Inoculating companies against inaction, irrelevance, inflexibility and instability.

ANTIGEN: Broken Multichannel Touchpoint Strategy

Just read this from Forrester and it brought me to the inability to meet consumer’s multi-channel needs ANTIGEN.

Seventy percent of US online consumers research products online and purchase them offline. Based on this behavior, Forrester has identified two consumer categories: multichannel buyers and online window shoppers. Multichannel buyers use the Web for both research and purchases, while online window shoppers use the Web exclusively for researching their offline purchases. Multichannel buyers are almost six times more numerous. They are also more affluent and savvier online users than online window shoppers. The demographic and psychographic differences between these two consumer segments, and examples of how top US retailers are evolving their multichannel strategies in response, offer insights into how eBusiness professionals can enable multichannel consumer behavior.”

So, do you have what it will take to close the loop on your consumer’s online-to-offline needs?

Here is a snapshot of many different touch-point channel opportunities. You should be able to quickly determine if you have a closed-loop strategy to meet more of the complex needs of today’s consumers–or not.

In short, are you thinking about all the ways your business can and should meet the expectations of tomorrow’s customers?

  1. Social Networking
  2. Widgets/Tools
  3. Vodcasts
  4. Natural Search Engines (eg. Google)
  5. RSS Feeds
  6. Print Advertising
  7. Portal Widgets/Tools
  8. Desktop Widgets/Tools
  9. Affiliates (non-dealer)
  10. All Brand Web sites
  11. Events
  12. Broadcast
  13. Video interview (eg. YouTube)
  14. Blogs
  15. Catalog
  16. Customer Service
  17. Direct one-to-one Emails
  18. Distributor/Dealer Events
  19. Marketing emails
  20. Forums
  21. Email to a Friend
  22. Dealer Websites
  23. Dealer Stores
  24. Mobile
  25. Podcasts
  26. POP
  27. PR
  28. Product Returns
  29. Product Exchanges
  30. Product or Service Warranties
  31. Online Personal Data
  32. Payment
  33. Balance Checking
  34. Order Tracking
  35. Account Management
  36. Wishlist Management
  37. Opt-in/Opt-out Management
  38. Password Recovery
  39. Gift Card Purchase/Redemption/Balance Checking
  40. Holiday/Gifting Logistics Related Capabilities
  41. Holiday Hold
  42. Delayed Shipping
  43. Ask a Question
  44. Take Customer Satisfaction Survey
  45. General Feedback
  46. Rush Shipping
  47. Gift Services
  48. Purchase an Item
  49. Purchase Item Using Catalog Number
  50. Edit a Wishlist
  51. Create a Wish List
  52. Delete an Account
  53. Edit an Account
  54. Create an Account
  55. Order Re-tracking
  56. Delete a Wishlist
  57. Send a Wishlist
  58. Purchase an Item from a Wishlist
  59. Opt-in for Emails
  60. Recover Password Again
  61. Opt-out for Catalog
  62. Opt-in for Catalog
  63. Product Reviews
  64. Complain about Service

*attribution to Twiss Interactive for this exhaustive list of touch points.

Filed under: Brands, Consumer, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Antigenic Shift/Drift

There are two really scary yet very real properties that transform antigens making them harder to identify, isolate and resolve. They are antigenic shift and antigenic drift.

Antigenic drift is when an antigen accumulates enough changes to evade immunity or vaccination. When there is a heavier than normal flu season, the CDC starts talking about antigenic shift. Like kicking off your flip flops to run from danger faster. Drift can account for subtle changes in the properties of an antigen to make an antibody less effective in battle. Some years, flu shots are wasted because the drift was significant enough to sneak past the vaccine.

Antigenic shift is really alarming to me. It is when two totally different strains combine to form a new super strain. Conceivably, avian strains could mix with sheep or swine strains to form a nasty and powerful strain the likes of which we’ve never seen let alone prepared for.

Look at any company through this metaphoric lens.

There are many moving parts in business…moving so fast, in fact, many people are unable to shift or respond when necessary. For example, Twitter or social media in a larger context mixed with a big hairy crisis and the business can have a really shifty antigen or strain on its hands. I can think of a good half dozen companies wishing they could do many things over again because they weren’t prepared for it, weren’t staffed for it, had no idea it was eating them alive and didn’t take it seriously after it had eviscerated their brand reputation. And even today, at least three of those big notable brands are still unsure what hit them and haven’t really assessed the damage, several months after the fact.

And when antigens change shape, the antibodies that are supposed to fight them, can’t… which allows the antigen to enter undetected and wreak havoc on healthy cells. And often, there is nothing able to stop the damage until it is either too late or more damage was done than was necessary.

The bottom line is that things change, or they mix with other things, and pose significant new mutated risks to companies. The plans in place to deal with these emerging risks are not always adequately suited to stem abrupt or punctuated change. The enterprise defenses need to be perpetually updated. Scenarios need to be created to help companies anticipate and outrun the antigens, create powerful antibodies to defend the corpus and to allow its people to focus on moving forward instead of repairing.

This updating, scenario planning and outrunning  is what ANTIGENcy is working on.

Filed under: Properties of Antigens, , , , ,