Tech giants such as Uber have expanded their offering with the launch of UberEats, and some famously online-only brands have made a U-turn and set up physical stores, take Amazon opening bookstores for example.
The business transformations these brands have undergone this year should make marketers question what is right for their own company’s strategy. Should they be experimenting with new technologies?
Are there new markets that they should be considering? Many may even be questioning whether the world really is moving in an online-only direction.
However, as marketers look ahead to 2017 and begin planning for the New Year, there a few key tips that they should keep in mind to ensure that they are making the right investments in digital, and setting the right customer experience strategies for a successful future.
Mobile sites must be king
In our Digital Disruptors report we found that 36% of businesses don’t have a mobile site. With over four out of five UK adults now owning a smartphone this simply can’t be the case moving into 2017.
Ensuring that it is a successful mobile website is the next challenge, but one that is easily overcome. For those who do have a mobile site, this is also the time to check that it has all of the features that the end-user requires.
First and foremost, the mobile site is an extension of your website and is a powerful online channel – it’s an indicator of the level of service that your customers can expect.
It must be user friendly and must encompass all of the features that the user would find on a desktop. To achieve this it needs to be uncluttered – use scrollable menus, icons and toolbars that are visually striking and easy to understand.
Make it intuitive with a logical layout and concise language. The visuals should also be crisp, but equally, must be able to load quickly for smartphone users on the go.
Don’t jump on tech bandwagons
As mentioned, recent advancements in VR have made marketers question whether this is a technology that they should be investing in. However, it’s important not to jump on the bandwagon and invest in technology for technology’s sake.
Whilst our Digital Disruptors report found that 36% of respondents feel that their business needs to invest more money in innovation, it’s important to establish that they will be spending it for the right reasons, rather than just for the sake of it.
Having found that 53% of marketers find it difficult to use marketing automation software beyond the initial investment, businesses risk wasting money on new technology if their staff don’t have the skills or training to use it effectively.
Every new system or tool is a high cost to pay out, so marketers need to know that they will definitely be able to enhance customer experience with it. Collaborating with the IT team will be vital to ensure tech investments are made wisely. In addition, it has to be a technology that your customers want.
For example, if you are one of the 36% of businesses that don’t have a mobile-optimised site, your customers probably aren’t calling out for VR technology just yet.
Think customer first
This leads on to the next important pointer. Marketers must be thinking customer, and content, first. At the end of the day, every investment must be made from an end-user perspective – what content do your customers want, and how do they want it to be served?
The best businesses are those that look at how they can enable their customers to connect with the company better. Every investment and advancement made by a business should enrich the customer’s experience of interacting with them and the content they are served should be relevant to their relationship to the brand at that given moment.
This is key to building a positive customer relationship and allows the transaction between the two parties to become much easier.
This is a crucial time for marketers, but putting strategies in place now can lead to success in the short and long term. With industry advancements being made all the time, following the latest industry trend should not distract businesses.
They need to invest in long term customer experience strategies that will enhance their customer relationships.
By following these principles though, planning to achieve this should become a less daunting task, and marketers can ensure that every decision they make will be to the benefit of the customer, and ultimately, the business’ balance sheet.
‘Marketers: What digital investments you need to make next year’, (marketingtechnews.net), Stephen Morgan, December 2016Back to Blog