A recent study found that 66 percent of online shopping behaviors include an emotional component. Consumers are looking for long-term, emotional connections that go beyond buy buttons and targeted ads. They want to feel happy, relaxed or excited when they shop online with a retailer. Companies must evolve to make these emotional connections with customers and establish a long-term loyalty that has influence beyond a single purchase.
Buy buttons and suggested advertisements on social media platforms target consumers based on personal information, such as purchase and browsing history. While companies push related content to consumers in nuanced ways, these methods often reduce the interaction to a transaction (e.g., “next best offer” based on what you just viewed online), not a relationship. Marketers need better tools for sustainable engagement. Brand storytelling and personalized content has the ability to achieve longer lasting relationships by enabling differentiated experiences.
The rise of online and mobile purchases has reduced occasions for human connections. Online transactional offers often show up in endless, repetitive placements on a consumer’s favorite sites when they enable cookies, furthering the potential annoyance factor. And whatever personalization does occur online tends to remain in a single channel (ie. email marketing) as companies struggle to achieve “seamless” commerce when that same consumer crosses channels.
For there to be any hope of achieving omnichannel excellence, it is necessary that brand strategies are altered to provide a single view of content and product offerings across multiple touchpoints that can tell a consistent story every time a consumer engages with the brand.
When it comes to personalization, rethinking your marketing content across all channels is the first step. Marketers need to determine the values and priorities of their target audiences and alter content and brand storylines accordingly. What your customers value should heavily influence the content you’re pushing across all marketing channels.
For example, if your target audience values trendsetting and fashion, it’s important that your marketing content (from product descriptions to actual images) emphasizes the fashion-forward attributes of the product. This could also mean that you focus on certain channels over others. This group might value social media influencers, for instance, so aggregating user-generated social media content could help this brand foster more of an emotional connection with its shoppers.
The future of brand storytelling lies in combining content with commerce channels. Companies that tell a long-term story can do much more than inspire purchases. They can also influence public opinions and develop relationships by sparking emotions. Telling the right stories through a strategic use of content can serve as that much needed human connection between a brand and its customers.
How EnterWorks enables these strategies
EnterWorks allows retailers and brands to drive sales and margin growth with compelling, differentiated experiences through a single view of content with suppliers, partners, customers, and marketplaces.
The platform works by integrating product data from both internal and supplier sources (spreadsheets, supplier portals, back end databases, images or videos) with a centralized system that cleans and verifies all of the data. The resulting master database enables collaborative content creation which can be used across all digital and physical marketing channels from websites and mobile apps to catalogs and print mail.
More specifically, EnterWorks’ data management platform includes:
- Master Data Management: Converge the domains of product, customer, brand, location, and device to enable your campaigns to deliver multi-faceted targeting.
- Product Information Management: Create and enrich product data and content according to physical venues and digital touchpoints for seamless content delivery.
- Dynamic Data Modeling: Align or extend data and content models to differentiate product offerings as the business model evolves into new segments and markets
Data management and content are paramount in developing relationships with customers. But to do so correctly, businesses must invest in a sophisticated platform that aligns data and content across multiple platforms to truly influence target audiences. When brands are able to tell a consistent company story that evokes the right emotions among customers, they’ll build deeper connections and ultimately foster long-term loyalty.
© 2015 DK New Media.