The Currency of a Digital Marketplace
To reiterate an idea from our last post: the core mission of a business in a marketplace is to be competitive.
Translated into contemporary, practical terms: the goal is to satisfy as many customers as possible, for as long as possible, with the hope of attracting even more customers. The spirit of the competition thrives when all parties stay in-the-know, proactively sparking innovation in one another – of course, not forgetting the score, but knowing that it will take care of itself when customers are pleased.
Your currency, then, in today’s marketplace, is attention: how much can you afford to give a customer?
The expectation is higher, given the digital and mobile capabilities at your disposal. Customers carry brands in their pockets now. Nike doesn’t just sell shoes; they provide apps with pedometers and calorie counters – even artificial applause for when you’re in good health – all in exchange for an email address. They sell the Nike experience.
We don’t necessarily need to cite the flashiest example in the world’s most heavily marketed niche (sports) for this to make sense. It’s common practice for banks and credit unions to deliver intermittent push notifications, or for insurance companies to provide SMS updates with changes to policies. Automated call centers are getting smarter, because companies notice how many customers bypass automation to speak to a representative. All signs point to customers wanting a more personal human experience, as well as a more consistent – and frequent – relationship with their favorite brands.
Pillars of Customer Attention
Customers today are effectively looking for the same things they’ve always been looking for, just at a much greater capacity. They want to be informed at higher speeds, with more regularity, and they want their identities to be acknowledged with greater precision.
This is why customer communications are so vital to business development, and why Customer Communications Management has been emerging to the forefront of minds in every industry for a few years now. Technology today allows us to meet these needs virtually one-for-one.
There are three pillars of customer attention: personalization, information, and mindshare. We'll explore these pillars more in-depth in Part III.