Digital Transformation: Identify, Locate, Communicate
By Manmohan Gupta, Marketing and Planning Strategy Lead, Software Solutions, Pitney Bowes Inc.
Today’s generation of customers are more connected, to brands and each other, than ever before. They’re more informed about what they want, where they want to get it from and how they want to get it.
Customers expect a mobile-first, omnichannel digital experience from brands. They adapt to new channels and new technologies at near-lightning pace. Organisations who don’t want to be left behind need to be able to adapt to those same disruptions even faster.
Just over one-fifth (22 percent) of organisations are engaged in Digital Transformation initiatives. According to IDC, that figure will more than double to 50 percent by 2020. The writing is on the wall: Digital Transformation is the future, and now is the time to jump on the bandwagon.
Today’s leading brands anticipate and meet the needs of their customers. The customer experience is key; the more touchpoints you can provide, the more personalised the interactions with the customer are and the more value you can add to those relationships, the greater your chances at success.
Data provides the insights you need to craft those one-to-one experiences that your customers want. Successful customer engagement strategies depend greatly on the type of data you collect, and the process you use to maximise the value of that data.
To digitally transform and step up to your customers’ expectations, you need to improve the way you identify, locate and communicate with your customers.
Identify: Who is Your Customer?
A lot of different ingredients go into the complex mix that make up who we are as customers. More than just a name and address, our customer identities are defined by interests, behavior, past purchase history and future desires and needs.
Personalised customer experiences are possible when businesses have a more rounded view of each customer, and they gain that view from accumulating a more complex range of data from multiple sources. Unique details pulled from social media, purchasing histories, buying preferences and other sources can help you identify high-value prospects and deepen existing relationships with current clients.
Locate: Each Customer, in Context
Contextual data adds a layer of relevance to customer information, that can be used to drive more meaningful interactions and engagement. It covers both physical context (Where is the customer? When are they contacting you, or vice versa?) and digital context (When are they most active on social media?).
Digital technologies can deliver powerful forms of contextual information to enhance existing business data, and location intelligence is one of the most powerful forms of contextual data available to businesses. For example, during work hours your customer might be in an urban office, in front of a computer and accessing email. Later in the day they might be at home, away from their laptop but still surfing the web on their phone. If you have this information, you can tweak the timing, location and context of your outreach to make it as meaningful, useful and relevant for your customer as possible.
Communicate: Put Data into Action
All of that data then feeds into your communication strategy, helping you engage with customers with the right message in the right format at their peak point of interest. The goal is to replace traditionally generic, one-size-fits-all messages with personalised, relevant and satisfying interactions that lead to positive business outcomes.
As one simple example, think of a coffee shop that could deliver a mobile coupon for a customer’s favourite drink, right when that customer is walking past the shop in the morning. This type of highly contextual and relevant communication encourages happier, loyal customers. It’s also only just one interaction point; there are opportunities to make your customers happier in every mailed statement, payment portal or service conversation.
Context is how you get there, and digital technologies are putting more of these capabilities at your fingertips.