately hides a new data control culture. At a time where everything is digital, companies should urgently re-examine their data strategy and go on red alert if they do not have one!

Companies have to catch up where they’ve fallen behind in terms of data.

While writing our book, Le Guide de la Transformation Digitale [The Digital Transformation Guide], with Vincent Ducrey, we were shocked to discover that data is still very poorly used within large companies: scattered data gathered redundantly; no backup; unclean data that had not been updated, verified, or even used. The tools are often antiquated (when they aren’t simply missing) in an “IT Frankenstein” that is unstable, hardly scalable, in silos, and totally unfit for the real-time use of this key value for the business. With the arrival of connected objects, chatbots, artificial intelligence, and predictive data, chances are this lag will become a fatal handicap.

Data strategy? Better understand your customers, know how to target them, personalize your messages, and measure your ROI

If you want to increase your effectiveness in terms of marketing, offer a customer experience equal to your competition and equal to the latest expectations of your connected consumer, start by taking the time to build a solid foundation. Implementing data strategy, tools, and governance is the be-all and end-all of the company of the future.

It all begins with recruiting, retaining, and continuing to train employees with the right skills: not many current marketing managers have been trained to master the challenges of data and algorithms. However, this control of data is becoming critical. Regardless of their line of work, the future of companies rests increasingly on software development and data use. Companies are all going to have to fight to attract the most skilled employees by offering attractive wages, assignments, and resources. There is still a lot of work to do to become as appealing as Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon or the start-ups from around the world.

You can bet that most large companies are going to have a “Chief Data Officer” to define a strategy and oversee the teams and their efforts on the subject of data. In fact, these days, data is too often a topic managed by default and divided up among the CIO, marketing, CRM, and legal, without any clear leadership.

Once staffed, you have to identify, capture, collect, stock, clean, and use the data. In short, transform this exponential, multi-format deluge of raw data into usable, useful information. It is basically just a matter of becoming capable of tracking customers throughout their journey: from a consumer exposed to an advertising message targeted online or offline, to a visitor, to a prospective customer, or to a loyal regular customer via the brand ambassador.  Your systems’ agility requires you to abandon long, expensive, barely scalable ad hoc developments in order to blend the best of the technological components available and set up APIs to interface easily with software and data from your providers, partners, and customers.

You also need to put the proper tools in place to better track, understand, and target your customers: Social listening, SCV (Single Customer View), DMP (Data Management Platform), CRM onboarding (linking the behavior and profile of unidentified visitors to their customer files when they check out), and CRM in B2C.  Or the Inbound strategy (creating content to attract and characterize customer leads), CRM and “social selling” (transforming your salespeople into expert sales representatives on social media) in B2B.

This characterization and this progressive segmentation (behavioral, socio-demographic, etc.) then makes it possible to use these insights and this targeting in quasi-real time to:

– manage your media buying more closely, quasi-automatically, and instantaneously (Programmatic media buying and Real Time Bidding) in concert with your DMP

– personalize the experience, be it with advertising messages (make sure you have a DAM, or Digital Asset Management, and a personalization engine for your sites or your campaigns), the experience at the point of sale (by connecting your sales force to your offer and to your customers’ histories: clienteling), online (make sure you have a PIM: Product Information Management to update your product catalogue throughout your entire company), or by adapting the product or service itself (for example, the musical streaming service Spotify offers a customized playlist each week based on the subscriber’s past tastes).

Towards creating a Chief Performance Officer position

Lastly, measurement will become a strategic concern. Measuring better and faster than the competition will prove to be a key advantage for making decisions ahead of the competition and investing more pertinently. You can even conceive of creating a Chief Performance Officer position in the coming years. This person’s role will be wide-ranging and crucial:

– Implementing good measurement indicators (metrics and KPIs) with adequate tools

– Testing and optimizing indicators, actions, and measurement tools based on good algorithms (A/B or multivariable testing, machine learning, Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence)

– Analyze results (transform data into information) for fast, tangible actions at all levels of the organization

– Benchmark this information in relation to direct competition and other industries’ best practices

The major players of Silicon Valley built a large part of their success on mastering data, and their revenues continue to experience double-digit growth. What are you waiting for?

To find out more, join our Data Driven Marketing Track session at Adobe Summit EMEA.

Pushing the Limits of Data: The Data-Driven Marketing Track at Adobe Summit

Data has become the driving force behind effective marketing. In today’s fast-changing marketplace, data shapes the decisions that make or break brands, and drives the most critical actions in every campaign. The good news is that with advanced analytics, data no longer just informs—it also predicts. But your customers are well aware of this new reality. They expect you to know who they are and what they’re interested in, regardless of how they choose to interact with you. It’s not enough to react anymore—customers expect you to anticipate.

Even as consumer expectations continue to skyrocket, stakeholders’ expectations are also sharply on the rise. To discover the ideal path, most compelling experiences, and most competitive business strategies for your business, it’s crucial to centralise your data, so insights are easily accessible throughout your organisation. That’s exactly what we’ll show you how to do in the Data-Driven Marketing track at this year’s Adobe Summit EMEA, where you’ll have plenty of opportunities to engage with Adobe experts and industry thought leaders. These experts will teach you how to push the limits of data, so you can move beyond marketing analytics, and deliver experiences that’ll make your customers think you can read their minds.

Here are the sessions I’m most excited about in the Data-Driven Marketing Track at this year’s Summit.

DDM1: Non-Stop—Improving Productivity with Adobe Analytics Tips and Tricks

Many analysts find themselves lacking time and unable to affect all of the potential changes they see opportunities for. That’s why, over the past few years, Adobe has added dozens of features in Analysis Workspace, and elsewhere, to enable marketers to do more with data in one place, rather than jumping between tools, to dig deep and find powerful insights quickly, and to improve on the ways they share insights throughout their organisations. In this session, Adobe Analytics product management will share tips and tricks that marketers can implement immediately.

DDM9: Adobe Analytics Worst Practices—and How to Avoid Them!

Adobe Analytics is extremely powerful, but setting it up to take advantage of all that power can be a challenge. In this session, Analytics Demystified’s Adam Greco and Adobe’s Jan Exner will highlight the most common Adobe Analytics mistakes—and how to avoid them—and explain how to create a smoother, more efficient Adobe Analytics setup, so you can focus on analysis, not implementation.

DDM2: Top Optimisation Hacks You Can Do with Adobe Target

Optimisation goes well beyond swapping out and testing background images in an offer. It means using all available information about visitors to anticipate what they want before they know they want it, and finding new ways to deliver it. This session will showcase creative tests to maximise conversion, explain how testing innovations enable new, exciting business opportunities, and walk through ways these innovations impact internal development practices.

DDM4: CRO on Steroids: How to Identify and Convert High-Value Customers

In the realm of cross-channel personalisation, creating relevant content for segments and unique visitors can prove challenging. How do you narrow in on the segments and visitors that matter most? This session will demonstrate how to outline data-driven strategies to prioritise audiences. Participants will learn how to identify and optimise the high-value customer journey with the Adobe Experience Cloud; how to use KPI analysis for segment build, optimisation, and iteration; how to use modelling to determine high-value customers and attributes for personalisation; and how to automate content based on profile attributes.

DDM12: Attribution Revolution—Moving Beyond “Paid” to Customer Journey Attribution

Traditionally, marketing attribution has focused exclusively on measuring the impact of top-of-the funnel paid media, while ignoring valuable interactions along the customer’s journey to success. Customer journey attribution provides a holistic understanding of the impact and value of each interaction, leading to a clearer picture of your customer and higher-impact marketing opportunities. This session will show analysts how to move beyond paid-only with customer journey attribution—accounting for the entire customer journey—including analyses, specific steps, and real-world case studies.

DDM10: Tap into the Power of Automation in A/B Testing and Personalisation

With driverless taxis poised to take riders to their destination more safely, the age of automation has arrived. Smart algorithms, machine learning, and a constant stream of data make the effective service these taxis deliver possible. The same applies to testing and personalisation. Automation can take human bias out of digital marketing and get better results faster than any human could. This session will explore how automation can help marketers make better decisions more efficiently, as well as the four types of automation in Adobe Target.

DDM13: Analytics Idol 2017Top Tips and Tricks

The winners of our popular annual Analytics Idol competition share their tips, tricks, and power strategies. This session will unveil the reasons these contestants were voted the best of the year. Our winners will share out-of-the-box thinking on data analysis and optimising business results, real-world examples that address challenging analytics questions and drive business improvements, and innovative practices and strategies to get digital assets singing with data.

We look forward to seeing you at Adobe Summit EMEA 2017, and if you haven’t registered to attend, there’s still time. Just click here to find out about all the other exciting events happening at this year’s Summit.

Customer Connections for Lasting Loyalty: The Customer Experience Track at Adobe Summit

The digital revolution has overturned decades of conventional marketing wisdom. Today’s consumers have access to infinite choices in content. They’re connected to an explosion of devices, and they demand seamless experiences with the brands they use. To meet these digital demands, you need to become an experience-led company—a company that delivers compelling, personal, and useful in-the-moment experiences, and delights customers across every touchpoint.

This is exactly the kind of connectivity that Adobe Experience Cloud handles best. The platform is designed from the ground up to empower you to deliver standout customer experiences, from content creation to delivery, measurement, and refinement. In the Customer Experience track at this year’s Adobe Summit EMEA, experts and partners will share insights and best practices on how organisations of all sizes can create standout experiences, and forge genuine customer connections that lead to lasting loyalty.

Here are the sessions I’m most excited about in the Customer Experience Track at this year’s Summit.

CX1: Digital Transformation—Patterns for Success

While it’s crucial to transform customer experiences to meet the growing demands of the connected consumer, many studies cite failure rates of 70 to 80 percent. This session will explore patterns of success that have emerged from the thousands of companies that Adobe works with, including what’s worked in the area of digital experience, and what innovations and resources have helped organisations increase their success rate.

CX9: Adobe Experience Manager Sites—Top 10 New Innovations

Hear about the top 10 innovations for digital experience management coming in the next release of Experience Manager Sites 6.3, all of which are must-haves for organisations that want to be successful. This session will walk through the new features and explain how you can get a leg up on today’s continually evolving landscape of digital transformation.

CX11: What’s New in AEM Assets—Top DAM features

Our customers want to ensure they are getting the most out of their AEM Assets investment. However, most don’t have the time to track every innovation and are forced to constantly combat the sneaking suspicion that there is a more efficient way to do things. This session will walk through the newest and most exciting features of AEM Assets to help dispel doubt and ensure that teams are empowered with the cutting-edge features of a 21st century digital asset management (DAM) tool.

CX16: Supercharge Your Commerce Experience

As visitors shop, their intent and selection criteria continuously evolve. As an individual progresses through the customer journey, the marketing messages that originally lured them to a site may no longer be relevant. This session will explore how to respond to these demanding shoppers, and supercharge commerce deployment with experiences that adapt to consumers in the context of their journeys and moments of truth. It’ll also cover the latest omnichannel commerce best practices, and demonstrate how to take advantage of the latest experience-driven commerce capabilities.

 

CX13: How to Build a Fast, Sleek, Sweet Machine—An Automotive Experience Personalisation Case Study

Using an Adobe consulting success in the automotive industry as an example, this session will demonstrate how to create audiences using Adobe Target, Experience Cloud Shared Audiences, Audience Manager, and Analytics, and personalise experiences to achieve a significant boost in measurable results. Presenters will also walk through the steps to set up the solution integrations from a technical perspective and explain how to decide when and how to use each solution to create an audience based on use case, discover visitor segments through integrated data, and integrate with Creative Cloud to deliver content that achieves real results.

We look forward to seeing you at Adobe Summit EMEA 2017, and if you haven’t registered to attend, there’s still time. Just click here to find out about all the other exciting events happening at this year’s Summit.

Transparency and Resilience on the Road to Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is increasingly important in today’s continuously evolving digital world. The challenges that come with such a change are many, and companies often find themselves uncertain of what step to take next. For a business to achieve a smooth and successful digital transformation, team members need to be transparent and exercise resilience, as some of our contributors on CMO.com recently shared. Read on for more insights on how to stay ahead in today’s digital culture.

Dan Brotzel, content director for Sticky Content, shared some insights about personal resilience in the midst of today’s fast-paced digital world. After sharing some of the challenges people face that result in almost crippling anxiety, Brotzel discussed how personal resilience is gaining ground, quoting authors such as Angela Duckworth and former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens. Resilience, or the ability to survive and thrive, is vital for individuals in both business and their everyday lives.

Jonathan Simmons, chief strategy officer for Zone, shared that when he looks at companies that have fully embraced digital transformation, he notices that many of the digital services provided look essentially the same. There’s nothing to set companies apart. Simmons challenges brands to focus on what makes them unique. Whatever sets your business apart and makes it great should be your starting point.

Klaus Sommer Paulsen, CEO, creative director, and founder of AdventureLAB, discussed the increasingly important role of experience design for brands in 2017. Paulsen encourages brands to keep an open mind and treat their experiential activities as “a continuous trial-and-error exercise.” What works now may not work later. What works for a business similar to yours may not work for you, and what works for a business completely outside your sector may be just the solution you’re looking for. Paulsen also shared an invaluable list of technologies and ideas that are currently influencing experience design, such as augmented reality (AR) and quests.

As a part of Advertising Week Europe 2017, several CMO.com contributors shared the need to keep human relationships a priority in a digital world. Feilim Mackle, chief executive of Dixons Carphone, spoke about the need for diversity in the workplace, citing that it creates an environment for better decision making. Lisa Gilbert, CMO of IBM UK and Ireland, challenged businesses who are going through a digital transformation to speak honestly with one another, cutting back on wasted time and ambiguity.

According to Thom Noble, CEO and founder of NeuroStrata, advances in neuroscience are now making it possible for marketers to “measure consumers’ deepest, unconscious desires and emotional triggers.” With new neuro and biometric methodologies being adapted for the marketing industry, marketers are able to understand how decision making is guided “at the nonconscious level.” This provides unprecedented opportunities to identify insights and apply those insights to trigger certain responses in consumers.

We hope you’ll gain some helpful marketing insights from our exclusive content on CMO.com. Please let us know what you think.

Providing End-to-End Customer Experience in Retail

There’s widespread belief across the retail industry that “customer experience is the new brand,” and with this comes an abundance of exciting opportunities for today’s retailers. Consumer spending habits are evolving and modern shoppers expect something extraordinary—fully personalised, user-friendly service across multiple devices and touchpoints. Nowadays, a run-of-the-mill digital experience just doesn’t cut it.

In many ways, we’re living through a retail golden age. Those who fully embrace a customer-centric approach, delivering the digital and physical in-store experiences that today’s consumers expect, are sure to get a share of the jackpot.

Bringing the Elements Together

What makes a truly great customer experience? Is it a recommendation? A good price? It’s all about how things work for consumers at every stage of their journey. But tweaking channels isn’t enough, because consumers don’t notice where your brand is. Instead, they take note of how you are represented.

For retailers, the ultimate differentiator in this new world of opportunity is getting every element that makes a great customer experience working together. New channels, new technologies, and rapidly changing consumer habits have turned customer experience on its head. Meeting these goals while setting yourself apart from the competition is key.

Consumers today can buy whatever they want, whenever they want, wherever they want—and competitive pricing doesn’t always seal the deal. Understanding their needs is a must, with little room for anything below par. For retailers, standing out is the key to success, and that’s where a memorable experience enters the fold.

Experience is the new product. In the past, branding was a product of the marketing team. Now customer experience is the branding. And it includes your customers’ interactions with your brand both before and after purchase. But, optimising the experience on both ends isn’t enough. The typical shopper engages with an average of 2.6 touchpoints before deciding on a product and the brand to buy it from.

Each element of the experience must work holistically to guide customers to where they need to be. Convenience, speed, and value are the name of the game. Service must be personalised, with recommendations for products consumers’ want, even before they know they want them.

Managing expectations across channels isn’t always simple. Luckily, in retail, there are many places for the experience and service to go well, but just as many where opportunities can be missed. Yet, despite obstacles, retail scores high in customer experience compared to other sectors. Delivering the right message at the right time across multiple touchpoints is challenging, even with technology to measure behaviour. Communication must be relevant and consistent, and offers must be convenient to be meaningful.

Technological sophistication is mandatory. Personalised recommendations drive great results, but only when you know everything there is to know about your customer. Without a single view, insights can fail. Add to that customer frustrations with page load times, login requirements, and inadequate in-store tech, and you diminish experience. In an era where every detail matters, retailers need to be as sophisticated as the technology in the user’s hand.

Driving Competitive Advantage Through Experience

A customer-centric structure is key. It’s next to impossible to design an extraordinary customer experience without putting the right framework in place. Breaking down organisational silos and promoting an open culture makes it easier to follow a customer-centric model.

Dedicate staff to managing customer insight, omnichannel strategy, marketing, and brand to set the stage for improving and maintaining experience at the organisational level. With the right structure in place, you can design experiences that cater to individuals, rather than the audience as a whole.

Personalised, customer-centric experiences drive business results. Harness the experience as a marketing tool and use it to drive your business forward. Serve up a great experience and your customer will do your marketing and acquisition for you, sharing with friends and across social channels.

Improve the overall experience and mitigate cart abandonment or poor in-store experiences—events that cost retailers billions of pounds each year. A true customer-first model can boost conversion rates and enhance customer satisfaction in the long run.

In Sum

Like it or not, brands today are competing in customer experience terms. More than just how something looks and feels, a great experience is about how things work end-to-end.

As the next Uber, Amazon, or Airbnb ponders its next move, the pressure will be on UK retailers to make sure they’re meeting the next wave of customer expectations. To learn more about customer experience management, and where to start allocating funds for an experience-led strategy, follow up with the Customer Experience Management in Retail: Insight Report 2016.

Fluid Content for Fluid Experiences

A few days ago, my colleague, the always very sharp and interesting Vijayanta Gupta, published an article on the need to create fluid experiences in online retailing.

In this article, Vijayanta explains that we are now in the golden age of the consumer, a golden age dominated by what the consumer wants. To win, brands must offer fluid experiences that are adapted to consumption behaviours, combining multiple touchpoints and facilitating the passage from one channel to another.

Interactions: The end of fixed sequences

This article reminds me of a discussion I had recently with the creative director of a major communications agency, when he explained to me the transformation of his job and talked about creating “fluid content.”

What did he mean by that?

He meant that it is no longer possible for a brand to see the interactions with its audience as fixed sequences, with a beginning, a middle, and an end.

Brands can no longer build a marketing or communication operation based solely on media buying, as some still do. Rather, they need to rely on a brand content approach: the content needs to be interesting and stir curiosity first. The brand must then position itself, by taking advantage of the interest generated, on this return on attention.

The notion of fluid content

What does it mean to rely on fluid content? And, first, what is fluid content?

Fluid content means that it is no longer about producing long videos or writing articles that should be consumed one after the other, in an order defined by the agency and the brand. Rather, it is more a question of producing multiple short pieces of content, rather funny (to engage and create proximity), that will be published both on proprietary platforms (branded sites) and on social networks, where the audiences are.

This content is said to be fluid because it’s consumable without a specific order, depending on users’ wishes. They will obviously be pushed during specific moments, but users won’t need to see them in a specific order or see them all to understand the message. In fact, it is a delinearisation of the marketing campaign, where the sequence is less important than the presence.

By consuming part of this content on social networks, part on media sites, and another part on branded sites, users will be immersed in a variety of content, which will generate interactions among Internet users first (such as shares and comments), then with the brand. The latter won’t arrive until long after, relying on the connivance created around the content.

This where we find the fluidity: in the capacity to push content on multiple platforms, in allowing everyone to appropriate it, in a multichannel approach that does not cut content according to the media but instead according to users’ interests.

Two essential elements for fluid contents

This fluidity also comes from two complementary and essential elements:

  • The data: One must be able to measure the performance of each piece of content, the consumption spaces, and the interactions generated. This helps give creative people more ideas for producing new content, which will be published over time, depending on the insights coming from these data.
  • Time: The idea is to stop focusing on short campaigns, and instead focus on approaches oriented toward branding, which take time. These approaches are less about campaigns than about positioning, visibility, commitment, and building relationships.

So, are you ready for fluid content? Ready to forget the classic commercial approach with multiple formats? Ready to position digital as the focal point of your new advertising approach? In any case, your customers are! Do not make them wait.

If you did want to learn more about fluid content and experience, do join us at our Adobe Summit EMEA, we would love to see you there.

Improving the Telco Customer Journey—Strengthening Consumer Advocacy

Today, consumer expectations have increased dramatically and the possibility to churn has never been so great. Having strong, reliable advocates of the service you provide is more powerful than the millions of pounds spent chasing replacements for those you lose.

With access to recommendations, grievances and peer reviews at their fingertips, consumers today are no longer at the mercy of the businesses that provide the goods and services they need. Particularly in telecommunications, where more choice has empowered customers, long-term business success will depend on transparency, trust and the fruits of a robust customer advocacy strategy. Brand advocates—those who cheerlead for your product and service are highly influential. And it’s easy to see why. Nine out of ten consumers cite recommendations from friends and family as the most trusted form of advertising worldwide.

In the struggle to outpace the competition, smart Telco businesses recognize superior customer experience as a true differentiator. Yet despite a myriad of loyalty and customer satisfaction programs, customer advocacy levels remain low. With customer experience top of mind, what accounts for low rates, and what can managers do to strengthen advocacy and drive growth in the Telco industry?

In previous posts, I introduced key challenges and goals of the first five of seven phases of the Telco Customer Lifecycle: Awareness, Conversion, On-boarding, Cross Sell and Resolution. In this piece, I discuss the sixth phase—Advocacy, along with challenges and strategies for improving this critical stage of the Telco customer journey.

Driving Growth Through Advocacy—Key Challenges

Differentiating factors are disappearing. In the world of Telco offerings, differentiation between operators is becoming harder and harder. Why? Network infrastructure, such as cell towers are shared to reduce operating costs and conform to tougher environmental regulations. In addition, price plans tend to offer unlimited data and voice. As a consequence, customer experience is becoming more and more important for both retaining an existing customer base and attracting new customers.

Difficulty adapting. With on-demand everything, customer attitudes and behaviors are changing faster than Telco representatives can adapt. Potential customers are seeking out and finding information through social media channels, relying on peer reviews and recommendations from friends and family to guide decision-making. There is also an emotional aspect to advocacy, and those who are impassioned—both positively and negatively make their voice heard.

Lack of actionable outcomes. The converse of advocacy must be taken into consideration, particularly if there is no actionable plan in place to identify and address customer experiences that have been negative. How is the industry currently measuring customer experience? Customer Satisfaction Surveys (CSAT) measure user satisfaction with products, and Network Promoter Scores (NPS) can inform about customer loyalty, but both fail to account for the bigger picture—the reason behind the numbers. Without actionable outcomes to address issues, network performance, brand advocacy, customer and employee sentiment and touchpoint interactions simply collect data and measure trends over time.

Building Consumer Advocacy In Telco—Strategy and Goals

Winning with advocacy in Telco involves prioritizing and embracing a plan for furthering the following strategies:

Rock customer experience. Develop more detailed pictures of customer wants and needs, and use those insights to more effectively deliver customized products and services that create successful customer experiences. Listen to customers, and build a closed loop mechanism to reach back out to them to demonstrate that you have listened and are taking action. Highlight areas where customers have been delighted to help replicate successful strategy across the wider business.

Create two-way dialogue with customers. Create on-going dialogue from the moment customers interact with your brand. Open communication is a differentiator, and helps drives true advocacy between the customer and Telco representatives. Remove the “utility” phase and replace it with a personalised conversation based on a progressive profile created and enhanced each time contact is made with an operator. Transparent, ongoing interaction will compel customers to promote and recommend their Telco provider.

Promote relationship-building to improve and grow. Encourage conversation with your customer at a given moment in time and across the relationship to create a “temperature gauge” for assessing how happy they are with your brand. This will help identify things that can be done to improve experience overall and help find similar customers across the installed base.

Today, consumer expectations have increased dramatically and the possibility to churn has never been so great. Having strong, reliable advocates of the service you provide is more powerful than the millions of pounds spent chasing replacements for those you lose. Get it right the first time, but if not, learn from your missteps to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Next week I discuss the final installment in the Telco Customer Lifecycle series, Retention. Stop customers from thinking about when their contract ends by ensuring they get the most from your relationship to decrease churn, reduce the need to attract new customers and most importantly, drive more advocates.