As we have discussed the last time, the “Inspiration” phase is the first out of four that a customer passes through in his or her journey. It is – quite simply – the first contact a potential buyer has with the product, service or company in question and today we will have a look at the most important aspects that need to be considered during this phase.
From the field of “classical” Marketing, we already know a vast amount of methods in order to get a person’s attention: billboards, store displays, online ads, social media, promotional activities, e-mail newsletters etc. All these are potential channels through which we must get the user’s attention. The overall goal is clear: we must turn a user’s attention into an actual interest.
This shows us that during the inspiration phase, we must get the user to want to further investigate on the matter and hence, move on to the second phase (a not so new concept that has been made public by Elmo Lewis more than a century ago and is still applicable today). This encompasses two main challenges: firstly, we must trigger the customer’s curiosity by showing something fascinating, interesting, questionable or, simply put, cool – secondly we must move the customer into our own channels. Naturally, there is no cure-all solution since industries, product lines and customer segments all work differently. However, keep these things in mind in order to design a successful inspiration phase in your omnichannel commerce setup.
1. Stand out from the rest (or else, nobody will notice you)
Don’t be normal – these days, people are constantly bombarded with ads of all kinds. You will only be noticed if you stand out from the rest. May it be because the product/service you are presenting is so awesome, because your ad is funny or because you are using technology in a new and special way (such as Graubünden Tourismus with their “Bündner entführen Städter” campaign). Being average is not enough.
2. Show the user where to continue
Make it easy for the customer to move to the next step – after all, it would be a shame if a customer sees a great ad on her morning commute to work but, once at the office, has already forgotten it. Allow the user to immediately gather more information if wanted and make sure that there are no barriers in place. A good example for such a barrier would be the usage of a QR-code on a billboard ad – who wants to download a QR reader, open it, scan the code, just to get to website? Instead, have a short, snappy and memorable URL displayed on your ads or use the same hashtag or logo in your promotional materials and on your website’s homepage so users immediately recognize they are in the right spot.
3. Master the channel-mix
With the offline and online worlds combined, there a many possible channels through which users can become interested in your products. However, only a small number of channels will be “official” and you will not be able to control what is written about you. If a user uploads a picture of himself to Instagram with his new “On” running shoes, this might potentially interest his friends into the brand as well. However, this can also lead to a debacle if negative statements and reviews are not managed properly. Realize that – even if you cannot control all channels – you can at least monitor them in order to maximize the effect.
4. Design a wholesome customer journey
This also means that you cannot fully predict through which channels the user will come to you. In order to keep things manageable, try to funnel the different paths yet design the journey to allow for maximum flexibility (also see this post for tips regarding customer journey design). Anticipate the different backgrounds the incoming users have and try to match them on your side: somebody who saw a billboard ad needs to be treated differently than a user that noticed an interesting-looking tweet on twitter. Also, allow for cross-channel behavior since users will choose their channels based on many variables – keep those in mind!
5. Measure your success
As always, you cannot manage what you cannot measure. When building campaigns or designing channels overall, remember to implement analytics tools in order to measure the performance. This will give you a better image of your user’s behavior. Fellow Atos consultant Andrea Rapanaro has outlined the approach for building such an analytics system in this blog post.
However, the job is not done when you follow these steps – there is more to be considered for a successful omnichannel solution. The next time, we will discuss the second phase in our omnichannel commerce model: information gathering.
More about omnichannel commerce
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Latest posts by Damian Amherd (see all)
- Omnichannel Commerce: You had my curiosity, but now you have my attention - October 9, 2015
- The Challenges of Omnichannel Commerce - September 17, 2015
- Why we use Slack (and why you should look into it, too) - August 16, 2015