Some brands see the omnichannel marketing challenge before them and quake in fear. Others are crushing it. We’ll focus on the latter.
Mapping the best of these efforts along the customer journey demonstrates how important timing and trust are when planning, implementing and optimizing digital strategy. Be not afraid.
1 – First things first, does anyone know who you are? / AWARENESS
Breaking through the clutter is tough, but when you can leverage new technology to spark an innovative form of brand engagement, it’s a good thing. Fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff did exactly that when the highly popular brand created a VR based runway show, complete with a Rebecca Minkoff branded cardboard viewer.
Through commoditizing access to the brand, this strategy brings what was previously reserved for fashion royalty, to the regulars. This also reflects a larger trend of fashion designers eschewing the “status quo fashion show” and going direct to consumers.
2 – Building trust is all about knowing what matters most, and delivering it. / CONSIDERATION
Millennials are known for their passion around sustainability, including things like knowing where products come from. Amazon is speaking directly to that need with Amazon Elements, a tool that allows customers to track items from creation to expiration through the Amazon app.
The more comfortable people are with all aspects of your product, the more likely they are to make a purchase – a critical next step in the customer journey.
3 – Once they know you, and believe in you, it’s time to make the sale. / PURCHASE
Instacart and All Recipes teamed up to make sales happen faster and at greater value. Customers can add an entire recipe’s ingredients to Instacart from AllRecipes in one click. The strategy adds more value collectively than either brand could have alone.
This solution drives revenue and allows both Instacart and Allrecipes to bask in the glow of delighted customers. Customers use a matrix of brands in their daily life, understanding which ones they love and exploring partnerships, shows you understand them, and know how to make their lives better.
4 – Welcome to the honeymoon phase. Sale is made. Everyone is happy – until they’re not. / ADVOCATE
Sooner or later you hit the “What have you done for me lately?” problem. Best advice is to act before customers even ask the question. Patagonia picked up on their customer’s passion for the brand and rolled out a pickup truck destined to tour the nation on an apparel mending mission.
This strategy puts Patagonia face to face with customers, reinforces the brand messaging that they stand behind their products, and creates social media value through sparking conversations online, and on the road.
5 – No one knows your brand better than your best customers. / INNOVATE
Customers who love your brand are much more likely to help you grow. MIT professor Eric Von Hippel led the research that popularized the “lead-user” approach that engages customers who care deeply about the brand to co-create new product ideas. I’ve personally seen this strategy work well with CPG brand clients testing new product concepts.
Brandy Melville is a top fashion brand for teenage girls taking a similar approach. The brand (with 3.3 million Instagram followers) has a team of about 20 “Brandy Girls” who “work paid shifts in the back room of the brand’s Santa Monica store, where they brainstorm new concepts and consult on existing ones,” according to Racked.com.
“Let’s say there’s a cut of a T-shirt that’s doing really well, they’ll ask our opinion on it. Do we like it? Should we make more? If so, what colors?” – Kjerstin Skorge, a 16-year-old from Malibu
Strategically, mapping marketing strategy against each stage of the customer journey helps to more effectively transform browsers into buyers, and buyers into innovators. Increasingly in client projects we’re using the customer journey as a timeline to map messaging against, and it’s been an invaluable process for stronger conversions and recall.
–Anthony Cospito is Managing Director of Popbox Digital