Go­ing vir­tual takes mar­keters only half­way

Cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence still needs to be holis­tic, by con­nect­ing via mul­ti­ple vir­tual and phys­i­cal touch­points.

Singapore Business Review - - LEGAL BRIEFING -

Whilst tech­nol­ogy plays an in­creas­ingly big­ger role for mar­keters to eas­ily reach more con­sumers, mean­ing­ful con­nec­tions are still cru­cial. In 2017, Scott An­der­son, CMO of Sitecore, ex­pects to see game-chang­ing in­no­va­tion as con­sumers push dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion to new heights. When wide­spread con­sumer adop­tion meets rapid tech­nol­ogy evo­lu­tion, ex­pec­ta­tions change. He cites a sur­vey by Sitecore and Van­son Bourne, which found that six in 10 con­sumers ex­pressed a short­fall be­tween their ex­pec­ta­tions and the ex­pe­ri­ences that brands de­liver.

“Whilst the sur­vey re­vealed that missed ex­pec­ta­tions come with such neg­a­tive con­se­quences like shared com­plaints and lost busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties, 75% also ex­pressed in­creased loy­alty when brands get it right,” he notes. “In­no­va­tive brands are – and should – start to lever­age on the lat­est tech­nol­ogy to leapfrog old busi­ness mod­els and pro­vide en­hanced ser­vices whilst ex­ceed­ing con­sumers’ ex­pec­ta­tions.”

Im­mer­sive videos, Ar, and Vr Sm­riti Kataria,

direc­tor of re­search and mar­ket­ing at Near, says that with cus­tomers spend­ing more time on de­vices, and mak­ing more de­ci­sions on them, there will be an in­creased fo­cus on driv­ing holis­tic cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence through mul­ti­ple vir­tual and phys­i­cal touch­points. This means, Kataria says, many mar­keters will in­vest in data plat­forms that would en­able them to make sense of the mas­sive data avail­able to­day – and act on it. “Videos will con­tinue to grow through 2017 for the sim­ple rea­son that they work. What will emerge in 2017 are the new ways of mak­ing these videos im­mer­sive.

This could vary from stream­ing them live to cre­at­ing rel­e­vant and en­gag­ing video con­tent.”

Ac­cord­ing to Marta De­bel­lis, Adobe APAC vice pres­i­dent of mar­ket­ing, tech­nolo­gies such as aug­mented re­al­ity (AR), vir­tual re­al­ity (VR), and ma­chine learn­ing cap­tured the imag­i­na­tions of mar­keters glob­ally in

2016 with the in­tro­duc­tion of Nin­tendo’s new AR of­fer­ing Poke­mon Go. “AR and VR will change the way mar­keters can en­gage with con­sumers and drive ex­pe­ri­ences with what is pos­si­ble to­day,” says De­bel­lis. “The challenge for mar­keters will be to learn how to cre­ate con­tent for these for­mats, to fully lever­age the op­por­tu­ni­ties they of­fer.”

In ad­di­tion, De­bel­lis notes, ma­chine learn­ing and data sci­ence will of­fer sig­nif­i­cant pro­duc­tiv­ity op­por­tu­ni­ties for mar­keters, al­low­ing them to fo­cus their time on their over­all strate­gies and away from day-to-day an­a­lyt­ics and data man­age­ment. De­bel­lis notes, though, that whilst data has given mar­keters the power to demon­strate re­turn-on-in­vest­ments and drive busi­ness growth, it is well worth re­mem­ber­ing that cre­ativ­ity still plays a sig­nif­i­cant role.

An­a­lyt­i­cal mar­ket­ing Eva Phua,

mar­ket­ing direc­tor of SAS, says that whilst de­liv­er­ing per­son­alised cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ences may sound sim­ple, the fact is many or­gan­i­sa­tions are still strug­gling to get started. “The prob­lem lies with mul­ti­ple or­gan­i­sa­tional si­los, dis­in­te­gra­tion of on­line and off­line data, rigid cus­tomer data­bases, as well as be­ing locked into in­flex­i­ble le­gacy sys­tems – all of which only pro­vides a frag­mented view of the cus­tomer,” Phua notes. In 2017, an­a­lyt­i­cal mar­ket­ing will be at the fore­front of busi­ness growth and soughtafter per­son­alised cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence growth.

But whilst the use of cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence-re­lated tech­nol­ogy and pro­cesses will be a dif­fer­en­tia­tor, de­liv­er­ing su­pe­rior cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence isn’t just about de­ploy­ing ma­chines and im­ple­ment­ing sys­tems, Phua notes. “The suc­cess of such ef­forts rely on the peo­ple who build and man­age these sys­tems,” she says. “We ex­pect to see a higher de­mand for the mar­keters who will be able to unite the art and sci­ence of mar­ket­ing, to en­gage cus­tomers the way they want it across mul­ti­ple chan­nels, de­vices and me­dia, whilst still re­spect­ing the pri­vacy of the cus­tomer.”

Apps are apt

The future is mo­bile and some­thing that mar­keters will need to con­tin­u­ously con­sider, says Pamela Knaggs, mar­ket­ing man­ager of Skyscan­ner. “We see this as not only cen­tral to our busi­ness but to the future of travel plan­ning and book­ing. Our Travel Con­tent Sur­vey sug­gests that at least 49% of users in Sin­ga­pore search for travel con­tent whilst com­mut­ing,” she says. It is no longer just about “op­ti­mis­ing” your con­tent for mo­bile, Knaggs says, but the abil­ity to pro­vide cus­tomised user ex­pe­ri­ence based on search pref­er­ences and in­te­grated with a user’s on-the-go life­style. “Based on feed­back from cus­tomers, we see a pref­er­ence for in­te­grated apps that can make the ex­pe­ri­ence from search to book­ing flights, ho­tels, and cars as easy and seam­less as pos­si­ble.”

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