Sometimes brands need to be persuaded to look away from the shiny technology and focus on the experience, said Mark McCarthy, Technical Director of Australian customer experience agency Guerrilla.
“I’m the first guy to say let’s not talk about technology, it seems like I’m in the wrong job type and my title is wrong, but it’s not. We need to come back and make sure the experience comes first. The experience might not need technology…” Rather than focus on KPIs and technology, any marketing discussion needs to begin with the brand. “If a business focuses on technology, it’s a selfish thing,” he told Velocitize Talks.
Customer experience is not that complicated, said McCarthy. It’s about treating people well across their customer journey. Some of it has to do with cleaning up the brand house, but once the housekeeping is done, “it comes down to treating people like humans,” he said. “It’s not rocket science.”
Consumers are overloaded with content today, but the content does not belong to brands anymore. “A brand can create as much content as they want to, but a consumer is the one that says I want this piece, and I want this piece and I want this piece. Brands need to understand that. They need to understand the consumer owns the conversation. They’re going to continue to own it.”
All the tools that enable experiences and personalization need to be put at the centre of that focus, said McCarthy. Otherwise, creatives get stuck in “dude-we-should-do-land,” he said.
Creatives need to look to the world around them to find ways to deliver engaging experiences, said McCarthy. It can be as simply as watching the weather, and think of how it affects the consumer: “That’s having a proper conversation with me about stuff I actually care about.”
As new tools such as chat, voice and AI start to come between the marketer and the consumer, brands need to be careful about adding new channels and how the brand voice will be affected, said McCarthy. “Businesses need to ensure the right pieces of technology are in place to deliver an experience and provide a strategic outcome.”
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