How do you know what your consumers really want? It’s a lucrative question that we posed to Patrick Hunt, President and CEO of Hunt Adkins; Laura Conlon, Founder of Conlon Consulting; and Ryan Decker, Director of Digital & User Experience at Concord. Read on for the insights from this session.
Continuity in Consumer Experience
- Maintaining continuity across every consumer interaction is a considerable challenge for many organizations. To make it happen, you have to start internally with your brand strategy and everyone in the company has to be on the same page.
- Stay current in your digital strategy by listening to the customer, but remember to hold up every design iteration against your brand standards. Making something look new and current might not necessary fit within your brand.
- One of the worst things you can do is advance with the lowest common denominator, which is often what happens when large groups of people weigh in on decisions without central leadership.
- Collaboration is not about compromise – it’s all about moving forward with the best ideas. Too often, collaboration falls to committee decision-making and great outcomes never result from making everyone happy.
Strategy in the B2B World
- Regardless of whether you’re selling B2C or B2B, you’re still dealing with humans, who are primarily emotional buyers.
- It is much easier to differentiate in the B2B market, because the category leader tends to be blindly followed.
- Focus more on quality and getting the core components of your offering right in B2B, rather than getting hung up on reaching perfection. It’s much more advantageous to fail fast, optimize, and move forward.
Listening to Your Consumers
- Rather than considering the disciplines of marketing and digital as two separate entities that intersect, it’s more accurate to look at them as a hand in a glove – you can’t separate the two.
- Consumers today are not dumb – you can’t bait and switch them with an offering on your website, unless you never want to see them again. In fact, between the ability to tune out uninteresting messages (goodbye annoying commercial!) and the opportunity to share personal experiences in an influential way through social media, customers today are extremely empowered.
- It’s important to embrace the voice of the consumer and leverage it by making adjustments to your strategy. A big part of listening is actually observing consumer behavior, ingesting it, and responding in a way that remains true to your brand. JetBlue did a great job of this recently with the viral story of a “decommissioned” bridesmaid. Instead of refunding her airline ticket as asked (which would have been a nightmare precedent to set), they offered to fly her out for free to patch things up.
- Microtargeting is happening today, but will only continue to grow in importance as we move forward. The easiest way to get there faster is to bring the IT and marketing teams closer together in conversation.
- AI is the next level in marketing and digital, but not AI as we know it today. True AI is coming, just not as quickly as people anticipated.