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A major factor affecting your conversions is user flow. It’s the path a user follows through your website interface to complete a task (make a reservation, purchase a product, subscribe to something). It’s also called user journey.

 

In order to maximize your conversions, you have to get the user flow right – build one that matches user’s needs.

 

Learn more about designing user flow and optimizing websites at ConversionXL Institute. Enroll today!

 

The wrong way to go about designing your site

You need to decide what your new website will be like. Two most common ways people approach it:

 

Scenario A

 

You keep everything as it is on your current / old site, but just make it look “better”.

 

Scenario B

 

You start with the building blocks.

 

Okay, the logo goes in the top left corner. Lets put the menu to the right. A nice image in the header. Cool.

 

And so on and so on.

 

Both of these are the wrong way to get going.

 

Start with the objectives

Your primary aim is to fulfill the business objectives (either your own or the one set by your client). Business objectives might be getting users to sign up for something, getting people to purchase products or join an email list.

 

Just as in real life, quickies are very rare. People don’t just come to your site, and right away do what you want them to do. In most cases, they need to go through a set of steps leading up to the action.

 

Next time you’re thinking about designing a site (note: design is not just how it looks, but how it works), start with figuring out what user flows you are trying to create through the website.

 

In order to do this you need to know 2 things:

 

Your business objectives. It’s the action you want visitors to take on the site.

User objectives, the desires or needs that they want to satisfy.

So start with being clear about your own goals and identify each user objective to create design flows that meet all of them.

 

Source / medium determines the message

Customers don’t arrive on a particular page on your site from nowhere. The first step in a flow is mapping out how they get onto your site.

 

Once they land on your site, they won’t immediately perform the action you want them to. Specific sequences of actions lead visitors through your website as they try to accomplish their tasks.

 

Match users needs with your business objectives

 

Your goal is to map users paths – flows that take users from their entry pages through conversion funnels – toward the final action (signup, purchase etc). The final action needs to provide value both to the user as well as the business – otherwise the conversion won’t happen.

 

If the user wants to clean their car, and your goal is to get the user to order a car cleaning service, you have a meeting of goals and the conversion can take place. On the other hand, if they want their car cleaned (right away), and you want them to join your car-related newsletter, there isn’t a match.

 

Designing user flows

In order to come up with the user flows through your site, you need to establish possible entry points, and the flow from there on toward the final goal.

 

Some typical entry points:

 

Organic search. A user comes via Google, after searching for a particular keyword. Often lands on a deep link.

Paid advertising. Visitors that come via PPC advertising (AdWords etc), banner ads or other kind of promotions. Arrives on your landing page.

Social media. A user coming from a friend’s post on Facebook or Twitter, or via social news site like Reddit.

Email. A user coming from an email newsletter or a link they saw in an email sent to them.

Press or news item. Visitors who come after a mention in the news or a blog post.

Direct link. A regular visitor, has been on your site many times and knows the URL by heart.

How they end up on your site largely determines their needs, expectations and what they know of your product or even the general category. This means you need to treat different people differently.

 

Sample user flows

 

So what do these user flows look like? Here are 3 sample flows.

 

Link in Google results

↓Direct to your site

↓Click on a PPC ad

Landing page

↓Home page

↓Landing page

Joins email listProduct page

↓Makes a purchase

Adds to cart

Completes a purchase

You get the idea.

 

Stacked user flows

 

Sometimes you want them to join the email list on their first visit, but ultimately you want to sell them a product. In those cases, you should map stacked user flows: the first one that is completed by joining the email list, and the second one that starts AFTER the first flow has been completed.

 

Click on an ad → Landing page → Joins email list

 

 

Gets an email → Product page → Adds to cart → Completes purchase

 

The user who has already been through the first flow, is much more knowledgeable than a first-time visitor, has some kind of a relationship with you and you should treat her accordingly.

 

The steps in the flow depend on your users and the product

 

In order to design the best possible user flow, you need to understand the visitor and his motivations. Start by answering these questions:

 

What needs or desires do your visitors have? Which problem do they want to solve?

Why do they need it?

What qualities (about your product or service) are most important to them?

What are all the questions they have about the product?

What are their doubts or hesitations?

What information do they need to take action?

What’s their emotional hotspot to propel them towards taking action?

In order to answer these questions, you need to talk to your customers (or your clients’, if you’re a service provider). You can’t just pull the answers out of thin air. Yes, you should use buyer personas, but those should be based on actual customers and their needs.

 

Here’s an interesting case study detailing how customer journey maps were used in Boeing.

 

Another article you might want to read is about designing a hotel booking experience.

 

The answers to the questions above determine how things are presented on your website. You have to demote certain things and emphasize others. You cannot be all things to all people, your website cannot be about 10 different actions. You need to build focus into your site.

 

Present sufficient information

 

The flow must fill in the gaps of information by providing the user with the information they need at the moment they needed in order to eventually be converted.

 

The mistake a lot of websites make is asking for the sale (signup etc) too soon. There’s little we people do without the adequate amount of information.

 

Your goal is to keep them moving down the funnel, towards the desired action. Optimize the content on each screen for conversions.

 

In each step present a clear, benefit-oriented value proposition.

Explain how your offer is useful and how it all works. Invite to read more detailed information.

Back it up by easy-to-digest proof points (references, testimonials, studies etc).

Minimize friction. Ask for the minimum amount of information, reduce the number of fields, extra clicks and page-loading time. Use trust elements.

Create clear and attractive calls to action that guide them to the next step

Designing users flows does not mean that you forget about all the other conversion stuff, au contraire.

State diagrams

Flows are made out of individual screens where interactions take place. A screen offers some possibilities and the user chooses one. Then something happens, and the screen changes. It’s an ongoing conversation.

 

In each moment in a flow, their (computer) screen is showing something and the user is reacting to it. A good and understandable way to map steps in the flow is to use state diagrams:

 

what the user sees

 

what the user does

 

 

what the user sees next

 

what the user does next

 

Above the bar is what the user sees. Below the bar is what they do. An arrow connects the user’s action to a new screen with yet another action. These are called state diagrams in computer science.

 

Using these diagrams help you focus on the most wanted action on every screen the users lands on. It’s also very useful when explaining the flow to your colleagues or clients.

 

Example

 

Let’s say it’s a website for a car detailing service.

 

service description

 

click “book now”

 

 

booking form

 

submit valid data

 

 

booking confirmation message

    

Do this for every page on your site. Define the key content you want to present to the user and a most wanted action. The next action from a screen doesn’t have to be just one thing, the flow can break into 2 or 3 alternative paths. The important thing is that you plan ahead for each path, and design each screen accordingly.

 

Doing this requires ruthless focus on your part, but the boost in conversions will make it all worth your while.

 

User flow that supports Flow

Flow, as a mental state, was first proposed by psychology professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. It’s a state of being that makes an experience genuinely satisfying. Everybody has experienced it. Most people refer to it as being “in the zone” or “in the groove”.

 

During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with the task at hand. There’s a book about it.

 

Ideally your user flow helps to nurture the flow experience in your users. Three ingredients for the “flow” experience are challenge of the right level, immediate feedback and a skill that can be mastered.

 

In order to design your site for flow, according to Jim Ramsey you must:

 

Have clear goals for users that help them understand where they’re going and each step they’ll take to get there.

Provide immediate feedback – whether they click on a button, fill a form or navigate from one page to another – tell them how they’re doing, and what’s going on. The messages and copy have a critical role here.

Maximize efficiency Once a user becomes familiar with your site, they’ll want to start using it more efficiently. When they’re experiencing flow, users want to work more quickly and want the site to feel more responsive. Heavily use the key features of your site and see if there are any annoying, repetitive tasks. Pay close attention to the feedback you get in your user tests. Think hard about how to turn the experience frictionless.

Allow for discovery. Once a user has begun to work with maximum efficiency, there’s a chance that they’ll feel less engaged and grow bored with their experience on the site. In order to avoid this, you should make content and features available for discovery.

When the smooth path is interrupted, or something doesn’t seem to fit, users notice and the flow is broken, which means that the experience is also momentarily broken. These small episodes of friction are cumulative. Unfortunately, the breaks in flow weigh more heavily on the experience than the positive, frictionless moments. Experimenting and testing are key to getting it right.

 

Clutter, animation, and surprises may interrupt and be disruptive. Online, people don’t like surprises (especially the kind where they go “now what?”, “how do I…” or “what’s that?”). Take out or improve that might cause friction. Less is more: remove visual and navigational noise that might seem like clutter to users.

 

I’m an Amazon user and have bought a million things from it. I’m very familiar with their interface and while on it, it’s a flow-like experience for me. Today I was browsing Home Depot website looking for certain things, and it was a pretty bad experience. No flow over there.

 

conversionxl.com/blog/how-to-design-user-flow/

Situated right in the center of the Redwood National and State Parks, Trees of Mystery is California's original redwood Nature Attraction and have been welcoming visitors to this part of the world for over 65 years.

 

Published at: cabinetabccompetences.blogspot.com/2014/10/bilan-de-compe...

 

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From the report:

Customer Experience in the Internet of Things: Five Ways Brands Can Use Sensors to Build Better Customer Relationships. Download at: pages.altimetergroup.com/customer-experience-in-the-inter...

Boots UK Customer Assistant Vickie Ward helps a customer using the IBM MobileFirst for iOS Sales Assist app on iPad at the Boots White City store in London. Ward was one of the team invited to help design and develop the app based on her experience of supporting the customer journey in store. (Photo credit: Digby Oldridge/PR Eye)

Jeff Gennette Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Macy's, Inc.

MODERATOR

 

Beck Besecker Co-Founder and CEO Marxent

 

Vibhu Norby CEO and Co-Founder b8ta

 

Rachel Shechtman Founder, STORY and Brand Experience Officer, Macy's Inc.

The best way to learn is by doing. And the only way to start thinking as a designer is to live it. To feel the uncertainty in your bones when you embark on a design journey. That’s why Design A Better Business organized a World Tour of workshops, with 5 major events on different continents. Participants of these workshops experienced and learned what it means to think and work like a designer. See designabetterbusiness.com for more information.

The best way to learn is by doing. And the only way to start thinking as a designer is to live it. To feel the uncertainty in your bones when you embark on a design journey. That’s why Design A Better Business organized a World Tour of workshops, with 5 major events on different continents. Participants of these workshops experienced and learned what it means to think and work like a designer. See designabetterbusiness.com for more information.

via

 

While content marketing can evoke various meanings, depending on the context, it is defined as gently marketing products and services with content shared through blog posts, videos, social media and more.

 

Since there are an increasing number of online publishers, the competition is fierce in terms of attracting consumers’ short attention spans. In addition, publishers are driving innovation as they seek fresh methods for bringing in their target audiences.

 

As a result, it is critical for publishers to have a deep understanding of where the industry is moving and why. The objective is to monitor your competition and the industry. If you don’t know where or how the content marketing industry is moving, you won’t grasp how and when to change your own content marketing strategy.

 

To get you started in the right direction, we have curated 30 marketing stats to help guide your new strategy and to use when presenting a case to CFOs, CMOs and CEOs for an updated budget. Continue reading to learn more.

 

72 percent of B2B marketers measure their ROI. (Source: Content Marketing Institute)

 

While content marketers want to understand their ROI, many don’t have the right tools to accurately do so. In fact, 52% of B2B content marketers find ROI measurements one of their biggest challenges. This eMarketer study shows that 6 out 10 small businesses can’t track ROI from their social media efforts.

 

Yet, accurate measurement leads to successful content marketing. You also want to gain an understanding of the proper keyword density for SEO.

 

Nonetheless, many businesses don’t even have basic analytics tools. Here are a few thoughts from experts on the topic:

 

“Exposure and engagement is key when it comes to measuring content marketing ROI. Simply publishing a blog post isn’t enough of a success. You have to go deeper and pay attention to things like social share metrics, engagement metrics, and actual conversions that can be tied to the content you’re producing.” — Colin Mathews, Co-founder, Content Marketer

 

“Metrics never tell the whole story, which is why we ask every new blog subscriber and customer how they found us. The data is anecdotal but it gives us a deeper understanding of the customer journey. Two customers rarely follow identical paths so it’s always worth asking.” — Jimmy Daly, Head of Content, Vero

 

Basic analytics tools include:

 

Google Analytics

 

SEMrush

 

A/B testing on your calls-to-action (CTAs)

 

BuzzSum

 

In 2016, 75 percent of businesses increased their content marketing budget. (Source: Curata)

 

Content marketing is a universal tactic, with a wide variety of platforms, for offering relevant outreach to target audiences. Of course, you can’t appeal to your C-suite executives without a documented strategy or statistics to support your request for a budget increase.

 

Since 2009, marketing budgets have either remained consistent or have gone up relative to previous years. Educational content can be expensive, but brands must continue to act as data portals to keep their customers informed and to become trusted advisors.

 

With leads, long-form posts are 9X more effective than short-form posts. (Source: com)

 

These are articles longer than 2,000 words. Since long-form posts are more in-depth, the target reader perceives them as more valuable and worth their time.

 

In addition, search engines worship long-form content–pieces with over 20,000 keywords. Moreover, if you can hold a reader’s attention for more than three minutes, then you have a higher chance of that visitor returning to your website. The last thing you want is to get devalued by Google.

 

People spend an average of 37 seconds reading an article. (Source: com)

 

The consumer attention span is getting increasingly shorter. So, content needs to be easily digestible and relevant to the target persona. Structuring should include italics, bolding and bullet points to highlight the most important sections.

 

Remember, you’re dealing with attention spans shorter than even a goldfish.

 

This is mainly due to the trend towards mobile content viewing. Consumers grab their smartphones to look something up, buy products and more–then, the ease and convenience starts to become a priority.

 

Still, it’s not impossible to achieve content marketing success under these types of conditions. The trick is to instantly provide relevance and capture the attention of your target audience–give them what they want immediately.

 

60 percent of marketers publish one piece of content per day. (Source: eMarketer)

 

To increase customer satisfaction, and loyalty, online publishers must be consistent–always. McKinsey & Company states it succinctly:

 

“the 3 Cs of customer satisfaction” are “consistency, consistency, and consistency.”

 

To reap the rewards, you must put in the effort. The leads will start to pour in, but only if you are consistent.

 

Content marketing offers three times the leads of traditional marketing, while costing around 62 percent less. (Source: Content Marketing Institute)

 

Putting more resources and effort into content marketing will increase leads while also decreasing costs. Audiences are gravitating away from celebrity endorsements and aggressive sales tactics. Instead, the modern consumer wants more transparency and friendlier branding tactics.

 

In a consumer-led market, audiences know they can easily click away from an ad. So, content marketing was created to focus on the intended reader

 

58 percent of marketers agree that “original written content” is more effective than visuals and videos. (Source: Social Media Examiner)

   

Image source

 

Even with an increased focus on visuals, most marketers have found original written content to product the best results. This is great news because if you don’t have time to create media, you can still generate traffic with original content.

 

And, flashy visuals can be expensive. So, just continue creating relevant and original content, and the traffic will come.

 

72 percent of marketers view branded content as producing a better ROI over magazine advertisements. (Source: Luma Partners, LLC)

 

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With fewer consumers reading traditional magazines and newspapers, more focus is being placed on web content. While branded content is not a new concept, it is certainly trending. Customers enjoy the informative and interactive aspect.

 

Branded content puts people first and the product second. Not to mention, branded content is shareable, which equates to the potential for more traffic.

 

64 percent of B2B marketers outsource their writing. (Source: TopRankBlog)

 

To reach the next level of content marketing productivity, help is required in the form of skilled and proficient writers. If you plan to reach thousands of readers, or more, you should not try to write the content all by yourself.

 

Since you already understand that consistent, original and relevant content increases traffic, then you can easily double that just by hiring several skilled writers.

 

There is no reason to try to spend 16 hours a day writing when you can focus on other aspects of your content marketing strategy. Let your writers handle this facet of it for you.

 

63 percent of marketers create content by buyer persona. (Source: Hubspot)

 

It is imperative to write with your buyer persona in mind. Each piece of content must be relevant and with an end goal. Start with figuring out who your target consumers are. These are general representations of your target audience.

 

With buyer personas, you can tailor your content to topics they would love to learn more about. Furthermore, your content should address customer pain points throughout their purchase journey.

 

A buyer persona looks at what your ideal customer’s goals are and what they are trying to achieve. It also defines how they might behave throughout the sales process. You can create your specific buyer persona by utilizing both market and independent research to reveal trends in your market. Details you should describe include:

 

Pain points

 

Purchase role

 

How they consume content

 

Job title and career

 

Family life

 

Income

 

Budget

 

20 percent of searches on Android devices and Google’s mobile app are voice searches. (Source: SearchEngineLand).

 

Image source

 

Voice searches are on the rise. So, content marketers must consider the types of headlines and titles that might be included in a voice search.

 

There isn’t any question that voice search will affect content marketing. The use of voice search tools, such as Siri and Alexa, are on the rise. Most smartphone’s also have a voice assistant. It’s not something to worry about, but you should think of how people use their voice to search for something and what they expect to find.

 

For instance, a voice query might ask: “How many times have the Eagles won the Super Bowl.” If the same person were to type that query, they might type this instead: “Times the Eagles won the Super Bowl.” As you can see, voice queries are a bit more detailed–it is just like talking versus texting.

 

By 2019, 72 percent of US digital ad spend will come from mobile. (Source: eMarketer)

 

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Content marketers must direct more company spend and efforts towards the mobile medium as this is where their audiences are. Mobile ad spend must also go up.

 

According to Google research, over 50 percent of all global web traffic comes from mobile devices. And, these types of numbers will continue to increase. So, now is the time to focus on mobile content marketing.

 

In fact, mobile device content reading went up 10 percent in 2014. The limits have been removed; anything can be read and viewed on a mobile device.

 

87 percent of marketers use social media for content delivery. (Source: CMI)

 

Social media platforms like Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook have changed the content marketing industry forever. The way we communicate with customers is a lot different from how we interacted even a decade ago.

 

Social media networks are popular because they are free to join, and you can reach millions of people with your content. So, mix things up. Consider how to target different generations on social media.

 

Make sure your content meets the needs of your target audience. And, engage with your customers directly through social media.

 

70 percent of marketers do not have a consistent strategy. (Source: Altimeter)

 

It is 2018, and you need an integrated marketing strategy right now. Content marketing works, and 80 percent of decision makers prefer to get their brand information through written articles as opposed to advertising. You can start by learning how to be a better content writer.

 

You just won’t want to jump into content marketing without a documented strategy. When you think about how you distribute your content–through social media, blog posts, guides and more– then, you must remember the importance of having similarities with your content.

 

You don’t want to confuse your audience.

 

And, it’s easy to be all over the place when you don’t have a strategy to direct your efforts. Also, a documented content marketing strategy is conducive towards achieving a strong brand identity.

 

Consumers are saturated with content. To stand out from the masses, you need a strategy to set your brand apart.

 

As mentioned earlier, measuring ROI can lead to content marketing success. With a strategy, you encourage productivity and efficiency. Plus, it can help to ensure a better ROI.

 

48 percent of marketers create dedicated content for three to five buying stages. (Source: LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community)

 

Before a purchase, consumers often go through a sales funnel. These are stages that the prospect goes through before making their final purchase. To illustrate, the first step might be checking out your site for the first time.

 

The next step might be subscribing to your newsletter. The third step might be talking to one of your sales reps and so on. The term “sales funnel,” and its accompanying definition, has been around for decades. All your prospects will be at different points in the funnel.

 

In terms of content marketing, it is your job to motivate them to move along the funnel to finally make a purchase. So, you should create a content marketing strategy around that funnel. Here are questions to answer:

 

What would you write to enhance awareness at the beginning of the funnel?

 

How can you help inform your prospects of your products and services while they are in the middle of the funnel and evaluating their options?

 

What types of content would motivate your prospects to buy when they are finally ready to make a purchase?

 

Depending on your products and services, the sales funnel process could move either very quickly or relatively slowly. With a B2C customer, the process might be quick. With a B2B customer, they might require more nurturing in the form of articles, guides, whitepapers and more.

 

61 percent of marketers want to improve their organic presence. (Source: Hubspot)

 

Take a look at this review of the top seven toolbars. Organic marketing is about getting customers to your site naturally. This can be a long process, but it also leads to better customer engagement, loyalty and traffic.

 

Consumers are much more savvy and rarely pay attention to paid ads. While you won’t be spending on paid ads, organic marketing still requires effort as it is a form of marketing from the ground up. It requires careful attention to your content and social media channels.

 

Furthermore, you must incorporate more accurate SEO. Instead of paying for sponsored results, organic marketing depends on SEO. When it comes to search ads, the average click-through-rate is lower than 5 percent. On the other hand, the average CTR for organic marketing results can vary between 22 and 30 percent.

 

The desire for infographics has gone up by 800 percent. (Source: Unbounce)

 

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Humans are visually wired. As a result, we demand infographics. This can be especially true in an age of information overload. Today, we receive five times more information than we did in 1986. And, the brain needs time to digest every bit of information we consume.

 

With an infographic, your business can present data in a way that is visually stimulating and easy to digest. Infographics also induce a lot of social sharing–especially if it is a beautiful infographic with a great design.

 

You can use infographics to convey specific types of information. They can also drive targeted traffic to your site. So, if you don’t have a contract with a graphic designer, now is the time to start one.

 

Only 10 percent of marketers use gamification. (Source: CMI)

 

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Gamification is the use of games, surveys, puzzles, quizzes and more to encourage user interaction. When you incorporate interactive content, you can increase time spent on your site.

 

Also, it helps to break up your content marketing strategy from having strictly content. Consumers want a variety of choices for how they consume their content.

 

Yet, only 10 percent of marketers incorporate gamification. The reason for a limited number of marketers using gamification might be due to the cost and resources required.

 

If you have the ability, it can improve traffic when you invest in gamification. This isn’t just about running contests periodically. The objective should be to foster motivational campaigns that takes your target buyer on an interactive journey. And, this starts by having a pre-determined goal in mind.

 

If you are interested in maximizing revenue, then how can a customized game contribute toward achieving that goal? Consumers are already busy, so you want a strategic method that they will find worthy of their time.

 

Then, you must consider your metrics. How can you tell if your games are working? You must set up metrics to determine gamification success.

 

Customers enjoy the instant gratification aspect of gamified elements such as badges, leaderboards, points and even rewards they can use for real products and services. People are also motivated by a need to accomplish goals. So, your games can set specific and achievable targets to build on that momentum.

 

“Games are the only force in the known universe that can get people to take actions against their self-interest, in a predictable way, without using force.” ― Gabe Zichermann

 

Also, since consumers are now more involved in the process, they are also more likely to remember the content. For instance, say they can accumulate points through your game that they can use for discounts and special offers.

 

So, perhaps one of your “goals” would be to have them read content and answer a short quiz. Once they have completed that successfully, they get more points.

 

When researching a company, 95 percent of B2B buyers view content as trustworthy. (Source: DemandGen)

 

As opposed to direct advertising, content marketing can truly build trust with your target audience–and, once you have achieved that, you have struck gold. You are conveying the story of your brand in a way that is non-salesly.

 

Since hundreds of posts are created every minute, it is critical to remember how you can stand out. It really boils down to creating content that builds trust with your buyer persona. When a consumer trusts your company, they are more likely to continue visiting your site and engaging with your content.

 

You have something unique to share with the world, but audiences must believe your content is authentic. There are several ways to do this including:

 

Keeping a schedule (Consumers value consistency)

 

Maintaining the same voice (builds a connection)

 

Link to your sources and statistics (helps to prove credibility)

 

Share real-life examples of success with actual customers

 

Produce high-quality and relevant content

 

If you follow the above suggestions, your site will earn trust and a loyal following too.

 

69 percent of marketers prefer content to public relations and direct mail. (Source: Custom Content Council)

 

There isn’t anything wrong with increasing your company’s brand awareness through sending out direct mail pieces and PR kits. Yet, for a long-term marketing strategy, content marketing is your best bet. With a direct mail piece, you might convert a few prospects. Consequently, once your direct mail piece is sent out–it often gets thrown away.

 

In addition, you’ll have to change the design frequently just to garner a bit of excitement. If you are getting a good ROI, then there isn’t anything particularly wrong with this marketing approach. The same is true of PR kits.

 

But, in the long-term, content marketing is a powerhouse. With consistent content marketing, you increase your domain authority (DA) and online real estate. The more articles you have, the better your chances are of being found online.

 

Plus, it builds trust when you have a long-standing blog. Also, by linking your pieces to other blog posts on your site, you can continually attract new traffic.

 

If you have high-quality content, then it can improve conversions–especially with the right CTAs. And, you can increase revenue by selling eBooks. With content marketing, you compound on returns.

 

94 percent of B2B marketers prefer LinkedIn for content distribution. (Source: Content Marketing Institute)

 

In terms of content distribution, LinkedIn is the place to be. It really does pay to produce relevant content on LinkedIn.

 

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Taking the time and commitment to post content on LinkedIn does pay off–whether they be trends, quick tips or guides based on your field of expertise. You can easily share your blog posts with all your connections.

 

Plus, the posts become connected to your profile. When people search for your profile, they see your blog posts. Also, you can increase your influence since public posts allow LinkedIn users to follow you.

 

When you amass a series of relevant posts, you can also quickly accumulate a large following.

 

And, with each publication, all your connections receive a notification through their flag icon.

 

90 percent of B2C companies used content marketing in 2016. (Source: Content Marketing Institute)

   

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There isn’t anything that can level the playing field like content marketing. Both small and enterprise businesses can utilize content marketing to increase traffic, engagement and brand awareness. This subtle marketing approach keeps your visitors informed without being too pushy.

 

When visitors realize they don’t have to endure a hard sell, then they will want to buy your products and services that are relevant to their needs and wants. This is why 90 percent of companies used content marketing in 2016, and that number will only go up. The long-term benefits can’t be ignored.

 

For example, once your page is ranked well in the search engines, it stays there for an extended period. Plus, around 70 to 80 percent of web users ignore paid ads. Instead, content marketing can be used to promote your products without being overly aggressive.

 

78 percent of businesses are not satisfied with their conversion rates. (Source: eConsultancy)

 

In terms of marketing, it is important to know what not to do when curating content. You also need to understand how content marketing can affect conversion rates.

 

With more pages, you get more opportunities. Each piece of content is a new page. And, search engines can then easily index your pages.

 

Moreover, websites with over 40 unique pages get 12 times more leads than sites with five or fewer pages. And, with your buyer personas, you can tailor your content to ensure your customers are five times more likely to convert.

 

With the right content marketing strategy, you can effectively guide and motivate your buyers throughout the sales funnel.

 

97 percent of B2B buyers prefer prescriptive content. (Source: DemandGen 2017 Report)

 

Prescriptive content helps target readers to optimize their processes by offering strategic suggestions. Furthermore, prescriptive content can be used to predict outcomes through incorporating specific data points and metrics.

 

An example of prescriptive content might be a guide on trends to pay attention to in 2018. Additionally, prescriptive content answers questions that prospective buyers have like the ROI for investing in a cloud storage solution or how to implement a new ERP system.

 

Current blog posts average around 1,142 words. (Source: Orbit Media)

 

There was a time when a 500-word blog post was all your site needed to get ranked on various search engines like Google and Bing. Well, those days have disappeared in the ether of history.

 

Since 90 percent of businesses are using content marketing, on top of all the other blog sites and media sites found online, the space for first-page rankings is insanely competitive. So, Google now looks for length in terms of filtering for quality.

 

And, according to SerpIQ, top ranked content usually has around 2,400 words. What’s the takeaway? For starters, you must increase the word count of your content. At a minimum, make your posts 1,200 words.

 

78 percent of CMOs are investing in custom content. (Source: DemandMetric)

 

“The easiest way to turn off your community members is to broadcast the same message across multiple channels. Instead, determine the kind of content that interests the members of your community in a way that is useful to them.” — Joe Pulizzi, Founder, Content Marketing Institute

 

CMOs understand they must grow and evolve to stay ahead of the competition and above all the social media noise. To do so, you must segment your audiences by demographics, their point in the sales funnel, their budget and more.

 

Custom content is a type of hyper-personalization of content. It takes a deep understanding of your target buyer and where they are in their purchasing process. It also requires an understanding of their pain points, along with what makes them tick.

 

You can learn more about your target customers by spending time in forums and on social media where they are sharing with their counterparts. Then, create custom content with a specific persona in mind.

 

It’s difficult to trust advertising, but it is easy to trust a brand who can offer real solutions to specific pain points.

 

78 percent of buyers consume case studies before making purchase. (Source: DemandGen 2017 Report)

 

Case studies are comprehensively effective. Within a case study, you paint a picture and tug at emotions. It is storytelling at its finest, with a marketing twist. Within a case study, you have three major parts:

 

A problem

 

Solution offerings

 

Proven results

 

And, the case study is always written from the perspective of the buyer persona. You should publish more case studies simply because they are highly targeted.

 

Each case study conveys a specific goal related to your products and services. Also, through factual claims, you can build your brand as an authority in your industry.

 

Four out of Five sites use blogs and email newsletters. (Source: Content Marketing Institute)

 

Image source

 

You already understand the significance of blog posts. Yet, email marketing is also an important aspect of content marketing. You can generate $38 in ROI for every $1 spent.

 

You must incorporate targeted emails within your content marketing strategy. According to Radicati, there are around 4.9 billion global email accounts.

 

Consider how you interact with websites. Whenever you sign up for anything, you need to enter an email address. Case in point: email addresses and messages aren’t going away anytime soon. Everyone who engages with the Internet has an active email address.

 

In addition, there are more email accounts than there are Twitter and Facebook accounts. Then, there is the fact that 90 percent of email gets delivered to your prospect’s inbox. Not to mention, Facebook continues to limit how widely your posts are distributed.

 

Companies can increase their conversion rates five times higher than companies that don’t use content marketing. (Source: Aberdeen)

 

You want your readers to accomplish to goal set up with each piece of your content. This happens with a call to action, where you tell your visitors exactly what you would like them to do.

 

The best place for a call to action is at the end of your post. Also, it must be attractive to your readers. So, keep their demands in mind.

 

73 percent of technology companies have a content strategy point person. (Source: CMI)

 

Image source

 

It is difficult for one person to do everything a customer expects. Since you now understand how effective content marketing can be, it is time to hand over your content strategy to a content marketing specialist.

 

This doesn’t mean you take a completely hands-off approach. Since it is your brand, you still want to be involved. But, it helps to focus on tasks that reap revenue.

 

And, you can’t be in all places at once. Since your content represents your organization, you must be careful about who you hire as your content marketing specialist.

 

It should be someone who understands and easily aligns with your vision. They must discover and create the types of content your target buyer wants to see. Then, they must retain and attract readers. On top of everything, their content and strategy must drive profitability and sales.

 

Final thought

 

We are living in the era of the “informed customer.” Prospects know they have access to information that helps them make more thoughtful decisions. Therefore, brands must then align themselves, and their content marketing strategy, with the needs and wants of their customers.

 

To maintain a competitive edge, you must produce the type of content that serves as informative and trusted resources for your customers. This starts with understanding your customers, following their path and customizing content based on their specific personas.

 

The post 30 Content Marketing Statistics, Trends & Data for Your 2018 Strategy appeared first on HigherVisibility.

 

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Have you ever met someone with whom you instantly connect? Someone so welcoming yet wise and humble but so special that you become instantly inseparable…that they make you better and maybe you help them become better too? That’s my very special relationship with Paul Greenberg.

 

Over the last few years, Paul’s set out to release his latest masterpiece, “The Commonwealth of Self-Interest.” He invited some of his closest friends to contribute including Bruce Temkin, Ray Wang, Brent Leary and Esteban Kolsky.

 

Twenty-first century customers are demanding more than ever – they will communicate with a company in whatever channel they need to at the time they want to. They want their interactions with the company to be seamless, convenient and simple. They want to get whatever it is they want to do with your company done as fast as possible. AND they want more than just good products and services, products, services, the tools they need to control their interactions with your company and consumable experiences. All in all, if you can’t compete by engaging them in ways that make them want to come back to you, you lose.

 

My contribution appears in Chapter 8. I wanted to share it with you here. But, this is just one section. The rest of the book is incredibly helpful for anyone working in digital transformation, CRM, CX, customer engagement, customer support or business growth.

 

Chapter 8

 

Our guru in this chapter, Brian Solis, is perhaps the expert in the design of the user/customer experience and the “look and feel” of engagement programs. Brian Solis is someone I know as a thought leader at an exalted level—a true game changer.

 

He is one of the most listened-to voices of our era when it comes to engaging customers and designing experience. He is a master of this science because he understands its art. He is the author of several books, most recently, his bestsellers Lifescale: How to Live a More Creative, Productive and Happy Life and X: The Experience When Business Meets Design, a seminal work on business and the value of creative design. But, best and most of all, he is a dear, dear friend. He has a lot to tell you on the subject of program design and customer behavior. I’ll leave this in his hands.

 

Take it away, my great friend.

 

THE FUTURE OF CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT STARTS WITH AN UPGRADE IN HUMAN PERSPECTIVE

 

While CRM, historically, has always had the foundation for engagement—its three-pillar approach with sales, marketing, and customer service—all things customer-facing, while still appropriate, are not sufficient to compete in a digital economy. Customers are changing faster than most CRM systems can evolve. More so, how executives see and perceive customers and how they invest in customer experience (CX) efforts are also not keeping up with the times. Though CRM’s three-pillar approach is a necessary foundation of any core engagement program, connected customers are learning to expect more personalized and real-time engagement that mimics their favorite apps and mobile services. Customer experience and the perspective necessary to see how customers are changing need an upgrade from the front-line to the back office all the way to the C- suite. And that starts with the one thing often missing from CX strategy… empathy.

 

Connected customers see and experience the world differently than many executives assume or presume. Executives simply do not live digital lifestyles similar to their increasingly sophisticated, always-on customers. Instead, they are immersed day-in and day-out in managing businesses toward delivering shareholder and stakeholder value. Of course, driving for business objectives is critical. The challenge is that, without exploring new investments in innovation and digital transformation, organizations are doubling down and over- tapping existing resources. But there’s only so much momentum and treasure left for every business before facing the need to change or augment efforts in the pursuit of new sources of wealth.

 

Empathy is a human antenna that helps executives hone in on what people really do, feel, want, and value to inspire meaningful innovation and digital transformation. An awakening of this kind is crucial to see where initiatives are misdirected, completely missing, or currently failing.

 

But what is empathy and how does it relate to designing the customer’s experience to engage them in ways where they feel something worth experiencing again and again?

 

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Often, when CX strategies are formulated, they do so without consideration of how customers actually feel and what they think in existing touchpoints. Furthermore, they do not appraise the experiences desirable customers have with their favorite startups, online and mobile services, and real-world experiences of companies outside of their industry. Customer experience, for all intents and purposes, largely seeks to improve the customer journey “as it is” versus exploring innovative options of “what’s possible” based on what people prefer, expect, and adore.

 

PEOPLE HAVE EXPERIENCES WHETHER YOU DESIGN FOR THEM OR NOT

 

It’s been said that customers do not want products, they want experiences. Connected consumers are saying they want more than transactional engagements, clever gimmicks, or outright marketing. And customers are expressing their discontent by taking action.89 percent of customers say they have switched brands because of poor customer experiences. But for those companies that invest in experiences, customers are more than ready to stand by you. In fact, a staggering 86 percent of customers have said that they are willing to pay up to 25 percent more for a superior experience.

 

Let me ask you this. What is the experience you want people to have and share? Does the answer align with your brand promise? Does either align with the experiences people are sharing about you right now? In my research, I’ve found that more often than not, businesses are indeed investing in improving customer experiences. But they are not explicitly designing intentional experiences, in each moment of truth, and then driving the level of change and investments necessary to deliver them consistently throughout the customer journey and lifecycle. Instead, they are looking at ways to improve experiences that people have at transactional levels.

 

Let’s expedite the time for someone to talk to a representative.

 

Let’s retrain representatives to be more helpful.

 

Let’s get a fully loaded app to serve DIY customers.

 

Let’s make our web site responsive for mobile users.

 

Let’s improve our return policies.

 

Let’s invest in the latest media in creative ways to reach people

where their attention is focused.

 

Let’s find out what’s happening with AI, chatbots, and messaging

apps to engage people their way!

 

While these are important steps forward, they aren’t examples of true experience design. They are acts to improve slivers of experiences. This is still important. But, fixing what’s broken and/or removing friction in the customer journey are just the beginning. That’s iteration in customer experience, where customers do the same thing but better. This is also a time for innovation where you can introduce new things that create new value. Experience design is an opportunity to both iterate and innovate to set the foundation, to write the book, for what people should think, feel, and do, as well as how these human elements assemble the desired brand essence and experience.

 

Customers don’t see departments or transactions independently. Each engagement, each moment, individually and then collectively, forms the universal experience people feel and remember. When you look at each moment of truth, every department, whether it’s sales, web, channel, social, email, even customer support, contributes to or takes away from the experience you set out to deliver. Yet knowing this, each function operates independently and often competitively, creating a disjointed customer experience thus. This takes away from the brand experience and, over time, opens the door for customers to find alternatives that better align with their expectations, behaviors, and values.

 

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE TAKES DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

 

Leading analysts around the world agree that customer experience is the new battleground for businesses to differentiate and compete. Delightful, frictionless, and memorable customer experiences contribute to the bottom line of any business, yield increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, advocacy, and customer lifetime value. One of the biggest CX trends in industries around the world is digital transformation, which represents the investment in upgraded technologies, processes, and infrastructure to compete for a new generation of connected customers. This sets the stage for a more agile organization, one that is more capable of introducing and supporting new services and processes, better and at scale. But technology and agility are just the beginning.

 

In my research over the years, I find that, while businesses are ready to take on the challenge of digital transformation and customer experience, it is done through a lens of legacy rather than with an updated vision of what’s possible. Yet, what your customers experience is shaped as a whole, and thus requires thoughtful design to engage customers, in whole and in each part, to first deliver against expectations and eventually exceed them.

 

MEET YOUR NEW CUSTOMER SEGMENT—GENERATION C (CONNECTED)

 

Even though you think you’re already customer-centric, you may not be. I believe you believe you are. But customer-centricity is measured in action and inaction. Many companies, I’ve learned, are customer- centric in principle but not in practice. The truth is that, most of the time decisions are made in favor of shareholder or stakeholder value over what’s in the best interest of customers.

 

Several years ago, I published a series of reports and books introducing what I called the “Dynamic Customer Journey,” which was meant to outline in detail how connected customers traveled through the customer journey. It redrew the traditional funnel and highlighted the emergence of new touch points ranging from social to mobile to video to peer-to-peer reviews. More so, it introduced “Generation-C,” a growing influential customer segment that shared similar behaviors, interests, and aspirations unlike previously documented demographics. The “C” represents connectedness, and everything about how, where, and why they make decisions is highly evolved and evolving. This is a critical distinction in consumerism in that those who live active digital lifestyles shared similarities in customer journeys across all age groups. Rather than just looking at millennials vs. boomers or Gen Xers vs. centennials, Generation C is inclusive of multiple demographics and warrants a digital (and mobile) first approach to CX and the design of products, services, and all experiences.

 

By studying traditional customers and Generation C, CX strategists can uncover new insights and inspiration to build relevance and market share in this and the next economy.

 

SHIFTING PERSPECTIVE TO RETHINK PRODUCT AND SERVICE DESIGN

 

One thing I find consistently in my research is that customer experience is often led by technology initiatives as part of overall modernization efforts. But customer experience is in the eye of the beholder. It is not anything you can solve for from a technology-first roadmap. As strange as this sounds, customers are human and it is their experiences that should be front-and-center of any CX strategy. Believe it or not, customers aren’t at the center of customer-centric investments.

 

Executive decision-makers are not representatives of or champions for evolving customer segments. They don’t think or behave like modern customers. They operate through a complex organizational culture and report to shareholders and stakeholders, which makes it difficult to see customers (as people) clearly and genuinely. Yet, executives often think they are their customer and make decisions accordingly. This sets the stage for what I refer to as an experience divide where executive mindsets and investments and customer preferences and aspirations are increasingly growing apart.

 

I want to get you thinking about this with a little test.

 

Imagine a crowd along a railing at a parade or attending a concert or some other attention-worthy event. Now picture the crowd modestly close up and only that crowd. Among the crowd is a mix of middle- aged people, boomers, and younger people. What do you see when you think of the different age groups convening on a momentous event? Depending on who you ask, you get different answers. But, what do you see?

 

Most of the time, we see scores of people with their phones up, capturing the moment rather than being in the moment.

 

How do you react to that observation?

 

Are you one of the people with their phones raised enthusiastically? Are you living digital and physical moments hoping to share what you are witnessing with friends and followers on your favorite networks and apps?

 

Or, do you see those attempting to be in the moment but distracted by all of the phones around them?

 

These days there are always those with their phones and those without. Although, every day, those without phones are becoming a relic of the past.

When certain genres of people focus on those with phones, they tend not to appreciate their behavior but, instead, question it.

 

“In my day, I would be in the moment. Why do people bother showing up if they can’t look up!?”

For everyone else, it’s simply second nature. It’s how they live life. It’s how they experience (and share) everything.

 

When you stop and think about it, there’s an “us vs. them” reaction to the evolving differences between what was and what is normal. And, if you notice, any time someone starts a sentence with “in my day,” they should be automatically disqualified from designing engagement or experience solutions for emerging generations of connected customers.

 

Let’s take a step back to think about this.

 

Many customer journeys, systems, processes, and policies are designed for customers without smart phones. They’re simply “the customers we’ve known for a long time.” Any time you design new CX strategies, customer touch points, apps, or mobile services, or consider new technologies, this group is holding you back from the future of business. All they inspire is business-as-usual with some new tech bolted on to it.

 

All too often, this is the center of reference for many strategists today (and the board that governs all new investments). As such, it’s easy to see always-on consumers and the technology that they use as fringe, the latest in hot trends, or something that is different from you and the world you know so it must not be critical. This leads to a few different types of experience design approaches, including:

 

! Iterate on existing services to deliver the same old thing but maybe better.

! Capitalize on a tech trend to try to “be hip” and emphasize tech over value or usability.

! Repackage existing products and incentivize them with new gimmicks.

! Create physical and online experiences with the latest tech without understanding how to blend tech and experience in culturally relevant ways that captivate connected customers.

Either way, you may miss what’s really going on.

 

Some see people on their phones prioritizing tech over the moment. Others see that they are not only in the moment, but they’re able to straddle digital and physical worlds to share the moment with others in real time, thus making the moment bigger than just to those present. Everyone in this picture is in the moment. The question is, can you design experiences that cater to traditional customers and the evolving expectations of your connected customers?

 

Hint: you can, and you can’t.

 

But understanding what you know and don’t know is exactly how you win. The future of digital transformation and innovative customer experiences can only go so far as the products, services, processes, systems, operations, et al. are designed to support. This is why customer experience, design, innovation, and leadership must work in lock-step to fuse the connection between usefulness, user experience, value, and enchantment. Change gains momentum with a new mindset that sees customers, markets, and opportunities through a lens of possibility and invention, not legacy perspectives.

 

INNOVATION TAKES DESIGN FOR CONNECTED GENERATIONS

 

It is how customers, for all their differences and similarities, feel about your business and its ethos as tied to their objectives, values, and how they correlate to other great/negative experiences they have in other facets of their life. That means, in addition to building an agile infrastructure, organizations must also consider the relationship customers have with technology and how that changes their standards for service, engagement, and experience. More so, executives and technologists must also understand people, what they value, what they expect, what makes them happy, and why. Otherwise, new technology is, at best, novelty and, at worst, an inconvenience. The same plays out with products and services and also every touch point from the first mile to the last mile.

 

Let’s start with a direct but layered question, “What value does your business offer connected customers today versus the value you can deliver if you took a new look at the state of the world today?”

 

What your business means to shareholders and stakeholders may well, in fact, be different to Generation C. To them, a magazine is an iPad that doesn’t work. To you, analog-first decision-making is natural because that’s how you learned throughout your life. But Generation C, for example, use mobile devices as their first or only “PC” and live on services such as Uber, Lyft, Postmates, Airbnb, TaskRabbit, Filld, et al. Their standards for engagement, utility, and value are different than yours, and designing for what matters to them without genuine empathy is imprudent.

 

The standard for traditional customers might mean call centers, online chat, email service, PC-based and mobile-ready websites, having a physical location to conduct manual transactions, etc. On the other side of the equation, Generation C might manage money with different intents and goals. How they engage with information or transactions emulates the user interfaces and experiences of their favorite networking and messaging apps, such as Tinder, Instagram, Kik, Snapchat, and the like.

 

I know, you’re thinking, “What do those services have to do with my business?” At a cursory level, the answer is “not much.” But when it comes to user experience, the answer shifts to “everything.”

 

The design cues inherent in each of these apps cater to a connected mindset, making interaction frictionless if not invisible and hyper- transactional. And, these apps seamlessly bridge offline and online interaction.

 

Then there’s the emerging trend of “no UI is the next UI,” setting the state for voice commands, AI, and a new foray of engagement opportunities that further shift customer standards and expectations. The point is, these apps become your competitors and also sources of inspiration to innovate.

 

BE HUMAN. HUMANITY IS THE KILLER APP OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

 

You can’t see the new customer if you’re in denial of their market impact and influence. This isn’t a trend. People aren’t going back to the way things were, which conveniently aligns with how executives see the world and the processes that support legacy standards for customer engagement.

 

In my research, I found that only 54 percent of companies undergoing digital transformation have completely mapped out the customer journey. Of that number, only 20 percent have mapped out the customer’s mobile journey.

 

There’s no way to get ahead of customer evolution if you have no idea what it is. It’s also impossible to deliver meaningful and shareable experiences if you have zero empathy for the digital customer.

 

If you have aspects of the three pillars of CRM that meet or exceed customer expectations but fail or under-deliver in others, the customer experience can never be 100 percent. This is because technology cannot feel or empathize with customers—not even with artificial intelligence. The problem is that companies do not take a human-centered perspective. CRM is still rooted in technology-first paradigms that by design do not deliver or foster authentic, emotional, and integrated experiences. To design human-centered customer experiences takes intention and a combination of informational and emotional architecture. This facilitates how customer engagement is cultivated through technology and empathy to deliver experiences that people feel and value.

 

This means that we need to rethink the very definition of CX. Technology-first approaches miss the human element. When you consider customer experience from the vantage point of what customers experience and what experiences they love and those that they can do without, by default it evokes empathy. Next-generation customer experiences cannot be defined by technology, processes, systems, and other operational components without first seeing the customer journey through a human lens. As such, we need an upgraded definition of CX…

 

Customer experience is the sum of all engagements a customer has with your company, in each moment of truth, in each touchpoint, throughout the customer journey and the customer lifecycle. It’s not any one thing that you do well; it’s everything.

 

While we’re at it, we need a new appreciation and understanding of what the word “experience” even means. It is not an NPS score. It is not CSAT or CLV. It is also not time-to-resolution. Experience is an emotion. Experience is something you feel, something you sense and interpret, and it’s measured by how you react. You either feel that an experience is delightful and worth remembering and sharing or it’s not, and it’s either forgettable or memorable and shareable for reasons that are not beneficial to the brand. For companies that care, the best experiences become memories, and memories become the foundation for customer loyalty and advocacy.

 

Innovation in CX is all the work you do to conform to expectations and aspirations of people as they evolve instead of making them conform to your legacy perspectives, assumptions, processes, and metrics of success.

 

To win in customer experience, to win the hearts and minds of Generation C and all customers alike, start by taking some steps toward the digital transformation of your perspective and beliefs.

 

Accept you are not your customer.

 

Establish a game plan that begins with the insights that matter to customers and the outcomes that matter to your business, otherwise nothing else matters.

 

Study your physical, digital, and mobile customer journey and assess where there is friction, where you’re excelling, and where you’re absent.

 

Study the customer journeys, user experiences, and value propositions of companies outside of your industry that are effectively engaging Generation C.

 

Assess their preferences, expectations, behaviors, and values.

 

Identify new ways to add value to the customer’s experience.

 

Educate all stakeholders and shareholders on the state of the evolving market and do so in ways that the C-suite understands.

 

Define an experiential standard for which all those working on CX and the technology to support it can work collaboratively and in alignment.

 

Implement new metrics that track experience design against real-world customer experiences.

 

Learn and improve.

 

Now that was just the right combination of art and science. Brian, thank you.

 

I think that Brian provided clarity about the design we should consider, and now we’re well underway when it comes to customer engagement. Agreed? If you do, then it’s time to start thinking about the biggest question of all—how do we build a culture to sustain all of… this (picture a wide sweep of the hand).

 

Brian Solis, Author, Speaker, Futurist

 

Brian Solis is principal analyst and futurist at Altimeter, the digital analyst group at Prophet, Brian is a world renowned keynote speakerand 8x best-selling author. In his new book, Lifescale: How to live a more creative, productive and happy life, Brian tackles the struggles of living in a world rife with constant digital distractions. His model for “Lifescaling” helps readers overcome the unforeseen consequences of living a digital life to break away from diversions, focus on what’s important, spark newfound creativity and unlock new possibilities. His previous book, X: The Experience When Business Meets Design, explores the future of brand and customer engagement through experience design.

 

Please, invite him to speak at your next event or bring him in to your organization to inspire colleagues, executives and boards of directors.

 

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From the front of the queue, Volvo B5TL / Wright Gemini3, number 463 on its first morning in service (SJ66 LOH) with 445 (SJ66 LPA) and 444 (SJ66 LRN) all standing together at the Ocean Terminal terminus and what a great gallery showing off Lothian's new Fleet of the Future for its flagship service 22.

 

Operating from our Longstone depot, these custom build buses give passengers a range of new luxury features including USB charging points, new seats providing extra comfort and privacy, spot lighting, larger destination screens and a new design to allow better views from inside the bus. The Euro 6 Volvo double deckers, with Wrightbus Gemini 3 bodies, will reduce CO2 emissions by 30%, Nitrous Oxides by up to 98%, and Particulates by around 80%, compared with the existing fleet.

 

Richard Hall, Managing Director, Lothian Buses said:

"We are delighted to be welcoming these highly advanced vehicles to help improve the local environment and our customers' journeys. Whilst they are brilliant news for our passengers and drivers who will benefit from the interior and exterior enhancements, they will also make a tangible difference to air quality along the 22 route, benefiting everyone who lives, works or travels in the city".

The new fleet of twenty-five state-of-the-art buses for Edinburgh is now in operation on flagship Service 22. Volvo B5TL / Wright Gemini 3 number 451 (SJ66 LPN) sets off from Ocean Terminal in to town and out to the west at Sighthill.

 

New Managing Director of Lothian Buses. Richard Hall said:

"We are delighted to be welcoming these highly advanced vehicles to help improve the local environment and our customers’ journeys. Whilst they are brilliant news for our passengers and drivers who will benefit from the interior and exterior enhancements, they will also make a tangible difference to air quality along the 22 route, benefiting everyone who lives, works or travels in the city"

 

The new vehicles came into service from the 14th of December and this is the start of a massive bus replacement programme for Edinburgh continuing the hugely successful partnership between Volvo and Wright working with Lothian Buses.

 

Another group of 25 vehicles is due in the Spring of 2017 for Service 26.

The new fleet of twenty-five state-of-the-art buses for Edinburgh is now in operation on flagship Service 22. Volvo B5TL / Wright Gemini 3 number 445 (SJ66 LPA) rests outside the new and extended entrance for Ocean Terminal.

 

New Managing Director of Lothian Buses. Richard Hall said:

"We are delighted to be welcoming these highly advanced vehicles to help improve the local environment and our customers’ journeys. Whilst they are brilliant news for our passengers and drivers who will benefit from the interior and exterior enhancements, they will also make a tangible difference to air quality along the 22 route, benefiting everyone who lives, works or travels in the city".

 

The new vehicles came into service from the 14th of December and this is the start of a massive bus replacement programme for Edinburgh continuing the hugely successful partnership between Volvo and Wright working with Lothian Buses.

 

Another group of 25 vehicles is due in the Spring of 2017 for Service 26.

 

After trekking round the route of Service 22 here is my one shot in Princes Street as Volvo B5TL / Wright Gemini 3 number 456 (SJ66 LPX) stops off between Castle Street and Frederick Street.

 

At the end of the first week in January eighteen of the twenty five vehicles under the banner 'Fleet of the Future' are now in service with the remaining seven on their way from Cairnryan in Northern Ireland - the home of Wrightbus.

 

New Managing Director of Lothian Buses. Richard Hall recently said:

"We are delighted to be welcoming these highly advanced vehicles to help improve the local environment and our customers’ journeys. Whilst they are brilliant news for our passengers and drivers who will benefit from the interior and exterior enhancements, they will also make a tangible difference to air quality along the 22 route, benefiting everyone who lives, works or travels in the city".

 

Follow the story of Lothian's 'Fleet of the Future' as it unfolds with a photo and narrative of each of the eighteen now in service, all in numerical order. Click here to be transported to the album:

www.flickr.com/photos/stuart_montgomery/albums/7215767826...

 

"Our Customer Experience Team are there to ensure we do everything we can do make our customers journeys great. From welcome our customers at our stations, safely dispatching the trains and looking after our customers on board our Customer Experience team are present throughout the journey."

a model we developed at zilverinnovation.com as a framework for a big brand and service design project. Internal and external design research and contextual inquiry will lead to a deeply rooted shared vision, mission and behaviour, and a brand promise that will be kept. This promise will be used to build meaningful relationships throughout the entire customer journey. This in turn leads to a service blueprint providing a basis for interaction, behaviour and culture. This blueprint will inspire the orchestration of all touch points.

The best way to learn is by doing. And the only way to start thinking as a designer is to live it. To feel the uncertainty in your bones when you embark on a design journey. That’s why Design A Better Business organized a World Tour of workshops, with 5 major events on different continents. Participants of these workshops experienced and learned what it means to think and work like a designer. See designabetterbusiness.com for more information.

Jeff Gennette Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Macy's, Inc.

MODERATOR

 

Beck Besecker Co-Founder and CEO Marxent

 

Vibhu Norby CEO and Co-Founder b8ta

 

Rachel Shechtman Founder, STORY and Brand Experience Officer, Macy's Inc.

The best way to learn is by doing. And the only way to start thinking as a designer is to live it. To feel the uncertainty in your bones when you embark on a design journey. That’s why Design A Better Business organized a World Tour of workshops, with 5 major events on different continents. Participants of these workshops experienced and learned what it means to think and work like a designer. See designabetterbusiness.com for more information.

The way people shift from awareness to loyalty, through consideration, intention and purchase has radically changed. This “Journey” has become “Dynamic”, and people at Altimeter Group are investigating how this is happening in their latest research. At We Are Social, we have the privilege to look at this evolution closely from all over the world, and we can see the huge impact that conversations and social media are having in this change.

The best way to learn is by doing. And the only way to start thinking as a designer is to live it. To feel the uncertainty in your bones when you embark on a design journey. That’s why Design A Better Business organized a World Tour of workshops, with 5 major events on different continents. Participants of these workshops experienced and learned what it means to think and work like a designer. See designabetterbusiness.com for more information.

From the Altimeter report: Leveraging Social Identity: Know and Engage Customers Better to Build More Valuable Relationships. Download the full report at: www.altimetergroup.com/leveraging-social-identity

La conversazione è un elemento fondamentale per la "Dynamic Consumer Joruney": i canali di interazione si moltiplicano, le informazioni convergono in un'unica "user experience", la fiducia permette di individuare gli scambi degni di attenzione e attraverso un'attività di research & insight le marche possono abilitare i temi più rilevanti per il proprio target. Questo percorso consente di sviluppare prodotti e servizi che includono l'elemento di conversazione come punto di differenziazione.

From the Altimeter report: Leveraging Social Identity: Know and Engage Customers Better to Build More Valuable Relationships. Download the full report at: www.altimetergroup.com/leveraging-social-identity

This comment by Neil Perkin is a great reminder that we shouldn’t start believing that our own – simplified – views and models actually represent the customer’s reality. The best we can do is approximate this reality. That is why we need to always make sure that the processes and models we build around our customer interactions allow enough flexibility for the people in our organisation to do what is *really* needed.

 

For more of these one-slide thoughts, follow us on @Futurelab and @FLB_alainthys

mapping the customer journey of an IT buyer / executive deciding to use Citrix Workspace Cloud services.

The best way to learn is by doing. And the only way to start thinking as a designer is to live it. To feel the uncertainty in your bones when you embark on a design journey. That’s why Design A Better Business organized a World Tour of workshops, with 5 major events on different continents. Participants of these workshops experienced and learned what it means to think and work like a designer. See designabetterbusiness.com for more information.

I often create customer journey maps like this one, to help describe how a customer interacts with the different players and channels in a system.

 

I made this one when I was working on this organisation's website. It gave myself and the wider project team a better understanding of how the different online and offline channels intersected (the horizontal 'stripes') , and which of these was important at different stages in the overall customer journey.

 

[if you'd like to know more, just drop me a line at: ant.mace.online@gmail.com]

The best way to learn is by doing. And the only way to start thinking as a designer is to live it. To feel the uncertainty in your bones when you embark on a design journey. That’s why Design A Better Business organized a World Tour of workshops, with 5 major events on different continents. Participants of these workshops experienced and learned what it means to think and work like a designer. See designabetterbusiness.com for more information.

Interesting talk on customer journey maps with Niels from FatDUX.

 

www.uxcampeurope.org/ 22-23 June 2013

Stine Engemand from (sponsor) Creuna talks about customer mapping.

 

www.slideshare.net/skengemand/when-customer-journey-mappi...

 

uxcampcph.org/ 25-26 April 2014

From the Altimeter report: Leveraging Social Identity: Know and Engage Customers Better to Build More Valuable Relationships. Download the full report at: www.altimetergroup.com/leveraging-social-identity

 

Jeff Gennette Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Macy's, Inc.

MODERATOR

 

Beck Besecker Co-Founder and CEO Marxent

 

Vibhu Norby CEO and Co-Founder b8ta

 

Rachel Shechtman Founder, STORY and Brand Experience Officer, Macy's Inc.

Jeff Gennette Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Macy's, Inc.

MODERATOR

 

Beck Besecker Co-Founder and CEO Marxent

 

Vibhu Norby CEO and Co-Founder b8ta

 

Rachel Shechtman Founder, STORY and Brand Experience Officer, Macy's Inc.

Jeff Gennette Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Macy's, Inc.

MODERATOR

 

Beck Besecker Co-Founder and CEO Marxent

 

Vibhu Norby CEO and Co-Founder b8ta

 

Rachel Shechtman Founder, STORY and Brand Experience Officer, Macy's Inc.

mapping the customer journey of an IT buyer / executive deciding to use Citrix Workspace Cloud services.

Sanne Fraas from (sponsor) Creuna talks about customer mapping.

 

www.slideshare.net/skengemand/when-customer-journey-mappi...

 

uxcampcph.org/ 25-26 April 2014

From the Altimeter report: The Inevitability of a Mobile-Only Customer Experience

 

Download the full report at: pages.altimetergroup.com/mobile-only-customer-experience-...

From the Altimeter report: Leveraging Social Identity: Know and Engage Customers Better to Build More Valuable Relationships. Download the full report at: www.altimetergroup.com/leveraging-social-identity

This panel focused on how to prioritize reaching shoppers on so many touch points - smartphones, proximity targeting and big data.

 

bigshow15.nrf.com/session/mastering-technological-mobile-...

Exploring different ways of communicating the experience of buying a mass customised product

 

(inspired by www.littlespringsdesign.com/blog/2010/Mar/improving-the-s...

This is Service Design workshop at Design by Fire 2011

City Furniture Assistant Manager Britney West helps a customer using the IBM MobileFirst for iOS Sales Assist app on iPad at the City Furniture showroom in Taramac, Florida. Sales associates now have access to the right information, in real-time, at their fingertips to ensure a smooth, more efficient shopping experience. West worked with IBM and Apple designers and developers to help create three analytics-driven iOS apps based on her experience of supporting the customer journey in store. (Credit: City Furniture)

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