#LSS2017 – Local Search Summit Insights – originally posted on LSA Insider – The Official Voice of the Local Search Association

Empowered customers believe they deserve a certain experience from a brand. The boundary between physical and digital is irrelevant to customers, as intelligent agents like Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Cortana are changing the way people find information and things near them.

Collin Coburn, analyst at Forrester Research, explored the “post-digital marketer” at Rio SEO’s Local Search Summit. The post-digital world is a view of marketing where digital experiences are ubiquitous. As a practical example of this shifting in thinking, Collin said that digital marketers focus on impressions and clicks while post-digital marketers are more focused on delivering the brand promise on all the relevant channels.

However, today it is extremely hard for brands to deliver on their promise as a result of rapidly evolving technologies or clunky customer experiences. Hyper-optimized and customer-centric experiences are expected by customers and Collin shared some data to highlight this:

  • 18% of U.S. consumers say they expect to get what they want, when they want it.
  • 43% would switch from a loyal brand for a better price.

In post-digital marketing, Collin said that brands need to have these three skills:

  • Human Service: Having some human layer of your brand is extremely important in building trust and offering a better brand experience for customers.
  • Helpful Information: Provide the information and tools that will help customers understand, learn about and make a decision on if they want to make a purchase with your brand or not.
  • Handy Solutions: Brands must be able to respond to rapidly changing market dynamics and customer demands in order to maintain an effective brand experience.

In a room full of people interested in local and local search, Collin said that the three principles mentioned above all have a “local” application. After all, customers are local and brand experiences must be optimized for the many store locations.

Building on local optimization, Collin talked about five important data points customers are looking for: contact info, hours/rating and reviews, visual content, product availability and discounts. All of this data needs to be optimized for each individual brand location.

The point is that brand messages and identities are built more on what the brand does vs. what it says. But when both messaging and action align, the customer benefits from a positive customer experience no matter the channel.

Author Bio:

Karisa Macias has extensive expertise in local search, digital marketing, and technology.