Consistency, value integral to omnichannel experience


The keys to providing an omnichannel experience are being able to provide customers with consistency and a clear value, according to Procter & Gamble’s associate director of brand marketing for personal health care, Phil McWaters, whose company has been looking closely at the intersection of big data, cognitive science and behavioral economics.

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“We work on autopilot, and you need to find a way to interrupt autopilot or become the prototype for the individual as they’re thinking about a given solution for a problem,” McWaters said.

Retailers can fight autopilot partially through consistency. “Some of our purchase cycles are so long that you can have 85% of a category buyer in a given year being a onetime buyer, and their interaction with a category can be very long. So if you want a specific message to resonate, you need to say the same thing over a very long period of time,” he said.

Alongside requiring consistency, providing customers what they’re looking for on their terms also is important. McWaters said that P&G’s research has shown customers prefer retailers who value their time and provide a clear value. Where McWaters sees Walmart’s best value proposition is in using data to inform product suggestions, which shows customers that a retailer cares about them and can deliver what they need potentially before they know it’s needed.

“There’s a huge opportunity for you to drive curation of content and product solutions, and set the bar high,” he said. “If we want to have good equity for all of our consumers, we need to commit to credible, efficacious and high-quality products. That’s the way we’re going to deliver equity to the consumer because they know what they’re going to get, ... and that’s how we’re going to drive value.”

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