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Building an Experience for the Connected Consumer

Posted 3 March 2015 4:00 PM by Rania Renno

“The connected consumer” — marketers can’t get enough of this term. We are inundated with so many articles, conference materials and presentations on the subject that it’s impossible to ignore. And for good reason. With consumers having access to seemingly countless brand channels — both online and off — it’s increasingly critical to build a personalized, singular brand voice at every possible touchpoint.

The connected consumer (see, there’s that term again) is smart and tech-savvy. When she visits your website, she wants you to acknowledge it during your next interaction. When she talks to you on social media, she needs to know you’re listening. When she communicates with you via email, she expects Daniel at your call center to be fully aware of every word she shared. And while each of these engagements may be separate, your view of them shouldn’t be (read: no siloes, please).

We know that consumers behave in patterns. The sooner we can learn about their patterns, the easier it will be to drive engagement and, in turn, increase sales. And while building an integrated marketing strategy is important, here’s the real question: How do we develop a strategy to account for a connected experience? How do we, as marketers and technologists, put our noggins together and build smart, integrated solutions for our consumers — ones that connect the dots between the things that our consumers say, how they behave and why they do what they do?

While I can’t answer all of these questions (nor deliver a truly digestible, integrated omnichannel strategy) in the space of a blog post, I can definitely offer up 10 quick tips to get you started:

  1. Get to know your data — Understand how all of the data coming to you is being collected and why. Then evaluate that data carefully.
  2. Be selective — Don’t try to use all your data. Some may not hold value for your end goal. Decide which data will help you achieve your objective, which is nice to have and which is simply irrelevant.
  3. Third parties can be a firsthand advantage — If you’re having troubling wrangling your data, there’s no shame in using a third party. They can save you time and, ultimately, money.
  4. Try not to get tag happy — Not all metrics will help you assess your respective definition of success. Pick and choose your measurements of success well, and execute a smart and thorough tagging strategy to support it. 
  5. Get yourself a good data scientist — If you don’t already have one, get one. That is all
  6. Create smart consumer personas – When supported by data, personas help you define content, your distribution strategy and your success metrics.
  7. Leverage every channel you can — Take advantage of all available channels and the insight they provide about your consumers. This includes brick and mortar stores.
  8. Use direct mail to create digital converts — If you’re still leveraging direct mail, find a way to convert these consumers from physical to digital. Do not disregard this consumer group. You may be more interested in the new, tech-savvy consumer, but remember that these folks once served as your loyal base. Find out how to derive value from their engagement and exploit that in the digital space.
  9. Learn the true meaning of “real-time” — It’s easy to get caught up in the glamour of real-time marketing, yet, frequently “real-time” is defined by your industry and its need for truly instantaneous and/or rapid-fire marketing. Put simply, it may not be relevant to you.
  10. It takes a village — There is no one team responsible for creating an integrated consumer experience. If you don’t have most (if not all) of your departments involved, you’re doing it wrong.


By building an integrated understanding of your consumers’ engagements, you are positioning your organization for scalable growth. As the world moves even further toward digital-connectedness, developing a cohesive strategy to intelligently market to your consumer group will ensure success for years to come.


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