Digital-first businesses have experienced massive tailwinds in 2020. Consumers were forced to spend on mobile and digital channels, which led to unprecedented growth for digital companies. As the dust around the pandemic begins to settle, traditional businesses are making large investments in digital transformation. Everyone is moving online, and competition in this space is on the rise.
In the fight for attention online, marketers will need to increase their focus on the customer. Irrespective of what the term digital-first alludes, it means to always keep your customers first. And to keep customers first, you need to treat them with a never-before customer experience that motivates them to stay put with your brand.
According to a report shared by Forbes, 44% of companies have already started a digital-first approach to operations and customer engagement.
Another report suggests that digital-first companies are 64% more likely to achieve their business goals than their peers.
When it comes to experience, traditional businesses are not far behind. In an exclusive interview with ResearchNxt, Rohit Srivastav, Head of Growth at Netcore, explains, “traditional companies have survived the test of time because they have strong fundamentals. Decades of evolution have made them customer-centric. Maybe they were not at the forefront of the technology revolution, but they now see that the consumer’s default choice is online, and these businesses are ready to transform again.”
Sanjay from Uber puts forth a great point when speaking about customer experience, “Uber is a ‘Phygital’ business, as we play at the intersection of the physical and digital worlds. And in this world, experience trumps advertising.”
Digital Transformation – The Need of the Hour
As Salesforce defines, Digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies to create new or modify existing business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements.
Digital transformation is the way ahead for businesses to get people closer to their brand offerings. The world has become digital –savvy and we live in an age where digital interactions with prospect one way or another is a must. After all, “it’s not about how many transactions you get, but the connections you build”, that determines your business sustainability.
The year 2020, has been all about shifting to a digital mindset, majorly in the form of digital advances to personalize customer experience. Digital transformation has pushed businesses to unlearn and relearn disruptive ways to leverage technology for better decision-making and building better customer experiences ingrained with oodles of personalization.
Personalization- Marketer’s Best Friend
Needless to say that digital age user expect brands to treat them as a unique customer, know their unique preferences and cater accordingly.
Personalization forms the core of customer engagement with products or services on a day-to-day basis. To bridge the gap between a customer’s online preference vis-à-vis in-store preferences, marketers need to personalize customer experience at every touch point available.
Personalization has the potential to deliver five to eight times the ROI on marketing spends, and can lift sales by 10% or more. Leveraging personalization as a marketing strategy is imperative for brands to establish seamless connection with customers by offering an irresistible customer experience throughout their buying journey.
In a report by Accenture, 75% of customers admit being more likely to buy from a company that:
-Recognizes them by name,
-Is aware of their purchase history
-And offers relevant recommendation
In ResearchNxt’s exclusive interview series, CMO at U2opia Mobile, Ritesh, shares his insight on the company’s personalization strategy, He says “Our personalization strategy is derived from the fact that every platform has its specific need, its own messaging, and unique consumer categories. While WOO caters to a more mature audience [24 to 35-year-olds], our fantasy and gaming apps target a younger audience [college going teenagers].”
Ritesh adds that WOO is positioned for meaningful relationships – “a dating app like WOO becomes a catalyst for our audience to form new connections and socialize in a completely new environment.”
More to Ritesh’s approach, Rohit, from Netcore, weighs in on the discussion and says, “Personalization is more of a journey than a destination.” The way marketers define personalization has seen quite a transformation, from personalizing just the name in emails to targeted pop-ups on a website (which were a breakthrough product in 2015), to now, when we can dynamically change every app screen, tailor every single word in each communication, and micro-stitch the experiences for every individual.”
Digital-first Business Must Be AI-first
The recent pandemic has brought about a hastened need for companies to invest in technology to accelerate digital transformation. AI helps organizations unite each business aspects like people, process and technology to achieve the collective goal of customer life time value (CLTV) instead of operating in silos.
One way or another, the influence of AI in digital marketing has been experienced by all of us. AI-first companies leverage AI technology to create new winning strategies like delivering personalized customer experiences or developing exponentially scalable digital capabilities to engage customers.
However, to make optimum use of AI technology at your disposal, brands need to carve out the various aspects that will be benefitted through AI initiatives. As we marketers always say, there is no on size fits all in business. Therefore, it is imperative to identify and evaluate all the facets to improve your business models effectively.
Ritesh from U2opia gives us a few other use cases for AI, “One AI use case with WOO is that we use technology to vet user inclusion on the app. We use the Amazon Recognition engine for face detection to ensure only genuine users join the platform. The result was a 30% reduction in our user onboarding drop-off rate.
The Way Forward: Navigate in Changing Winds
As we all know that these are unprecedented times and even marketers are most affected by the wrath of this global pandemic. They are under constant pressure to understand the new market dynamics and react to changing consumer behavior. Moreover, customers expect brands to communicate with them at this time.
To surpass these new roadblocks, marketers have to change their ways and adapt to the new strategies with clear goals. People in the new normal are mostly spending time indoors and consuming information online, due to the safety concerns.
As a smart businessmen you need to ensure and tweak your digital marketing techniques with new layers of innovation and creativity to survive the aftermath of pandemic and stay connected with your potential customers.
Rohit from Netcore says, “2020 did not come with a playbook. Every brand is trying to touch the lives of people in a meaningful way. When the world is going through a crisis, empathy becomes the cornerstone of a brand. Empathy is also a pillar for all communication that goes out. For example, customers are not buying from ticketing platforms right now, but these platforms can promote virtual concerts that people attend as a brand. It’s not about buying tickets right now, but about connecting with customers.”
In a recent report by Mckinsey, 70 percent of executives said the pandemic is likely to accelerate the pace of their digital transformation. The article highlights transformations in various industries like how Asian banks have swiftly migrated physical channels online, how healthcare has become tele-healthcare and retailers have turned to contactless shopping and delivery.
In a nutshell, it is high time for brands to reassess their digital techniques in order to be future ready. If you are still wondering where to get started, get in touch with us for a quick demo.