Anders Holmberg Lange is the Co-Founder of Entername, a company with the core belief that strategy should be simple, understandable and evolving. Designing 360 digital campaigns and leading selected clients from digital transformation to digital excellence in Marketing, business and sales.
Anders has been working with major global brands the last 15 years, taking them from digital transformation to digital strategy to digital excellence and delivering double digits growth rates across the board. He worked in industries like fashion, banking, entertainment and for leisure companies. No matter there were fortune 500 companies or startups, Anders was always building around a gamification approach creating win-win strategies.
Anders agreed to share his views regarding different aspects of business via AdHugger. The ever connected world is today’s topic.
As a B2C or B2B company, have you felt the ground moving and changing under your feet? It is because the world is changing and there is a rise of technology which allows us to connect easier to our clients and customers. I wrote a while back that the customer journey is dead, but it is dead for two reason: the journey has become too complex to handle as a company and the rise and expectation of stronger ties from the customer. The Customer journey is about understanding the customers’ needs in a long or short journey. The intimate journey is about addressing the need before it arises.
For companies, this means they need to set a focus on integration strategies. It will allow companies to decrease operating cost, but also the contact cost, with each client or customer. For example, by integrating your order system to your client’s ordering system, you can set up an automated process for ordering products that should be NOOS or setup rules for reordering products that are out of stock early in season. This will minimize your contact cost.
For the customer or clients, you can create a better experience with your brand by making it easier to be in business with you or making sure you always have the right offer at the right time.
When you are looking how to start your integration strategy, you should look at these four elements. It will make you rethink the way you are running your marketing and sales tactics in the future and help you change your business plan to fit the needs of clients, customers and future.
Desire drives responds, Guided sales, Nudging behavior and Automatic fulfillment.
Buy what we have as mentality?
Most companies still work with the idea that, if we just sell at the right price, someone will buy it. A lot of products can work this way, but the rise of consumer experience will take over the typical price and product approach by 2024 maybe earlier. This means you must rethink the way you are putting your sales, marketing and fulfillment team together.
First, the shift in Marketing has already come, you just feel that you have adopted data driven marketing, but the next change is already here: AI or Machine learning. Marketing is no longer just creative people thinking up campaigns it has become a numbers game and statistically actions aiming to understand prediction. To master this, you need to rethink how your department is structured today.
Sales is going through the same process. The outgoing salesperson that will sell you sand in Sahara is over, sales has become a integration and numbers game. We are now trying to minimize the contact points with our customers and clients. We are focusing on how to remove contact point which generate no value and only focusing on value creating points as close to customer or client as possible. We are now giving back the most important resource that customers and clients have today: Time
The Customer journey can be broken down into three stages: Recognize, request and responds. But what is the difference in those stages. Recognition is about the customer or client recognizing the need that their do have. The need can be driven by you or a self-recognition, each is a different process that you need to address. Request is the reaction on recognition of a need. It is where the customer or client connects need with brand or product. Upon a request, a respond is needed. It is where your brand experience meets your client or customer. Each of these three stages allows you to design an integration strategy to meet the demand from client or customer.
Now, what is the four integration strategies you need to address the customer experience: Desire drives responds, Guided sales, Nudging behavior and Automatic fulfillment.
Desire drives responds
A strategy that address desire through a respond is properly the easiest strategy. It is the process of acting on a request by your client or customer. This does not mean you can continue doing what you’ve always done. You still need to look at the processes your customer or client goes through. Keep a strong focus on how you are delivering your product or service, but more then that. Look at how you can make it easier for your client and customers to get the delivery. We are always talking about how we can minimize the pains of our clients and customers, but what do that mean is means flexibility in all aspects and flawless execution every time.
If you are a company that responds to desire, you client or customer will properly be one who takes charge and makes the things happen. Your job is to design a process which integrates into the normal processes of the client or customer. This is properly a client or customer where you will not meet much flexibility due to their need for control. You need to listen and act!
Guided sales is about fulfilling the need of the client and customer before their have chosen the means to fulfill this need. Your job is to design a process that makes you the easy choice for your client or customer.
This strategy will allow you to be part of your client or customers’ early stages, creating the benefit of guiding them to the products or service you want them to buy. The process should be designed around individuality and self-choice. The Client or customer likes to hear from you and likes you to be part of the process to share experience and recommendation but, in the end, the client or customer will make the decision themselves and based on their knowledge. The process is driven by knowledge and experience, so, in order to help your customer or client the right way, think about how you can integrate into key systems (without breaking GDPR) so you get data from them, everything from stock to STN (Sales through numbers). It will allow you to share your knowledge as relevant as possible. The client or customer will love this!
The good example would be to get the sales numbers and STN numbers. That will allow you to build a model for when the correct time to contact the client or customer comes. The client or customer will see you as a source of knowledge and will not find you annoying due to unwanted calls.
Nudging behavior is well known today, we have all received E-mails from companies just trying to sell us something. Nudging is more data and knowledge driven, it is about knowing your client or customer to the point where you know what to send them to lead them to a sale. It is the power of what your brand is, putting your name, products and content to work to nudge the customer or client.
This strategic way of thinking and acting is typically connected to being data driven, because it is about acting on the data from current and past clients or customers to generate the right product at the right time or the right content at the right time.
A lot of cool ways of integration to the customers or Clients emerged over the last few years. Warner Bros is now launching movies through AR and games like Pokemon go. It connects your brand and your customers far more then what has been possible earlier.
This is the one I LOVE when it comes to B2B and now also B2C now. We can now integrate directly into our clients or customers E-Commerce system to make orders happen without thinking. We can fulfill our clients or customers’ customers needs without actually being in contact with anyone of them. Drop shipping has been around for many years now and has come to a point where the options are endless and never-ending fun. Truly, just think of the resources you and your client or customers can save if the processes are automated or done by machine learning/AI.
When it comes to the B2C market, then IoT brings some new and very interesting things to the table. Just think when you can connect your soap dispenser to your phone and it will order new soap when you are running low. Part of our lives will be able to run automated with a great integration strategy.
Final words: do not forget that the world is changing and is making decision for you, so always restart your thinking and work from the idea that you can do better.
You have the power to change your business model to address your clients and customers. Do not forget you might have the need for all four strategies to meet all your clients or customers’ needs and the need might shift over time.
Rethink, restart and redesign all the time!