The digital transformation of commerce brings new challenges, but also opportunities for companies on a global scale. Because consumers want instant, rich, and personalized experiences as they scan the digital marketplace for products that can meet their highly set expectations. What used to be a predictable and predominantly linear customer journey is now fragmented across several devices and channels.
In these times of revolutionary digital change, the giants of the digital era help us to understand the high expectations of consumers of today, and how we as vendors must act in terms of providing the best possible experiences.
Forrester describes this in terms of Digital Intelligence; “The practice of developing a holistic understanding of customers across digital touchpoints for the purpose of optimizing and perfecting the experiences delivered and decisions made by brands during moments of engagement.”
But there are others to guide us here. Adobe for example has minted the concept of “Last Millisecond Marketing” which gives marketers the opportunity to be either heroes or just average. Last Millisecond Marketing comes down to this; as an event is triggered, either by clicking a link, logging into a site, entering a web page, loading an app, etc., only milliseconds after the action has been made, the consumer has to get the right, personalized experience delivered.
Adobe suggests that we need to execute on four key pillars:
You need to understand where your customers are spending their time, not only in physical locations, but in social, app stores, etc. Every interaction through any touchpoint is truly relevant. You need to think about when and how they try to interact with you, and in what way they try and want to do so. You need to think about every digital use case – from a PC, tablet, phone, car, store, etc., and deliver a personalized experience in that instance between an action and the next step in the consumer’s journey. It is clear that you need to go to your customers, or they will not come to you.
In a similar fashion, Google declares that life is lived through micro-moments. These are the moments where consumers suddenly have an urge to get inspired, to learn, get information, or even to buy something that will either help us or just to make us satisfied. These micro-moments dictate the way consumers act. They have dramatically fragmented the customer journey. What used to be a linear path of making a purchase is not anymore. And right now, people all over the world are trying to make the most of every moment. The question that Google asks is - are you there to satisfy their needs?
Today, marketers have so much data at their disposal. They are not really asked to do more with less, but rather, do more with more. They need to connect the dots of all the data that they have at hand in order to deliver the most compelling offering, in the right moment, across exactly the right channels – where the consumer expects to find it.
This is where the Product Information Management (PIM) is added as a crucial part of the equation. A PIM solution is designed to put marketing organizations in control of the creation and flow of consistent product information across all channels. Successful companies rely on PIM to make sure that the right content, for any type of interaction, through any touchpoint, can be delivered in the exact millisecond or micro-moment, exactly when the consumer expects a personalized experience.
Where marketers can connect the dots to deliver great content in these moments, that is where the big results start to happen. When companies engage in every touchpoint, to deliver great consumer experiences, it can make a real difference to the business.
Henrik Béen, Vice President Product Marketing, inRiver