Multi Index Dashboards provide perfect platforms for converged insights at the desktop.
I’ve decided to cover something a little bit more traditional that I feel people kinda forgot. We talk a lot about user experience (UX), be it a device, website, let alone a service. But I found myself lost about what it really is. So I’m figuring out how to be able to, in baby-steps, design experience in a way that is simple yet effective.
Experience has been especially relevant in this era of free information where it is much more difficult to earn loyalty or simply presence in the minds of consumers. As such, marketing strategies has moved from a one-way communication push to a 2-way conversation. Or better still, one that gets viral.
The big question I’m posing here is; how do we, with limited resources, provide the best experience for a consumer in a way that will translate to brand equity? I think that it is as important to slip in nuances of your identity system so people would link that experience you provide uniquely to your brand. What kind of experiences actually matter uniquely to your consumers? That’s how you earn loyalty. It’s when you OWN a good experience in your customers minds. So in simple terms, today’s formula is;
Customer needs + Brand Promise = Brand experience
As a cumulative process, we have to provide many mini good experiences at all stages of the consumer decision process; that is pre-purchase, purchase and post purchase
In the pre-purchase stage, we are looking at making a good initial impression. Looking professional is the basic requirement for one to consider your product, and this applies to all, from low-cost to premium products. What’s more important here is to create an accurate impression. A visual designer would come handy here to know exactly the kind of visual that would best elicit the right impression to readers at a particular touchpoint. Give a misleading visual + copy; A consumer gets the wrong expectation of the product; He ends up disappointed in your store. Such a bad experience would actually backfire on your credibility simply because you’ve just broken what the audience has perceived as your brand promise.
A good pre-purchase experience would land the brand in the consumers’ consideration list, making them move on to the purchase stage. The idea in the purchase stage is to give the consumer a taste of the product. Common examples include free product samples, test-drives for cars and free trials for software. The challenge here, is making sure that the consumer gets a good experience as how you controlled it to be, even if the consumer did not end up buying it. One could come out from a automobile showroom tweeting either of this two;
1 – “Decided to drop the option of car XXX, doesn’t feel quite right.”
2 – “Car XXX a little too sporty for me. Nice to drive but just not my type I guess “
Do you see the difference? Not only is the consumer complimenting but also branding car XXX as sporty. That would probably attract sporty people from that particular consumer’s network. The potent for network marketing is probably the reason why companies invest so much in making stores look good and that the staff are well trained to preach the brand promise. Starbucks scores in this area I would say. For sure their coffee is not the best in my list. From their friendly staff that would remember your name to the lucky 100th customer that gets a free drink ( I got it twice already!). These are simply but well-thought experiences that are within the provider’s control.
Controlling post-purchase touchpoints entails delivering on your brand promise. Exceed the customers’ expectation beyond usage and performance. A lot of companies under leverage post purchase touchpoints. Increase your brand loyalty through say, efficient after sale services, loyalty coupons, newsletters, or anything to delight your customers. Invest in your customers for they are a strong marketing tool. This will get you not only repeat purchases but also customers endorsing and recommending your brand to others. Such brand equity is key to sustainable and profitable growth to any company.
To sum everything up, I conclude with the notion of designing from outside-in, something I’m still trying to fully grasp – a design process that is user-centered and focused on brand experience. Be in control of the important consumer touchpoints and slip in nuances of your brand promise to increase brand equity.
Harmonizing your ‘Touchpoints’ by Scott Davis and Tina Longoria
The consumer decision journey – McKinsey Quarterly
The following is a comment from a recent research document that highlights the strengths of the solution:
“Business intelligence (BI) technology holds out much promise, but experience would tend to indicate that it can be difficult to use, requiring specialist skills and imposing considerable latency between need and information delivery. Bi24 addresses these issues for many business needs and the ease-of-use has to be seen to be appreciated. The technology is built on the well regarded Lucene open software search technology and because of this most things are possible. While Bi24 does not give much profile to unstructured data search, a great deal of functionality is delivered out-of-the-box so that email and documents can be incorporated into search and analytic’s functionality. The key to understanding the power of Bi24 is that it provides a search approach to BI.”
“What this means on a day-to-day level is that business users can formulate their own analytical and search needs with ease. This is a highly pragmatic, but in no way compromised BI tool and we would recommend that organisations of all sizes should look at the offering.”
To prove the point the below image is of the daughter of a BI lead who is using the Venn elements of the solution for her homework
A recent white paper published by Birst, Inc., a San Francisco based provider of “agile business analytics” software and solutions, points up the four ‘foundational requirements’ of a business intelligence (commonly called “BI”) solution. They remind us that our ERP systems are merely a tool, a means to an end, and that end is to extract intelligent information from the underlyingdata in order to improve our business management decisions.
The article, available here (you’ll have to provide contact info first) points to four key capabilities (along with our own commentary about them):
1.) Historical analysis and reporting. You want information not just on your business performance, but on the key drivers of that performance as well. You need to know not just your results, but your influencers. This usually involves mapping and understanding data over a long time frame, measured often in years. That’s a lot of data.
2.) Forecasting and future projection. Collecting and understanding your data is one side of the task. Projecting into the future is the other. So for example, once you know something about the progress and flow of past sales deals, the size of your pipeline, the length to close… you’re more able to project the progress of future deals. The goal is to align your resources with your forecast for maximum efficiency.
3.) Ability to integrate information from multiple business functions. Integrating the data you need to make better decisions may require multiple data sources. Obviously, this burden is minimized if you’re operating under, more or less, a single (or limited) silo of information. This is where an integrated ERP solution starts to really shine. Often the data there, give or take the contents of a couple of spreadsheets, is more than enough to provide meaningful insight.
4.) Easily explored reporting and analysis. Decision makers need to understand the big picture. Sometimes, they need a good bit of detail to be able to do so. This speaks to the need for explorable reports, drill down capabilities, ad hoc queries and business dashboards. Flexibility and robustness, without being overly complex, are helpful. Today we find the better ERP systems can provide much of this. More sophisticated BI solutions will boost your reporting capabilities significantly, a feature most appreciated in larger, more diverse organizations.
A solution that provides the above foundation, whether it’s part of an ERP system or an add-in, ensures you’ll have the right analytical tool when it comes time to convert hard data into meaningful information that can inform better decision making.
Ironically Bi24 provides all these elements and much more