A recent blog post made me think about where digital fits and why it is just one thing we should care about. The following describes one part of business that google will never own. If you should care about it, I mean you must have a strategy, some tactics and a good understanding of your direction.
At lunch today in Pret I noticed several people who I have seen there on many previous occasions. I go to Pret because the location is convenient, the product and service are good. Lots of people go there because WIFI is free provided you trade a few digital footprints. The management don’t know me from Adam, and they have no way of connecting my digital footprints to my actual purchase. However, I will go back because their value proposition appeals to me.
Whilst eating I thought about the fact that many of the high street retailers are starting their summer sales. Clearing out stock to make way for autumn collections. Are those retailers relying on digital footprints or google search? Most of them are relying on some large point of sale communications. However, some retailers have fully adopted the digital age, as I overheard on my way home on the train. Someone had purchased 4 items from ASOS because they weren’t sure how they would fit or what they would look like. They only wanted one but the returns policy allows any customer to return goods with no questions asked. M&S have been suffering from that customer service quandary for years I hear you scream. Retail is tough, not matter what your business model. “Asos has been the market innovator and leader in young fashion but it is facing much tougher and more extensive competition as the channel matures. This is not only from other pure plays but also from the number of physical retailers that are now going online in international markets,” Hinton said, citing H&M and Inditex, the owner of Zara.
O2 did something interesting earlier this week. They gave me 4G for no extra cost on my mobile contract. As Telefonica have already made the capital expense there is little real extra cost and it may entice me to start streaming HD movies or event sport, but I doubt it. I have noticed that I browse more on the train from Windsor & Eton riverside as web pages actually load before the network service drops. One thing it has done is made their service more sticky, I have no reason to move to another network….
The point that I get to is that all of the interactions are between a Business and an existing Customer. They may be new transactions, but with Customers that are already known. In the B2C examples above a relationship exists based on previous experience in the B2B world the relationship with existing Customers based on previous experience is even tighter.
In a digital world Google seem to be everywhere except the place where it really counts, at the point of interaction between the people who make up an organisation and the Customers who are prepared to pay money for what they offer. Google can make more people aware of what you offer, which is not always the same as what you do. What you do counts and sometimes that requires a relationship, sometimes an explanation and sometimes it is just a just a “Click”. Don’t forgot to manage the relationship, if you do one of your competitors will be happy to step in.
Marketing Automation Consultant