In today’s world, there’s an ever-growing list of consumer touchpoints: mobile, TV, online, out-of-home, in-store, at shelf, packaging and more. The opportunities to connect seem infinite.
With so many touchpoints however, many brands struggle to create a cohesive experience for their consumers.
To put it into context, imagine a new expected mother in the market for baby products. She hops online to do some research and she identifies a stroller that is both highly recommended by a retailer and on sale that she wants to test out. When she visits the store, she has difficulty finding the stroller she identified online. When she seeks help from staff, she’s given contradictory advice and she learns the price isn’t the same one she found online. Finally, once she makes her purchase, she finds a part missing and the retailer refers her to the manufacturer, who finally ships her the part after 3 phone calls trying to find someone who can help her.
Sound familiar? The whole experience has left her confused, frustrated and overwhelmed. Each brand touch contradicted others, putting the burden on her to connect the dots.
Enter the discipline of Consumer Engagement.
Consumer Engagement in its simplest form is the act of getting consumers to connect and interact with your brand.
Sounds easy enough. Then why do so many brands fail?
In our opinion, effective Consumer Engagement is not simply the result of well-designed individual customer touchpoints. Sure, they are important, but if the entire journey across different touchpoints isn’t connected, it leads to customer frustration.
Done right, Consumer Engagement makes consumer purchases as easy as possible through seamless touchpoints. It’s an approach that centres on engaging consumers thoughtfully, consistently and cohesively throughout their journey.
A recent study shows that fewer than 50% of multichannel campaigns are well integrated across multiple channels. This hampers brand impact while alienating consumers. On the other hand, brands with well-defined omnichannel customer experience strategies on average achieve a 91% higher year-over-year increase in customer retention rate.
Now think back to that expectant mother, she stumbles upon an ad for baby products in a “baby and me” magazine. She likes what she sees, the ad is warm and insightful, so she chooses to go to the website. The site just like the ad evokes the same feelings—the brand is there to help her find the best products for her baby—it’s giving her everything she needs as a nervous but excited 1st time mom. Still, she wants to see and feel the products. She goes in-store. Helpful and informed staff are on hand to guide her along the way, store layouts ease her from nursing and feeding to diapers and cleaning. There are interactive store features that answer her questions before she asks them. Packaging is captivating and educational. The store even offers classes from prenatal aquatics to baby yoga. At the cash, she has an option of joining a mailing list that that will give her discounts and access to mommy blogs, infant programs and more.
This is the Consumer Engagement we should all strive for.
In our next post, we’ll describe how FISH, A Consumer Agency, overcomes these challenges to create seamless consumer experiences.