When a customer comes to visit they go through a journey. The journey comprises a set of experiences. Those experiences shape how the customer will react as you deliver your messages and offer them different products and services. That journey is crucial to maximising the value of your customer’s visit. It is crucial to valuing your time together.
The Customer Journey
Context Marketing and the Customer Journey
Typical digital signage systems focus on delivering messages to lots of customers in lots of premises. These are horizontal systems. By that we mean that the aim is to allow an organisation to centrally control screens in multiple premises allowing a message, or multiple sequential messages, to be delivered in each premise under central control.
By looking at the Customer Journey we realized however that the customer can typically encounter a number of screens each of which will try and talk to them. They will also encounter signs and other messaging “surfaces”. These surfaces include dedicated Digital Signage displays but also interactive kiosk-like units to take details of their visit and displays or signs used to guide them. We realized that treating these as not different things, with no association, but as similar coordinated surfaces we could revolutionize both how messages are conveyed and the efficiency and effectiveness of the Customer Journey.
We also concluded that having lots of messaging surfaces working separately within each branch made no sense. So while traditional Digital Signage focused on the horizontal challenge of delivering a message to multiple branches the real opportunity being missed was to deliver one coordinated message split into phrases and delivered across many surfaces within one branch. This is where we coined the term “Vertical Messaging” for using the many surfaces in one branch within the same customer journey to build up a complete message.
In Vertical Messaging the larger important message is split into parts or phrases and those parts are conveyed in steps to the customer. The approach is not as in-your-face as say traditional advertising because there is no need to complete the message within the limited time and space of a single video screen or single video clip. In fact the customer is allowed room to assimilate the different phrases before moving on to the next one. This truly values the time the customer spends on the premises making best use of the whole visit. Vertical messaging echoes the best examples of good conversation or perhaps a brilliant presentation. It structures the message for maximum effectiveness not to suit an arbitrarily defined space such as a poster or a 30 second spot on a screen.
Context Marketing through vertical messaging in digital surfaces
Clearly key to making the phrases for Vertical Messages is not to say everything in the first phrase but as we are so familiar with having just one opportunity to get a point across that adapting to the Vertical Message approach can be a challenge. So instead you need to think about shaping the customer’s view in steps.
The compelling reason to view
What makes the use of Vertical Messages so powerful in the context of a customer visiting your premises is the compelling reason to view. While the customer is being guided around your premises they rely on the surfaces to instruct them on how to proceed. They have to follow the information on the various surfaces so that means they have to view and to pay attention to what is on those surfaces.
Unlike a traditional Digital Signage screen that they might choose to ignore completely they have a real connection with a screen that is also going to tell them which counter to attend and when to proceed there for example. This is where you can really benefit from your physical presence in the form of a store or branch or building of any kind and where you can get real capital from your customer’s attendance at your premises. Not only does the customer get a more relaxed presentation of the message but their attention is held despite the relative length of the process – a remarkable and powerful combination.
Mastering the Customer Journey is a significant step in the development of any customer-facing business. Qmatic has recognized that there is great potential to go further than this however by tailoring the journey to each customer. By doing this a host of advantages is gained, not only for the service provider but also for the customer who will enjoy an improved customer experience.
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Image Courtesy of Q-Matic AB
Digital Signage Reinvented – Integrating Context Marketing with the Customer Journey