Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Most brands are not able to provide a consistent quality of service in the online and offline space, which points to the need for brands to make sure they’re paying attention to consumers’ experiences at every touchpoint, according to a new Connected Life study compiled by Michael Nicholas, who leads the Global Connected Solutions team at TNS.

Living in a connected world allows brands more reach than they have ever had before, but this means that consumers have greater expectations, both in terms of the media they consume and the brands they choose to engage with. Because consumers engage with the Internet differently, there are now a multitude of brand touchpoints that are used for different purposes – from research and searching for content to social interactions.

Nicholas points out that in emerging markets consumers prefer to interact with brands on social media at all stages on the path to purchase. In Europe, the multiple touchpoints are contacted throughout the consumer journey, both online and offline. “These differences create big challenges for channel owners, who are forced to play multiple roles and juggle numerous requests,” he reports. Since most consumers own smartphones and the millennial generation has grown up surrounded by digital media, there is a great deal of frustration with brands that cannot provide seamless online and offline multichannel experiences the consumers now expect from brands. In this space, it is a case of adapt or die.

Nicholas suggests that in the quest to deliver consistent brand experiences, brands need to adapt what he terms a “single view of the customer”. Delivering consistency is not a quick solution, but a strategy that requires time and investment on the part of both brands and marketers and an awareness that the more connected consumers become, the more challenges there will be for brands to meet.  To this end, brands should be relooking data management and company structure. It’s imperative that marketers develop a united brand promise, message and tone that will remain unchanged across multiple channels and platforms.

“Brands now need to focus on tone of voice, delivering a consistent experience and identifying key touchpoints that will have the greatest effect and influence to deliver the best return on investment,” Nicholas concludes.

The big take-out: According to TNS’s latest Connected Life study, the more connected consumers become, the more challenges brands will face, particularly in terms of delivering consistent brand experiences across multiple touchpoints.

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