The Internet has changed the way people shop. It also has changed the way brands must interact with shoppers, treating each touchpoint with a consumer as a potentially magical moment.
Because it is easy to flit from one website to another, each encounter must count, says Scott Davis, director of insights and strategy at Sincerely Truman, a Portland creative agency. "The encounter is everything," Davis explains. "Catch people off guard and make them smile. Capture their heart, if only for a moment."
Of course, it wouldn't hurt if your encounter also involved transmitting relevant information, useful tips or to-die-for offers.
Davis makes a good point that every encounter is important, so brands must consider every social media post, their website design and marketing content that inspires shoppers to pause and exposes them to what is uniquely your brand story.
Paid and earned media have always been aimed at creating impressions. Davis says a quality impression is more valuable than a number of so-so impressions. "Every touchpoint must be a powerful standalone encounter."
Thinking differently about consumer interactions means thinking differently about content. In mass outreach, the goal is to grab eyeballs. What Davis recommends requires capturing eyeballs.
There is so much advertising on TV, in print and via the Web that it takes more than flash to create a durable impression, let alone to cause someone to poke a little deeper into the content.
Developing this kind of mix of creative content demands solid research to understand consumer motivations and trusted information sources. Content packaging must be clever, but also a quick route to the core information being offered. The actual content must instantly resonate with the intended audience by offering something of value that uniquely reflects your brand.
This is a tall order for every touchpoint, but Davis' admonition suggests the reward is worth the effort. "You must be able to bank on every encounter creating value." he says. Because in the crowded world of the Internet, you never know when the next encounter might be.