What does a Stone Age tribe gathered around a campfire have in common with a modern consumer browsing an e-commerce storefront? Hollywood spends millions of dollars on movies and TV series, a high-risk enterprise considering the studio sees its first profit only after the investment is recouped. They take this risk because we really like stories, and a picture is worth a thousand words. Telling stories is the common thread that ties us and our ancient ancestors together, a way to share information that is vital to our survival as a species. It is in our DNA to be drawn to the campfire and absorb the information we perceive as crucial to our well-being.
Where a tribe gathered around a campfire had a lot in common, understanding the customer and making the story highly personalized is a challenge worthy of the digital age. In the context of a brand’s online presence, the ability to appeal to this primal emotion is an incredibly powerful tool, but only if the brand can succeed in attaining the association of being vital to survival, and therefore gaining the ultimate edge of customer loyalty. Accomplishing this is challenging, if nothing else because we all lead vastly different lives, and where one may see finding the perfect pair of jeans as essential, another may care little about this endeavor.
Fortunately, we have all the tools necessary to tackle this challenge with vigor, provided we use them correctly and at the right moments in the customer journey. Having a complete 360 view of the customer is an absolute necessity for brands looking to gain a foothold within their customers’ loyalty portfolio.
While each one deserves its own deep dive, here are a few tools that are a must-have for any brand serious about gaining traction and standing out from the competition. Starting with the foundation, you will need an ERP or an order management system coupled to PIM that can be the single record of truth for inventory, and handle warehouse and fulfillment tasks, or tie 3rd party vendors and integrations into a common system. A modern, flexible eCommerce platform can take a few different shapes, from simple to bespoke headless solutions. The key is that it fits the business objectives and can be a canvas for businesses and marketers to embroider the brand’s story efficiently, but without stifling their creativity.
Data analytics will tell how the brand is fairing, from customer engagement with the site and its content to KPIs like conversions and marketing campaign sales attribution. Without tying the data back to the customer, we cannot expect to use it to personalize user experience. therefore we need to connect data from eCommerce and content management to sales and orders in the ERP and bind it with customer relationship management capabilities that usually reside in a tightly integrated CRM.
At RSM we have helped our clients figure out how to tell their stories in ways that find and engage their ideal customers. From innovative creative to selecting and implementing the right technology mix our consultants are the epiphany of middle market focused professionals. Contact us to learn more about how we can help.