The rise of digital technologies meant companies were able to learn more about consumers and use a customer’s digital identity to better connect with them. As the technologies people use today are becoming increasingly integrated into their lives, tech is quickly becoming an even more fundamental part of a person’s identity. Leaders are using these unique digital identities to create a new generation of offerings that foster an ongoing, trustworthy relationship with consumers.
The companies that successfully grasp digital identities will achieve an evolving, individualized view of each consumer. It’s the level of insight that’s needed to deliver rich, continuous customer personalization in the post-digital age.
Becoming a partner
The shift toward technology-driven experiences is something that has developed over time. Initially, businesses used digital technologies and information gleaned from a person’s digital identity to optimize one-off transactions with customers. But as digital technologies became more pervasive, leaders looked beyond individual transactions and worked to build better, lasting customer experiences.
Today, new efforts by businesses across the economy are bringing customer personalization to the forefront of relationships, all driven by technology. It’s creating the enterprise feedback loop for the coming post-digital era: with every step in both work and life, consumers are leaving behind insights. These technology identity-driven insights are helping businesses build a living foundation of knowledge and touch points to connect more deeply with their customer base.
The goal now is for businesses to become an ongoing, trusted partner in the customers’ lives. By understanding the technology people choose to use and how they use it, businesses—like technology—can become engrained in a person’s life and deliver the experiences consumers truly want.
Savvy businesses are already personalizing their existing products and service offerings. But this is just the beginning of what is becoming possible. Leaders will push even further to craft new, individualized, experiential business models.
But as companies explore the individualized possibilities of the post-digital future, they’ll need to address new ambiguities and challenges. Among them: companies must recognize that there are times when consumers want more technology in their lives, and times that they don’t. The same goes for the level of individualization that’s delivered. There’s a line between “useful” and “creepy,” and what’s more, it varies for each person.
Companies must understand this delicate balance of customer personalization and privacy — a nonstop balancing act — if they wish to grow these personalized relationships with consumers.
Reinventing the relationship
When companies first began their digital transformations, technology was the means through which they developed and connected with new digital customer bases. Now, with the pervasiveness of technology in consumers’ lives, the opportunity is much greater.
Integrating experiences into customers’ lives requires an ongoing, intimate level of understanding; such insights rely on a strong foundation of trust, which companies must maintain through every consumer interaction. Those that take on this challenge today, however, will achieve the new level of continuous insight and understanding needed to lead in the post-digital world.