By: Julie Lundfold
It’s no secret that the way brands engage with consumers has changed dramatically with the introduction of digital technologies. Coupled with the fact that consumers are becoming more digitally advanced, online technologies provide possibilities that were unimaginable only a few years back. Today, social media and customer analytics tools allow marketers to not only hear directly from their customers, but also make better predictions and deliver personalized experiences.
When implemented well, digital technologies are a great tool to get closer to customers. Delivered properly, digital transformation can not only create value for customers, but also for businesses.
However, this doesn’t come without challenges.
In a world of tech-savvy customers, brands are now expected to deliver new and improved digital experiences to their customers, which demands new ways of nurturing customer relationships. These increased customer expectations of companies to deliver products and services that meet their specific needs and requirements put great challenges on brands. These challenges now encourage marketers to rethink how they can create compelling cases for their customers through digital transformation.
So what is this digital transformation really about?
In short, it’s the use of digital technologies to transform the way firms do business and drive it forward. Large companies are investing large amounts of money in digital transformation; the investment is to the tune of US$6.8 trillion by 2023.
At heart of the transformation process is the customer experience. For brands to successfully improve customer experiences, digital transformation requires them to spend time understanding what their customers do and why, where, and how they do it, and eventually work out how this can be digitally enhanced across channels.
Today’s digitally engaged customers expect that experiences are tailored to their specific needs. As a consequence, companies with multiple channels now experience pressure to provide an integrated experience.
To do so, digital transformation requires marketers to seamlessly mesh the physical and digital experiences in new ways. That doesn’t mean that digital transformation is about replacing the old with the new, but rather about using digital technologies to enhance and leverage all the existing assets of a company.
The digitization of almost everything customers do these days creates huge amounts of information for marketers to use. Marketers mastering digital transformation rely heavily on data-driven insights to create compelling customer experiences. By adding science to the art, data helps marketers move from guesswork to inspired predictions and enhanced value propositions for their customers.
However, with the fall of the third-party cookies, companies are now required to have users’ explicit permission to use their data. This has changed the game for marketers, as they now have to earn these valuable customer insights themselves.
Customers’ increasing demand for marketers to be more transparent about their data collection should be seen as a great opportunity for companies. By acknowledging the need for transparency and that marketers should earn consumers’ data, it opens up the opportunity to build stronger relationships with their customers. Marketers can continuously gain better insights from the data collected and – if utilized right – eventually create more personalized experiences for their customers.
And this is where marketing gamification comes into the picture. A key element of growing a trusted customer database is marketing gamification. By using gamification – the use of play and games in marketing campaigns – marketers appeal to their customers on a human level.
As human beings, one of our basic instincts is to seek out play and pleasure. When playing games, our brains produce endorphins, which makes experiences more memorable. Therefore, by providing fun and engaging experiences, marketers build trust with their customers, who in return are willing to share their data.
It’s a two-way value exchange.
Marketing gamification makes the users feel like the benefits of playing games outweigh the cost of sharing their personal information. Consumers willingly opt-in to play games and share their data as opposed to brands “tricking” their customers to give them data. Gamification is therefore a great business opportunity and tool to gather the data that should drive digital transformation.
And the best part of it all?
The data collected on customers can be tracked down to an individual level, allowing marketers the possibility to design and deliver personalized experiences moving forward.
In addition, marketing gamification can also mesh the physical and digital world. As a part of digital transformation, gamification can enrich the customer experience by bridging physical store experiences with new online possibilities. Used right, gamification can add an element of fun and engagement to the customer experiences, eventually resulting in more meaningful interactions between brands and their customers.
In this example, you’ll see how Shaping New Tomorrow used a digital gamification experience to entertain and build brand loyalty at a physical store opening:
To further support digital transformation, marketing automation can help increase reach and engagement with customers. Today’s tech-savvy customers expect brands to deliver optimized digital solutions to meet their demands, and marketing automation can help nurture customer relationships and save a lot of time for marketers.
As marketing automation allows marketers to automate repetitive tasks, it gives room to focus on enhancing marketing strategies based on all the data insights collected from customers. The aim of marketing automation is to strengthen and improve the connections with customers throughout the entire customer journey from awareness to sale. By automating flows for when and how to reach customers, marketers will be able to optimize their omnichannel approach and their marketing media mix. In other words, marketing automation helps marketers work towards an integrated customer experience and eventually strengthen the connections with customers, which is the heart of digital transformation.
To sum up: why is digital transformation Important? It is if you want to keep up with your customers’ needs for data protection, data transparency, and more personalized experiences.
To learn more about how to navigate the customer journey with marketing gamification download our ebook: