The global impact of COVID-19 has only accelerated the rate of digitization. Accenture Interactive’s Jasper Dijkstra and Marije Gast see modern online marketers struggling to combine the message digital channels and myriad of available data to support their brands. Today, marketers often fail to translate this colorful mix into a unique customer experience. The million-dollar question is: how can it be done effectively?

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Why does a person prefer one brand and over another? Where does this ‘brand loyalty’ come from? To start, both the brand’s product and its proposition have appealed to them in some way. “By creating a unique customer experience on its channels, a brand can distinguish itself in the market from other competitors,“ says Dijkstra. “An app, homepage, or campaign that hits exactly the right chord with consumers and, thus, creates a unique experience, means the difference between a flourishing and a failing brand.”  

However, it’s easier said than done, particularly as this chord needs to be struck continuously. “The customer should always understand exactly which company they are dealing with at every moment in their customer journey,” explains Gast. "Saying you run your business in a sustainable manner meanwhile you’re still producing at a lower cost in India, is an absolute no-go these days." 

Now more than ever, a company's brand values ​​must be woven into every channel and touchpoint. Sound easy? In a digital world, where touchpoints are numerous and continuously multiplying (websites, social media, search engines, and mobile apps, to name but a few), it’s anything but simple. So, we asked Gast and Dijkstra the question: How does a brand create a unique, authentic experience in this dynamic digital environment?

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"In the digital age, the difference between a failing and flourishing brand can most often come down to the digital experience offered to its consumers."

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Spoiler alert: this is the recipe for the ultimate customer experience

“It starts with truly understanding your customer. Thinking you know what your customer wants simply because it’s stored in your CRM system is a fallacy. Of course, it helps, but it's nowhere near enough. To really add value, organizations need to know exactly what their customer needs at every single moment in the customer journey. As soon as you have that laid out in front of you, you know what the right message is at the right time, on the right channel,” says Gast.

When the timing and the message seamlessly match the phase in which the customer finds itself in the customer journey, the chance of conversion is by far the greatest. “A customer that feels understood and receives the right message at exactly the right time is more likely to take the next step in the desired direction,” continues Gast. “In other words, such customers are more likely to download an app, subscribe to a newsletter earlier, or enthusiastically click on the 'buy' button. And voilá: there is the recipe for a digital marketing campaign in which the ultimate experience triumphs.”

Biofreeze’s extremely successful digital campaign

How mercilessly successful such a campaign can be was proven by Biofreeze, an American remedy for muscle pain. The brand wanted to reach new users with an online campaign. It dug deep into the data to determine when the brand was interesting for potential customers, and why. Based on this data, Biofreeze was able to pinpoint exactly when someone would experience muscle pain, and, subsequently, flawlessly responded to that moment with creative content. In the video below, you can see how Biofreeze succeeded rather brilliantly. 

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Biofreeze TPIC Case Study

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“It is a textbook example of delivering the right message targeted to the right person at the exact right time. This is how creativity, content, and technology in digital marketing can optimally activate a target group. Thanks to the campaign, Biofreeze had its most successful year ever,” praised Dijkstra. 

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Can customer-centric and authentic experiences really go together? 

If all brands target the same consumer with the same needs, how do they ensure their authenticity? Can a brand be customer-centric and authentic at the same time? “Absolutely! One does not have to exclude the other. Provided you don't forget to stay creative in this customer-oriented approach,” explains Dijkstra. 

Dijkstra likes to bring a homegrown success story to the table: “Coolblue’s winged motto ‘Service with a smile’ is repeated everywhere and at all times. That smile continues when you see their branded bus driving by with a clever slogan or the moment you realize that the delivered packaging can be converted into a cat’s play basket."

"Coolblue knows exactly when it can make an impact on customers and the crucial role creative content plays herein. Essentially, when you know how to translate the needs of your customers, technology, and experience into a unique and authentic brand, you have grasped the true essence of return on investment.”

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Doing nothing is not an option

Targeted data provides better insight, allowing brands to have a stronger influence on their brand experience. That logically leads to higher returns. Seems like a simple strategy to deploy, right? Then why do so many brands struggle to execute what Biofreeze and Coolblue do with such success?

The formula according to Dijkstra and Gast? “Deploying multidisciplinary teams and thereby bringing together creativity, data, and technology,” both say wholeheartedly. To date, very few companies are doing this. Instead of putting the right people with different backgrounds and experiences together in a team, most organizations still work from separate silos. 

This exposes a critical pain point for many companies. “Many organizations simply lack the infrastructure to accommodate this kind of operation. Only when companies nurture multidisciplinary teams filled with different skill sets—data experts, marketers, creatives, people from the business—real progress can be made towards the unique, authentic experience.”

Ultimately, multidisciplinary teams are the real golden eggs in digital marketing and consumer experience success. Feel free to reach out to us for more information!

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Marije Gast is Experience Design Lead and Jasper Dijkstra is Senior Manager Digital Marketing, both at Accenture Interactive.

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Make sure to also read the other insights in our customer experience series: 

Marije Gast

Associate Director – Accenture Interactive, Experience Design Lead, the Netherlands


Jasper Dijkstra

Senior Manager – Accenture Interactive, Digital Marketing, the Netherlands

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