Key takeaways from the 2016 SME Digital
According to experts, by 2020, customers will manage more than 85% of their relations with companies without interacting with human beings. This means that customer experience will be the key competitive differentiator among businesses. Companies must quickly conclude that customers demand a great experience, integrated among multiple touch-points expecting an omnichannel, and are willing to pay more if they see the value.
“Brands don’t define the experience;
the experience defines the brand.”
Customers are already bombarded with information, so great customer experiences are becoming the new baseline. Businesses that understand their customers and offer personalized solutions are the ones that are maximizing customer loyalty for growth. Companies across the board will quickly learn that an integrated customer experience is essential, rather than multiple micro-events that disengage customers. 2016 will see tighter collaboration between sales and service, directly affecting customer retention rates. Also, businesses will re-imagine their branding strategy to develop their brands from the inside out, leveraging employees as real brand ambassadors. In the loyalty landscape, the novelty of collecting points to earn rewards is slowly fading. New action-based systems and small branded experiences are more engaging and generate repeat purchases.
Customers should be your business’s top priority, so make sure everything you do caters to them. With more options, today’s consumers are in charge, and your business needs them more than they need you. Let’s work on keeping them.
DIGITAL MARKETING WILL DIE
Digital Marketing will die as businesses shift to Marketing in a Digital World. Digital has become the consumer lens, how they see their world, so we have to stop thinking of it as another tactic. The customer journey has become tremendously connected in times of the omnichannel. We are competing in a new scenario: it’s not just some new platforms that are digital. It is now the world. Businesses need to shift from sorting tactics and channels as either digital or not if they want to catch up with their customers.
2016 will become the year where core digital practices like personalization and gamification will consolidate as strong trends. Growing businesses will spend 2016 optimizing their content, data, and technology platforms, so that customer experiences become more predictive and strategic.
More than 2 million people in Puerto Rico interact daily on a social network through their phones, computer, or tablet — a trend that continues to rise. On average, eight hundred thirty thousand people in Puerto Rico make purchases online and spend $135 per year.
MOBILE. MOBILE. MOBILE
If the world is now digital, it primarily connects through a mobile device. The number of users clicking through mobile devices passed desktop users a while ago. Businesses who have been lazy about pursuing mobile are about to miss the train altogether.
Having a beautiful website is not the solution anymore. The new solution includes mobile-optimized and responsive websites, custom apps to engage with customers, and mobile-targeted campaigns to connect with new prospects. Businesses must embrace mobile if they are interested in competing in the new digital world. Winning companies have already moved on to other things with solid mobile solutions. For the rest, 2016 is the year to catch up. Mobile can’t be put off for another year.
THE YEAR OF THE VIDEO
Video ads are certainly nothing new, with digital channels like YouTube hosting billions of videos and social platforms like Facebook already offering video options. Now, Google is finally getting on board with video advertising. At the same time, live streaming continues to grow with new video apps that continue to gain market share as new touch-points to connect with customers. With all this, Video will continue to drive content strategies in 2016 and be used even more in advertising.
Businesses that invest in well-curated video content instead of traditional advertising will be rewarded because audiences’ natural ad-blocking skills will continue to advance. Audiences are shifting to find entertainment and education on the web more than on conventional channels, and traditional TV networks are investing in their digital platforms. Smart businesses are integrating impartial content to support customer decisions, and audiences are responding. 2016 will show how Video continues to shine and streaming moves to the forefront of marketing, with innovative approaches that further develop emerging brands and engage with audiences.
Users in Puerto Rico prefer Facebook 87.7%, followed by YouTube 55.3%, Instagram 39.3%, Google+ 29.8%, Snapchat 25.7% and Twitter 24.5% among social networks.
DATA IS STILL KING
If the new world is digital, the overarching theme among all trends is Data. 2016 may well be the year more businesses seriously ramp up their investments in data analytics instead of just talking about it. Undoubtedly, the ability to integrate and analyze all customer activities and business operations will separate growing companies from the pack.
Big data, including internal and external data, is a goldmine for customer-centric companies. Most businesses face intense competition, and the data-driven marketing approach is expanding to help meet the challenge. 2016 will be crucial for incorporating data and, perhaps more importantly, analytics into business decisions. Savvy business leaders will understand that using data provides meaningful experiences, offers the opportunity to compete beyond discount pricing, and helps earn lifelong customer loyalty. That’s a real source of growth.
We combine in-depth customer knowledge with practical expertise in digital to help you create a sound strategy and enable sustainable GROWTH. Let’s talk about boosting your digital strategy!
DuartePino is a management advisory firm that combines in-depth customer knowledge with practical expertise in marketing to help clients create sustainable business growth. We can provide your organization with a fresh perspective, a proven process that invests in the outcome, and the tools for successful execution. From Fractional CMOs to business advisors, contact us to learn how our team can help with growth strategies for your organization.