Several factors have helped elevate buyer expectations, but three technological developments stand out in importance.
- The appearance and proliferation of online communication channels and digital communication devices – particularly the meteoric rise of tablets – gives both consumers and business buyers more choices for engaging with brands. Rather than treating various devices and platforms as either/or alternatives, buyers are using multiple devices on a daily basis. A recent study by Time Inc. found that “Digital Natives” (individuals who have grown up using mobile technologies) move between devices and platforms 27 times per hour.
- Today’s channels and devices have enough bandwidth and computing power to allow the use of rich media content such as high quality video and audio.
- The development of “touchscreen” technology fundamentally changes how individuals interact with their communication devices and experience digital media.
These developments have helped elevate buyer expectations and have substantially raised the bar for providing memorable customer experiences.
- Buyers now expect interactions with brands to be truly interactive. They expect every communication vehicle – an e-mail message, web page, or Facebook page, for example – to include multiple options that will take them to additional information. I contend that, in the very near future, most buyers will also expect even traditional printed materials (print ads, catalogs, etc.) to provide similar options via QR codes or other technologies.
- Buyers now expect brands to provide visually compelling information through the use of rich media. If a sweater is available in four colors, they want to see all four colors. A video showing a product in action is more compelling than a static brochure describing how the product works.
- Buyers increasingly expect to have easy access to detailed information about the products or services they’re interested in. What are the product’s dimensions and weight? What accessories for the product are available? Is there a more (or less) expensive model with more (or fewer) features?
Buyer expectations – enabled by the capabilities of today’s digital communication devices – have blurred the lines between traditional marketing communications content and product information. At ADAM, we believe that delivering exceptional customer experiences in this environment requires the integration of digital asset management and product content management technologies.
We’ve recently released a new white paper on this important topic written by Pieter Casneuf, ADAM’s CEO. You can download a copy of the new white paper here.