David Hope, Vice President and Managing Director, Asia Pacific-Pitney Bowes Software
Today, consumers are making companies work harder than ever to keep their business. With the world of border less e-commerce at their fingertips and a physical world filled with competitors in every marketplace from retail to financial services, empowered customers are no longer willing to accept unsatisfactory services or below-par products. Now consumers easily move their money elsewhere, flitting from one business to another.
Shrewd customers are marketers’ biggest challenge. While marketing experts know that they can attract customers using a large scope of physical and digital marketing tools and techniques, it’s retaining those customers, developing the relationship, understanding lifetime value and driving customer engagement that is even more of a challenge.
Increasing Your Customer Engagement
Customer engagement is no longer a “nice-to-have” measurement. A recent report finds that it's a top priority for 81 percent of marketers. It has become a critical metric in its own right, more meaningful than customer satisfaction survey responses or retention figures.
"The way consumers and brands engage with one another have changed drastically in the past few decades."
Even more importantly, customer engagement has become a critical measure for a business's current and future performance it identifies to what extent customers want to invest time in a company.
Research by Gartner has found that "engaged customers are usually better advocates of the brand and are more loyal and more profitable."
In regards to customer engagement, Gartner recommends that businesses:
- Increase active customer engagement through social, mobile and traditional channel alignment
- Build emotional customer engagement through transparency and trust
- Target rational customer engagement through greater customer participation and knowledge availability
- Gain ethical customer engagement through demonstrated commitment to fairness with employees, partners, customers and community
Consumers like to engage and identify with a brand. Perhaps the brand is aspirational, has values consumers share, or makes them feel they are part of something exclusive. More and more businesses are creating marketing campaigns focused on eliciting an emotional response, so the customer feels a connection with the brand.
Where Videos Come Into Play
The love of the moving picture and its ability to create a connection with customers has also driven marketers to refresh their engagement strategies.
Video is an increasingly effective method of creating a distinctive voice and personality for a brand unsurprisingly, given that 100 million Internet users watch online video each day.
Until recently, video has been a one-way medium, but that has changed. Today, we view video on interactive swipe screens, and a myriad of media companies include interactive "red button" viewer services to their TV programs and social media interaction, like Twitter hashtags.
Consumers have come to expect a degree of participation. And smart marketers are responding.
Video + Personalization + Real-Time Delivery
Thanks to the ability to capture and use customer data and predictive analytics with precision and accuracy, marketers are now combining video with two other customer marketing super-powers: personalization and real-time delivery.
The result: a customer engagement triple threat, in the form of interactive, personalized video.
Interactive personalized video is taking the customer engagement world by storm, with figure revealing it has improved engagement by up to 100 percent. Users have reported an increased understanding of a business's services by up to 74 percent.
Engagement times with customers average five minutes in length, and in some cases, customers have viewed the video for 40 minutes or longer.
With the ability to draw on individual consumer insights, interactive personalized video can present tailored information for new customer on-boarding or billing inquiries, as well as delivering up-sell and cross-sell opportunities specific to the customer.
Fulfilling High Expectations
The way consumers and brands engage with one another have changed drastically in the past few decades.
Brand interaction used to come as printed literature, like catalogs and brochures, or personal interaction in-store or via phone. Now, interaction with brands happens on every level in-store, online, in print, through mobile devices.
But only a small percentage of those brands represent the same brands from previous decades largely due to the fact that most brands didn't evolve with technology.
Video is not a technology to be dismissed. It will be the communication channel of the future, and companies that embrace it now will still be known in decades to come.
Embracing Customer Expectation
Today’s consumers have high expectations for customer communications. Likewise, businesses have high expectations when they invest in customer engagement programs. Now, those expectations are being exceeded at all levels.
Interactive personalised video has stamped an expiration date on one-size-fits-all marketing and has created immersive, tailored, real-time communications that drive results and the future of customer engagement.