Brand web pages with static content don’t cut it for today’s users. Customers are looking for a personalized digital experience — one that’s with them whenever, wherever and however they choose to interact with it.
Brands that want to be successful need to think less about pages and more about flexibility.
Now is the time for marketers to reevaluate their existing strategy and ensure the information they’re pushing out to the world finds and satisfies users in the moment, at each possible touchpoint, and keeps them coming back for more.
Here’s what it takes to build a more compelling digital journey:
Map the Path For Your Customers to Follow
SEO know-how will only get marketers so far. To engage your customers, you need to serve them throughout all of their interactions with your brand or organization — not just when they’re about to buy, but before, during and after the sale or other “transaction” with your brand.
Marketers must have a strong grasp on exactly what their audience is after to achieve this balance and continually ask questions such as:
- What is most compelling to my users — what motivates them, what engages them?
- Do they care more about product specs and use cases, or inspiration and ideas?
- How and where do they interact with my brand? What channels or devices are they on, and when?
- Can I continually learn from their actions and behaviors to give them more of what they want or need to lead them through a journey?
Based on these types of insights, ask yourself: “How can I better tailor what I offer to serve my audience’s needs?” And more to the point, “What can I deliver to keep them engaged and drive them to action?”
As you’re mapping the customer journey, think beyond pages and websites to experiences, devices and endpoints. Prioritize simplicity, ease of navigation and helping guide users through areas of interest. Prioritize consistency of experiences and having a solid grasp of context that maps to exactly where the user is in their digital journey.
Multichannel Matters – And Goes Screenless
We’ve reached a time when more people access the internet via mobile than desktop, so let's expand our definition of what constitutes a mobile experience. “Mobile” has become an amalgamation of touchpoints that includes brand experiences on a website, mobile site, app, kiosk and even an in-store touch screen. Anything with a screen (and even in some cases without one) increasingly needs to be fed by usable, compelling content.
Innovation never ceases to amaze — or challenge — marketers to do more. One of the best ways to understand this opportunity is Amazon Echo.
Amazon’s voice-activated home device proves that the brand information we consume is no longer bound to a web page or mobile screen. Users can employ the voice-activated speaker to do tasks from check the weather to order a Domino's pizza. Behind the scenes, that experience is being architected for ease of use in a voice-activated format, but the user only sees the interactive end result.
This is still a content-rich experience. Marketers need to think about what channel is coming up next. If Echo must “read” the content of your brand, is your content structured and prepared so that it can be “consumed” and delivered in this new, voice-first “screen-less” format?
Don’t Just Think Content — Think Data, Too
Data bridges content and the customer, providing the connective “context glue” to join digital experiences. Brands can create content, tag it and use taxonomy to categorize content and information in ways that are most meaningful to the customer. As the customer interacts with the brand, he or she leaves data breadcrumbs. Based on that data, a brand can vacuum up those breadcrumbs to determine what is resonating with each user.
And since customer behavior isn’t static, marketers must use data to reevaluate their strategy regularly to ensure it’s serving customers at all times. Without data, we’re just throwing out information and hoping something sticks.
Having a data strategy in place goes far in uniting content and customers — the technology and a plan for tracking, managing and analyzing data to make it useful to marketers and automated to serve the right offerings to individuals. With a successful data strategy, the experience becomes more and more relevant with each customer interaction.
Be Boring Or Be Bold
Marketers can't afford to stand idly by, hoping users will find what they’re after. The digital experience stakes are high, and the true strategists — the ones who understand the customer journey inside and out, anticipate the touchpoints of the future and treat customer data like a goldmine — will succeed.
Title image by Roberto Nickson