August 19, 2015



Technology brand awareness

I recently saw an ad for Salesforce on the side of a bus. It started me thinking. To what extent do we want our customers to be savvy about the technologies we are using to mine more data, increase revenue and build the lifetime value we’re extracting from them? Is technology brand awareness eroding the conversation with brands themselves?

Customer engagement and management requires a range of technologies. Yet anonymity of these technologies in the consumer space is essential for the brands they’re serving to remain top of mind. When customers start becoming aware of all the technology brands you’re using to convert them, the voices of those technology brands may start diluting your own.

It’s like buying a loaf of bread and the wrapper having on it the logo of the distribution company who drove the bread to the store. You don’t want this extra noise in your conversation.

Think of it this way: when a customer clicks a social post regarding your product and goes straight through to your checkout, do you want them to be thinking of your brand, or of how Stackla got them there? Do you want online shoppers to feel they’re being retargeted by you, or by AdRoll?

Whilst some of these technologies are still flying just under the consumer radar for the time being, it won’t always be that way. There was a time when customers had never heard of Hootsuite. Now even low-level social posters are using it to schedule their social channels and long ago stopped thinking the brands they connect with are actually clicking ‘send’ themselves.

The perfect balance between creative advertising or social campaigns, and the technology used to reap the ROI from them, lies somewhere between both disciplines. Engaging in genuine conversation is the only way to prove you are a living, breathing brand and not a bunch of integrated technologies importing data from each other and serving up an ad. As more and more brands are learning, this increasing use of technology requires an overtly mutual relationship with customers to balance it out. Successful brands do this well.

When everyone knows how the tricks are done, we have to start looking for a new kind of magic. With everyone clambering to be heard, the next level of customer service will have to be ready to remind customers who to pay attention to.