Brands have never been so fragile. The way we find, consume, and share information has changed dramatically in the past 10 years. Traditional customers have been replaced by a more demanding, less loyal breed of customer, and the explosion of channels makes attracting and retaining this new consumer even harder. Digitally savvy buyers are more likely to base their purchasing decisions on relevant customer experiences than on a logo. Even as these device-hopping consumers’ behaviors and preferences change at a dizzying pace, there's still an expectation for a consistent, meaningful experience — but if it's not optimal their perception of value drops and they disengage.
So how can brands serve and delight smart customers across different channels and devices? Marketers must move beyond insights based on consumer demographics, transactional behavior, browsing habits, and intent. These methods only provide a snapshot of the consumer’s past or last behavior. After-the-fact insights are backward-looking, often disjointed, and can’t predict future behavior. The challenge for marketers is to harness insights about their customers and prospects more quickly and comprehensively. The real-time consumer intelligence race is on.
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