@thebuddygroup @dotlot “creating pre-sales content without actively engaging consumers with R.E.A.L post-sale content is like serving your kids pancakes without syrup”

As curated on PeteDeutschman.com

Successful brands may “win” at being part of the shopping experience up until they get buyers into stores and, ultimately, in line at the cash register. But many assume — incorrectly — that their job ends once a purchase transaction takes place considering this the job of support.

With online sales representing such a large (and growing) part of the customer experience, the customer experience post purchase is broken in the eyes of the customer. I buy on Amazon (or Best Buy or ….) and then I am expected to have a relationship with the manufacturer. This process repeats for each product I purchase.

The customer journey does not stop with the buy. By neglecting the post purchase experience, marketers are missing out on some pretty special moments and product affinity. Today’s consumers are mindful of experience’s value over product, this could become the demise of healthy products incapable of evolving along side of the customer.

It has been said that Brands’ and marketers’ mindsets must shift away from treating a purchase as a “final destination,” and instead focus on continuous interactions with consumers, even when those consumers leave the store for home or other locations. Today, there are tools available to drive engagement at each step of the customer journey —too many tools perhaps– mastering the post sale experience is paramount.

Whether the destination is a brick-and-mortar store or an online marketplace, many of today’s consumers expect shopping to be an experience. Even in our increasingly digital world, the concept of the consumer journey is alive, well and critically important.

This is because the shopping experience is driven by its primary component: a consumer’s intent to purchase

Alongside the intent to purchase is the moment of brand discovery. Given the ubiquity of smartphones today, this defining moment has become a more immediate and common part of the process. This is because, regardless of location, a consumer can instantly access information about a product, such as who makes it, where it can be bought and for how much. This is the setup for future customer interactions.

Consumers seek personalized experiences. A meal out is oftentimes more about the experience than the meal itself — the location, mood and fellow diners all factor into the decision to dine at a particular restaurant. The same philosophy applies to the goods they purchase. Consumers want to try out the product, interact with it, or otherwise, have an experience that makes their shopping trip even more enjoyable. The process is all about earning trust, something that is very difficult to do online in a world of paid reviews, influencers and paid publisher content.

The purchase is no longer the objective

Regardless of how much creativity goes into an in-store moment to make a shopping trip more enjoyable, an item’s purchase traditionally marks the end of the brand’s involvement in the consumer journey. Despite what a brand represents, there’s an instinct to treat the whole process like a transaction. Once the purchase has been made, you have what you need from a customer, and the conversation is complete.

But transaction-based thinking doesn’t fully value the rapport built during the brand discovery phase and undermines what brands are at their core. Strong and successful brands are built on relationships with consumers — pre- and post-purchase — that inform customers, educate and inspire them. If a brand’s interaction with the consumer ends at the point of purchase, it’s a substantial opportunity lost.

Be the exception by being R.E.A.L

At The Buddy Group, we have development a model based on the acronym, R.E.A.L.

R- Relate

E- Educate

A- Advocacy

L- Learn

The 2017 Getting Serious About Omni-channel Experience study by Huawei, the Customer Experience Board, and the CMO Council, found 60 percent of surveyed marketers altered their content strategy by offering more content types and formats for potential buyers to consume. This is a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t go nearly far enough. According to the same study, only 38 percent of marketers have turned consumer engagement into a 24/7 opportunity to connect with customers, proving that creating pre-sales content without actively engaging consumers with R.E.A.L post-sale content is like bringing your kids pancakes without syrup.

Going the distance

In essence, turning consumer engagement into an around-the-clock operation is synonymous with accompanying a buyer on each step of their shopping journey, as both embrace the idea of extending the dialogue well beyond the moment of purchase.

Major analyst firms such as Gartner also recognize the importance of this kind of brand-to-consumer engagement, citing its positive impact on customer retention. In fact, the Gartner 2017-2018 CMO Spend Survey found that CMOs are spending twice as much on customer retention as on customer acquisition.

As Gartner notes, marketers and brands will need to focus on capturing lifetime value or, simply put, keeping customers for life. Once brands know how to keep customers, they’ll also be able to better understand how to gain them.

The good news is, there’s never been a better opportunity to start engaging with consumers at home, particularly when smart or connected products enable access to custom video content or other unique digital experiences such as voice search, image recognition or up-to-date access to evolving content. Access to videos or tutorials on how to use the product with other products in their ecosystem or addressing common issues caused when using the product with others generate positive outcomes and deep customer trust that your brand will support the ongoing evolution and relationship.

Since consumers already treat shopping like it’s a journey, brands should be treating it the same way. The “final destination” no longer exists in the consumer shopping experience. A purchase transaction is just the start, and it can be the beginning of a conversation that fuels business growth, drives additional sales and creates ultra-loyal and satisfied customers.

Ultimately, it comes down to trust: trusting the sources from which you get information, whether it’s from brands, news sources, family members, Twitter accounts, or wherever you’re engaging. @dotlot @thebuddygroup

There’s no question that we live in a society in which information moves faster than ever before. So the old adage that “a lie is halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to put its pants on” is quite accurate.

A recent study in Science found that false news travels faster and wider and that the blame lies with humans. It’s the same reason that gossip tabloids have always flourished and that the Kardashians are so widely followed. Human nature seems to gravitate toward a willingness to spread falsehoods and exaggerations.

And this is why Facebook (and other big technology companies) are in a pinch ahead of the midterm elections. Because what they have to fix isn’t just an algorithm: it’s human behavior. Behavior that they’ve trained with Pavlovian-like responses tied to endorphins that ‘likes’ and ‘retweets’ cause in the brain. The ubiquitous nature of technology and its endemic effects make this a societal problem, with reverberations that are being felt in government, child-rearing, school, and more.

There’s still a need to be aware of and efforts made to stomp out fake news. Interestingly, even amid the growing era of machine learning, journalists may be better suited to do sniff out fake news. That is, journalists who aren’t being coerced into bashing national media companies by their employers.

What’s Life Without Information?

But what’s the answer? One New York Times columnist took a two-month hiatus from digital sources, getting his news only from print newspapers. The result was a less frenetic, richer experience with himself and his family. And an Ohio man completely cut himself off from every kind of news. Those kinds of solutions may not be for everyone, but they do indicate just how deep technology pervades our minds and the need to make some kind of change to our behavior.

Ultimately, it comes down to trust: trusting the sources from which you get information, whether it’s from brands, news sources, family members, Twitter accounts, or wherever you’re engaging. And knowing that you have the power to influence others, because that’s who people trust over all sources. Your employees, customers, fans, family and the like — they’re the ones who will be the best resource when it comes to leading and defending your brand or your story. If you have a good relationship with them and can be consistent and persistent, you stand a chance of breaking through.

As posted on http://braintrust.partners/trust-matters/

This is a great example of how quickly an Internet of Things transforming technology can take off @dotlot

Consumers using digital voice assistants want some help from brands.

Primarily, many consumers want brands to help them improve their knowledge or help organize their daily lives.

However, the top thing they want their favorite brands to do is tap into their voice-controlled smart speakers to provide innovative new products, based on a new study on voice devices.

The study comprised a survey of 30,000 internet users aged 16 to 64 who used voice search within the last month or currently use a voice-controlled smart speaker. It was conducted by Global Web Index.

Here’s the breakdown of what voice tech adopters most want from their favorite brands:

  • 25% — Provide innovative new product
  • 24% — Improve knowledge and skills
  • 19% — Help simplify/organize daily life
  • 16% — Provide entertaining videos, content
  • 15% — Provide personalized recommendations for purchases

Researchers also found that more than a third (35%) of internet users plan to purchase a voice-controlled smart assisting within the next six months.

The adoption of smart speakers varies widely by age. For example, more than half of millennial internet users either use or plan to purchase a smart speaker. Here’s the breakdown by age of internet users who currently use a smart speaker or plan to purchase one in the next six months:

  • 57% — 25 to 34
  • 55% — 16 to 24
  • 49% — 35 to 44
  • 37% — 45 to 54
  • 27% — 55 to 64

This is a great example of how quickly an Internet of Things transforming technology can take off. And this is only one of them.

 

As seen on https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/316335/voice-assistant-users-want-brands-to-provide-innov.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=readmore&utm_campaign=108172&hashid=GDUskglhnvDLb35PkVj_E8-yz3s

Hey, Google “Did Alexa kill CES as we knew it?”

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Look closely. You will see in this image the epitome of CES 2018. Amazon Alexa, well positioned on the floor with a full year plus of partnerships and integration including CES 2017 where they dominated the strip, floor and discussion. Google, represented here (left, inside the booth), boxed in and relevant only to those who know where to look for it made incredible efforts to be recognized and part of the conversation at CES 2018. They succeeded as voice became the #1 topic at nearly all meetings and cocktail hours. Despite the showing, Alexa integrations and branding was on display 3 to 1.

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Barking “Hey, Google “and “Alexa…” make not a CES. As I reflected on my annual drive back from Vegas, a trip I have been doing for 17 years, I realized the difference between then and now comes down to the value the products are bringing to consumers.

 

THEN:  Back then (and up until about 3-4 years ago), CES was where new, verticalforming innovation debuted, and where products that made us more productive where recognized. (VCR, CD player, flat panel tv, gaming, IP TV)

 

What’s interesting to me here is that, in between each of these innovations, we found a period of time where the vertical was evolving and refining. Flat panel TVs were over $10,000 when they first came out and now you can buy them at Costco for $400.

 

So, where are we right now? Well, I think it is safe to say that 2018 was a year of convenience rather than transformation.

Convenience is what happens when the value proposition is not based on newness or major leaps forward but rather on evolution of the customer experience.

 

Hey, Google… Ask Alexa what is CES?

2017: CES: Consumer Electronics Show

2018: CES: Customer Experience Show

 

Products that were not part of the consumer electronics category before are, by nature of adding sensors or voice assistants, smart and now part of the conversation. The low(ish) cost to add tech to products means an onslaught of newcomers to CES which in-turn pushes the already crowded market into the streets, literally. App makers and artificial intelligence SAAS providers took over restaurants for the week and managed to create buzz alongside their clients, the manufacturers. If you didn’t already see it, a beauty company made quite the splash at CES this year.

 

Thursday morning, after several days of meetings, walking the floor, and demonstration after demonstration, I joined about 100 game changers at the Future Proof event co-hosted by MemBrain and Wunderman (Thank you to Jennifer Sullivan for the invitation). As attendees barely had their first sip of coffee, Cheddar Founder Jon Steinberg wasted no time and started off by posing a profound question about salience. While getting to a different question, Jon addressed the open room asking ‘in a world where 80% of a brand/product’s marketing dollars are spent on Facebook and Google, have we tipped over into a duopoly where a product has limited access to find saliency’? 

 

Just 12 hours later, Facebook made what could prove to be the most important announcement on this topic, addressing the way their algorithm promotes a brand or publisher’s quest for saliency in our personal news feed. This move will bring Facebook closer to its roots and create opportunities for brands and publishers to uncover new angles and platforms in the quest for saliency. Consumers have grown to become addicted to checking facebook (and other apps) enabling a behavior across demographics that is promoting data/information consumption at all times.

 

This attention to the word saliency really struck a chord and the irony was not lost on me as we sat in this room at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) marking for many the end of a long-product development cycle. The efforts of the makers transfers to the marketers and here we were, talking about how challenging it is to find prominence on a social platform against headwinds of record breaking exhibitors and attendees fighting for a moment of their target audiences’ attention. Now put yourself in the shoes of the connected consumer, bombarded by content, clips and facts. 

 

For a second year in a row, I heard, “it all looks the same” and “there is not anything new”. As I commented last year, the innovation is not on the surface friends. We are entering a time where the show looks the same but what you see is not what’s new.

 

The ultimate challenge is to demonstrate the value within to the target customer and that challenge requires understanding and empathy and to do so with clarity. Too many “compatible with” statements may sound great, but the consumer experience gets cluttered and confusing pretty quick.

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The new value of customer experience is predicated on our ability to provide and extract data. That’s scary, right? No, it’s only scary to give over data when you are not getting value back. In a world where time is perceived to be the ultimate currency, convenience is the ultimate value.

 

Amazon and Google have a major role in the future of CES and, frankly, a responsibility to give back to the product makers who have embraced them and put them front and center on the floor. Long-live the spirit of innovation and the future of CES as the expo focused on convenience, experience AND innovation. Change is a good thing and I am excited to see how CES evolves again next year.

Prediction: AR with informed interaction
becomes the key driver to upgrade our phones (and glasses)

CNET captured a great list of notables worthy of sharing here: https://www.cnet.com/pictures/all-the-cool-new-gadgets-at-ces-2018/

Now, a few of my highlights where customer experience created value and where products inspired as seen by @DOTLOT and @THEBUDDYGROUP

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Western Digital and SanDisk have cracked the code for backing up images and videos from your phone or device while on the go, a feature that has become synonymous with the connected consumer, prosumer and mom-a-ratzi.

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@SharperImage is a favorite of mine. I can’t seem to walk through an airport without stopping and spending 20 minutes trying the latest gadgets. Be on the lookout for this smart roller complete with vibration mode. I may have cried a bit while trying this out.

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Yamaha showed off a self correcting motorcycle concept that not only looked amazing, promised to allow you to get to your destination safely.

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The most talked about item at CES this year, the folding machine powered by AI and controlled by voice.

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Want this guy teaching your kid? Someone invested a lot of money to prepare for that to be a reality.

Finally, having worked with Moverio (EPSON) for years, I had to check out Vuzix Blade in person. Where Moverio’s presence was primarily focused on the use of the glasses to maximize the drone flight experience, Vuzix integration of Alexa made the proposition of smart glasses interesting but proof is in the…frames. I am encouraged by Vuzix and hopeful others in the category step up their game to enable unique use cases and provide value to a market hungry for a new way to learn, engage and share.

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 10.22.00 AM

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank may amazing team for all the great efforts to launch @DOTLOT at CES this year. DOTLOT is the only content company engineered for products that evolve. The response has been overwhelming and we are excited to help companies connect the dots between their products and people. www.dotlot.com and jeff@dotlot.com for more information.

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@ces with the team talking connected content

Today, The Buddy Group officially announced the evolution of DOTLOT- the first content company engineered for products that evolve.

I look forward to seeing my team thrive this week as they talk to current and future clients about the refined and innovative approach to educational and marketing content creation, distribution and measurement.

Spinning out DOTLOT allows the Buddy Group to stay focused on helping Brands “Be the Exception” while DOTLOT focuses on addressing the major challenges products face in today’s connected customer/ product relationship. Look for big announcements this week at CES and over the coming months.

If you are a product owner, manager or marketer, please visit http://www.dotlot.com and contact Jeff@dotlot.com for more details.

Excited to see this grow!

@mybuddypeted

Google Lens is far from perfect. But it’s much much better than Google Goggles ever was!

Google Lens has gone live or is about to on Pixel phones in the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, India and Singapore (in English). Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been using it extensively and have had mostly positive results — though not always.

Currently, Lens can read text (e.g., business cards), identify buildings and landmarks (sometimes), provide information on artwork, books and movies (from a poster) and scan barcodes. It can also identify products (much of the time) and capture and keep (in Google Keep) handwritten notes, though it doesn’t turn them into text.

To use Lens, you tap the icon in the lower right of the screen when Google Assistant is invoked. Then you tap the image or object or part of an object you want to scan.

As a barcode scanner, it works nearly every time. In that regard, it’s worthy and a more versatile substitute for Amazon’s app and just as fast or faster in many cases. If there’s no available barcode, it can often correctly identify products from their packaging or labels. It also does very well identifying famous works of art and books.

Google Lens struggled most with buildings and with products that didn’t have any labeling on them. For example (below), it was rather embarrassingly unable to identify an Apple laptop as a computer, and it misidentified Google Home as “aluminum foil.”

When Lens gets it wrong it asks you to let it know. And when it’s uncertain but you affirm its guess, you can get good information.

I tried Lens on numerous well-known buildings in New York, and it was rarely able to identify them. For example, the three buildings below (left to right) are New York City Hall, the World Trade Center and the Oculus transportation hub. (In the first case, if you’re thinking, he tapped the tree and not the building, I took multiple pictures from different angles, and it didn’t get one right.)

I also took lots of pictures of random objects (articles of clothing, shoes, money) and those searches were a bit hit-and-miss, though often, when it missed it was a near-miss.

As these results indicate, Google Lens is far from perfect. But it’s much much better than Google Goggles ever was, and it will improve over time. Google will also add capabilities that expand use cases.

It’s best right now for very specific uses, which Google tries to point out in its blog post. One of the absolute best uses is capturing business cards and turning them into contacts on your phone.

Assuming that Google is committed to Lens and continues investing in it, over time it could become a widely adopted alternative to traditional mobile and voice search. It might eventually also drive considerable mobile commerce.

Amazon Key’s big privacy test is now in your hands

Amazon Key uses the company’s new Cloud Cam security camera, a smart door lock and the new Key app to grant someone temporary access. A delivery person can unlock your front door using his phone, slide in a package, then lock the door again. The idea is to prevent packages from being stolen from the front stoop or have them get soaked in the rain.

https://www.cnet.com/news/amazon-key-launch-privacy-home-deliveries-cloud-cam/?ftag=CAD-03-10aaj8j