The Rise of Low-Touch Experience in Marketing

In today’s world, many brands are becoming aware of what it takes to acquire customers and retain them, hence the need to adopt several methods. The rise of the post-pandemic consumer who values safety and convenience and adopts technology has heightened the need for several components to devise a suitable customer engagement model and put it into action. This development is why many brands, companies, and organisations have embraced the low-touch model as a path for their customers. As a result of the large number of places that have adopted this, it has created a ripple in the expectations and preferences of many people as they tilt more towards the path of a low-touch customer and choose to be a rider on its journey. But to get the ball rolling, let’s start by helping you understand what low-touch customer service is. 

In customer service, there are several levels at which a company supports its customers. There are ways common to a lot of brands. From personalized chats or calls to an everyday dialogue box to a reliable customer success manager (CSM) a customer could chat with, companies have devised a significant number of ways customers could reach them, table their problems, ask questions, or even express their grievances. This development has not only proven to be an excellent inclusion for any brand but also a means to bridge the gap of trust between them and their customers. 

In light of this, there exists a difference between these types of customer service. One is high-touch, while the other is low-touch customer support, whose journey we’ll shed more light on. The reason behind any brand’s having two separate models isn’t farfetched. With different customers come diverse needs, and these two models cater to them. Low-touch customer service is when your company employs automated systems to engage with its customers digitally. Some customers don’t require one-on-one support. For instance, if a customer has a problem that some other customers have had; there’s hardly any need for personalised service. 

In this case, a customer can call your support line and connect to a front-line support rep. In addition, low-touch customer service employs the services of digital tools, such as online chat, standard codes, emails, call lines, or self-service knowledge base articles, just for the purpose of tending to customers’ needs. So why do you think several people have come to lay their expectations on this service form? This reality has no quadratic equation either. Firstly, in a world that has grounded itself digitally, it’s only wise that this form of support be expected or even preferred by any customer. 

The launch of the Marriott Hotel in Nigeria, managed by Connect Marketing Services, is a perfect case study of applying low-touch experiences to the customer experience. As experienced designers, we faced a number of hurdles in order to meet our clients’ needs. One of which was throwing a lavish celebration in the middle of a pandemic. The Marriott brand had three critical demands from us: to retain its worldwide standards and high-end luxury; to assist the brand in attracting the right entry into the Nigerian market, and to drive business objectives by giving them first-hand experience of the hotel. Thereby, triggering prospects for patronage 

We included a virtual reality element into the guest experience, allowing them to examine every room, bar, and other attraction in real-time via their connected devices, in order to evoke lasting memories.

In conclusion, low-touch engagement models are also more cost-effective and helpful for mass-market, lower-value customers. This quality makes it a viable and quality option for both the company and the customers. In all, there’s an easy route that comes for people on this journey. When you think about a win-win situation for both parties, talk about low-touch customer service. It is, therefore, important to take into account that low-touch experiences do not totally eliminate the use of high touch experiences. The knowledge of the customer through empathy, data, and technology should guide the usage of this model to deliver on marketing objectives.

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Event Planning: Digitizing the red carpet experience in Africa

Event Planning: Digitizing the red carpet experience in Africa

Every event gains recognition by the caliber of people that it is associated with. Over time, brands have utilized events for activations and associations through sponsorships. The COVID-19 pandemic enabled us to reimagine every element of event management with the use of modern technology to create unique experiences. Depending on the event, the glitz and glam, as well as the quality of the experience, are integral to what makes the event whole. This brings to light the need for the red carpet experience to be top-notch as this part of the event showcases the strata of individuals that have attended the event. Due to the high media presence at this point of the event, event planners and attendees utilize this platform to make newsworthy statements. This is to increase mentions and awareness. Bringing the elements of technology and newsworthiness to play, we will see how the transformation of the quintessential red carpet has transformed post-pandemic events.

Maya Jama in the first ever 5G powered augmented reality dress on the BAFTAS 2020 red carpet
(Image credit: EE)

First, digital fashion has become an element in digitizing the red carpet. In 2020, we saw Maya Jama wow the crowd in the first ever 5G powered augmented reality dress on the BAFTAS 2020 red carpet (Leake, 2020). With the use of technology, the MTV Base presenter made a futuristic fashion statement by bringing her seemingly regular ball gown to life in augmented reality. This feat made the event newsworthy and opened the eyes of fashion enthusiasts and event planners to the possibilities that can unfold with the fusion of creativity, innovation, and technology.

Furthermore, the red carpet backdrops have moved from still prints into an interactive experience of a real-world environment. Brands can now animate brand assets to highlight key elements and create unique experiences for attendees. This was executed expertly by Connect Marketing Services in the Balmain and Chivas XV Collaboration-Gold Version in Lagos, Nigeria. Attendees experienced a magazine-like augmented reality backdrop. This was to put emphasis on the celebrity status of the attendees. This was also used at Marketing Core 2022, where the studio attendees could interact with elements of the event’s brand mark. 

In conclusion, managing large events can be demanding. Hence, the need to infuse technology for a better experience. The pandemic hastened the adoption of new technology in numerous industries in Africa, and marketing is not left out. Digitising the red carpet brings an oddity to your event. Hence, creating a refreshing experience for an existing idea. It is, however, important that the choice of technology and scale of events be considered in the digitization of the red carpet. This should be done without being oblivious to the possible technical challenges that may be experienced whilst bringing this to life. It further brings to bear the need to engage an expert.

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