How the marketing of the future focuses on discoveries and experiences, in order to offer customers actual added value. This is the only way to satisfy their needs and make these the focus. Not the products.
How did you make your last purchase? Did you enter a specialist store completely unprepared or did you seek information in advance from friends, Facebook or forums, in order to shop online or via an app? The latter is most likely the case. And that is completely normal, as today’s shopping behaviour clearly points in this direction; people buy from places where they have contact with the brand. The so-called “Connected Consumer” gives little thought to how the brand or product is developed; he or she no longer experiences the brand via fixed channels or brand communication, but rather as the result of a comprehensive communication and product experience – the Customer Experience, as described by Joachim Bader in his article, Experience is the new Marketing. Dialogue with consumers and a tangible brand experience are therefore at the forefront.
The product is no longer the focus, but customer needs
Digital transformation is vital for this new kind of marketing, because digital focus enables this kind of customer experience in the first place. And this requires a seismic shift: today’s companies successfully applying these new factors to their marketing are disruptors, such as AirBnB, Uber and Spotify. Consumers and their needs should be at the centre of every consideration and marketing must create experiences for this; the marketing focus is therefore shifting from the product to the customer. And to individual customers, not to a target group. Because today’s customers expect tailored products and services.
Why experiences are more important than stories
Telling stories that follow the traditional pattern of heroes, in line with the classic storytelling approach, always works well; we’ve heard them all before and they’re deeply embedded in our subconscious. Simply think of David and Goliath. But no matter how exciting, vivid and poignant a story may be, it cannot compete with a real-life experience. An actual experience is much more memorable. This also applies to a brand: experiences, not stories. We must therefore break away from the linear narrative structure and create story systems. Bader cites Harry Potter as a good example of this: “Books, films and theme parks have been used to create a storyscape that offers consumers – not just readers – a sense of adventure.”
How linear structures are giving way to a purchasing matrix
What applies to the new dialogue forms of digitalisation is also becoming central to the purchasing process: linear structures are starting to disappear, to be replaced by a matrix. Because: “The Connected Consumer no longer distinguishes between experiences and shopping. They instantly make a purchase wherever they come into contact with the brand; the combination of content, social aspects and commerce is the manifestation of this transformation”.
Digital transformation is gradually permeating all areas of our lives; business has long embraced it. In order to move with the times and be ahead of the game in future, we as a company or agency need to rethink, reorganise and regard this transformation as an opportunity.
Published 27.07.2017 © Brandsoul AG