Summary of Part I
In the first article of this short series, I wrote about a new model of digital marketing, a model based on targeted, dynamic and interactive communication. I did not mention any of the technicalities of software and architectures needed to implement such a model. Instead, I followed a generic and abstract line of reasoning, aiming to convey the concepts and the ideas behind this model.
I focused on how to improve user experience through innovative models for content provisioning, and how to apply them in different places and for different purposes.
In particular, I identified two key variables:
- Effective communication, as a result of the customer experience;
- Unification of interaction processes, which also include feedbacks and data analysis.
The general topic is the omnichannel integration within digital and proximity marketing, for both business and public services. The omnichannel, or multichannel, integration is obtained through experiential analysis, process optimization, user interaction and feedback.
I like to describe this path as the proximity marketing lifecycle.
This also represents the ideal physical path of the relationship between the users and the locations. It is about the optimization of the processes, the interaction through channels and different devices, which could be proximity devices, personal devices or even virtual devices.
The way I see this vision coming true is as a mastermind software: an orchestrating system, based on high level applied interfaces, standard WS-* and offered as SaaS (Software as a Service). The system should be running in the cloud and therefore able to interact easily with information systems, different communication channels, smart devices, mobile devices and also with devices placed in different locations.
This is an example of what one could achieve with the so-called Internet of Things.
Since I do not want this vision to remain a mere definition, let me now make it clearer and easier to grasp by giving some practical examples on how it works. I will do this by describing its relations to the phases of the proximity marketing lifecycle. In this article, I will consider the first two phases. The remainder will be considered in the next part.
Orientation and signals play a very important role in determining the quality of the customer experience, both in public services and businesses. Improving on these aspects can make the offer (of services or of products) more effective and will definitively make customers happier.
The first step to accomplish is to study customer behaviour, how people react when variables change and what kind of explicit or implicit feedback they give. This is done through an observation phase, where unsupervised video systems can collect the required data.
This scenario is intrinsically multichannel, because the communication is interactive, bi-directional and can follow different paths. Every device or instrument has specific human-machine interactions. For this reason, the integrated use of multiple devices should follow simplified representation criteria, which needs to be coherent among all of the devices. For this purpose, it is very useful to use the salience map generated by each device. Finally, one has to set clear rules for measuring the performances of the multichannel communication.
Customer experience in the point-of-sale, or within public services, should build on how customers access and walk through the location. In particular, I am referring to queue theories and strategies to avoid crowds, as a function of different variables and predictive models.
Let me give you an example: a communication model in retail industry. Consider a supermarket, where there is a network of displays and sensors that can communicate with customers. One could create dynamic clips, which will advertise the hottest products of the day (according to real-time information on sales) or personalised products (targeted on the current customer). The displays could also show real-time information about the current turn in any of the counter of the supermarket, regardless of where they are actually located.
By placing the displays carefully, i.e. near the counter and in the corridors, one reaches two goals. On the one hand, one can exploit the waiting time at the counter to offer dynamic targeted advertisement and/or entertainment content. On the other hand, one can give customers the opportunity to choose: whether to remain there and wait, or to continue with their purchasing experience, without having to miss their turn in the line. This will increase the spending time of the customers.
The displays can further help to amplify the impulsive-purchase phenomenon, because they are great attractors of people and because one can personalise the content on the current viewer.
This article is second in a series of three about proximity digital marketing. Here, I have introduced my personal definition for the lifecycle of proximity marketing. This is the result of my analysis of the behaviour of people when they move inside a point-of-sale to make a purchase or into a generic location to receive a service. In both cases, “optimization” and “interaction” are the main concepts to address during the feedback analysis, aka business intelligence.
End of part II.
In the next article, last of the series, I will consider interaction, feedback and analysis in more detail.
You can now read part III: Interaction and Feedback.
About the Author
Riccardo D’Angelo (Edisonweb Srl founder) is passionate about effective technologies. He likes to bring innovative products into businesses as well as into public organizations. Edisonweb invests heavily in R&D and fosters collaborations with Academies in order to stay ahead of time. Web Signage by Edisonweb has been the first Digital Signage platform Worldwide available on Microsoft Cloud Platform and has received several international awards in the Digital Signage market.