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Power to the People

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The rise of individualism. It’s been a sneaky one.

With pockets full of digital capabilities, new levels of connectivity have created a shift. The brand is no longer the dominant partner. The customer is king, with technology as their toolbox.

Directing their own products – the consumer knows their influence, a sentiment that will only continue to grow in time. With this in mind, companies must give their customers power to direct their own experiences to build brand favourability and perhaps, more importantly – trust.

Personalisation

Encouraging audiences to share data is nothing new. But what is new is what brands are doing with that data. Using each consumer’s bank of personal information to offer hyper-relevant interactions that are tailored specifically to them is the key. Secure communications and automated intelligence are the future of personalisation, with experiences that support these coming to the forefront of customer engagement already.

Farfetch revealed their Store of the Future back in April of this year, an augmented retail solution that links the online and offline worlds. The experience includes virtual reality, emotion-scanning software and innovative payment options. Founder, Jose Neves says ‘whatever in-store digital tools, the key value is in the data that will drive personalised meaningful customer experiences, and on the business side a significant competitive advantage.’

Similarly, Adidas used personalisation to reach out to their customer in a new back in 2015. The premise being a customizable, 3D printed midsole that theoretically, would allow anyone to get a perfect-fitting shoe made on the spot. The company describing it as ‘flexible, fully breathable carbon copy of the athlete’s own footprint, matching exact contours and pressure points.’

User Generated Content

Connectivity is omnipresent. And that means bucket loads of content out there just waiting to be snapped up. User generated content is powerful because it’s a trusted source, a fellowship of know-how from the people. And people like people.

On average, 13-24 year olds consume 20.9 hours of social or streaming content weekly, compare that to the 8.2 hours of cable or satellite television consumed – and the market has their answer for where to source content from.

Olapic are one company that have made a business out of user generated content. Offering brands the tools to obtain consumer assets, the company also empowers brands to create dynamic, motion-based content from it. Reporting a 1.24x increase in conversion and an average of 400k images collected per day, the proof is very much in the content-filled pudding.

Championing creativity, Starbucks had an incredible response to their 2014 campaign #WhiteCupContest with nearly 4,000 entries in three weeks, and the winning design going on to feature as a new limited edition Starbucks cup. A great example of a low budget campaign that drove high impact on social media, with a sellable product at the end of it. 

Technology

The demands of digital. They exist for a reason – or do they? Reports tell us keeping up with the digital age is a must, yet Procter & Gamble’s decision to cut digital ad spend last quarter may well show that too many brands are wasting money on ineffective digital ads.

Fundamentally, it’s about being smart with your money. Putting the consumer first, it is a consideration of what they want and need to see – not just digital for the sake of digital. IBM’s ground-breaking AI technology – Watson, Wimbledon’s first AI tennis pundit and the supporting campaign #WhatMakesGreat used structured data to create conversation at this year’s event. Reshaping the fan experience, the technology was used to give an unprecedented level of analysis and insight, creating an informed and timeless debate in an entirely new and innovative way.  

The power shift from brand to customer is an exciting one. With more data than ever at their finger-tips, brands now have the ability to create bespoke experiences that can touch people in a very specific and personal way.

Data collection, then application, to innovation.

 

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