Building and Breaking Brand Equity: Delivering a Valuable Customer Experience
2020 is the year we all envisioned we would be driving flying cars, riding hover boards and walking around with smart contact lenses, all while communicating with our virtual personal assistant. Well … we’re still stuck in traffic, virtual reality is still a gimmick, and Alexa truly can tell the weather, play the music you ask for, and order diapers by demand. But hey, we've got Instagram Stories! Now, sarcasm aside, we're on the verge of a true accomplishment — we're placing the user (you!) at the center of everything. All because we demanded it. Not necessarily out loud, but by voting with our behavior, our engagement, our preferences and selections. We all voted with our feed-scrolling finger that we want every experience that's served to us to be the most relevant, interesting, useful, and beneficial as possible.
Many marketers today don’t understand how to make personal connections by combining this powerful user data with a wide variety of effective and engaging customer experience executions across channels and ad formats. Let’s take Instagram Stories, for example. It's a full-screen content unit that can be used as a sponsored ad, which can present a full-funnel experience from discovery to purchase. Marketers who rush to utilize the Stories unit should consider the recent study from the Kellogg School that shows storytelling can potentially limit the viewer’s ability to process and understand the facts at hand. The study writes, “When people interact with a story, it blunts their attention to facts. This is good news if your facts are weak — a story can sugarcoat less-than-compelling information — but not if you have strong data on your side.”
This study confirms that not all stories are the same, and marketers should design with their audience in mind. Platforms, devices and even time of day could all have huge impact on whether your ad is effective or distracting, and if it builds brand equity or destroys it.
A recent survey from Clinch shows that the more personalized the ad experience is, the better the performance, brand recall and loyalty from the consumer. Forty-five percent of respondents found Facebook to be the most personalized and relevant in terms of advertising. However, focusing on only one or two channels won’t cut it. Marketers need to pursue an omnichannel strategy in addition to personalization. Consider that 32 percent of respondents felt that brands are doing a good job marketing to them when the brands show them an ad on multiple platforms (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) with a product or service they're interested in. Nearly 60 percent mentioned that an offer, such as a discount or coupon in an ad, make them more likely to buy the specific product. Remember, personalization isn't just about the content, it's also about the channel, the timing and the frequency. It's about knowing your consumers as individuals and providing them the service and level of communication they wish to receive. Make sure your ad experiences are flawless so they don’t frustrate your consumers, especially when it comes down to the “little things.”
The connection between brand and consumer has always been a relationship. Whether it’s old-fashioned or modern, that connection needs to be nurtured long term. Using data to personalize, optimize and deliver valuable experiences across all channels while utilizing all available ad formats is a key to success in building a brand, maintaining loyalty and driving sales.
Our time is becoming more and more valuable to us. If you want my time as a consumer, use it wisely. Reward or entertain me. Intrigue and interest me. Provide value, or else my time is better spent somewhere else.
We’re still not driving flying cars and hoverboards, but we have succeeded in putting the consumer in the center. As marketers, it's vital that we keep them there.
Oz Etzioni is CEO of Clinch, an AI-powered omnichannel personalization technology platform.
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