Five changes brands need to make

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Way back in May, I was fortunate enough to attend Brandwatch’s Now You Know conference series in Denver. It was an awesome event and it was focused on educating marketers as to what can be known and utilized to build their business’ through social listening. One of my favorite presentations was given by Misia Tramp, VP of Customer Experience Strategy at Metia. Not only was she a great speaker, she shared data-based insights as to what consumers expect from brands today. In other words, this isn’t her opinion. It’s trends she saw in their data-sets. Enjoy!

Surprise & Delight is now Minimize Customer Effort – For years, marketers have been focused on creating amazing experiences. Sounds great if you’ve got some extra time on your hands. And that’s the issue with this one and most of them. You don’t have time to be delighted. You’re running late for a next meeting!  Whatever you business model, you should be focused on reducing your customers’ efforts with respect to any and all business processes. “Don’t ever make your customer work.”

Value measured by Currency is now Value measured by Customer Mental Energy – A big part of minimizing effort is reducing cognitive load. We spend most of our lives on autopilot. Driving to work, exercising, etc. The moment you force a customer to focus on something that doesn’t have a measurable benefit, you’re toast. The vast majority of business to consumer processes, should be efficient and self-explanatory. (In the past, value was measured what the company did best. Their “currency”.)

Customer Relationship Management is now Customer Managed Relationship – The customer has always been in control, when it comes their wallet. And they’ve been in control for the last 17 years as to whether they see your message/product/service. (You can thank Google for that.) This is why inbound marketing is so important. You have to be in touch with your customers’ and potential customer’s needs and be ready when they come looking for you.

Alignment defined by tactics is now Alignment defined by purpose and passion – In the past, businesses have aligned with customers along specific channels and tactics. Now, with social media being the media, businesses need to align with customers based on the customers’ purpose and their passion. (My dry cleaners could care about my passion for professionalism and purpose when it comes to education.)

Personalization defined by individuals is now Personalization based on “tribal allegiances” – This is my favorite. We are now at a point in digital marketing where one-to-one marketing is possible, however being human animals, we prefer to travel in packs. We prefer tribes. This means that when communicating offerings to a customer/potential customer, it should be framed within the context of their tribes. Are they a snowboarder? Are they an international business traveler? Are they a mom? Once you’ve identified which tribes their a part of, spend some real time figuring out if that plays into what your business does. I’m snowboarder. That does not mean you should offer me a Mountain Dew.

Some parting thoughts from me. Some of this may be self-explanatory.

  • You’ll need data to do any of this in a real way. The goal is to get to contextual personas. It may be time to really talk to you customers. Look at what happened to Mercedes!
  • Everything above is 95% mobile, dependent on your business model.
By Michael Myers

I'm an Associate Teaching Professor of Digital Marketing at the Daniels College of Business, University of Denver. I also consult with startups and established brands. I'm currently interested in artificial intelligence, cognitive neuroscience and culture. I am married to an amazing woman and have two incredible children. I was raised in Colorado and spend my free time with family, cycling, snowboarding and going to the Pacific Ocean to SCUBA dive + surf. I'm passionate about architecture, design, street art, photography and tattooing.

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