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RealDreams: how Technology meets Art

villa reale di monza

An Idea about Technology and Art.

In September, we got back to our desks. The screensaver, usually showing beautiful landscapes, had become a sad memory of the Summer that was over. We got back to reality, but our eyes were still dreamy. 

With this spirit, in the middle of our tasks and deadlines, we came across the announcement of an ideas contest to revive the Villa Reale di Monza. Why not proofing the Neosperience technology’s intrinsic value to some of the most important institutional subjects, but above all, to ourselves? 

Therefore, we created a young and dynamic team with heterogeneous expertise, able to extract a rare gem from a turbulent creative storm.

During one of those fast meetings, we shaped a question, as simple as it is important: why would anyone visit the Villa if there is a public park where to go?

A Project.

Our answer to this question was a 360° project, able to redesign the map of interest of the Villa Reale, placing it at the center of an ambitious enhancement scenario: RealDreams, where history and innovation coexist in the Villa of tomorrow.

The application in Augmented Reality +Reale has been designed to allow an organic visit of every space of the complex, with a strong focus on personalized itineraries, based on the preferences and attitudes of the visitor.

The Gamification dynamics and the virtual Ciceroni were designed to better engage the visitor through customized quizzes and games based on the age and profile of the user. To be specific, we made a mashup of Reality Plus, Nudging Gamification, Skinnable App, and Unbreakable Community Solutions.

After this first step, everything fell into place, and new features became part of the organic plan of the project. 

For example, the idea of ​​creating the FAAR (Future Artist in Augmented Rooms), a permanent art exhibition that investigates the relationship between art and new technologies, to create an innovative cultural offer, useful to convince visitors to enter the Villa.

At the same time, every aspect of the proposal has been developed in line with the principles of economic sustainability and integration with the pre-existing socio-cultural fabric.

In fact, the core of the success of this idea was to transform the "Nanni Valentini" state art high school into a center of excellence for the application of new technologies to art and design.

Finally, we thought of two additional tools to engage the community: the creation of the Collaboratori Reali(CoRe) network, which will help the managers in the operational management of the Villa, and the establishment of the Amici Reale, who will financially support the complex in exchange for advantages and rewards, thus creating a virtuous circle.

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RealDreams. How technology meets art.

Stefano Boeri, president of Triennale Milano, during the awards ceremony told the audience about how the Digital, with its innovative technologies, can add value not only to the world of architecture, but also, and above all, to arts and culture.

A further demonstration of the fact that Neosperience, besides being an innovative software vendor, is also the home of many creative minds, today more than ever essential to stand out in a world where data are fundamental, but they are not enough anymore.

RealDreams video on Vimeo. Enjoy it!

 

Neosperience Reality Plus - Realdreams

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What is Psychographics? An overview and the User Insight practical case

psychographicsWhat is Psychographics?

It is the study of the individual based on his interests, personality, and habits. It is the natural evolution of profiling through socio-demographic, geographical and behavioral data.

Psychographics is not a recent field of study: as a branch of psychology, it was developed and applied to marketing and traditional research (focus groups, market research, etc.).

However, it was through digital technology that it developed its full potential.

By analyzing user behaviors on social media, E-Commerces and any "virtual" environment, Psychographics is now able to profile users in a way that was unthinkable just a few years ago.

Its goal is to understand individual characteristics such as emotions, values​​, and attitudes, as well as a whole other set of psychological factors.

All these data provide precious insights about the motivations behind people's behavior, for example, why they buy a specific product, or support a certain cause, or vote for a particular political candidate.

We all heard about the sadly known Cambridge Analytica accident. The researchers and marketers involved were able to boost numerous political campaigns thanks to illegally retrieved psychographic data from people's social profiles.

The method they used was to divide the subjects into five macro-clusters, based on whether they showed presented or not one of the following psychological traits, namely:

  • Openness: this trait indicates how open-minded a person is. A person with a high level of openness is curious, creative and open to change;
  • Consciousness: a person who shows a high level of consciousness is responsible, sets long-term goals and does not act impulsively;
  • Extroversion: the subjects characterized by this trait love to have fun with people and live in social environments. They are also enthusiastic, but often let themselves be guided by others. They also love being in the center of attention;
  • Agreeableness: a person with high levels of agreeableness is usually friendly, kind and diplomatic. He also shows optimism and tend to trust the others;
  • Emotional stability (or its negative counterpart, Neuroticism): a person with a high level of emotional stability who tends to easily experience positive emotions;

This model, which you can find outlined below, is known as OCEAN (the first letters of the psychographic categories), or BigFive.

How does this model apply to marketing?

Through Psychographics, it is possible to understand the fundamental individual characteristics of your customers, in order to collect useful guidelines on how to communicate and create one-to-one messages. 

Let's make an example. A company that works in the energy market needs to communicate a promotional offer to its public, but first it decides to cluster it with the OCEAN psychographic model.

Practical examples of psychographic profiling.

If the customer shows a strong affinity to the Openness cluster, he will receive a graphically creative banner that offers the possibility to customize the energy contract according to his needs.

Elseways, if the customer belongs to the Extroversion cluster, he will be told that the offer has been appreciated by many people, giving him the possibility to receive a discount if the customer brings a friend.

If the person belongs to the cluster of Conscientiousness, they will be given the opportunity, directly on the banner, to deepen the offer and discover its long-term advantages.

The possible customizations are infinite; will be the psychography expert, in concert with the creative, to find the best practical solutions to cover most of the target audience with the correct message.

Given the power that this method makes available to companies, the market has been subject to strict regulations. What Cambridge Analytica did just a few years ago would be impossible to accomplish today. In recent years, alternative tools have been developed, fully compliant with GDPR, which allows companies to acquire the same type of information and to use them - this time - for the benefit of people.

This is why Neosperience has created User Insight

User Insight is a tool that uses the latest Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Advanced Analytics technologies to allow companies to learn about the psychographic traits of customers, thanks to the analysis of their browsing behaviors.

In a market where the personalization of the offer has become the key of success of commercial proposals, understanding the needs and desires of each customer in full respect of its privacy becomes an essential factor.

The future belongs to those who will be able to use new technologies to constantly improve customer experience, progressively reducing the "gaps" between physical and digital worlds. At Neosperience, we believe that this can be possible, and we work to give substance to a technology that allows companies to be more and more empathic and closer to their customers.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

 

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20 Marketing Blogs That Will Help You Improve Customer Experience

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Success is 1% inspiration, 98% perspiration, and 2% attention to detail” (Phil Dunphy)

No field in business needs so much inspiration like marketing. In the age of digital and mobile technology, customer’s attention is the most precious coin on market. And you never sell just products or services, you sell experiences.

Thus, you need innovative ways to create memorable experiences. Where could you find your daily dose of good insights and inspirational reads? Citing the Beatles, all you need is blog. More than one blog, actually.

Today’s post is, in fact, dedicated to our recommended 20 marketing blogs that will offer you quality content to help you improve customer experience. Some are well known (how could you not know Seth Godin?), some might represent a nice surprise for you.

Given that the experience is more than a product, there is nothing like fresh read or a side angle view to learn new approaches and remove dust from your digital strategy.

Content marketing, social media, retail customer experience, business vision, mobile app marketing, search engine optimization: these (and many more) are all parts of the brand-new customer journey.

As a brand and entrepreneur, you need to learn how to perfect the connection with your customers - and employees - across the physical and digital touchpoints. The ability to manage relationships: here lies the essence of the inbound marketing methodology, the one that replaces interruption with communication.

You know nothing, Jon Snow”: this quote from Game of Thrones is perfect to explain why you can evolve, and get better at involving your customers in a story, only if you assume that you don’t know everything.

Digital strategy is a continuous ‘learning & testing process’, and inspiration is all around us. You just need to know where to look. In these 20 marketing blogs, for instance.

MOZ

Rand Fishkin is one the most renowned marketing experts out there, the creator of Moz and one of the wizards that offer their tips, tricks and advice on this SEO-focused blog.

SETH'S BLOG

The best selling author and business guru Seth Godin shares his wisdom in this blog about "marketing, respect, and the ways ideas spread".

HUBSPOT BLOG

You say inbound marketing and you think about Hubspot. The company also has an official blog, where tons of tremendous contents (articles, guides, ebooks) get shared every single day.

SEARCH ENGINE LAND

Want to know how to survive Google's algorithm updates? Want to understand how search engines work and how to perfect your SEO strategy? Search Engine Land is the place you want to go.

BEN SETTLE

Email marketing is often underrated, yet it is a critical element of the inbound marketing strategy. With his provocative posts, Ben Settle will help you finally link email and sales.

JEFF BULLAS

If you want to become a better blogger, you definitely need to read Jeff Bullas' blog about ... blogging. The famous speaker and author is a great source of tips and ideas.

QUICK SPROUT

If marketing is your daily bread, you surely know Neil Patel. In Quick Sprout you can find guides and ‘how-to’ articles about content marketing, social media and web optimization.

BRIAN SOLIS

The voice of digital transformation, Brian Solis, owns one of the most read blogs in the business world. The future of customer experience is the rule here.

KISSMETRICS BLOG

There is no marketing without measurement, there is no digital marketing without analytics. Kissmetrics Blog offers everything you need to know about marketing and metrics.

WORDSTREAM

Search engine marketing, PPC, AdWords campaign, retargeting: if you want to know more about these topics, Wordstream is the blog you are looking for.

COPYBLOGGER

In the inbound approach, content marketing is the key to attract qualified leads and convert them into customers. CopyBlogger shares great tips and content development ideas.

SOCIAL MEDIA EXAMINER

Would you build a marketing strategy without social media? Of course not. Social Media Examiner collects news and actionable tips on how to build a successful social brand.

UNBOUNCE BLOG

Success in the Internet era is all about conversions. If you want to learn how to improve your conversion rate and build great landing pages and CTAs, take a look at Unbounce Blog.

STORYNEEDLE

Michael Andrews, an independent content strategist, with StoryNeedle has created an inspiring source of knowledge on how to build an outstanding content strategy and storytelling.

MARKETING LAND

More a web magazine than a blog, Marketing Land gathers the most important news about all things marketing: search, email, social media, analytics, advertising and technology.

FORRESTER BLOG

Forrester is an important consulting firm, but also a source of knowledge. Of all its blogs, we recommend the Customer Experience Blog, focused on the evolution of digital business.

BACKLINKO

If actionable guides and case studies is what you are looking for, Brian Dean and his Backlinko blog is the answer: SEO, copywriting, content, you name it.

THINK WITH GOOGLE

Would you miss the official blog from the number one player in the mobile and digital world? Think With Google is a great source of ideas and insights, and you might even foresee the world of tomorrow.

SHOPIFY

Shopify is an innovative e-commerce company, and they have a blog. Where else could you gain insights into the evolution of online and retail customer experience?

THE SALES LION

Despite the name, The Sales Lion is not a blog on how to push-sell in the old way. On the contrary, it is a collection of thoughts on communicating and connecting with clients in the digital world.

Of course, this is not a comprehensive list nor it claims to include the best blogs ever created. These are just the ones we appreciate and constantly read. There may be hidden gems we still don’t know; please, let us know using the comments.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: 10 Inspiring SlideShare Presentations To Improve Customer Experience

To help you provide a strategic advantage to your organization, Neosperience has crafted the first DCX 7-Steps Checklist, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation. Download the free guide here:

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The 6 Pillars of Digital Transformation To Improve Customer Experience

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"Digital innovation is as much about technology as it is about people." (Brian Solis)

In the past decade, business and society have undergone a whirlwind of changes. A digital disruption, in fact, guided by technology. The Internet and the smartphone have brought the entire world in our hands, forcing the transformation of markets, identities, and companies.

Every major paradigm shift in human history is strictly linked to a technological progress (just think about the wheel, the printing press, the steam engine). We are now witnesses of a similar evolution, facing what analysts have called Digital Transformation.

Submerged in an ever-connected ecosystem, customers and brands move towards the dematerialization of the world as we know it. Physical and digital worlds collide and melt into a new ground of experience, where information is immediately accessible.

Businesses, governments and organizations are being challenged to embrace the latest digital technologies to improve sustainability and provide engaging experiences. To reach customers and provide products and services anywhere, anytime, on any device.

Digital transformation means different things to different people, but one thing is for sure: mobile devices and social media have created a layer across our world, revolutionizing companies, products and customers forever.

Whatever definition you prefer or adopt, you need to make sure that your approach to building and integrating digital customer experiences evolves as digital trends evolve. One single technology might change your destiny and pave the way to success.

Here lies the secret to overcome the challenge of this new era full of threats and opportunities: start by understanding the rules of the new world, then review the customer journey your clients go through, and realign business model and marketing strategy to effectively engage your digital customers.

In such a complex scenario, if you don’t have a process, any discussion about digital transformation remains just that, a plain talk. While investing in new technologies (social media, cloud, big data, virtual reality just to name a few) is critical, it is not enough to ensure that you truly implement a digital mind shift.

Increasing investments doesn’t itself equate real change, when there is no deep evolution in company vision, brand identity, employee engagement and infrastructure.

Now that the smartphone has - finally - become the first reference screen, digital disruption implies thinking and acting mobile first. We see three great challenges here:

  • Change company culture and routines;
  • Invest time and money in new tools, processes and people;
  • Rebuild the digital customer experience from scratch.

Expectations are higher than ever, engagement is even more difficult and too many marketers struggle to connect with customers and create enduring relationships.

The first step to build a proper improvement path is to put digital customers where they ask to be: at the very core of your strategy. Once you understand that, you are ready to learn the 6 pillars of transformation to improve customer experience.

GENERATION C

Since we have entered the Age of the Customer, traditional customers have been replaced by digital customers. They are connected, empowered and demanding. The smartphone is their way to access the Internet and social media the primary source of information. There is no marketing strategy for the Generation C without innovative technologies and social relations. Map your digital customer journey and make sure to create a proper experience to add value and earn their trust.

MOBILE SHIFT

As Google recently stated in an eye-opening study, "what used to be our predictable, daily sessions online have been replaced by many fragmented interactions that now occur instantaneously. There are hundreds of these moments every day" and they decide the success/failure of your mobile engagement strategy. Context-aware content, multiple touchpoints and personalization become critical to reach your clients mobile-first.

DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY

Innovation is the life-blood any customer-centric company. The reason is very simple: customer behaviors usually evolve faster than companies. The ability to respond as quickly as possible is what makes the difference between winning brands and average brands. Connected people crave new experiences: smartphone, Internet of Things, wearable technology, smartwatch, mobile payments and so on.

BRAND PERSONA

What makes a memorable brand? Products, tradition, innovation, identity? Your brand is valued not only for what it gives (products, services) but also - and above all - for what it is: intangible meanings and archetypes. Great storytelling is the foundation of engagement and loyalty. Know your true why; master your story; shape a narrative involving story, image, identity and people; build on it your content marketing and digital strategy.

PERSONALIZED EXPERIENCE

Given the previous pillars, it is easy to see why personalization is the ultimate goal that all companies should aim to achieve. An amazing shopping experience, specially in the retail industry, is what converts desires into needs. If you want to produce a sincere emotional response in customers/prospects, start by customizing your marketing to match their interests, tailoring communications based on customers’ known preferences and desires.

BIG DATA MARKETING

The key to a successful transformation is the deep awareness of the importance of data in the planning and execution of a strategy. You are now able to collect meaningful information; you just need to learn how to convert data into actionable insights and prioritize improvements. Track and measure your results, to extract reliable strategies from numbers and statistics (i.e. using an analytics dashboard).

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in September 2014 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy with the latest trends and advancements of digital customer experience.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: How Customer Obsession Will Drive Your Digital Transformation

To help you provide a strategic advantage to your organization, Neosperience has crafted the first DCX 7-Steps Checklist, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation. Download the free guide here:

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These 3 Top Digital Trends Will Change Your Retail Marketing Strategy

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At first glance, the fundamentals of retail business have not changed so much in the last fifty years. Someone sells products/services, and someone makes a purchase. If you have a closer look, though, you will see how deeply everything has changed.

We have witnessed a revolution - made possible by disruptive technologies that blur the distinction between the physical and digital world. Moreover, the journey is far from being finished. Major digital trends push to change retail industry even more deeply, from 2015 on.

Arguably, the pace of this evolution will increase in the next years, driven by the spread of mobile devices and the adoption of smart objects, namely the Internet of Things. The input (products) and the output (conversion) will still be the same, but all that is in the middle is completely different: the customer journey that connects brands and customers.

One debate is about the future of shopping. It is pretty obvious that the retail customer experience, shaken by technology, is destined to change, and it is already transforming. However, what kind of evolution will we face?

Retailers are living in a moment of transition, somewhat stuck between traditional store patterns and their digital transformation. Customers, for their part, show no doubt in embracing the new world shaped by constant connectivity and segmented by the rhythm of the smartphone.

In 2015, customer expectations have reached new heights when it comes to shopping across channels and devices. We are running towards a day when we can assume “100 percent of shoppers will be connected 100 percent of the time.” (Deloitte Digital).

Given the premises, a one-sided approach to retail strategy is not inadequate to face the real challenge of our times. In other words, attract and engage customers that live online and can choose from a (potentially) infinite set of suppliers with a tap.

When we say that an omni-channel approach (with a mobile-first vision) is the only viable strategy, we are saying the obvious. However, the obvious seems to be still a challenge for too many retailers.

To bridge the smartphone with the shelves, you need to craft a truly digital customer journey, rather than continue to consider e-commerce, proximity marketing, behavioral targeting and the physical store as different tools.

Most of all, you need to keep your eyes wide open to trace the seeds of evolution before your competitors do; ready to adopt inventions that revolutionize and strengthen your retail customer experience.

At the start of this year, Google shared - on its think-tank website Think With Google - an article that described seven key digital trends for retail technology:

  1. Seamless touchpoints - Customer’s life can be divided into micro-moments, mostly spent on connected devices. Retailers need to preside all touch points of the customer journey, to allow clients to move seamlessly between devices.

  1. Borderless retail - Commerce has no geographical borders anymore. Thanks to the Internet and E-Commerce, your competitor is not just your neighbor. Competition is a worldwide game: a threat but also a huge opportunity.

  1. WWW Delivery - WWW now stands for ‘what I want, when I want, where I want it’. Customers demand that you can fulfill their needs in real-time, on any device and across all channels. Retail goes way beyond the four wall of the store.

  1. Personalization - When commerce becomes ‘me-commerce’, retailers must learn to analyze mobile data and recognize customer behavior, to deliver personalized experience, and tailor-cut offers and discounts.

  1. Service and experience - While the product is still the purpose of shopping, there is another critical element that you should never forget. The experience. The ‘how’ has become (at least) as important as the ‘what’.

  1. Store revolution - Even with the competition of online firms, the traditional store will not disappear anytime soon. It will evolve, however. Retail spaces will get from places of transactions to places of experience, to showcase products and engage consumers.

  1. Social commerce - Social platforms are essential to connect with customers, and the advent of social commerce was unavoidable. The challenge for your brand is to show up in the social feed with the right content at the right moment.

This is what Google predicted months ago. Some trends have become a factor in retail marketing strategy, some will come soon, others will probably fade away like meteors.

Now that we are in the middle of the race, it is interesting to see how far have these trends took shape, and what other trends are taking shape on the horizon. While we recognize the value of the seven trends listed by Google, we want to add three more digital trends that will play an important role in the retail experience of the future.

MILLENNIAL CUSTOMER

Two figures show the value of millennial customers: By 2020, roughly one-quarter of customers will have been born after 1980; their purchasing power will rise to 1.4 billion dollars spent every year. Well informed, always connected and willing to spend, millennials are the most powerful force in Western economies and require a renewed retail customer experience.

PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS

The pervasiveness of the technology produces a huge amount of data that companies can scan and analyze to understand their customers. Predictive analytics makes it possible to study customer behavior, and identify patterns to anticipate needs and wants, starting from previous actions and habits. If employed in correlation with machine learning, the predictive analysis may finally give a purpose to the Big data buzz.

REINVENTED LOYALTY

As a direct consequence of the previous point, technology rewrites the rules of customer engagement, reinventing loyalty in the name of behavioral targeting. Proximity marketing will raise to a whole new level, stepping from generic push notifications to one-to-one communication. Mobile app development will stop being a simple ‘addendum’ to become the ultimate key to customer’s heart.

It is clear that only by opting for a digital perspective will retailers maintain and grow in the face of technological (and social) disruption.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: 10 Inventions That Will Revolutionize Retail Customer Experience

To help you provide a strategic advantage to your organization, Neosperience has crafted the first DCX 7-Steps Checklist, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation. Download the free guide here:
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5 Common App Marketing Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them)

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There’s an app for that.” Five years later, the slogan used by Apple to launch the iPhone 3GS is still more than true. Apps are now so important that mobile app development has become a very steady competition.

Apps are a whole new form of engagement; the challenge is to remain relevant and create meaningful experiences for customers. It is vital that you learn how to avoid the most common app marketing mistakes, which often lead to overspending and disappointing results.

With the evolution of mobile devices - last, but not least, the smartwatch - it is now clear that mobile apps are more than just a trend. The prediction that apps would make mobile browsers useless has proved true, as they account now for 86% of the entire time spent on mobile.

Having replaced browsers as the main door to access the Internet, apps show unique capabilities in enabling brands to build relevant connections with digital customers. And they are here to stay.

One the one hand, mobile technology has created a bridge between the physical and digital worlds, allowing a complete customer experience. On the other hand, it has fragmented life into a continuous sequence of micro moments, mediated by digital screens and driven by specific intents.

As a consequence of both forces, the landscape of content consumption and the patterns of purchase behaviors have changed. So deeply that many marketers still can’t give a sense to this transformation.

In a few short years apps have become our favorite tool for all activities: reading the news, watching a video, sharing experiences and opinions on social media, finding the best deals and buying our favorite products.

Simply put, stores are so crowded that there is an app for everything. But mobile marketing is still far from being used to the full potential. It is the old story: customers evolve faster than brands do.

While omnichannel, cross-device and digital-first are not arcane and obscure terms anymore, too many businesses still don’t get the point of app marketing. They feel they need an app to complete their mobile strategy, but they lack a clear vision.

Just developing a mobile app will not automatically guarantee you success. And even having it downloaded and installed on users’ phones means nothing, if they don’t use it. Remember that the average app user has 36 apps installed, and 25% of apps are never used.

As a marketer, mobile is a very powerful opportunity for you to connect with your customers and foster engagement. However, since few apps get the highest share of attention (only 26% are used daily), mistakes can be overly harmful.

Here we have tracked down the 5 most common app marketing mistakes, to understand how you can avoid them and recover from troubles.

BUILD WITHOUT A MARKETING PLAN

This is mistake ‘level zero’. In 2017, app downloads will hit 108 billion, but this number doesn’t mean you will reach thousands like magic. How can you be sure that your app will survive the competition? By developing a proper marketing plan to launch it and assist it across all stages of its evolution.

Find a strong reason people should download and use your app. Create a distribution plan, and make it easy to find it online (stores, landing page, advertising, social media). Build a monetization strategy (subscriptions, in-app purchase, ads, freemium).

TREAT MOBILE LIKE DESKTOP

Too many companies develop a mobile experience that is, in fact, a revised (and resized) version of the desktop experience. If you think that you can handle a mobile app this way, then you are on the road to failure. An app is something completely different, in terms of functionalities, UX and customer journey.

Desktop and mobile are distinct marketing tools, distinct worlds. Don’t try to shrink a website down to the small screen of the smartphone, but focus on shaping a great experience. The key to success is to create an app that makes customer’s life easier, with a consistent user experience.

USE THE WEBSITE AS AN APP

One of the worst things you could do is to submit to the stores an app that is not an app at all. It may seem nonsense, but it is something that happens more often than you think; for example in the case of apps that are mere launchers for the mobile version of the branded website. The best way to tell the world that you know nothing about mobile.

App stores are so full of alternatives that customers don’t really need your app. A native app experience is a must-have, not just an option. Publishing an app that has nothing more than webviews communicates that you are there ‘just because’, without a strong reason.

TAKE CUSTOMERS FOR GRANTED

Do you still believe that the number of downloads is the KPI that defines the success of your mobile campaign? Years ago, getting your app installed could have been a great accomplishment in itself. Not now. Today, the download is just the beginning of the story, and taking customers for granted is a risky move you want to avoid at all costs.

One number says it all: Nearly 90% of users discard and uninstall an app because the brand fail to engage them. Never assume that people will come back just because it’s you. Even strong brands fail in the mobile game if they don’t develop a customer engagement plan to improve retention in the medium/long term.

IGNORE CUSTOMER BEHAVIOR

Even when users give you a chance, install your app and use it repeatedly, there is still one link you can’t miss. A branded app is a unique opportunity to listen to your customers, study their behavior and engage them in a two-way communication. And you could never do it if you forget to implement feedback system and analytics dashboard.

We are at the dawn of a new era, marked by the relevance of predictive analytics for marketing purposes. If you understand what people want from your app, you can keep them coming back over and over. How they use your app, and how they navigate it, will tell you whether your customers feel engaged or not.

Mobile apps are an incredibly powerful way to improve customer experience, connect with digital customers and drive your value. To be successful, however, it’s important to plan your marketing efforts carefully so that you can take full advantage of the mobile mind shift.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Top 10 KPIs To Measure Mobile App Development Success

To help you provide a strategic advantage to your organization, Neosperience has crafted the first DCX 7-Steps Checklist, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation. Download the free guide here:

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Mobile Engagement: Google’s Micro Moments Change The Rules

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Do you remember the Mobilegeddon? In the last two months, Google has announced several updates to the search engine algorithm and AdWords: all in the name of the mobile mind shift.

The updates were in response to the impact of the smartphone on the way customers make purchase decisions. Google wants you to think in terms of Micro Moments, ‘in the moment’ opportunities that will change the rules of mobile engagement.

There was a clear statement behind the mobile-friendly update and the new image-format ads: mobile devices have completely disrupted the way people communicate and connect with others, products and brands.

What used to be our predictable, daily sessions online have been replaced by many fragmented interactions that now occur instantaneously. There are hundreds of these moments every day - checking the time, texting a spouse, chatting with friends on social media.” (Google)

As the smartphone becomes an indispensable companion in our daily lives, we are witnessing a change in the way people search for information and decide what product/service fits their needs the best.

Think about it: when you need to find a quick solution to your problem or to scan deeper into a certain topic, the first thing you do is to reach for your smartphone. It is now pure instinct, especially for younger generations.

This is the Age of the Customer in full display: we don’t just go online, we live online.

How will this trend affect different industries (retail and consumer brands above all)? Consider these insights, collected by Google researchers:

  • 91% of smartphone users turn to their phone to look for instant ideas while doing a given task;
  • 82% of users turn to their smartphone while they’re in a store, to decide which product to buy and influence the purchase decision;
  • 62% of users are more likely to take action right away toward solving a new task because they have a smartphone;
  • 90% of smartphone users have used their phone to make progress toward a long term goal or multi-step process while ‘out and about’;
  • 69% of online customers agree that the quality, timing, or relevance of a company's message influences their perception of a brand.

Rather than spending long periods of time to research on a desktop or laptop, we now turn to our mobile devices in a continuous series of small sessions. A completely new customer behavior. The challenge for brands, then, is to be visible and reachable whenever customers pick up their phones during these moments.

Fragmented interactions create multiple touch points across all channels. You can’t leave them out when planning your digital marketing strategy. Customer experience turns into mobile customer experience, and the idea of a linear customer journey is now dead and gone.

The customer journey map, shaped by mobile connectivity, is fractured into hundreds of real-time micro moments, driven by specific intents. Each one is a critical opportunity for your brand to engage customers and guide decisions.

Micro moments, as defined by Google, basically unfold through a set of "I want" demands:

I want to know
I want to go
I want to do
I want to buy

 

They're all micro moments, and they’re the new battleground for brands.” (Google)

With these very words Google has launched the new website Micro-Moments, a place to gather all insights on customers’ mobile behavior, and help marketers understand the opportunities and challenges of connecting with customers when it matters most, with relevant messages.

Brian Solis, one of the first media guru to talk about Google’s micro moments, has clearly stated on Forbes that micro moments are the real game changers for both customers and brands:

Here’s the thing, in these micro-moments you are present or hidden, engaging or disingenuous, helpful or inconvenient. Customers expect answers and direction their way, in the right time, on the device and in the channel they are using.

After defining the ‘Zero Moment of Truth’ - that moment when the customer journey begins with a search - Google takes a further step into the fragmentation of our life as human beings and customers. Breaking the map into smaller, decisive fragments.

Here’s the battlefield you may want to control to become customers’ top choice. The constant flow of communication makes it difficult to differentiate yourself from competitors. Shorter attention-span make it even harder to acquire customers and retain their loyalty:

Google’s concept of micro-moments represent the new frontier (and reality) of digital marketing. It’s all real-time and everything is on demand.” (Brian Solis)

What can you do to ensure that your brand is there when customers need it?

 

Map the Customer Journey

Map to learn exactly what stages people go through when interacting with your brand, starting with the Zero Moment of Truth.

 

 

Trace Key Micro Moments

Use the map to understand those moments when people want to find info, make purchases, learn about products.

 

Identify Customers’ Needs

For any given micro moment, discover the needs, desires and wants that drive customers' behavior. Put yourself into their point of view.

 

Use Big Data to Improve

All the data you gather about customers with mobile technology have the primary purpose to find what you might be missing and should improve.

 

Deliver Content With Context

You can leverage mobile devices to deliver the right content at the right time. Personalized experiences are the key to survive in de-massified markets.

 

Always Exceed Expectations

Study new ways to meet and exceed customers' expectation. As Walt Disney once said, "Whatever you do, do it so well that people will want to come back".

 

Test & Optimize the Journey

Find your set of KPIs and measure results constantly. The only way to know if you're delivering a great experience is to improve while dealing with customers.

 

If the future of society really resembles the picture created by Google, the destiny of your brand identity and digital customer experience starts with identifying these pivotal micro moments. To discover how to take instant action and offer instant gratification to your customers.

"Micro moments happen all the time and all along the consumer decision journey. And they’re becoming the new battleground for brands – where hearts, minds and dollars are won." (Google)

Here's Google livestream event about Micro Moments, with Matt Lawson (Managing Director, Ads Marketing at Google).

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Google's 3 Tech Trends For 2015 To Improve Digital Customer Experience

 

To help you ensure a strategic advantage to your organization, learn about the DCX 7-Steps Checklist crafted by Neosperience, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation.
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Top 10 KPIs To Measure Mobile App Development Success

mobile_app_Neosperience

The mobile app market is expected to reach 36.7 billion dollars in revenues by the end of 2015. With so much at stake, competition is rapidly evolving into a fierce battle to conquer users’ attention.

With app stores rapidly becoming crowded, how can you measure the success of your efforts? Mobile app development is not just a matter of downloads anymore. You need more specific KPIs to understand what’s going on.

Obviously, downloads are the first and most eye-catching key performance metric any company will analyze. They tell you how many people have chosen your app and whether or not your launch strategy was really effective. Like all other marketing-related fields, though, a single number means nothing without context.

Many years ago, when app stores were much less competitive, getting your app installed could be considered a great accomplishment in itself. Today, it is just the first step of the mobile customer journey, and it does not guarantee success in the long term. Too many users install apps that immediately fall by the wayside, forgotten and neglected.

A business development plan for the Age of the Customer can’t do without a customer-facing app, to bridge the online and mobile experiences. That said, the number of downloads does not indicate whether or not a mobile app campaign has been successful.

Yet marketers often still focus this KPI, spending all their budget in huge one-shot advertising campaigns (maybe even on traditional media) rather than planning a long-term customer engagement strategy.

According to a new research from eMarketer, mobile ad spending will reach 28.72 billion dollars in the United States in 2015; 3 billion will come from mobile application install ads, up 80 percent from 2014.

Considered in a broader digital marketing perspective, a well-designed app is a unique opportunity to add value to your strategy and instill the idea of a cutting edge brand, unlocking the power of a truly amazing digital customer experience.

While a mobile-friendly website is still considered the most important business card, in many respects it is not the top priority anymore. Apps now account for 86% of the time spent on mobile devices, replacing web browsers as the primary door to access the Internet.

In a world where the smartphone has become an extension of the body (particularly for younger users, the so-called millennials), an app should be never treated as a simple porting of the official website.

Your brand will be in the hands of users practically 24/7; your products and services will be one tap away in the purchase moment. This is an opportunity you should not waste. To ensure success, your app should bring something fresh and exciting to the table, enhancing the mobile customer experience and stimulate emotional connection with the brand.

With the launch of other disruptive mobile devices (i.e. the smartwatch, with Apple Watch and Android Wear already battling), and the connectivity of cars, objects, houses and stores, new apps will invade big and small digital screens.

This trend forces developers and marketers to adapt their output to the needs of tech-savvy customers. The number of downloads, needless to say, is totally inadequate when considered as the only KPI to measure engagement and loyalty.

To optimize the reach of your app, you need something more. What? More specific and dedicated KPIs. Every app is different, and there is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution, a set of key performance indicators working with no distinctions.

You need to pick the ones that fit your app. The ones that fit your business goals. And measure them in a given period of time. Here we share the top 10 KPIs to measure mobile app development success, according to Neosperience.

ACTIVE USERS

To download an app (specially when free) it’s the easiest thing in the world. What happens next is critical: how many of those that have installed your app actually use it? Monthly and daily active users tell you the truth about how much the world loves your app.

VISIT FREQUENCY

How many times users open the app and interact with your contents? The fact that they have the app installed in their smartphone is useless if they just open it once and for all. Hold frequency in check; the usage during the first week is a plausible signal of what will happen in the future.

SESSION TIME

The length of a single session is a performance indicator you should always consider in correlation with the number of active users in a given time and the depth of visit. This is even more true for gaming apps or section dedicated to the gamification dynamics.

DEPTH OF VISIT

This is an important engagement metric. The depth of visit is the number of screens or pages visited in one session. This information gives you two critical insights: how engaging and useful your content is; and how seamless and smooth is the experience you actually deliver.

CONVERSIONS

When the primary objective of your app is to sell or convert (i.e. retail app, fashion branded app and e-commerce), you should measure conversions in a given time. A conversion can be a purchase, a subscription or registration, depending on who you are. But remember that lifetime value is always more than a one-shot sale.

REVENUE PER USER

The potential of a loyal user base is pictured by a metric too often overlooked: revenue per user. This number indicates the overall value of an individual to your app business; not just in-app purchases (the Holy Grail of mobile marketing these days), but the app spending across all other digital channels.

SOCIAL SHARES

If your app is content oriented, in-app purchases are not the only KPI you might want to monitor. Mobile customers, more often than not, connect the app they install with their social media account. Social shares indicate interest in the content you deliver, and are perfect to increase word-of-mouth and build a trustful community.

RETENTION RATE

When you plan a loyalty strategy, one sale is nothing compared to repeat sales. Customer retention is cheaper than acquisition but harder to achieve. In a mobile market where a roughly 65% of users stop using an app no more than three months after install, retention rate in a given time is perfect to tell you how much your customers are engaged.

ACQUISITION COST

To know what’s the cost of customer acquisition, you need to understand where existing users found your app. App stores, in fact, are just one of many channels to promote your app. Search engine advertising, organic search, in-app referrals or social networks: different tools with different costs. This metric shows you the most efficient way to reach your potential audience.

USER EXPERIENCE

You can have the hottest app in the whole Internet, but it’s customer happiness that ultimately proclaims your success. And happiness is strictly connected with the user experience. Defective UI, bugs and crashes keep users away. Always check reviews and ratings to understand what customers think and what needs a fine tuning.

Success is marked by having loyal users that are regularly engaging with the app: spending their time to visit the different sections, converting, making purchases, playing with it. In the race to mobile engagement the app install is only the opening sprint. Find the right partner and develop a long-term omni-channel customer experience strategy.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: 5 Mobile Customer Experience Lessons From 2015 SXSW
To help you provide a strategic advantage to your organization, Neosperience has crafted the first DCX 7-Steps Checklist, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation. Download the free guide here:
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3 Trends Linking Digital Marketing Strategy To Mobile Technology

mobile_digital_marketing

Two years ago Gartner predicted that marketers will spend more than IT on technology innovation by 2017. As we get closer to the day of that prophecy, is the shift really happening?

While we won’t face a transfer of power from CIOs to CMOs very soon, there is no doubt that marketing and technology are now more connected than ever. So strictly linked, in fact, that digital marketing strategy is not even conceivable without disruptive technologies.

Let’s start with numbers: today just about 50 per cent of tech spending outside of the IT department comes from marketing budget. According to Gartner, this value will grow till an abundant 80 per cent in the next three years.

The reason is evident: with customers’ lives so dependent on digital screen and mobile devices, marketers are increasingly relying on technology to drive better results. In the Age of the Customer, where information is readily available, companies strive to build engagement across all touch points of the digital marketing funnel.

In the last decade, the way we live and communicate has deeply changed, and so the way we make purchases:

In a world gone mobile, brands must think and act digital first. There is no other way to connect with empowered customers, whose life rhythm is marked by smartphones, wearables and all sorts of mobile devices. This is the essence of digital customer experience.

For your company, technology is no longer something that just drives business' infrastructure; it is a driving force behind acquisition, marketing strategy, engagement and loyalty. In this perspective, technology is expected to be part of the fabric of your brand identity. The page you write your story on.

The correlation between marketing and technology is more than just statistics and analytics. From online inbound activities to traditional awareness and attraction tactics, all things marketing are now made more effective by digital tools:

  • SEO and content management tools;

  • Social media and community platforms;

  • Web analytics and tracking dashboards;

  • Big Data analysis and all Cloud features;

  • Online and mobile advertising;

  • E-commerce platforms;

  • Email marketing, coupons and leaflets.

The keyword to understand why you need to improve your digital marketing strategy is ‘customer experience’.

In many industries, hypercompetition has eroded traditional product and service advantages, making customer experience the new competitive battlefield.

To stay with Gartner, one of their most cited predictions is that customer experience will be the primary basis of competition among brands by 2016. The improvement of the customer journey becomes priority and, while the entire organization should be aligned around customer-centricity, marketers are directly involved in the management of the experience.

Traditional - analog, we would say - patterns are not capable to ensure that your efforts will reach the long-awaited results. The ever-changing scenario of digital transformation demands new strategies, and new strategies require disruptive technologies.

What can we expect in the next few years? Here are 3 major trends already rewriting the way brands plan and deliver their digital marketing strategies.

THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE COMES FIRST

If all organizations will really compete primarily on the battlefield of customer experience, it is pretty clear where marketers will put great part of their budget spent in technology. The aim is to attract, convert and delight customers; if success is driven by the ability to exceed customer expectations, marketing and technology need to realign to provide a great customer journey, wherever they are and whatever channel they are using.

THE INTERNET OF THINGS IS MARKETING

If there is an industry feeling the pressure of digital challenge, that is consumer products, retail and distribution. The idea of store and physical location is on the turn, and every single invention could change retail customer experience forever: e-commerce, branded apps, iBeacon, push notifications, Apple Watch and mobile payments. The Internet of Things is the next frontier of the marketing reinvention, and innovative engagement will pass through the intercommunication of connected objects.

MARKETING BECOMES PEOPLE-BASED

Customer obsessed companies plan and execute their marketing starting from people, not brand. Marketing is not for products but for customers. Content personalization is the key if you want to be perceived as innovative and exclusive - especially in the fashion and luxury industry. Technology will help marketers to collect data and connect with clients: gamification dynamics, context aware contents, virtual and augmented reality, personalized offers.

Linking marketing and technology is not an end in itself. To increase sales and deliver business results, you will need to put all pieces together and ultimately create an amazing, innovative and delightful digital customer experience, across all channels and devices.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Virtual Reality To Improve Customer Customer Experience: 4 Real World Examples

To help you ensure a strategic advantage to your organization, learn about the DCX 7-Steps Checklist crafted by Neosperience, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation.

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company-culture

The single most important challenge for all brands of the Age of the Customer? The development of a positive digital customer experience. 71% of companies already understand that traditional differentiators alone are not enough to guarantee engagement and loyalty.

So where do successful experiences come from? Company culture, that’s the answer. You can invest all your budget in technological improvement, but if your company has not a shared customer centric culture all other activities will ultimately fail.

In this moment of fast and continuous revolutions, you may believe that the key factor is how you implement and adapt innovative technologies and devices to your business needs.

Smartphone, Oculus Rift, Apple Watch: they all reshape the connection between a brand and customers but in the end they are just the tip of an iceberg, with unseen roots in your employees.

PEOPLE HAVE THE POWER

In the era of mobile-mind shift, your employees can determine whether you stay top of mind or disappear from customers’ mind when the purchase moment comes.

A true digital transformation can only be achieved when you become conscious that:

  • Your customers are more critical than your brand;

  • Your employees are your first customers;

  • Your culture is the foundation all your marketing efforts are built on.

There is a direct correlation between the culture within an organization and the experience that customers have when interacting with that organization. Culture defines the behavior of your employees, and employees deliver your value system to customers, in their day by day interactions.

Culture and experience are strictly linked: the actual experience you deliver will tell you everything you need to know about what is working and what needs to be improved as soon as possible.

As long as your focus stays on traditional differentiators, you probably won’t feel the urge to improve and share your company culture. But, again, product, price and advertising can’t help you in markets where all other companies are moving to compete on the basis of the customer experience.

START WITH YOUR EMPLOYEES

New channels, innovative IT structures, back office efficiency can do nothing until all branches of the company move together towards a customer centric approach, from top management to front office operators.

Whenever decision makers only care about product improvement, big spending campaigns and behind the scenes technology, this choice will be visible in the journey map, and will result in a bad customer experience.

A strategic innovation always requires a deep change in company culture. Simply throwing money at it will likely not yield the type of culture needed to actually drive engagement.

As Brian Solis once said, “the entire service-profit chain begins with, and absolutely depends on, engaged employees.” You can have the most honorable values but you will never be recognized as unique if nobody knows or cares about them.

To improve and deliver amazing customer experience, start with the employee experience. To retain customers’ attention and loyalty, start with employee loyalty.

If you don’t take care of such a critical matter, your employees won’t feel your values as their values; in one word, they won’t be engaged.

Dissatisfaction always impacts on the outcome; when that happens, no matter how clever your business plan is, the whole customer experience will end up being faulty and inadequate.

CULTURE IS NOT A PROGRAM

Culture is more than just one-shot projects or programs coming from outside. Companies already spend huge budgets on employee engagement programs - a total projected to top $1.5 billion dollars in the next years (Bersin & Associates).

The result? Actual employee engagement has reached the lowest point, falling down to 13% (Gallup). Take an internal survey and you will determine the perception of your people in regards to brand values and employee empowerment. As a consequence, you will find out the truth about the state of your customer experience.

To deliver the best experience, across all touch points and on any device, you need to to become customer-centric on all levels. The idea is not to replace good employees that may not be ready, but to transform them into agents of internal change.

How can you reboot your company culture so that employees and customers become part of the same customer journey map? Forbes has traced 5 tips to improve your customer experience, starting from improving yourself.

  1. Hire for values not skill sets - remember that70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.

  2. Make your leadership visible - leaders should never hide in their offices. A message spoken by leaders will deeply resonate with your team.

  3. Reward employees to make customers happy - companies with stronger employee retention boast greater levels of customer retention. Gamification can help you with this.

  4. Rely on social media communication - the recent Facebook Messenger evolution teaches that brands can now manage their relation with customers taking advantage of the powerful two-way communication on social networks.

  5. Share customer centricity with everyone - without customers there is no business at all. All departments should share this common vision and put their efforts to improve the experience. The time of profit for profit’s sake are really over.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Discover Your Superpowers And Grow From Relevance To Exponentiality

Company culture and employee empowerment have a great impact on customer experience. This is the reason why we included both in the the DCX 7-Steps Checklist, a useful guide with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation. You can download the free paper here:

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