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Closing in on Customer Context

OpenTechnology_Post , Jul. 12, 2012

“In this new wave of technology, you can’t do it all yourself; you have to form alliances.” – Carlos Slim Helú

In a recent post we mentioned the emergence of Consumer Intelligence as a powerful tool for bringing Responsive Experiences to life. But there are plenty of great technologies that can be applied to help you get closer to your customers by providing more personal context to the brand experiences you offer them. Resource has developed key partnerships with companies all across the digital spectrum to help put the best of these emerging technologies to work on your behalf. Here are a few examples of how we can help you reach your customers in some unique new ways:

Get in the Game

Mobile game-changer Kiip gave a whole new meaning to “earned media” when their achievement-based loyalty system upended the mobile ad world last year. Annoyed with the intrusiveness of display ads that appeared within mobile games, founder Brian Wong saw an opportunity to align branded offers more closely with the spirit of gaming. While simple banners jar the player out of the gaming mindset by creating distractions and  interrupting their gameplay, the Kiip approach actually amplifies the experience by offering a real-world reward right when a player hits an achievement—leveling up or hitting a high score. Leveraging both the player’s “moment of euphoria” and the natural pause in gameplay, Kiip occasionally triggers an overlay offering congratulations and allowing the player to enter their email address to redeem an award. The player can get right back to game, and follow up on the email later to complete the redemption process.

We work together with Kiip to align your brand’s target demographic to the right games and to plan the right rewards and offers like free samples, gift cards, or contest entries. The platform has been expanded to include fitness apps and seems like a natural fit for educational or social apps as well—anywhere it is possible to layer in a reward in response to some kind of accomplishment. Other recent user-focused innovations include the ability to pass on rewards to a friend as well as high-score tournaments that offer bigger prize opportunities. The platform has grown to include over 100 apps (starting with just 10 last spring) and currently hands out an average of 5 rewards per second, with users entering their email address an average of 12% of the time that they are prompted with an offer.

Location, Location, Location

Location-targeted mobile messaging (or “geofencing”) now makes it possible to literally get closer to your customers. This is often overlooked as a highly effective way to reach your consumers when they are most likely to be in the purchase mindset—near one of your stores (or a store that carries your product), right where and when a deal is available. Through our partnership with Placecast we create a pre-defined virtual space (the “geofence”) around specific locations (stores, venues, events, etc.) and then send an SMS text message automatically to your customers whenever they are within a specified radius of one of those locations. We provide a way for consumers to opt in to receive these messages through branded promotions or registration pages, and we allow them set their own preferences for the frequency and content of these messages. Customers can also be acquired who have opted in to receive offers through their wireless carrier or payment companies.

It’s a proven sales driver for both retailers and manufacturers, allowing us to craft offers and messaging not only by specific locations, but also by the day and time or even the local weather. The technology can reach anyone with SMS and carrier location on their phone, so it’s not an “app-only” solution. Surveys done across multiple categories show a strong correlation between receipt of a location-based SMS message, store visits and product purchase. Consumers perceive a high value in what they receive in return for making their location available—helpful, timely, high-context reminders that let them know something is available from you, at exactly the right time and place. Consumers and brands don’t need to worry about “Big Brother” following them from place to place—the location data is always stored separately from any personally identifiable data and is purged frequently.

Real-Time Innovation Through Ratings and Reviews

We recently met with the Bazaarvoice product innovation team to talk about how they have taken social reviews to the next level with their Intelligence platform. You may already know of Bazaarvoice as pioneers in the product ratings and reviews space—driving consumer trust and preference by providing an immediate outlet for digital “word of mouth” while also providing insights into consumer preference trends at the category and product level. A true Consumer Intelligence platform, this new offering serves brands even better by integrating their massive archive of consumer review data with your own CRM system to corellate these trends with more specific demographic details. Real-time analysis of these data relationships allows you to drive business action and fix specific customer issues at a faster and much more fine-grained level—avoiding the mistake of “fixing” something that not everyone thought was broken. Equipped with a sharper view of consumer sentiment across multiple segments, brands are able to react quickly to modify or extend product lines, keeping everyone happy. The CRM connection also provides an opportunity for us to re-target customers who take the time to leave reviews, with messaging that fits their demographic and the nature of the review itself.

These are just a few examples of how digital continues to offer new and unique ways to provide real-time, location-based, highly contextual interactions that can build trust and loyalty with your customers. Let’s talk about how we can keep closing the gap between your brand and your customers.

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