Consumer Centricity

Do you know the role that Cloud technology plays with regards to Customer Centricity?

Cloud computing, a concept which involves usage of a network connection to get access remote services on demand has been around in various forms for some time now. However, what many of you out there would not have realized is that with regards to consumer products manufacturers and retailers, cloud technology is all set to become that game changer and disruptive enabler of the business value it was meant to be. It is especially going to have a huge impact on what is popularly these days referred to as ‘Customer Centricity ‘. If, you want to know more about Cloud as well as the role it plays in catering to the customer’s need please continue to read this article.


A. Cloud acting as the driver of Customer Centricity:

In recent years it has been discovered that Cloud helps companies play a dual role when it comes to helping companies in their efforts of focusing on customer-centricity. In other words, this tool has enabled businesses to get close to their customers via the use of technology, which considering the digital age we live is the need of the hour.  So, with consumers, these days connecting more frequently on Cloud with companies of their choice, their expectations from suppliers have also risen.  As a result, now more than ever customers expect companies to engage with them using digital platforms and cater to their needs.  In fact, due to technology such as Cloud that is available today shopper nowadays has more options that they can use to truly experience personalized shopping at its best. Moreover, it must be remembered that in trying to get closer to the consumer businesses must use Cloud in such a way that, they engage with customers in new ways while also creating and delivering highly personalized and contextual offers.


B. Use of Cloud to engage and thereby stimulate Customer Centricity:

The best feature about using Cloud technology it provides for businesses with the unprecedented opportunity to engage with customers. As a matter of fact, many of the technology-savvy companies have begun using it not just for transactional purposes, but also to help consumers engage with the brand in context to their lives. Furthermore, the increased use of Cloud technology has meant greater immediacy thereby enabling companies to help their customers connect more personally with the brand, and that too in ways beyond the traditional form of one-way push marketing.  For example, the brand Yoplait with the intention to develop an authentic conversation with consumers created ‘Yoplait Sara’ to function as the face of the brand on social media.  This was done mainly to create a brand image by using Sara, a relatable real-life individual whose family stories and pictures were posted on the Facebook page of Yoplait. Such has been the success of this branding strategy used by Yoplait that engagements with customers have drastically increased with the number of likes on the company’s FB page quadrupling in just about a year. Finally, after having engaged with the customer using “product attributes and launches “Yoplait refined its strategy with the aim of driving organic growth by becoming more authentic and even more engaging.


C. Cloud Technology usage to increase relevance to customers:

It is a fact that the consumers of today encounter a barrage of product offers, and under such circumstances, the challenge for manufacturers and retailers is to stand out despite all the noise that surrounds it. The question then to be asked is how can the cloud help sell products that are actually relevant to customers? The answer is ‘Yes’ cloud can be used to increase relevance because it essentially serves as a critical enabler of what is known as ‘Situational Awareness’. This means that it helps the company understand the consumer’s social situation with regards to factors such as geographical location, recent activities, preferences and help them engage with them more directly to cater to their needs. For example, geo-location companies can target consumers that are in close proximity to visit a store or even a specific location within a store. Additionally, by making use of advanced purchase pattern analysis available in the cloud technology companies can actually understand as to when the customer is deviating from their typical shopping behaviour and thereby offer an incentive to either behave differently or continue with the new behaviour. In short, it is the simplicity of connectivity and data exchange that cloud technology provides for that makes its use relevant for customers. For example, Safeway’s Just 4 U program is the perfect representation of how retailers have begun effectively using the cloud to engage customers and make use of this technology relevant.  This grocery outlet which operates more than 1,600 stores around the US and Canada offers personalized digital deals to customers based on their past buying behaviour.


D. The use of Cloud Technology to acquire advanced customer insights:

When it comes to digital platforms such as social networking people have always used it to freely share information and opinions.  However, what is new is the ease of connectivity and data shared with the customer by companies through the use of the cloud. What the introduction of this technology in society has also done is to allow companies to analyze data, and generate valuable customer insights upon which they can act upon.  For example, much of the social media data such as the 27,000 Tumblr blogs, 100,000 tweets, 684,000 FB content posted each day is available publically, and therefore can be used to analyze by companies. This data available in the cloud acquired from social media gives businesses the perfect opportunity to gain insight into consumer sentiment and behaviour which was not possible before. These days it is has been found through research that leaders in the consumer goods industry are trying to acquire insights into consumer behaviour using data through the use of cloud technology. For example, one of Italy’s most innovative CPG manufacturers Amadori Group has developed a cloud-based multi-faceted social technology to boost sales among young shoppers. This group, in fact, began with a new web development platform, has now gone on to create a set of highly interactive websites which have then been integrated into social media sites such as YoutTube and Facebook.

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