Customer experience and your futuristic content marketing

We often read that content is king and truly it is. But, the role of the king has changed over the past decades. It went from providing a one-way information to his audience to literally walking the talk among his subjects.

In this post, I will explain the link between your brand’s customer experience and your content marketing efforts. I will also share how I see futuristic content marketing.

Similar to the king, brands are now spending more time doing 3 important things and these are;

  1. Act: Put the customer at the center of any experience or marketing vision;
  2. Learn: Use analytics to understand how their customers are reacting to their marketing efforts; and
  3. Re-Act: Use the findings of the previous step to optimize their both their internal and external elements to generate more sales and create advocates.

These 3 steps have become a must for today’s fast-changing customer-driven environment. In fact, it is now a real challenge for brands to keep customers loyal.

Here’s a concrete example;

John, a software developer, is a client of bank xyz for 10 years. He is living the transition towards digitalization of bank services. One day, he went to the bank and found himself waiting for 45 minutes (which happened to be his lunchtime).

When it was his turn, the teller told him that he will have to come tomorrow because their local servers were down.

Frustrated, John returned to his office and posted a long message on the bank’s Facebook page which the bank only responded to the following day. He also shared his situation with his colleagues.

John decided to change bank the following day.

We’ve all been more or less in the same situation. And, this is all about the experience. Even the worst ones can be transformed into good ones. But, let me outline 5 things that the bank didn’t do to safeguard its relationship with John:

  • The bank still operates with local servers and John is a tech-savvy who is very connected to digital platforms;
  • The bank chose the easy way and told John to come back tomorrow hence showing they are not really solution-driven;
  • No fast communication between the bank and John on the issue. John may as well turn into a detractor;
  • The bank didn’t use predictive analysis to know when John is more likely to come to the bank this month; and
  • Wrong information at the wrong time creates frustrated customers.

In short, these resulted in John being frustrated and leaving the bank. As the saying goes, it costs more to acquire new customers than retaining the best ones.

Content marketing as an experience

If we were to talk about content marketing, I would say that we need to start considering this niche as an experience in itself.

Still, in the context of banks, remember the last time you tried to make an online transfer to another account, how was it? What were the messages you read? Most importantly, did you understand the process easier?

See, customer experience is like a joke. If you have to explain it to your customers, it loses its effect.

Today, content marketing is not only about communicating with your audience. It requires data analytics, UX and UI efforts and an eye on the customer journey. For a fact, while designing your customer experience, it is important to map your customer journey and identify the right content that would fit every situation.

Going back to what the bank didn’t do, I am going to show how futuristic content marketing could help the bank save the furnitures.

  • The bank still operates with local servers and John is a tech-savvy who is very connected to digital platforms;

As I mentioned in my article, 3 Digital components Mauritian Banks should explore in 2018, banks need to focus on integrated experience in today’s ultra-connected environment. Going cloud is an option where banks would enable users to interact with their digital platforms anytime and anywhere. For John, this would mean a seamless experience with a proper customer on-boarding and great UX/UI presentation of the information.

  • The bank chose the easy way and told John to come back tomorrow hence showing they are not really solution-driven;

As marketers, we know the challenge that detractors can be for brands. One negative message will attract more and eventually go viral. Holding your brand together is also about managing detractors. For the bank, this mean having someone to proactively engage in a conversation with John to explain the whole process of handling his issues while proposing alternatives.

  • No fast communication between the bank and John on the issue. John may as well turn into a detractor;

Handling bad customer experience is a continuous effort that requires the bank to communicate fast and accurately. The point is to turn your detractor into a promoter and hence retaining the latter by engaging in meaningful conversation. Here is where brands should focus on nurturing people skills at every touch point even if technology and automation exist.

  • The bank didn’t use predictive analysis to know when John is more likely to come to the bank this month;

With the digital transformation of industries, there is an increase in the number of online interaction. This eventually leads to a huge amount of data collected. One mistake that brands often do is to collect data to only create reports of past events. While this can help you understand and optimize for future endeavors, predictive analysis will help you prepare for the next move of your customer. This decreases the frustration and churn rate because your approach is focused on the customer behavior within your environment.

  • Wrong information at the wrong time creates frustrated customers

If you are a marketer of a CX designer, chances are that you’ve come across funnels which is the backbone of your customer experience. Concretely, if you are signing up for a bank account, you would expect a fast and secure on-boarding process. You wouldn’t like to receive information such as the annual report which doesn’t really make sense at this phase. Furthermore, the modern banks shifted the actual building to just a place to for things not yet online. This led to redefining the customer journey to be a circular one.

Futuristic content marketing

In my article, The old content marketing is dead, I explained how we need to re-invent the way we are doing content marketing today. Things are changing.

We are in the decline phase of the information era and most content marketers are pushed to re-invent the way they communicate and engaged with their audience. Added to this, the number of new touch-points created which are blending technology to the customers’ direct surroundings.

What does futuristic content marketing look like?

Take the content marketing of today, add some elements of the future such as technology, people, and platform aka devices and you will get the content marketing of the future. Seeing the trends, here’s how I see futuristic content marketing:

  • Adaptive content will make use of techniques such as SEO, personalization, and automation which is customized to the user. Adaptive content will analyze usage habits to provide content that matters now and predict what will be the next move. For example, you may be getting messages like

“Hey John, from your last transactions, I thought you would like to have these restaurants offering discounts for your off-day next week”

  • Futuristic content marketing will make use of customer journey analytics to optimize the content experience across devices. This will also translate to offline touchpoints. John’s teller will know the challenges or his habits even before he comes to the bank.
  • Content will be created in such a way that it blends with the real-life. We are seeing Voice search and AI as new trends. The role of tomorrow’s content will be to blend the lines between the human, the machine and the opportunities. This will reduce the time to actually get these opportunities. For example, John’s smartphone will notify him about current discounts at a restaurant. John orders his meal via voice, hence no more typing or scrolling.
  • Content marketing of the future will also be seamless thanks to Cloud technologies. Single sign-in or cross-platform experience will allow John to access his bank details using one single sign-in anytime and anywhere.

To conclude

Content marketing is an experience in itself. Its importance is such that it can impact on the conversion rates of any companies. It also blends several aspects such as technology, people, and platform together to create seamless customer experiences.

The best is yet to come. Customers are changing and so are organizations. It is now critical to constantly reflect on what kind of experience is your brand selling. It is no more about the products or services only. It is about what experience you are creating that your customers will share with their peers.

Make sure it is a good one.

Jason is a digital marketer specialised in content marketing. He created the Purpose to Marketing model, helping organisations to create outstanding marketing strategies in Mauritius.

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