We are fast approaching the day when people will expect the convenience of every product, ad, and package to be linked to the internet for immediate mobile engagement. Customers want to connect in the critical moments when they are gathering information, making a purchase, or need support.
The companies that excel at optimizing customer experiences go beyond what they think the customer wants and instead enlist their customers to choose from a range of relevant, measurable options. The data from customer-initiated interactions is the key to connecting the data dots for personalized content and ease of interaction.
A connected brand engages customers directly from its products, packaging, and print media. “Being connected” means letting a customer launch a “how-to” video from packaging, instantly reorder refills from the product itself, or initiate a support chat session, primed with a product’s model, location, and owner.
This new instant relevance opens the door to sustained engagement where content evolves with the life or location of the product (e.g., promotional content for a blender located in-store, followed by a recipe of the moment from the same blender once home).
A platform brings intelligence to QR codes, NFC tags, and beacons.
QR codes, NFC tags, and beacons bridge physical things and places to online content. Depending on their location — on a product, in print, near a service, on signage — these can be visual (QR codes), wireless (Bluetooth beacons), or tactile (NFC tags). All serve the same basic functions. They reduce friction in a customer’s journey by making direct interaction with the brand easier. From simple information gathering to instant personalized support, this newfound easy access benefits both the customer and the brand.
What does it mean to be a connected brand?
Historically, codes, tags, and beacons have not been suitable to deliver “connected” experiences. QR codes and NFC tags have been slow, did not allow contextual updates, and were not meaningful enough because they were limited to a single link, which could not adequately meet the many needs of a diverse customer base. This has now changed.
With multi-action functionality, a QR code can deliver a curated page of results relevant to a specific product so the customer can pick the one that fits their need.
This approach drives QR code use because it corrects their dominant flaw, which is that they do not often enough meet users’ needs. A one-size-fits-all solution is rarely popular. And because users don’t all have the same need, the only way to have the right solution most of the time is to offer options.
As an example, consider a QR code (or NFC tag) on an electronics product. If instead of a single option, the QR’s search page shows a dozen results such as are listed below, then there is a high likelihood that one or more of these options will be of value:
quick start video
download companion app
share on social media
review the product
promotion from affiliate partner
shop for similar products
Allowing multiple results makes it infinitely easier to produce content for QR codes. For marketers, it's a challenge to develop the perfect content solution for a diverse range of customers. Offering multiple options is simplified by utilizing a range of existing web content with links that are relevant to a specific place or product. The ability to begin with a single link and to add others later further simplifies the task.
The Phy platform revamps the utility of codes, tags, and beacons by bringing them into a common platform where their function can be augmented. They’re no longer slow and mysterious, thanks to our platform’s ability to add context, apply business rules, speed interactions, and offer options to enhance relevance.
For customers, it creates a transformational experience that delivers better content faster. For brands, it creates the ability to deliver meaningful experiences with direct measurement of what works.
Faster, smarter and more convenient experiences.
To illustrate how platform-based touchpoints can deliver fast, personalized experiences, let’s see how they might work in common situations:
A connected brand... personalizes.
A connected brand… inspires.
A connected brand… simplifies reordering.
A connected brand… is multilingual.
A connected brand… accelerates support.
A connected brand… has fun with its customers.
The new engagement channel.
No other channel is better positioned to deliver customer value than the one directly under a brand’s control — the channel built around its physical assets. By giving intelligence to the things people interact with daily, a brand is enlisting each of its physical assets as the front-line spokesperson, salesperson, and support person.
Giving voice to its products also illuminates a previously inaccessible blind spot in the customer journey. Customer interest is most-commonly triggered by product or print interactions. It is vital for brands to be available during these moments, and its just as vital to have the right answer for customers. Offering meaningful content that matches an in-the-moment need creates the type of experience that “wows” customers.
This physical channel has universal reach, begins every interaction with more context than is available to any other channel, and always has the customer’s full attention and intent. It will be as important a channel to marketers as is search or social.
What‘s coming is a connected world of ongoing engagement, meaningful experiences, and enhanced brand relationships that lead to personalized transactions. Customers will appreciate the convenience of having handy touchpoints to meet everyday needs and accomplish tasks in faster, smarter ways.