The last two years we observe a shift from a linear perspective about how consumers behave and interact to a fuzzier, holistic and with many more parameters to describe one. People spend most of their time on the go, online and become receivers of crazy amounts of information in real time.
At the same time, we add more machine-to-machine dialogues into the perspective. And these dialogues, may improve our ability to understand how consumers make decisions but also create a more complicated field to navigate within.
In the mean time, brands get involved in a race to have access to richer and more in-detail data. They try to understand the interactions people may have with each tangible and virtual touch-point something that seems a battle lost in the very beginning. What it is missing is not more data, but a way to understand what people need, when they need and how they are talking about it, visualise them and last but not least to provide the right information and the right total picture to the right stakeholders.
It becomes crucial to understand that it will make us able to have a clear view of what is happening in the industry, in the category or in the market and also to make us capable to have a more closer to reality forecast is the way we pull out the information and not the information and how this can drive into specific actions, and actions with measurable results.
Therefore, the way a consumer journey is mapped, described or optimised is not linear anymore, it involves high amounts of emotional intelligence and it has to be made that in a way to drive actual deliverables and not just theories.
At the end of the day, a consumer journey in our days has no beginning and no end. It is an infinity loop where consumers talk with brands, exchange information and data, but also make decisions on the go and based on influences no one can accurately describe.
What is the solution to this fuzzy environment? First, to make sure that all able to control touch points are optimised and designed and aligned to serve the same story and vision and those brands don’t have access or can’t work with them, to make sure that they are part of an open dialogue and conversation not just marks capable to turn the consumers off or far from the brands’ purpose.
Based on this, old fashioned approaches to Google search or to how to use Facebook are no longer the best way to use them. Everything and everyone is a search engine, a trigger to ask for more, to discover things and content.
Mobile is everything and mobile everywhere is the way life and interactions should be approached. Personalisation is something highly appreciated but not in the wrong context.
To close the loop, context drives everything, and everyone’s decisions or intentions. Information and interactions plus the environment we spend time and consume content create the context, and both address the best possible personalisation for what we need at the time we want it.