When new technology is on the horizon, marketers usually start concocting ideas on how to use it to reach new customers or how to get more data about their behaviors and habits. But as marketers, we sometimes forget that emerging technology can also help us improve the experience of our current customers.
But how do you identify opportunities to improve the customer experience? It starts by using customer intelligence platforms to talk to your customers on a regular basis - it begins with ongoing engagement that can fuel a deeper understanding of your customers' behavior.
From mobile and tablets to social media, some established brands are already taking advantage of the capabilities of new technologies to provide a more fun and engaging experience to customers. Here are three brand examples:
[T]he Sotheby's creative team dreamed up ways to leverage a tablet's capabilities to the fullest extent. In this way, Sotheby's has extended its reach into the homes, offices, and everyday lives of its influential customers. Can't attend an exhibit? The exhibit can be brought to you.
For example, customers can use their tablets to visually and digitally "immerse themselves in an object's beauty and rich history through video, 360-degree views, pinch-and-zoom images, and other forms of tactile, emotive exploration." Imagine being drawn into a piece of contemporary art or having the ability to rotate a piece of Chinese ceramics or a fine jewel. Sotheby's has created that type of engaging experience. And just as a customer can jot down notes or "dog ear" the pages of particular pieces in a paper catalog, the digital catalog has the same features. - Ray Pun, CMO.com
TWEET THIS: Auction house @Sothebys uses #mobile capability to create engaging experience for customers.
There are two types of digital experiences the brand looks to build. Some are proprietary--pizza tracker, customer profiles, Think Oven--while others, like the pizza builder, are attempts at improving on industry standards. "So we look at things no one else has, but then we also watch for how we can create best in class experiences for things that have been out there," says Weiner. "Apps, for example, where our objective is to always have a higher rating than our competition."
CP+B's chief digital officer Ivan Perez - Armandariz says the brand's digital success is also rooted in not limiting its goals to the pizza industry. "Consumers don't change their expectations from category to category," says Perez - Armandariz. "We all have smartphones and access to the Internet, so the brands that are leading the transformation are the ones being rewarded with growth because they're keeping up with consumer behavior."
These digital tools aren't just there to push pizzas out the door, but are also living cogs of the company's overall brand philosophy. "Pizza Tracker is about tracking the progress of your pizza, but it's also the ultimate in accountability and transparency," says Weiner. "Profiles are the ultimate in easy ordering--you can order a pizza in five clicks or 30 seconds. Think Oven says we listen to consumers and we want their feedback. So these are all digital ideas or tools, but are based in a brand philosophy that goes much deeper. The idea of being honest and open is something all consumers want whether they use our pizza tracker or not." - Jeff Beer, Fast Company
TWEET THIS: How @Dominos became a #tech company, using #tech to increase sales and improve #branding: http://ow.ly/xYPtQ
The Starbucks Tweet-a-Coffee campaign resulted in over $180,000 worth of purchases in the last few months of 2013. The coffee maker encouraged users to send a $5 Starbucks Card as an eGift to their friends by tweeting to @tweetacoffee.
The increased revenue was nice, but what Starbucks gained from a branding perspective is even more significant. Not only did the company get positive press coverage for their innovative approach to social-mobile marketing, but users' Twitter feeds lit up with Starbucks mentions.
Additionally, more than 54,000 people linked their Twitter account to Starbucks over the course of the promotion. Now Starbucks can mine the data, targeting those users with the highest Klout scores in order to find influencers. - Franklin Morris, The Next Web
TWEET THIS: Want to send coffee to a friend? @Starbucks uses #tech to allow people to do that - through @Twitter: http://ow.ly/xYPtQ
Which brands are doing a great job at using new tech to improve the customer experience? Share your examples with us below!