By Dee Nelson, Vice President of Global Initiatives at Omincom Precision Marketing Group
The hard truth is that your brand is no longer competing across your industry or for just the best product. Your brand is competing with your customer’s last best experience. If your app usability, customer experience, and social media offerings aren’t memorable, your brand won’t be either. Even worse, if the experiences are bad — and not just boring — you could lose a customer for good.
Why couldn’t (and shouldn’t) customers get the same instant gratification and personalization from brands that they enjoyed in other online forums? Why didn’t companies offer a seamless journey across multiple channels before?
Here’s the hard-hitting truth: the customer experience is the new battlefield for brands across all industries. Customers are not just looking for products; they’re seeking experiences that transform their lives. This demands a deep, almost intuitive understanding of your customers and their unique journeys:
Get to know your individual customers through data.
The era of generic experiences is dead. Consumers crave personalized, immersive experiences, and to provide that, you need to know what your customers seek, when they’re looking for it, and why. Harness the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze customer data and behavior to find out who they are, where they live, their buying habits, and their interests and preferences. Enhance your brand’s value proposition by giving customers exactly what they need and want. Think personalized product recommendations and tailored content. Know them better than they know themselves – their habits, preferences, and unspoken wishes.
It’s not enough to skim the surface of your customer’s preferences. You need to create a personalized experience that feels like their best friend crafted it. Think of it as becoming a mind reader for your customers. By taking advantage of AI and ML, you can predict not just what your customers want now, but what they’ll crave tomorrow.
Then, focus on your consumer base as a whole
Once you’ve mastered personalization at an individual level, zoom out to your entire consumer base. Understand your consumer base as a cohesive unit. This macro view lets you grasp the overall customer journey and the societal or economic factors that sway their decisions. Are they tightening their belts due to economic downturns? Offer deals that are too compelling to resist. Recognize these macro trends and tailor experiences that resonate on a larger scale.
When it comes to experiences, modern customers demand that brands offer a seamless and consistent experience across multiple channels. They demand interaction with brands on their preferred media and have a unified experience across all touchpoints. Be where your customers want you to be. No exceptions. AI can also give you a leg up in streamlining and elevating all processes, including product development and content creation. Consequently, you can unveil new product opportunities and content ideas based on real-time feedback and market trends you’ve been tracking. Be a step ahead in understanding your market’s collective desires and motivations, positioning your brand as a leader that knows and grows with its audience.
Finally, never stop learning about (and from) your customers
The journey to understand your customer is never-ending. The moment you think you’ve figured it all out, the game changes. Innovation, continuous learning, and data research are the antidotes to staying on top of your customer base’s changes. One tool to help monitor this ever-changing experience landscape is Decisioning. With Decisioning, advanced technologies like AI, ML, and predictive analytics automate real-time personalization. This automation improves customer experiences and helps you make better business decisions with the data you’ve gained. Stay ahead of the curve by not just tracking current trends but also by predicting future cultural shifts.
The world doesn’t stand still, and neither should your brand. This means embracing change not as a challenge but as an opportunity. It’s about building a culture of curiosity and innovation within your organization. Encourage your teams to think outside the box, challenge the status quo, and always be on the lookout for the next big thing. By doing so, your brand won’t just be riding the waves of change — it will be the one creating them.
Remember, in the end, people don’t just buy products; they invest in experiences. Make your brand an unforgettable part of their story.
About the Author
Dee Nelson is Vice President of Global Initiatives at Omincom Precision Marketing Group (OPMG), where she works on agency collaboration and end-to-end business transformation. She has extensive experience in the automotive and entertainment industries, overseeing global client operations, systems development, and process optimization.