4 Gamification Strategies For Business – Can You Find Yours?

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"Games are the new normal." These words, pronounced by Al Gore in 2011, are even more true years later. Today, thanks to the spread of mobile devices, games are everywhere, as a stratified layer over our daily life.

Talking about games as a business tool, we do not just imply the Pokémon craze; we also consider the idea of applying game dynamics and thinking to non-game applications. Gamification strategies, in a few words.

In the last decade, gamification has established itself as a powerful tool that uses a combination of internal and external rewards to drive both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. As a result, it can help you address your target more successfully to achieve multiple business results.

There is still little knowledge, however, about gamification and a lot of perplexity and hesitation about how to get started. The main reason for skepticism is that, when people hear the word ‘gamification’, they often just hear the sound of the first element, the ‘game’.

They immediately think of a quick, fun one-shot initiative for short-term entertainment purposes, aimed at generating some word-of-mouth and awareness.

Also, the fact that there are so many companies adopting a gamified system and missing the mark may lead to the conclusion that these mechanics do not work with complex organizations.

The truth is hard to swallow: in most cases, failure is the result of underlying issues within the organization itself. That is, using gamification as a set-it-and-forget-it tool, without fully understanding how it works and, even worse, without a clear goal and a coherent strategy.

We have stressed out so many times the importance of game dynamics in business contests, and yet we have to admit that lots of marketing professionals still do not take it seriously. They do not see it as a valid alternative to traditional methods, in the a priori belief that gamification is quite the same as games, ignoring that it comes in many shapes and forms.

There are many online blogs and resources where you can find complete lists of mistakes you must avoid when using gamification for your business purposes.

Most of them can be summed up in one: Losing the perspective and use gamification like it was the objective rather than the tool to reach it, and then subsequently end up having a mere technological exercise that does not serve your business purposes.

It is one thing to apply gamification from scratch as a one-shot, just to do something different and generate some word of mouth. It is quite another to implement it thoughtfully, looking at consistency and dealing with long-term goals.

In a certain way, it is like confusing the method with the methodology: as any other business practice, to be effective gamification must be based on a coherent overall paradigm – that is, your approach, your goal-based strategy.

Considered with the right approach, gamification is one of the most promising areas in marketing and is positioned to become a highly significant trend over the next years. And there are some good reasons.

VERSATILITY

As a method, it is up to you to include gamification in a proper strategy. So, you can apply it in various areas of your company:

- Internally, to motivate your employees and sales team improving their performance;

- Externally, to drive your customers' behavior delighting them with engaging dynamics and interactions.

MULTIPLE GOALS

In a world where creativity and innovation are increasingly crucial for competitiveness, and where the ‘fifth’ p - people - of marketing has become the ‘first’, the gamification represents a great the best way to bring your brand and customers together.

Whether people means your employees or your customers, all you have to do is to select specific actions and rewards – the two most important elements of gamification - and combine them creatively to reflect and give voice to your brand values, engaging people with diverse activities simultaneously.

PERSONALIZATION

Today, the employee and customer experience has replaced the product/service as the main element of differentiation in crowded markets. Digital customers do not just want to buy things; they want to live experiences. They want personalized experiences.

Thanks to psychological and motivational theories behind game dynamics and mechanics, using gamification you can decide to incentive specific actions, activities and behaviors in specific audiences.

Take your buyer personas' characteristics as 'filters' to help you choose the most efficient dynamic for every customer segment.

However, as said before, to confuse the method with the methodology is the ever-present risk with gamification, and it ends up with a mere technological exercise. The first step to avoid it is to clarify where you want to position within the vast world of gamification.

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That is why a model - such as the one we have sketched above - might be useful if you are considering gamification as the next step or a future step in your marketing strategy.

Analyzing a set of successful case studies in the gamification landscape, we have identified four main categories of strategies. They can be inserted in a two-by-two matrix, formed by crossing two fundamental elements:

Actions. What kinds of actions, activities, and behaviors enable to participate and succeed? Do they have an impact - more or less direct - on your bottom line, or not?

Rewards. What kinds of premiums and benefits do you offer in return for these actions and behaviors? Are they about your products and services, or not?

By crossing these two elements - actions and rewards - and considering as variables the different forms they can take, we get four broad typologies that might help you choose where you want to position.

In most cases, companies decide for what we call the focused strategy. Being "Focused" in this context means to adopt a business-oriented approach with both actions and rewards, encouraging desired behaviors that have a - more or less direct - positive impact on your bottom line, and giving visibility to your products or services at the same time, putting them as rewards.

For example, Urban Outfitters’ customers receive points when they use the app to upload and share photos of Urban Outfitters merchandise on their social networks. They can exchange points to receive rewards such as designing their outfit or hold their own fashion show at an Urban Outfitters store.

Through a series of mini challenges, that include tweeting about a purchase, using a certain hashtag, or visiting a particular store, customers receive rewards for their interactivity, including badges, access to merchandise, and early sales notices.

Rewarded actions can be of various kinds, more ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ depending, in general, to what extent they involve money. The more 'soft' they are, the more they take distance from giving you a profit, but can come close to other means of outcomes and make your brand more human.

Look for example at DICK'S Sporting Goods, a brand that rewards users for their healthy lifestyle. With its app, DICK'S Sporting Goods allows users to earn points for achieving activity goals, motivating and encouraging them to reach their personal goals by offering special savings for being active.

Take also the Nike Hong Kong #Makeitcount Campaign: participants complete “missions” in a variety of activities such as running, skateboarding, playing football, walking a pet or attending a dance class. They then share a photo or status on Facebook, earning points that they can exchange for accessories, clothing, accessories, equipment and tickets to sporting events.

These two are typical examples of the "Engaging" gamification strategy because promoted and rewarded activities are related to people’s daily life, not to your brand.

Instead, the "Generous" type does exactly the opposite, encouraging desirable actions with a much more people-oriented approach in the rewards system, and thus giving users the opportunity to choose from a wide range of benefits, not just your products or services.

What about the fourth type? Unlike all others, here both actions and rewards are unrelated to your business. “What will I gain?”, you may ask. This fourth typology is the creation the genuine experience, a game where you are delighting and "Unconventional".

Employee engagement and customer care initiatives - whose primary objective is to build a stronger trusting relationship - are excellent examples of this gamification type in practice.

This is not an unexplored topic, and online it is easy to find use cases from small and big companies that have successfully adopted gamification for very different purposes.

You just have to find your inner reasons and understand which types of mechanics resonate better with your customers or employees.

And remember that "it is play that helps us do serious things better." (Jake Orlowitz, ‎Head of The Wikipedia Library - ‎Wikimedia Foundation)

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Pokemon Go – How Retailers Can Capitalize On The Power Of Games

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Hordes of walkers move towards the same target. They are looking for something, and willing to fight to catch it. This is not the plot of a post-apocalyptic drama. This is what is happening right now with Pokemon Go.

In less than two weeks, the brand-new mobile game of the Nintendo franchise has gone from an experiment to a social phenomenon, to a business case. A story that every retail brand should listen carefully.

Pokemon Go, developed by Niantic, is the demonstration that, in the social age, mobile games are a winning marketing tool. The whole thing is quite ironic if you think about it. Nintendo, in fact, has long awaited before entering the mobile app arena, because it was scared that the smartphone would affect its core business, the home gaming consoles.

This is the same distrust that we can somehow perceive in those companies that rely on the physical store for large part of their revenues. It is the fear of an innovation that might transform into a revolution. And yet, love it or hate it, you have most certainly heard of the Pokemon game by now.

Since the app was released, it has already reached more users than popular dating app Tinder. It has outranked Facebook in user engagement and is a more popular search term than YouPorn on Google (now, that’s a news!). More, it is set to surge past Twitter in daily active users on Android devices and is ranked ahead of Instagram and Snapchat in Google Play.

Thanks to the incredible - and unexpected - spread of the mobile app, the parent company Nintendo has already cashed in more than 7.5 billion dollars by now. Smart retailers are wisely following the trend, and they are trying to understand how to capitalize the fact that people are forced to move around the city to compete in the game.

If we had to find the one single reason why Pokemon Go is having such a remarkable success, it would be exactly the ability to fuse the digital and physical worlds. Despite not being a true augmented reality application, the game is using this technology to integrate the fantastic elements into the real-life outline.

Users play as Pokemon trainers, and they have to stroll around to search for new monsters to catch and add to their collection. They can then train them in proper gyms, or upgrade their abilities visiting the PokeStops, geographically designated points within Google Maps.

One of the most popular items for purchase are the so-called ‘lures’: When activated, lures attract Pokemon creatures to an area. They cost roughly 1.20 dollars/hour and only work when activated as a module in a PokeStop. Here is how the developers at Niantic monetize their app.

More often than not, while users walk around, they might find themselves entering a retail store. The creatures can be literally everywhere, as they are automatically localized within a map. The dislocation might look random at first sight, but it is more studied than it looks.

The frenzied race in search of the next item has already created surreal situations:

  • A player arrested after visiting a Police Station PokeStop;
  • A church that asked to sign up to become a PokeStop;
  • A strip club assaulted by teenagers, not for the reason you might suppose;
  • A dead body found by a player while he was trying to catch a Pokemon;
  • A group of users running and screaming in the Holocaust Museum, searching for a rare monster.

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Pokemon Go is not the first mobile application that drives people to move. Without considering the bunch of health and fitness apps (plus the EU’s Pegaso Fit4Future project), we need to cite at least Foursquare, and the race to become the mayor of whatever place.

Foursquare is a good example of how retailers can take advantage of the game dynamics to attract new customers and build loyalty. According to Cowen & Co. analyst Oliver Chen, "it has the power to transform retail. In our view, the new free-to-play [augmented reality] gaming app has broad implications for retail as it addresses declining mall traffic, plus emerging trends toward social experience, health, and wellness."

Paul Shapiro, director of search innovation at Catalyst, says that the game is exposing a pretty large set of consumers to augmented reality: "It is incredible how it is everywhere. It is all ages, genders. It is obviously massive." Catch after catch, the game is redefining how people connect to the store. The retail customer experience.

If you own a brick and mortar, it is utterly useless to reject people or try to create a ‘Pokemon-free’ area. You should capitalize this opportunity, instead. How? To get back to lures, if your business happens to be situated relatively close to a PokeStop, you can attract people to your location for little more than a dollar per hour.

It is what many local businesses are doing in the United States, with analysts reporting as much as a 75 percent increase in profitability due to the lure usage. And this is not even the result of a planned strategy. It is more a ‘give it a try’ attitude that Niantic is already thinking to exploit.

In a recent interview with Financial Times, John Hanke, CEO of Niantic hinted at plans to develop partnerships with retailers within the game: "There is a second component to our business model at Niantic, which is this concept of sponsored locations.” Why not, given that both gyms and PokeStops are real-world locations that attract the players?

Players will be encouraged to visit specific a location (your store) to collect items and gain experience. This might change the way businesses interact online and also in the real world, with evident consequences on the digital customer experience.

Retailers should take note of what is going on in the streets these days. Here are three major takeaways from the Pokemon craze:

  • Mobile technology is not your enemy. The smartphone is a powerful ally that will help you to connect the online life of digital customers with the physical experience of the retail store.
  • Augmented reality has yet to express its full potential, and so virtual reality. Both can be surely used in innovative ways to engage customers, enhance the experience and support the purchase.
  • Gamification, customer engagement, and brand loyalty are strictly entwined. In the Age of the Customer, the path to conversion is full of good game mechanics focused on the experience.

Pokemon Go is making history, and you can be part of it. Only time will tell if the app is destined to become a temporary fad or an enduring success. What really matters, in a business perspective, is that games are never just games, after all.

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Customer Engagement – 5 Things Sports Can Teach You About Loyalty

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What do you need to be the best? Everything you’ve got.

This slogan - taken from a famous advertising for sports apparel - wraps-up the greatest lesson digital marketers can learn about customer engagement from sports management.

And that is: If you don’t train to offer the best performance and deliver the best results, you will never overcome the competition to win your customers’ heart and mind. You will never improve customer experience.

Whether you are a sports fan or not, there is a lot you can learn from what happens on the field, in the locker room and behind the scenes.

Football, rugby, basketball, tennis: when you think about sports - with all its declinations - you think about sweat, muscles, concentration, adrenaline. These words depict an experience made of mud and passion. We don't want to deny the romantic side of it, but today sport is more than that. Sport is marketing. Sport is technology.

Long gone are the days when the experience with fans was based entirely on what transpired on the field. For almost 80 years, radio and television have been the main drivers of technological evolution in sports. Then something happened, and everything changed forever.

As fans, we didn't need to be home or on the bleachers to enjoy the best events in the world. In the last decade, the mobile revolution came in to disrupt what we can call ‘Sports customer experience’: The internet went mobile, and so did customers.

The digital transformation, marked by the spread of the smartphone and the emergence of social networks, reshapes - innovation after innovation - the way we ‘live’ the competition. How we watch sports is not how our fathers did; how we play sports is not how our fathers used to play. The customer experience goes digital.

The smartphone and all other disruptive devices rebuild the experience of sports, connecting the physical and digital worlds into a new - and more complete - level of experience:

  • The smartphone - there is an app for everything. Even the smallest team or league has exclusive features to let you stay up to date with all news regarding your favorite team;
  • The iBeacon - the challenge is to move people away from their comfortable couch and bring them to the arena. The iBeacon is ideal to enhance the experience with gamification and personalized offers;
  • The activity trackers - whether you are fitness-obsessed or just a Sunday runner, it is more than likely that you are caught in the maze of self-tracking. The wearable revolution is primarily a sports revolution.
  • The smartwatch - the new releases of the Apple Watch and Android Wear show that the smartphone is the perfect companion for sports, watched (push notifications) and practiced (health sensors).

As a matter of facts, supporters are no longer restricted to living a match the traditional way. The arena and the TV are just the tipping point for an exploded experience along different touch points and channels. A lesson all other industries should learn.

The consequence is evident: business today is not even conceivable without technology. Teams become brands, and brands are companies. Being companies, they need to invest both in content marketing and technology to increase sales and revenue, focusing on what matters the most: fans, a.k.a. customers.

Customer engagement and loyalty are sports’ bread and butter, the foundation all teams are built on. Today, the need is inherent for teams to deliver the best customer journey possible, across all channels and devices in a holistic view, digital and mobile first.

The need to provide the most optimal customer experience at all times is essential for success: You can easily see how this is not different when it comes to professional sports. But somehow teams are ahead of the companies of other industries (i.e., retail & consumer goods) when it comes to the respect of customers, and the awareness of the value of their trust and loyalty.

WE BELONG HERE

No team is like the others. Each one is different, at least that’s what loyal fans believe and feel. Each team has its distinctive history, core value and tradition, the pillars that shape the brand identity and storytelling. All the marketing actions they plan and execute convey those uniqueness. The game starts before entering the stadium, playing on the sense of belonging and exclusivity; the same you should do with your brand.

YOU NEVER WALK ALONE

What is the mark of a great team? What makes a group of athletes a symbol for millions of people? Not the titles won, nor merchandising or tickets sold. The lifeblood of any great team is loyalty and devotion. Sports is probably the area where loyalty plays the greater role in determining the success of a company. And we refer to loyalty in its broadest sense, including engaged employees (your first customers).

WE ARE EVERYWHERE

The essence of a great sports customer experience is in the omni-channel nature of the connection with your favorite team. Fans don’t live in one single channel anymore; they switch between analog and digital, using the smartphone to stay 24/7 online. Sports companies have adapted fast, using all sorts of technology to engage with their digital customers: apps, social media, video, exclusive events.

PLAY TO THE STRENGTHS

Success in sports is a matter of continuous improvement and progress: athletes know their strengths and always show their best cards during the battle, trying to overshadow their limitations. And most of all, they never settle for what they have already accomplished. They always aim at overcoming their limits and defeat all records. Same with your company: highlight your qualities and invest in development, to be cutting-edge and stay top of mind.

KNOW THE COMPETITION

How can you understand what your customers want and where are your competitors headed to? The answer is ‘analysis’. Today there is no sports without technology, and technology creates a huge amount of data (about athletes, performances, competitors) that analysts use to improve the output and overcome competition before even challenging. Data are inherent in the sport as well as in any other industrial sector. Denying this fact equals losing your best chance to win.

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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:

5 Mobile App Marketing Insights To Improve Customer Engagement

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What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Before even drinking coffee, you more than likely pick up your smartphone to read the emails, check Facebook updates or look for promotions and special offers on your favorite products. Surfing from one app to another.

Apps are now an integral part of our daily life as human beings and customers. Mobile app marketing, thus, becomes fundamental for your brand to understand where (and how) to invest to improve customer engagement and boost revenue.

The main reference for the realization of this article is a recent research on consumer app acquisition and usage behaviors, conducted by Google in partnership with Ipsos MediaCT, with the aim of understanding the drivers behind app discovery and engagement.

Apps market is still a field full of opportunities but, as the number of competitors continues to grow, the real challenge is to prevent that your app simply disappears in the ocean. Sure, app store optimization is the first mandatory step to ensure that customers can find you; but even a well-conducted optimization process is not enough.

You need something more: even when your app gets downloaded and installed in your customer’s phone, it doesn’t mean you are hitting the target by delivering a great customer experience. Downloads might be an eye-catching key performance indicator but they rarely tell the truth about the success of your app.

To move on, let's take a step forward. Why should you invest on branded app development in the first place? Easy: apps now account for 86% of the time spent on mobile devices, replacing web browsers as the main entrance to the Internet. In a marketing perspective, that means a unique opportunity to build deeper relationships with customers.

In the era of Micro Moments, apps play a key role in what Google has called the ‘I want’ moments, driven by specific intents and decisive for online and offline purchases: I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-do, I-want-to-buy.

Mobile app marketing should not be confined into the online ecosystem, as it has extended consequences on your traditional marketing strategy, influencing the offline retail customer experience. Mobile devices help you bridge the gap that separates the physical and digital worlds, connecting with customers/prospects to enhance their loyalty.

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To understand the boundaries of the apps battlefield, just take a look at the following stats:

  • Users spend an average of 30 hours per month in apps ;
  • The average app user has 36 apps installed on the smartphone;
  • Only 26% of installed smartphone apps are used daily;
  • 25% of installed apps are never used;
  • Only 19% of daily used apps are retail related;
  • Nearly 90% of users discard an app if the brand fail to engage them.

In the best case scenario, customers open your app once in a while and devote less than one hour per month to it, if you’re not Facebook, YouTube or Instagram. With few apps getting the highest share of attention, you definitely need to learn the rules of mobile app marketing to stand out and encourage long-term user retention.

APP DISCOVERY

When you plan your mobile marketing strategy, you might be led to believe that the app store is the main source to find new apps. Data show instead that apps are often discovered outside the store: 52% of customers becomes aware of an app thanks to the opinion of friends, family or colleagues. Only 40% actually browse apps on the store, 24% directly goes on the official website, while an interesting 27% bump into them while looking for information on a search engine.

APP DOWNLOAD

The connection between search engines and app discovery is probably the most useful insight of the entire report. Search is especially effective for technology (43%), travel (35%), and local business (34%) apps. If the organic search leads 1 in 4 downloads, you can also rely on search engine marketing to increase the adoption rate: search ads have become the main driver of app download (50%), followed by social advertising (49%). Be sure to be reachable wherever customers are looking to discover apps relevant to their interests.

APP PRICE

The top reasons why users decide to download and install an app are recommendations by their trusted circle of friends/family and the perceived level of fun/interest. But the actual decision is mostly influenced by price: 82% of users indicate prices as the main factor, followed by description and reviews (60%). How much are they willing to pay? Not that much: 3 in 4 actually expect that your app is free; they are willing to pay only for technology, financial and local apps (and no more than 3 dollars anyway).

APP BEHAVIOR

What makes one app successful and another one nonperforming? The ability to make customer’s life easier. This is the key attribute of frequently used apps (63%), together with clear instructions (63%), appealing design (57%) and consistent user experience across devices (57%). You should focus on these features to increase app spending: 50% of customers use the app to help make purchase decisions, scanning for information (49%) to actually buy in-app virtual goods or in-store products/services (29%).

APP ENGAGEMENT

Even when your app effectively responds to customers needs (let’s say a purchase), it could be abandoned after few sessions. 38% of users are likely to download an app when it’s required to complete an action, but 50% of those will uninstall it right after action is performed. More, 25% of installed apps are never used because of a sudden loss of interest. There’s a huge opportunity here, if you know how to maintain engagement: discounts, bonus contents, exclusive features. Only incentives will foster customer engagement and prompt renewed app usage.

A customer-facing app is critical if you want to reach - and exceed - your business goals in an era defined by mobile technology. But if you just throw a badly-shaped application to the stores you will only prepare the ground for inevitable failure. Maximize your presence and keep customers engaged: the app is a piece of the customer journey, not the final purpose of your marketing strategy.

Read the full report on Think With Google.
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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:

4 Ways Virtual Reality Can Help You Improve Customer Experience

How can you succeed in today's hyper competitive markets, ensuring that your brand stands out from the crowd? The secret is to engage customers emotionally, taking advantage of technology to increase engagement and drive sales. In one word: deliver an amazing digital customer experience.

Of all the technology initiatives out there, virtual reality and augmented reality probably are the most mysterious ones. What's for sure is that they have a huge - yet unexplored - business potential. They empower you to evolve your digital properties, leveraging the power of 3D to create a unique immersive experience.

Since Microsoft officially launched the futuristic HoloLens and the Holographic platform, the idea of virtual reality used to improve customer experience has become topical. How this technology will actually augment the experience, that's the question.

A major force that drives the evolution of business - retail & consumer goods above all - is the need for companies to differentiate themselves from competitors, find new ways to attract clients and boost sales.

Now that the disruption of mobile technology has totally reshaped the customer journey map, brands must focus on the creation of engagement across all channels and devices. Improving efficiency and saving money in the process.

Customers can use their smartphones, tablets and computers to live immersive experiences. In this perspective, there is no doubt that virtual reality - together with proximity marketing and the Internet of Things - could be a great deal for companies willing to invest in technology innovation.

Connecting the physical and digital experiences within the immersive framework of aspirational locations, virtual might force a revolution and transform the store as we know it, giving birth to the future of retail customer experience.

Although it is in itself a powerful tool, virtual reality is a means, not the final purpose. So it should be always implemented as part of an omni-channel digital marketing strategy (mobile app included).

Customer interaction, employee engagement and product design and showcase - you can use virtual worlds to make your brand come alive and help customers connect with your brand on multiple devices.

HoloLens and brothers could represent the missing piece of the bridge that connects brands and customers into a new level of experience in a 3D personal perspective. That's why many companies are already exploring the opportunity of using virtual reality to reduce costs, increase decision making and - most of all - involve their clients into an innovative storytelling and content development.

How to put words into business action, that’s the real problem. Just putting an head-mounted headset on your customers’ head won’t bring you satisfying results. You need a story, a personalized concept and a reliable technology (best cloud-based) to bring your virtual world to life.

We are just at the beginning of a road that will lead us all - entrepreneurs and customers - towards unexpected drifts. Here at Neosperience we believe that immersive delightful experiences can not do without the enabling power of 3D and the cohabitation mobile apps and disruptive devices (i.e. Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR).

Here we suggest some potential real-life applications that will enable you to really take advantage of virtual, delivering innovative customer experience and changing the expected interactions with the physical world.

3D DIGITAL SHOWROOM

Retail and brick-and-mortar are exactly the first terms that come to mind when you think about potential business applications of virtual reality. Just think about it: industries like beauty, luxury & fashion always need to deliver a one-of-a-kind touch and feel to their customers, instilling on every device the idea of an exclusive 'appmosphere'. A digital showroom in 3D such as Neosperience Showroom is perfect to personalize (with or without headset) the shopping experience, and offer innovative mobile and in-store experiences.

REMOTE CONTROL INSTRUCTIONS

Customer service augmented: you could communicate and interact with clients, offering step-by-step instructions on your products and real-time efficient service. Reality will be augmented by visual diagrams around the user, indicating exactly what to do and how to do it. Remote control could also work in the healthcare industry and medical services (a further evolution of Apple's Healthkit?).

VIRTUAL PRODUCT DESIGN

Virtual development platforms could be the best solution to cut expenses improving efficiency. You will be able to test drive products in all different stages of development without any additional costs, just relying on a virtual stage that will offer a 360 perspective. Not counting that you could offer the same opportunity to your customers, to personalize products and services.

GAMIFICATION AND LOYALTY

It's not by chance that the very first experiments with virtual reality were made for the gaming industry, as is not that one of the first HoloLens-attached projects will be augmented version of the well-known videogame Minecraft. Now that games have officially entered the marketing world, virtual and augmented reality become the perfect addition to your gamification strategy, to improve customer retention and foster loyalty.

Oculus Rift, Magic Leap, Gear VR and HoloLens: behind these sci-fi sounding names lies a huge business potential, that will eventually have deep consequences on your digital customer experience. Empowering customers, supporting their purchase process and, ultimately, enhancing the customer journey a little more each day.

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Download The 7 Pillars Of The New Customer Loyalty to define the foundations on which to build your engagement and loyalty strategy, create innovative experiences and establish a lasting and valuable relationship with your customers.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in January 2015 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy with the latest trends and advancements of digital customer experience.

8 Retail Trends Transforming the Shopping Experience From 2015

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Retail and smartphones, a story of love and hate. It is clear that mobile technology not only affects sales in the 'online territory'; it also has a much broader impact on retail customer experience in general.

The digital transformation involves how we search for product information, what we buy, how when and where. Basically, it changes in-store customer behavior, driving the value of in-store sales. The future lies behind a wave of retail trends transforming the shopping experience.

Since the Internet first entered our home, it was pretty clear that buying patterns were destined to evolve. When mobile connections and - above all - the smartphone were added to the equation, the behavior of retail customers changed forever. And so did the very idea of ‘store’.

All studies highlight the evidence that the traditional physical store we grew up with is inadequate to appeal empowered customers of the digital era, and to respond to the challenge of e-commerce.

Yet retailers are “dramatically underestimating the influence of digital and are caught in a divide where they are making digital investments that primarily support their e-commerce business rather than their brick-and-mortar business.

A truth stated by ‘Navigating the new digital divide’, a survey conducted by Deloitte Digital to understand how customers engage with digital when shopping, and to quantify how these interactions influence retail customer experience.

Digital influence – that is, the degree to which in-store sales are influenced by digital at some point in the shopping journey – is growing at an increasing pace. We are fast approaching a day when we can assume 100 percent of shoppers will be connected 100 percent of the time.

As a consequence of digital disruption, a one-sided approach to retail marketing strategy is potentially catastrophic for your business; it is like randomly walking blindfolded. An omni-channel approach (mobile-first) is the only adequate move: a complete digital customer journey rather than separate e-commerce and physical retail experiences.

Only on the surface traditional retail and online retail are two different things. They’re just the two sides of the same business coin, caught in the maze of evolution. Check the following numbers from the same research:

  • 64% of all in-store sales will be influenced by digital by the end of 2015;
  • 33% of customers say they spend more when they use digital as part of their shopping experience;
  • Customers are 29% more likely to buy the same day when they use social media during their journey;
  • Customers engaged with social media while shopping are 4x more likely to spend more;
  • 45% of customers say digital is essential to make in-store buying easier;
  • 67% of customers look for info and read product reviews on their way to the store.

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For decades, the core of retail growth strategy revolved around promotion, place and price. But that was before the mobile mind shift came in to shake up the rules of shopping. We live now an era of rapid technological advancement, with Internet and mobile devices as catalysts for a massive change in the retail & consumer goods industry.

They have changed the industry with a much deeper impact than most retailers actually understand, and over the next ten years there is going to be more change than in the last fifty. What kind of change? Here we outline 10 major paths of evolution that will define the future of retail.

MILLENNIALS POWER

There is no doubt that millennials are critical to decide who wins (or lose) the retail brand challenge. As native digital citizens, they grew up with smartphone, social media and e-commerce. Millennials are the most powerful force in Western economies: their 2015 spending is estimated to be between 1 and 2.45 trillion dollars. Successful retail will be experience-driven retail, across all touch points and channels.

MICRO MOMENTS

Over the last few months, Google released a research that has major implications for brands wanting to succeed in the mobile landscape. Well aware of the impact of the smartphone - in 2015 mobile searches surpassed desktop searches - Google wants you to fragment customer’s life into micro moments, driven by specific intents. That means your traditional marketing funnel is outdated and inadequate to engage the new customer.

MOBILE JOURNEY

Mobile devices and mobile apps become mandatory to map your customer journey in the digital era. Only then you will be able to identify all critical touch points your clients go through when connecting with your brand and products. Customer journey mapping will ultimately help you to identify areas for improvement and establish the appropriate technology to improve the experience across all stages of the life cycle.

SOCIAL COMMERCE

Forget the store, forget the e-store: the next battleground for innovative retailers is called social commerce. Right now people spend more time on Facebook & Co. than on any other site; they use social connections to talk with friends, search for information and share opinions about brand and products. ‘Buy buttons’ already show up on your news feed, and soon we may all buy tapping on a Pin, an image, a featured post or a tweet.

INTERNET OF THINGS

Now that the Internet connects not only people but also objects, the retail customer experience is going to withstand a major upgrade. The Internet of Things can be considered the extreme frontier in connecting customers’ entire physical life to the digital world. This further evolution will have two major effects on retail business: change the way companies create, distribute and sell their products; change the way customers experience the store.

PROXIMITY MARKETING

One side effect of the convergence between the Internet of Things and the spread of mobile devices is the dawn of a new way to connect with customers. It is called proximity marketing and leverages technology to engage clients when they are near or inside the physical store. The iBeacon is one perfect tool to deliver context-aware contents, engage with customers and personalize the shopping experience.

MOBILE PAYMENTS

While we won’t say goodbye to paper cash anytime soon, it was inevitable that mobile technology would also change the way we pay for the things we buy. Customers are moving away from traditional cards, eager to embrace new means of payment. Bitcoins, social transactions, wearables and the Apple Watch pave the way for the future of banking and financial services.

VIRTUAL REALITY

The key to deliver an amazing digital customer experience is to harness the enabling power of technology, focusing on customers’ needs. Virtual reality and augmented reality, in this perspective, are perfect to create an immersive new level of reality, engaging customers with gamification dynamics, supporting the purchase decision, and enhancing the experience (i.e. Neosperience Showroom).

All in all, most purchase decisions happen in front of a screen (mostly a smartphone screen) rather than in-store. Deal with it and rethink your marketing and engagement strategy, capitalizing on digital influence to improve retail customer experience.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Retail Marketing Strategy: 5 Steps To Renew 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.

Wearable Technology: 3 Trends For The Future of Quantified Self

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There could be wearables for everyone. Far from being fancy gadgets made to impress coworkers and friends, the smartwatch and all wearable technology seem destined to build a solid market, possibly taking a large share from smartphones and tablets.

While companies are still trying to figure out how to include them into their mobile marketing strategy, smart watches, glasses and wristbands are already reshaping the customer journey. And that’s just the beginning: even more disruptive wearables may come very soon.

The adoption rate is somewhat incredible, if you think about it: according to the most recent forecast data from the International Data Corporation (IDC), vendors will ship a total of 45.7 million units in 2015 (133.4% more than 2014). By 2019, that number is projected to reach 126.1 million units.

Right now, the smartwatch and health & fitness trackers lead the way, accounting for about 80% of the total market. But there’s more than meets the eye: many leading-edge projects are on their way to bring different concepts of wearable tech to life. Some may fail but others may change our life.

The new generation of wearables will surely solve the main problem that affected the perception of the first models. That is: prices considered too high, with customers not really understanding how this technology might really benefit them.

Google Glass, Oculus Rift, the first Apple Watch: amazing pieces of innovation, infinite potential, but why should I spend all my money on them? No more than one year ago, numbers recounted of a 30% return rate and even higher product abandonment after six months.

Now we are all starting to understand the real distinctive value. Once again we need to say thank you to Apple WWDC and Google I/O, both focused on the smartwatch. Equipped with powerful operating systems and designed to meet fashion, Apple Watch and Android Wear have injected a new lifeblood into the market, responding to the ‘lack of functionalities and style’ issue.

As it happens frequently, however, the adoption rate shows a gap between users and companies. Following the success of activity & fitness trackers, wearables have soon become part of customers’ life, mostly used to fulfill their need for:

  • Connected self: since the Internet came out of our houses, mobile devices have become extensions of our body, the first reference when we need information.

  • Quantified self: now that we disseminate our identity throughout the web, we want to use those data to analyze our life and perfect our existence.

On the other side of the coin we find brands, desperately looking for new ways to engage connected customers but still struggling to include wearables into their customer experience strategy.

In the age of the mobile mind shift, they sense that wearable technology is perfect to deliver proximity marketing contents, but how? While they ponder, it’s already clear that the introduction of innovative products is expected to significantly influence business interest in smart wearables.

What qualities the wearable of the future will have to have? In a recent article about this topic, Wired has drawn attention to the following elements:

  • Invisible: components will get smaller and integrated with garments.

  • Personalized: brands will focus on a personalized approach to wearables.

  • Accurate: in the era of Big Data, tracking will become more and more precise.

  • Efficient: powerful technology will require energy-saving power supply.

  • Respectful: privacy of data collected will become critical for customers’ acceptance.

  • Sentient: wearables will need to evolve and grow as customers evolve and grow.

  • Inter-connected: all technology we wear will communicate and fully integrate.

  • Seamless: wearables and the Internet of Things will become one amazing world.

All researches indicate consumer electronics and healthcare segments as the major growth areas but, thanks to integrations and unique features (GPS, monitoring, sensors), they will easily find applications in diverse industries including fashion, defense and sports. Even luxury brands will need to respond to the new trend, with exclusive wearable pieces to lure the high income customers.

And the market is also rapidly clearing up a further misunderstanding: wearables means more than just sports watches and wellness wristbands - popularized by Jawbone Up in 2011. All around the net we find imaginative speculations about what will happen next in this potentially disruptive industry.

The army, obviously, is at the forefront of this revolution. Let's see how customer experience will change in the near future.

WEARABLE STYLE

Gartner believes that the area with the greatest potential for growth is the smart garment category, forecast to increase from 0.1 million units sold in 2014 to 26 million units in 2016. Many designers and tech start-ups already focus their efforts on the fashion side of the wearables: smart socks, trackable accessories, weather-sensitive clothes, solar powered hi-tech dresses, LED bags. You will really wear your style.

WEARABLE LIFE

Wearables could soon lead us all toward a better life. Not by coincidence, right now investors open their wallet more willingly when wearable tech is adopted in the wellness and healthcare industries. Easy to understand why: fitness is today the main framework for applied wearables (trackers but also smart clothes); healthcare, on the other hand, is an open market with millions at stake, mostly from public investments. Apple's HealthKit is just the tip of a profitable iceberg.

WEARABLE GAMES

Soon we will remember the Wiimote as a relic from the past. The new frontier for videogames is called 'total immersion'. When the joypad is not enough, you need something more to feel the game. Virtual reality - think about Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift - is just one possibility. Wearables could have a double effect: bring videogame design into the real world (i.e. Microsoft Hololens) and bring people into the virtual world they are playing (i.e. Disney Playmation).

Wearable tech is a fascinating field to study, and is still premature to predict what features or shapes will prevail in the future. For the very first time computing is small enough to be worn or even dressed, and surely there are marketing opportunities out there we don’t even imagine right now.

What we know is that the customer journey as we experience it today will probably become outdated. Brands will have to rebuild it from scratch, starting from our wrist, head, eyes and body.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: The Evolution Of Mobile Customer Experience: 4 Steps To Improve

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.

5 Digital Marketing Lessons From Game Of Thrones

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Now that the fifth season of Game of Thrones is behind our back, millions of fans (just like us) are trying to recover from the absolute jaw-dropping finale. Shock is the only constant in George R. R. Martin’s epic series.

If there a TV show out there that can teach us something about the world of digital marketing, that is HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Before starting, a necessary ‘spoiler alert’. While in this article we will avoid references from the finale, it may still include some spoilers from previous seasons of the show.

Despite all controversies about the actual contents of the series (too many naked scenes, too many gruesome deaths), there is no doubt at all that Game of Thrones is a great brand, probably one of the best Tv productions ever created.

And it not just great programming, but also an amazing opportunity to learn few lessons about the art of marketing in the digital era. Taking a ride in Westeros you can find remarkable insights, hidden in the intricate plot twists, the raw dialogues, the extreme characterization of all elements.

It’s no surprise to us that both the novels and the Tv series have gathered legions of faithful supporters, particularly among the youngest (the so-called millennials). Armed with the inseparable smartphone, they are picky customers, demanding and extremely hard to please.

Customers of the ‘post digital transformation era’ know what they want and waste no time looking for your brand. Either you’re there when they need it or you don’t exist at all. They ask for exciting experiences, stories that jump off the screen and inspire loyalty. And Lannister, Targaryen and Stark have pleased them all.

In fact, the Game of Thrones brand has everything needed to appeal digital customers:

Another season has come to an end; ten episodes full of emotional turmoils. And now we will all have to wait in the cold for another year, wondering what the author and the producers have in store for the next season. Nobody knows who will win the Iron Throne, but one thing's sure: the story will raise the bar, even more.

While we ponder, it’s also worth considering why - as marketers - we’re so enthralled by the destiny of the Westeros. Game of Thrones’ massive success is more than a simple fortunate event. It’s a well planned strategy. Here are 5 digital marketing lessons we can learn from Game of Thrones.

BRACE YOURSELF, GOOGLE IS COMING

We start by borrowing the motto of House Stark, "Winter is Coming". If you’re a fan of the show, you know that Stark is the most ill-fated family of the whole world depicted by Martin. The deep meaning behind these words is one of warning and vigilance. Even when things are good, you must always be ready for unexpected changes.

What’s the greatest marketing challenge in the Internet era? To get noticed by Google and recognized as the first reference to fulfill customers’ needs. Google algorithm, with the mobile-friendly update, could be ‘winter’ for your mobile marketing if you can’t deal with the Mobilegeddon. Knowledge is power: stay in control by staying up to date.

CONTENT IS CONSTANT WAR

In the first season of the show, Cersei Lannister offers one of her most chilling warning: "When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.” Same with content marketing, the ground you build amazing customer experience on.

In an inbound marketing perspective, empowering customers means being what they want to consume, the best resource they find in the purchase process. Game of Thrones gives hints: create an epic storytelling, always exceed expectations and make customers anxiously wait for what’s next.

LOYALTY IS THE KEY TO WIN

Varys ‘The Spider’ explains the two principles that guide most people in Westeros: “Those who are loyal to the realm, and those who are loyal only to themselves.” The world of Westeros is based on one simple fact: every single person is loyal to someone.

Every business wants loyal customers, the key to succeed in the long term. Customer retention is cheaper than acquisition, but way harder to get. You need to be customer obsessed and give people a reason to keep coming back to you: loyalty programs, gamification dynamics, a remarkable customer experience.

ALWAYS DELIVER YOUR PROMISE

The entire Game of Thrones plot revolves around the story of someone who makes a promise and tries to deliver it, no matter how hard it is. The Lannistersalways pay their debts”; Brienne of Tarth tries to protects Catelyn’s daughters; Arya Stark wants to avenge his father’s death.

At the core of every brand there’s a distinctive promise: what you are is what you ultimately deliver to your customers. Every single touch point of the customer journey is shaped by your ability to deliver that promise. In the Age of the Customer, when you sell your products, you always sell yourself too.

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE ENEMIES

Knowledge is power”, says Petyr Baelish'Littlefinger' to Cersei. If you know what your enemies are doing, then you’re always one step ahead. The game of the throne is played with swords and shields, but also with strategy and analysis. Only the weak has no knowledge.

To stay top of mind, you should know what everyone else is doing and, most important, you should never underestimate your competitors (just look at the ‘retail vs e-commerce’ war). If you know who your competition is, what they offer and how they engage with customers, you can get ideas and discover opportunities.

And remember: in this ever-changing scenario, disrupted by innovative technologies, you can’t rest on your laurels.

You know nothing, Jon Snow”.

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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.

Customer Delight: 5 Steps To Deliver Engaging Experiences

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Do you have what it takes to engage customers? To connect with them on an emotional level and promote a positive reactions?

This is the basic requirement of customer delight: the willingness to go above and beyond normal relations in order to provide a customer experience that will leave an indelible impression.

Customer delight is not (just) a strategy; it is a business asset in markets where clients demand a leading role. It is so critical, in fact, that you should paint it on your walls and make it the core of company culture.

True customer obsessed companies never underestimate the power of delight. The emotional reaction is what allows you to transform average experiences into amazing experiences, leading to positive word of mouth and laying the ground for genuine engagement.

If you want to overcome the challenge in crowded competition, you should never settle for the minimum required. You must establish a unique identity, rooted into the ability to exceed expectations.

Customer delight happens exactly when you amaze a customer by exceeding his or her expectations. And it’s not just an abstract thought: delight directly affects sales and the return on investment of your digital marketing strategy, working as a major factor of distinction for your company and its products and services.

In the Age of the Customer, every brand works hard to offer high quality products and positive customer experience. In one word, they strive to meet customers’ expectations.

But this is only the starting point if you want to delight customers, an ideal place where needs and desires are not only met, but met in such a way that exceeds all expectations.

The art of cultivating happy customers is grounded on 3 pillars (according to Hubspot):

  • Innovation - to serve people in the best way possible;

  • Communication - to be personal rather than impersonal;

  • Education - to empower people and create great company culture.

In the conversion path, delight has a specific place: it is usually considered the last step of the inbound methodology loop, right after Attract, Convert, Close. Despite being the closing element, delight does not only applies to the post-conversion stage.

In fact, it should be inherent to all moments of the process and touch points of the customer journey map. The experience they bear in mind and bring with them during the connection with your brand - and even when they’re doing something else - is formed by every interaction customers have with you, both in the digital and physical world.

Interactions with brand (i.e. content marketing), interactions with objects and technology (i.e. the Internet of Things), interactions with people (i.e. customer service): while the element of delight can be created by the product itself, there is no doubt that the overall omni-channel experience is the real critical element to exceed expectations.

Experience and delight are so closely connected that you will never reach true engagement and loyalty if you can't build and deliver an amazing customer experience. Companies usually spend to improve their products and the acquisition process; as a result, sometimes customers feel left out.

The quality of your outcome is direct consequence of how much your organization is aligned around the centricity of customers. If your employees are disaffected, your clients will be too. Engagement is always employee engagement in the first place. There is no customer delight without delighted employees.

Delight should be treated as a competitive advantage to transform average customers into loyal promoters. The key is the ability to establish trust and interest, and create a long term relationship. Remember: customer retention is always cheaper than acquisition (at least 6 times cheaper, according to recent reports).

So, how can you be sure you’re actually exceeding expectations? Start with these 5 steps to deliver customer delight.

  1. Listen to what customers say - instead of walking in the fog, always listen to your customers before planning and executing your strategy (or launching a new product). Try to create something truly useful and delightful for those who actually experience it.

  2. See through customer’s eyes - more often than not, customers know brands better than they do themselves. This is a critical point: to deliver a positive experience, you need to wear your customers' shoes, to understand what they see when they look at you.

  3. Be coherent, be flexible - customer experience is (almost) never a matter of black and white. Flexibility is important to adapt to changes and adopt new technologies and methodologies. Of course, you should never betray your brand identity, your true why.

  4. Always give a little more - the rule is to offer customers what they want, when they want it, wherever they are. But competitors, they do it too. To stand out and become top choice, always deliver something more, something unexpected. Tell them what they don't know yet.

  5. Give customers space - the times of one-way communication from companies to consumers are well behind us. Empowered customers expect to be main characters of your brand story. Engage them with gamification and user generated contents to enable immediate digital advocacy.

And remember, the effort to delight customers should never replace the main focus of any successful company: improve the service and deliver the best customer experience they will ever have.

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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.

Customer Engagement: 10 Stats and Facts to Improve Your Strategy

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You don’t need a crystal ball to envision the future of customer engagement: since digital and mobile have taken a major place in our daily life, one of the key elements when it comes to running a successful business is to engage your customers.

Easier said than done. To improve your loyalty strategy, you will need to think beyond old-fashioned CRM and embrace technology to speak the same language your customers speak.

Thanks to the Internet, the smartphone and all sorts of disruptive devices (smartwatch and virtual reality headsets, to name two), the world of business is rapidly shifting from brand-centric outbound marketing to customer-centric inbound marketing. While market logic and engagement dynamics evolve, too many companies still plan and execute their marketing strategies the old way. Missing the real point of digital transformation.

In the Age of the Customer, technology surely can support your efforts to understand your clients (collecting their data) and to connect with them across all touch points of the digital customer journey; this is just one step of the process, though. The only way to reach real engagement is to turn your organization upside down, assume the risk of digital evolution, and account the customer as the main reason you do business in the first place.

WHY WOULD YOU?

To overcome the challenge of evolution is never easy or immediate. It requires a deep change not just in the organizational philosophy but also in the business structure and the human capital (and we all know the importance of employee engagement to determine long term success). It can take time and can be difficult to accomplish.

Why would you do it, then? Pure and simple, because you have no choice. As costly it may be to take this long road, it will always cost you more to be stuck while all others are running. With 6 billions mobile subscribers in the world and 1.2 people accessing the web from their mobile devices, the creation of a strong lasting brand starts with the ability to attract empowered customers and engage them in innovative customer experiences.

In this mobile environment, a good customer engagement strategy will make it easier to:

  • Attract new visitors and prospects;

  • Convert them into leads;

  • Close the path to conversion;

  • Change customers into promoters;

  • Communicate and connect at a personal level;

  • Collect feedback and understand needs and behaviors;

  • Decrease churn and increase customer retention;

  • Create a sense of belonging (brand based on emotions);

  • Ultimately generate more revenues from repeat sales.

STATS AND FACTS

If you don’t believe in the power of loyalty, or maybe you still think that acquisition is more important than retention, here we share - and comment - 10 enlightening stats and facts about customer engagement that will make you think again. Whether you are a retailer, an E-Commerce firm, a financial institution or a fashion & luxury brand, the following numbers will help you shape your future marketing vision.

  1. Customers who are fully engaged represent 23% premium in terms of share of wallet, profitability, revenue, and relationship growth compared with the average customer (Gallup): sales pass, loyalty stays - potentially - forever.
  2. Only 14% of marketers say customer centricity is ranked high within their organization; only 11% percent say that their customers would say customer centricity is ranked high within their organization (CMO Council): clients know you more than you do. Deal with it!
  3. 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated (McKinsey): the experience is the key factor to differentiate yourself from competitors.
  4. A 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10% (Emmet Murphy): loyalty is not just a fancy name, it is a matter of business.
  5. The revenue impact from a 10% improvement in a company’s customer experience score can translate into more than $1 billion (Forrester): customer experience is what will help you stay top of mind and be the first choice in the purchase moment.
  6. 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience, but only 1% of customers feel that vendors consistently meet their expectations (Forbes): a major rule to engage clients and reach satisfaction is to anticipate their needs and constantly exceed their expectations.
  7. In the retail banking industry, customers who are fully engaged bring 37% more annual revenue to their primary bank than do customers who are actively disengaged (Gallup): the experience has become critical for retail banking to attract new prospects and avoid capital outflow.
  8. 52% of companies say Facebook is the most effective social channel for customer engagement, service and support (Social Media Today): social media have a great impact in how you can manage customer relations and deliver personalized contents, mobile-first.
  9. 45% of buyers require person-to-person contact in the buying process (ITSMA/CFO): where technology touches all moments of our life, there comes the importance of increasing the human factor in business.
  10. Customer retention is 14% higher among companies applying big data and analytics to deal velocity (Aberdeen Customer Engagement Report 2014): the spread of mobile devices enables you to gather all sorts of data about customers. Use these numbers to improve customer experience.

Let's close up with a quote by Forbes, that sums up engagement in the mobile era: "Customers are in the driver’s seat now and many businesses that don’t have the technology and systems in place to support an omni-channel customer experience will be forced to take the backseat".

Want to learn how to improve the connection with empowered customers?

Learn The Rules of Engagement For the Mobile Era

If you want to ensure a strategic advantage to your organization, discover Neosperience Engage, the end-to-end mobile marketing solution to help brands engage with customers by delivering personalized experiences to customers close to, or inside the store.