Getting into bed with your customers

Concept of consumer centric marketing and omni channel retailing.

By Damien Watson

Smartphones have changed how everyone shops and communicates, whether mobile vouchering via geofencing or vlogging in the middle of a store. This has opened up many opportunities for small businesses to become more consumer-centric through personalization, selling experiences and involving local communities.

Now that we understand its impact we are able to develop strategies that drive a business to become more customer-centric and increase profits.

Selling and creating experiences

The experience economy is the next evolution of economic value, much like commodities transitioned to goods and good to services, we have services to experiences. Experiences are not new, amusement parks, fairs and theatres have been charging admission for centuries, what is new is how other industries have adopted and extended experiences as an answer to the commoditization of services.

To fully realize benefits of the experience economy you must stage and design your experience, creating value that you can charge the consumer for. For example, a fashion retail store might instead charge for makeover experiences, where a stylist shops the store and fits you out with a new outfit that concludes in a cat walk or sending you to an exclusive party. Experiences are more memorable and drive greater engagement with your customers, as each experience becomes their own personal memory. Bundling your goods and services into experiences is a great way to create a point of difference that is unique, memorable and desirable among consumers.

Personalization

There is no secret about the success of personalization, whether it’s a barista remembering your name or the very peculiar recommendations Netflix makes just for you, personalization creates a stronger connection between you and a brand or sale. For a long time, it was hard to drive a real or substantial value through personalization.

However, with technology today it has become feasible to deliver custom communications to consumers based on their various interactions with your business and other data sources. Between online, the smartphone and in-store technology, it is possible to trigger personalized messages outside your store driving a lapsed customer back in or rewarding a frequent customer with a unique or customized product.

Personalization can be leveraged in business in a variety of ways. We recommend sitting down and having a look at all your touchpoints, offers, products and services and how you could personalize each one. Be it simple or zany, the impacts can be huge.

Shop local

Communities are everywhere and the internet has made belonging to them easier but has also diluted the connection you feel when you just click like or follow. This has opened up an opportunity for businesses to create more meaningful connections with local communities and drive a value exchange that improves the community, along with the individual’s connection to it and the business. By delivering a value and monetary exchange between the three parties, you create a tangible bridge that the consumer can appreciate the value of and their input into.

These are great tactics to help your business evolve to be more customer centric. By selecting the right technology partners or resources you can further augment these tactics and create that meaningful connection with your customer. So just ask yourself, “how do I make my business a more personalized memorable experience for my customers and what technologies do I need to best achieve this goal?”