- More than 30 years experience – including 20 years in digital – helping brands and businesses develop in both the analog and digital worlds.
- Senior market executive instrumental in e-commerce strategies at London-based ghd, Converse (a Nike company), Delivery Agent and QVC.
- Member of Nike’s Global Digital Commerce Leadership Team
- All 7 Best Practices
- Pre-Call Discovery Process
- One-on-One Call with Expert
- Session Summary Report
- Post-Session Engagement
Leveraging Digital to Increase Brand Reach and Direct-to-Consumer Revenue
- Optimizing a digital experience, in terms of both your brand and your customer, is the price of admission in today’s business world.
We shouldn’t care where the customer buys. We just want them to buy. This means that wherever you are connecting with customers it needs to be a very positive connection. Consumers today are channel hopping. They're taking longer, more complex journeys that tend to be research oriented. They're going on the web, then going to a store, and then going back online to compare prices. They may be buying online; or buying online and then picking up the product at a store. There’s a dexterity that consumers have today that is forcing companies to think about their businesses in a holistic manner.
Optimizing your brand to create a consistent identity across digital and physical outlets is essential to today's commerce. The digital experience for your customer is no longer an optional concern: it is the price of doing business today.
- Rich data is available; investing in leveraging its value is becoming increasingly important when it comes to engaging your customer.
- There's a great deal of talk about big data but very few companies have the bandwidth and the breadth of data to make use of the more advanced analytics. However, many companies have a great deal of data in-house that they are not leveraging to maximum effect. The key is to create engagement with customers. This can be disarmingly simple, such as creating an effective monthly newsletter. Finding the best way to leverage your data, and making wise investments in doing so, requires a thorough understanding of your aims and goals.
- Exactly what do you want to achieve?
- What data sets are available?
- How can you test your hypotheses to know that your data is leading you to the right conclusions?
- Exactly what do you want to achieve?
- Advertising is shifting to a multi-faceted ecosystem that strives to engage the customer in new ways.
Engaging customers is key. The world of advertising has expanded into a multi-pronged ecosystem that includes YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, in addition to the more traditional channels such as billboards, television, press, PR, etc. Every company wants to have recommendations from one customer to another, and social media channels can help facilitate the level of customer engagement that makes that type of advocacy happen.
Look at Apple's success at creating advocates. Everybody wanted their product. There was a buzz even before it came out. Customers were in line for it. Then, when the customers leave the store with the product, they're excited about the entire event around the product. They begin to tell their friends, and the buzz grows on social media. Word of mouth, advocates, lead users, bloggers, experts, purported fashionistas: These are all as important as the traditional advertising media.
- Content is king; it must remain relevant along the entire customer journey, and at each of its digital touch points.
- With the growth of digital outlets and social media the line between entertainment and advertising has become completely blurred. Creative content is now king, and it must engage an audience and tell a consistent story about your brand.
The consumer is coming into contact with your brand through multiple channels. First look at your media channels, and at your delivery mechanism. Then you can pitch your story, because the consumer will come into contact with more than one way to digest your content and your brand storytelling. It’s not just a picture of the product anymore. People expect more. You must create rich experiences while consumers are researching your product as well as with your advertising and shopping journey.
- The line between content and commerce has become blurred.
The key is not just creating content. If you have a choice and you’re investing in content creation, how do you invest in content creation with the idea that it’s shareable? For example, one of the biggest and best shareable campaigns was Dove soap, about the inner beauty of women. This was no accident. It was a well-researched and conceived campaign – one cannot assume if something goes on YouTube it will go viral.
Content and commerce are merging. Become aware of your channels and what is possible given their capabilities and constraints. As you’re crafting your e-commerce site, your content may need to be specific to a certain device. What plays well on an iPhone may not play well on a desktop, which is different from what can play on an iPad. Don’t put something that requires a Flash video player on an iPad. It won’t work. These tradeoffs are very important to consider as you create a consistent digital brand identity that merges commerce and content. Isolate the features and benefits of your products to how a consumer will enjoy or appreciate the product. How can the brand illicit an emotional response by consumers for their products? Once this is honed, then optimize by device and channel to customize your brand message for appropriate and relevant consumption.