By 2020, customers will manage more than 85% of its relations with companies without interacting with human beings according to experts. This means that customer experience will the be the key competitive differentiator among businesses. Companies must quickly come to terms that customers demand a great experience, integrated among multiple touch-points expecting an omni-channel, and are willing to pay more if they see the value.
"Brands don't define the experience;
the experience defines the brand."
Customers are already bombarded with information, so great customer experiences are becoming the new baseline. Businesses that understand their customers and offer personalize solutions are the ones that are maximizing customer loyalty for growth. Companies across the board will quickly learn that an integrated customer experience is essential, rather than multiple micro events that disengage customers. The year 2016 will see tighter collaboration between sales and service to affect directly customer retention rates. Also, businesses will re-imagine their branding strategy to develop their brands from the inside out, leveraging employees as real brand ambassador. In the loyalty landscape, the novelty of collecting points to earn some reward is slowly fading. New action-based systems and small branded experiences are resulting in being more engaging and generating repeated purchases.
Customers should be your business' top priority, so make sure that everything you are doing caters to them. With more options to choose from, today's consumers are in charge, and your business needs them more than they need you. Let's work on keeping them.
DIGITAL MARKETING WILL DIE
Digital Marketing will die as businesses shift to Marketing in a Digital World. Digital has become the consumer lens, how they see their world, so we have to stop thinking of it as another tactic. The customer journey has become tremendously connected in times of the omni channel. We are competing in a new scenario: it's not just some new platforms that are digital, it is now the world. Businesses need to shift from sorting tactics and channels as either digital or not if they want to catch up with their customers.
2016 will become the year where core digital practices like personalization and gamification will consolidate as strong trends. Growing businesses will spend 2016 optimizing their content, data and technology platforms so that customer experiences become more predictive and strategic.
More than 2 million people in Puerto Rico interact daily on a social network through their phone, computer or tablet — a trend that continues to rise. 830,000 people in Puerto Rico make purchases online and spend $135 per year on average.
MOBILE. MOBILE. MOBILE
If the world is now digital, it mostly connects through a mobile device. The number of users who connect thru mobile devices passed desktop users a while ago. Businesses who have been lazy about pursuing mobile are about to miss the train altogether.
Having a beautiful website is not the solution anymore. The new solution includes mobile-optimized and responsive websites, custom apps to engage with customers and mobile-targeted campaigns to connect with new prospects. Businesses need to embrace mobile if they are interested in competing in the new digital world. Winning companies have already moved on to other things with solid mobile solutions. For the rest, 2016 is the year to catch up. Mobile can’t be put off for another year.
THE YEAR OF VIDEO
Video ads are certainly nothing new, with digital channels like YouTube hosting billions of videos and social platforms like Facebook already offering video options. Now, Google is finally getting on board with video advertising while live streaming continues to grow with new video apps that continue to gain market share as new touch-points to connect with customers. With all of this, Video will continue to drive content strategies in 2016, and be used even more in the advertising space.
Businesses that invest in well-curated video content instead of traditional advertising will be rewarded because audiences' natural ad-blocking skills will continue to advance. Audiences are shifting to find entertainment and education on the web, more than other conventional channels, and traditional TV networks are all investing in their digital platforms. Smart businesses are integrating impartial content to support customer decisions, and audiences are responding. 2016 will show how video continues to shine and streaming move to the forefront of marketing, with innovative approaches that further develop emerging brands and engage with audiences.
Users in Puerto Rico prefer Facebook 87.7%, followed by YouTube 55.3%, Instagram 39.3%, Google+ 29.8%, Snapchat 25.7% and Twitter 24.5% among social networks.
DATA IS STILL KING
If the new world is digital, the overarching theme among all trends is Data. 2016 may well be the year that more businesses seriously ramp up their investments in data analytics instead of just talking about it. There is no doubt that the ability to integrate and analyze all customer activities and business operations will separate growing companies from the pack.
Big data, which includes internal and external data, is a goldmine for customer-centric companies. Most businesses are facing intensifying competition, and the data-driven marketing approach is expanding to help meet the challenge. 2016 will be a crucial year for incorporating data and perhaps more importantly, analytics into business decisions. Savvy business leaders will understand that using data provides meaningful experiences, offers the opportunity to compete beyond discount pricing and helps earn lifelong customer loyalty. That’s a real source of growth.
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DuartePino is a management advisory firm that combines in-depth customer knowledge with practical expertise in marketing to help clients create sustainable business growth. We can provide your organization with a fresh perspective, a proven process that invests in the outcome, and the tools for successful execution. From Fractional CMOs to business advisors, contact us to learn how our team can help with growth strategies for your organization.