Two Irrefutable and Significant Trends That Are Re-Defining Digital Commerce

Brand marketers sit right at the intersection of two of the most irrefutable and significant trends that are re-defining and disrupting digital commerce and customer engagement in profound ways.

Irrefutable and significant trend #1

The expectations of today’s consumers about how a brand engages with them are wildly different compared to what they expected as recently as 3 years ago. For example, at no point in the process of calling for an Uber to selecting a ride to reaching your destination and paying your credit card bill do you or I ever feel like we are being marketed or sold to. Yet, you get out of the car thinking you have “won.” Uber is making billions as they delight you. The same holds true for when you are “up sold” by Amazon or Netflix’s eerily accurate recommendations based on your purchase and browsing behavior.

In exchange for leaving an increasing amount of digital breadcrumbs that highlight their preferences, consumers now demand that you truly understand them during the purchase journey. Not their segment. Not their cohort. Them, as individuals. And for that, it’s clear that they are willing to reward you handsomely.

Irrefutable and significant trend #2

On that last point about treating every consumer as an individual, we’ve been talking about the holy grail of 1:1 personalization for decades now. But the technology just wasn’t up to snuff to provide a truly personalized experience — until now. With advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence, it is finally possible to understand a consumer’s preferences within seconds of him taking an action or displaying a certain behavior, and subsequently engaging with him during the purchase cycle in wildly more accurate and meaningful ways — much like Uber does.

Now every consumer wants to be respectfully treated as an audience of one, where you engage with her with the right content, at the right time, and on the right channel and device.

As some of you know, I joined Kahuna as CEO in the fall of last year. Coming from another technology sector gave me an outside-in perspective on consumer engagement and marketing automation as a category. And as I see enterprising marketers embrace this new way of consumer engagement, I’m convinced that this isn’t a forward-looking statement. Modern marketers and CMOs are actively distinguishing themselves in their respective noisy, margin-sensitive businesses by exploiting new approaches to consumer experience at the intersection of these two trends, to drive sustainable competitive advantage. And whilst those who are embracing this new way of engaging consumers are making significant headway, some of those who aren’t, are struggling to find a firm footing on this new playing field.

eTail West panel — March 1, 2017

On March 1st, our team and I head to Palm Desert to speak on a panel at eTail West. On the panel, we will discuss critical topics: how to execute a truly cross-channel content and commerce strategy, how we move from an email-centric technology to one that leverages all channels and puts the consumer in the center of the experience design. And finally, how to build frictionless commerce models using modern marketing technology.

The fantastic panel members include modern marketers such as Isamar Batista, Director, ShoeDazzle, Daniel Gaugler, CMO, PrintingForLess.com, Lauren Beck, Director, HSN, Gregory Rice, Manager, Newegg and myself. The panel is moderated by Tom Wilde, Chief Product Officer, CXSENSE.

The time for the modern marketer is now and the tools are here.

Originally published at www.pretzellogic.org on February 28, 2017.

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