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Are you experienced?

Ben Dickens, February 19, 2016

Integration and customer experience, how do you stack up in the next battle ground

To paraphrase Jimi Hendrix, are you experienced? Or to coin a marketing phrase, how integrated are you? In this post I’ll be exploring what this means to us and why integration is so important.

It seems to be a popular soundbite, when starting to talk about experiences and integration, to jump on the ‘advertising is dead’ band wagon. Far from it, in an integrated brand ecosystem, advertising has just as much a role to play as any other. It’s still one of the best ways to scale a message but for DVO, it’s often linked to other touch points such as digital to give the consumer a better experience.

Our philosophy is very simple, a customer experience is the sum of the engagements a consumer has with a brand along their journey. At it’s most basic level, it’s an emotional response, whether it’s good, bad or indifferent, made up over time of these individual interactions.

In order to shape that experience, to ensure it’s overwhelmingly positive, very often requires a rethink.  It requires a more holistic view of the customer and once you’ve accepted that, it requires a rethink of how you structure your brand and communications. It emphasises integration, requiring an understanding of your customers’ journey, understanding behaviours and motivations at each step so that you can meet and exceed expectations. If you can understand your architecture, you can start to shape it to deliver what you want.  Hence my statement about advertising, it still has a part to play. It shouldn’t be the source of your brand strategy, it’s just one of many channels where it’s played out.

That strategic rethink is where it starts, your brand and creative strategy needs to sit at the centre, feeding and shaping each touch point. If you can achieve that then you’re well on your way. As a note of caution, this isn’t about ensuring your logo is in the right place and your brand colours are used correctly, which we see so often in digital. It goes to the core of what a consumer feels and thinks.

In an experience-led world, all customer touch points are integrated around a brand. There are no siloes and no distinction between online/offline, before during or after a sale.  Everything works holistically.

Creating this kind of architecture requires a willingness to change, to be open to being shown the many new ways that people can interact with your brand, and hence the many new touchpoints that you can create as part of your overall architecture. It requires a move away from arbitrary KPIs and a passionate understanding of how your product fits into a every changing world.

DVO are dedicated to this approach, creating effective methodologies to deliver this for our clients. We recently discussed a quote we’ve heard a lot recently, “every industry will have it’s Uber”. We couldn’t agree more, but why should that Uber moment be restricted to new entrants. All sectors have incumbent brands, that to some extent or another, could be their industry’s Uber.

But take a leaf out of Uber’s book. They manage their customers’ experience with true finesse, they haven’t had to change the way they think and work against an ingrained philosophy, but they’ve still had to make it work.

So how experienced are you? Well if you aren’t and you want to talk to us about how we can make this a reality together give us a call.

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