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Why Invisible Experiences are the Future of Marketing

Why Invisible Experiences are the Future of Marketing

By Sam Ngo, Director of Product Marketing at BlueConic

Today, companies face the dual challenge of meeting consumer expectations while navigating increasing privacy concerns. A string of high-profile consumer data breaches has made consumers more privacy-aware than ever, prompting them to take active measures to control their data—from employing ad blockers to adjusting device settings and clearing browsing histories.

However, to deliver valuable, meaningful experiences, companies need customer data that consumers are now wary of giving. So, what does it take to navigate this paradox? Companies must responsibly collect data and use it to deliver on invisible experiences.

What is an Invisible Experience?

Coined by Forrester, the term “invisible experiences” refers to when companies are able to anticipate and respond to customer needs, resulting in seamlessly delivered interactions that offer information, assistance, and services without being intrusive.

These experiences are proactive, addressing customer needs and preferences in real time without requiring explicit input. Consider automatic doors that open as you approach or a home thermostat that adjusts to your preferred temperature upon entry. Similarly, invisible digital experiences operate behind the scenes to enhance convenience and satisfaction.

In marketing, invisible experiences leverage customer data analytics or preferences and contextual awareness to deliver personalized content and services precisely when needed. For instance, a customer who regularly purchases dog food online might receive a timely reminder to reorder just as their supply runs low, perhaps with a personalized discount. These experiences excel at providing intuitive, beneficial interactions that build trust and deepen brand loyalty.

Invisible Infrastructures

While the intention is to make the customer experience seamless and effortless, creating invisible experiences requires a robust infrastructure capable of managing a wide variety and volume of data while safeguarding privacy and security. These infrastructures comprise several critical components, beginning with data collection and consent. Companies must prioritize ethical data practices that include obtaining explicit consent from users and being transparent about their data usage, particularly in the face of stringent regulations like GDPR and CCPA.

First-party data, including purchase history, browsing behavior, offline interactions, stated preferences, and more, must also be integrated into unified profiles that provide a comprehensive, nuanced understanding of each customer. With access to these profiles, marketing and other customer-facing teams can quickly analyze, segment, and activate data, enabling agile and targeted engagement strategies that drive meaningful connections with customers.

Finally, real-time data processing capabilities are essential for timely, context-aware responses. Companies can predict customer needs and automate interactions with speed and accuracy by applying AI and machine learning to their unified, first-party data.

Invisible Implementations

While invisible experiences may seem like a lofty aspiration, forward-thinking companies across industries already leverage them to redefine customer engagement and drive business growth. For example, Dutch telecom giant VodafoneZiggo has successfully reduced customer churn and call volumes by personalizing online experiences based on unified first-party data. By identifying high-risk customers and tailoring web interactions to address their specific needs, they achieved a 4.5% reduction in churn and significantly lowered call volumes.

Similarly, RevZilla, a prominent motorcycle gear retailer, analyzes browsing behavior data to categorize and target customers by interest areas, such as helmets or jackets. This targeted approach, complemented by personalized content like blog posts and newsletters, has yielded remarkable results, including a 35% surge in revenue and a 34% increase in orders.

Finally, global appliance manufacturer Electrolux is leveraging price drop alerts linked to customer interest data to drive e-commerce sales. Instant email notifications of price reductions to interested customers led to an 80% increase in conversion rates and a 20% decrease in bounce rates in the first 30 days.

The successes of these early adopters underscore the tangible benefits of invisible experiences fueled by unified and actionable first-party customer data. They demonstrate how personalized interactions, informed by comprehensive data insights, can foster deeper customer engagement and drive sustainable business growth.

Embracing the Future

Ultimately, the emergence of invisible experiences marks a pivotal evolution in digital consumer engagement. In the face of mounting privacy concerns and regulatory pressures, embracing these experiences enables companies to deliver seamless interactions that anticipate and fulfill consumer needs without compromising their privacy. This fusion of convenience and privacy enhances customer loyalty and positions businesses at the forefront of innovation in an increasingly regulated environment. Success awaits those who dare to embrace it.

 BlueConic is one of the leading adtech, customer data platforms that leverages AI and machine learning to break down and liberate first-party data so companies can transform customer relationships and drive business growth 

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