Many companies recognize the need for a presence everywhere shoppers are, but most don’t yet know what that presence should be. As a result, too many brands attempt to fit old-school marketing tactics to these new touchpoints. Display ads on social networks, non-conversational Twitter streams full of nothing but brand announcements, one-time deals attempting to buy fans – these are square pegs, and hammer as marketers might, they don’t fit round holes.
“Engagement with the customer today isn’t just pouring a message down on their head and hoping they get wet,” says Bob Thacker, SVP Advertising, OfficeMax. “It really is understanding that you must be present in a conversation when they want to have it, not when you want to.”
Forrester Research agrees. In their new report, “Welcome to the Era of Agile Commerce,” Forrester notes the needs for businesses to move to an agile commerce model to “deliver relevant offers, services, and experiences to customers” across touchpoints. Each touchpoint is a part of the customer life cycle in which customers research, consider, purchase, use, troubleshoot, and share their experiences with a product or service. A multi-channel model sells across multiple touchpoints, but an agile organization engages and serves customers across these touchpoints.
But how, when the constant spread of social means the number of these touchpoints increases every day? By deeply understanding their customers and their needs, and proactively delivering content that meets those needs. “Firms must operationalize customer intelligence across channels from existing systems such as customer relationship management, web analytics, business intelligence, and data warehouses,” says Forrester. “eBusiness executives will need to invest in systems that can deliver highly dynamic, personalized content to customers.”
The agile commerce model enables organizations to offer a superior customer experience, drive more sales, and differentiate the business from competition.