Once upon a time, creating the omnichannel experience ranked as one of the most sought-after audience engagement capabilities. Brands that did it well could engage audiences across multiple channels, identify the most effective channels and content based on data, realize increased cross-sell/upsell opportunities, and boost revenue.
Times have changed. Today, digitally mature brands are evolving to a new approach, the connected experience, which promises even more lucrative rewards and competitive advantage.
In this blog, we explore the differences between omnichannel and connected experiences, present actionable use cases for connected experiences, and lay out the key considerations for those who want to jumpstart their own connected experiences initiatives.
Omnichannel Experiences: Cross-channel Integration
The omnichannel approach integrates digital channels into the traditional audience journey greatly expanding a brand’s bandwidth for communicating and interacting with customers in multiple, novel ways. Based on data generated during these encounters, brands can identify the right channel and content to enable more and faster conversions.
Brands that employ a strong omnichannel approach will already have a significant web and app presence. This enables them to consolidate scattered data across more touch points to better understand how different audience segments think and behave and to offer them the right value proposition at each step of their omnichannel journeys.
Brands that have yet to fully engage audiences on digital channels still must take the omnichannel approach on their road to digital maturity. Brands that have successfully created omnichannel experiences for their audiences can now begin to focus their energies and resources on creating connected experiences.
Connected Experiences: Broader, Richer Engagement
The connected experience approach enriches customer journeys though a broader array of screens, spaces, and micro-moments across ecommerce, brick-and-mortar, mobile, IoT, co-branded spaces, partner channels, and so much more – without interruption or delay.
IoT devices, especially, help to drive connected experiences by enabling hyper-individualized, point-of-purchase engagement with customers and look-alike audiences. The possibilities are endless. Every business can reap the benefits of IoT tailored to its CX priorities, budgets, and tech maturity level. Some examples follow.
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Connected Experience Use Cases
Proximity sensors can help brands make the promise of frictionless experiences come true. Proximity sensors gather audience member data points without contact and convert them into actionable audience engagement insights efficiently. The ability to capture accurate insights quickly can enable personalized interventions without delay. This means, for example, that brands can equip their front-line workers with audience information in real-time, allowing them to customize the in-person experience for the approaching audience member.
IoT-Based Smart Parking System
Car park integration with underlying IoT technology allows brands to scan an automobile license plate to identify an individual audience member. If the individual is known, the brand can communicate relevant information and offers. If the audience member is a first-time visitor to the location, brands can deliver push notifications for first-timer discounts.
Self-service and interactive smart kiosks are strategically placed in high-foot traffic areas to provide audience members with vital information and point them to services that are hyper-local to the area. Using technological capabilities like 5G, Wi-Fi, cameras, and environmental sensors, brands can gain additional customer intelligence and push out contextual offers based on the individual’s behavior and location in the physical space.
This highlighted use case isn’t very clear. Can you make a more direct connection between proximity sensors and boosting footfalls and other engagement possibilities?
How to Design Connected Experiences?
Articulate Achievable, Business-Focused Goals
Determine the specific business goals you want to achieve, for example, boosting acquisition, speeding conversion, or increasing retention rates. Note that the challenge here is avoiding tunnel vision and being hyper-focused on metrics– it’s crucial to let your customer data guide you. For instance, focus not solely on what products are sold or what channels performed well, but rather on what kinds of people brought them and what did they do on these channels.
Identify and Leverage Existing Key Capabilities
Technologies acquired piecemeal over the years that remain unutilized might spell more trouble for brands in hefty initial costs and missed revenue opportunities. It’s time to harvest your lowest hanging fruit–what your existing technology can deliver. Effective marketing technology governance can help with enhancing internal communications and enabling effective implementation, usage, and oversight of marketing technology.
Expand Use Cases Slowly
When your existing tech stack has gained traction, you might want to expand the types of use cases to help you accelerate connected experiences and increase wallet share. However, it’s important to scale tactically with budget, customer segments, and geographies in mind. Expanding at a slower pace might help you avoid amplifying mistakes.
Rethink Audiences as Digital Participants, Not Just Customers
Overwhelming customers with offers may do more harm than good. Think of audience engagement as a two-way, mutually benefitting exchange. Customers can participate in digital channels and get relevant, value-added offers and content, while companies can continue gather information, enrich customer profiles, and more effectively and efficiently promote their brand.
Although the line between connected experiences and omnichannel engagement may blur at times, the two approaches are distinctly different. While IoT devices greatly expand a brand’s engagement and revenue-generating opportunities, brands should be intentional about designing and integrating them into connected experiences. Brands should also pay particular attention to assessing their state of digital maturity, maximizing the value of existing technology, and ensuring organizational readiness to adopt new approaches and technologies.
Interested in learning more about how to make the leap from omnichannel engagement to connected experiences? Resulticks is here to help.
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