Connecting with the Digital Customer

It’s rightly said that we don’t need digital communication, what we really need is communication for the Digital World. Here’s a video validating this very fact.

A couple of facts come to light in the above video, the primary one being that there are better ways of extracting customer insights than pestering the customer with wrong questions that seemed designed to irritate than excite. (Think surveys, feedback forms, customer support, and the likes!)

It is this very clarity into the evolving customer behaviour that forms the “stock-in-trade” for businesses like Facebook, Google or Apple when it comes to amassing their customers’ loyalties. Here are a few examples that show how they believe in connecting with their customer in an unobtrusive, yet effective way.

Google brought in Maps™ that changed the way people shared their whereabouts, travelled, navigated or located their landmarks on the surface of earth. As if that wasn’t enough, Google invented the revolutionary Google Glass™ to let the user get the location or landmark details anywhere he chose to look. Imagine staring at the Eiffel and getting its fact-file displayed right before your eyes! The ability of Google to recognise and pre-empt the needs of a digital customer is what puts in ahead of this entire consumer-driven marketing race.

Same goes for Apple. Listening to music on a fist-sized device was a technological high-point, thanks to the iPod and its variants that came in decreasing sizes. The experience was dwarfed only by the iPhone that eliminated every perceivable friction in user experience; and tamed every interest within its virtual AppStore. Now everything from shopping to medical advice and entertainment to stock markets was available on the iPhone. The television, newspaper and the local grocer were all heading towards redundancy in a day’s time! If that isn’t recognising the imminent needs of a digital customer, what is?

When it comes to gathering the facts about its customer, nothing beats Facebook! If Facebook knows more about you than you yourself do, that’s because you’ve revealed yourself through its tests and quizzes that it keeps stumping you with. “Know what your name reveals about you”, “Know your death-date”, “What do people like the most about you”, “Which is the best suited city in the world for you” (I got Mumbai, thank god!), “Find the first letter of the name of the person you will marry”, and so on….. If you closely observe, Facebook has been tapping your favourite colour, your favourite genre of books and music, your favourite form of recreation, the place you’ve lived the most and all these inconsequential details and turning them into an information spiral that gives and takes alike!

Cognizant has conceptualised the Code Halo™ to highlight the importance of virtual user profile to a digital business. Code Halo creates a social, economic, educational & professional consumer identity helping businesses create relevant experiences for its digitally aware customers.

In connecting with the digital customer, the crux lies in identifying the numerous touch-points that hold the promise of a positive customer experience, and then creating communication strategies that hold up to this promise. It also helps to realise that the digital marketplace and its players are now within the customer’s reach thanks to the search engines and social media marketing. A digital customer usually spots a business much before a business spots its customer, and thus, it is this first and every subsequent customer experience that eventually becomes the brand for a digital business.

The above video was created by Rackspace and used by Andrew Campbell in his presentation “The Mighty Digital Tool”, as a session speaker at a marketing event in Mumbai. Andy is the Managing Director of FXR, a premier retail and telecom consulting company and an eminent inspirational speaker among the marketing fraternity.