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How to Succeed in the Expectation Age

Brands must deliver outstanding experiences at every touchpoint — or risk losing customers forever.

March 22, 2019

Whether purchasing a cup of coffee or a fully loaded car, customers expect outstanding experiences every time. We’ve grown enthusiastically reliant on technology to make our brand interactions richer and more satisfying. We can opt in or opt out. We can decide how and when we want to receive offers. We can even shape the offers presented to us.

We expect personalized, contextually relevant experiences at every turn, and our demands have fueled a fierce “experience competition” among brands. If our experiences don’t live up to our expectations, we’ll simply abandon the brand relationship.

And we won’t even give it a second thought.

Empowered consumers have ushered in a new era in business. To compete, brands have to deliver seamless experiences at every point in the customer journey.

Welcome to the Expectation Age.

Experience Wins
Although quality and price still influence purchasing decisions, experience outranks them all in the Expectation Age. In fact, experience is so imperative that 86% of consumers say they’ll pay more to get it.

Amazon is a gold standard, making the shopping and delivery process easy, streamlined, and personalized. The retail disruptor has refined the journey to such a perfect point that 69% of consumers expect other brand experiences to be like Amazon’s.

This means that every brand out there — even those outside of your industry — are competitors.

Just a couple of years ago, we were living in a time defined by digital capabilities, and we called it the Information Age. This is when broadband was king and SMS was a hot channel for mass media marketing. As innovations such as virtual reality, personalized and dynamic ads, and mobile-first technology evolved to ensure the customer is at the center of every marketing move, we entered into the Expectation Age.

Technology has made the brand-customer connection easier, but it’s also empowered customers to demand more from the companies with which they choose to do business. How do brands address the gap between the products and services they deliver and what their customers expect?

It starts with a holistic, integrated, data-driven approach to marketing. Ansira has been in the business of creating and strengthening customer relationships for 100 years — since about the time of rotary dial phones and pop-up toasters — and we’ve evolved just as we’ve advised our clients to do. As innovations proliferated, we refined our marketing technology and services — from customer-relationship management (CRM) and loyalty programs to national and local media to through-channel marketing automation (TCMA) — to give brands the insights and tools to provide seamless customer experiences, whether digital or physical.

The challenges of the Expectation Age are more acute for brands with direct and indirect customer relationships — what we like to call brand-to-local — which is why we choose to work with brands and their channel partners to make delivering those experiences easier and, ultimately, more effective.

In the Expectation Age, turning customers into brand advocates isn’t just a wish; it’s key to survival. Brand loyalty and profitability depend on making customers feel like you understand them — and that you’ll always deliver the exact experiences they’ve unapologetically come to expect.

About the Author

Andy Arnold
EVP, Chief Client Officer

Andy plays a pivotal role in Ansira’s growth and success, leading teams devoted to new business, revenue growth, sales operations, and marketing and communications.

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