Getting physical – the best way to engage

As highlighted in some of my earlier posts I am really excited about the opportunities new technologies allow smart companies to provide a greater experience of interaction with their customers – in essence creating the hallowed ‘greater engagement’ through gestures and physical interaction.

This new app from Bump allows you to simply share your photos between users simply by tapping your smartphones together. Not only that, you can store them on your computer by simply tapping your phone on the spacebar.

No more digging out the cables. No more hooking up the WiFi. No more uploading & downloading. Simply tap the two together and your photos will be easily sent across.

This is not about replacing Instagram and Facebook that have their own great photo sharing benefits for those far and wide. It’s about providing another simple way to address the need for an instant and physical share of the photo.

The new breed of smartphones with ever improving accelerometers and NFC will allow us to take this physical interaction with your brand to new levels as Barclaycard’s current PayTag campaign reminds us.

There are many benefits to this more physical gesture approach. Not only is it normally more simple that finding your way through a string of menus but we know that physical interaction is normally a fun and enjoyable experience.

As a marketer it allows us to focus on creating a more emotional connection with your brand and service. We know that if well executed this is a strong driver of brand satisfaction and desire.

There are many ways that we can look to use this and create more physical engagement with our customers.

Recently I have been asked by a couple of marketing agencies to think about the new opportunities for brands to connect with consumers and store staff using the emerging mobile and digital technologies. Needless to say that many include a simple and fun physical interaction that delivers a much richer benefit.

Of course these are still early days but a great time for you to plough a little investment of budget and time to think about ways that you could put more smiles on your customers’ faces by creating a valued physical interaction with your brand.

In the meantime, if you want another opportunity maybe it’s a good time to invest in companies that produce mobile phone screens. πŸ™‚

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Winning with ‘wows’ – the fuel for your social media strategy and business success

Having just read and enjoyed this great article on how to make your business more remarkable by offering your customers real ‘wow’ moments it really reminds us of the need to simply step-back and see how you can delight your customers in new and exciting ways.

Of course, like me you may read this and think well that’s great but surely it’s just good business and marketing sense. But how often do we really do this? Or do we find ourselves looking too much at the operational challenges and the next new campaign ahead of us.

How often do we really think about how to create these genuine ‘wow’ moments and what they could do for our business success?

We are all taking about social media strategy but like all media its success will be largely driven by the content. I really believe creating these genuine wow experiences will not just create the stories to make your social media a success but will also make your business performance a success too.

I’m sure we can all think of many examples like the Disney toy example that have caused us to smile and think ‘that’s cool’ and share it with friends & family even before Facebook & Twitter came along.

Personal current favourites include: Flipboard giving me a simpler and more enjoyable way to read my favourite media, Sky+ mobile app giving me a simple way to record my favourite TV shows when I am out and about and the Pure salad bar on Beak street where you’re presented with great choices of salads all served up and customised for you in a fast and fun way. And of course there is always Apple with their relentless stream of wow moments for us all to talk about.

Clearly digital services like Flipboard and Sky can easily build their wow moments and the ability for consumers to share them within their social media presence. For offline companies like Pure this requires a little more thought.

The rapidly expandingΒ Tortilla Mexican Grill chain are enjoying long queues of customers waiting to be served their choice of fresh mexican food and seem to be driving a very active social media plan at the same time with various online promotions and community chatter.

The key to this approach really has to be to set aside some time and bring the right creative resources and really put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Really think about ‘the day in the life of’ when a customer would be using your product/service and what it would feel like. Compare where your competitors might be putting extra smiles on their faces.

Challenge yourself to create the wows that you think would really put a smile on your customers face and then give them an easy way to share their story.

Also, don’t forget to do this regularly and create new wow experiences otherwise your social media and business performance will suffer.

A couple of years ago Ocado would have been a top example. However, I don’t feel they have added anything inspiring or useful to their service of late and other brands have copied and caught up. It’s not surprising that they don’t seem to be getting as much buzz and their business performance is stalling.

Interestingly it looks like Flipboard are going to keep me happy and talking about their service by allowing me to listen to interesting content as well reading articles.

I trust that Sky are planning the next wow for me to keep enjoying their mobile app and Pure certainly need to think about how they will keep me excited about going back before they are overtaken by the 100’s of other great places to eat in Soho that I will read about on Facebook.

So don’t just think about your social media strategy – think about how you can first fuel it and your business success with wow customer moments and encourage them to share it.