As early as April 2021, a McKinsey survey showed that pandemic-driven digital adoption by consumers had largely plateaued but would remain well ahead of pre-pandemic levels. In this context, energy and mobility companies are seeking to retain new-age digital consumers by improving digital experiences, investing in phygital, and putting consumer trust at the heart of all they do. They plan to move from traditional forecourts to big box formats like site super-hubs and truck stops to meet diverse consumer requirements in fuel and non-fuel categories. With site super-hubs, they intend to focus on fulfilling diverse consumer requirements with loyalty systems, personalized offers, discounts, and mobile and web-based services that customers perceive as higher-value offerings.
Consumer mobility businesses already hold a significant amount of customer data. Why should they not unlock the value of this data by building an omni-channel marketing strategy? Given their wide variety of service offerings (groceries, beverages, vehicle service, hotel, hospitality, etc.), a comprehensive marketing strategy driven by data and personalization can be a powerful differentiator. Insights and data-driven targeted offerings, personalized promotions, one-on-one communications and digital payment solutions are the core capabilities that businesses will need to leverage to deliver customer-centric propositions. Developing these core capabilities and then developing technology solutions are very specialized tasks that require an all-encompassing, clearly defined digital strategy accounting for all aspects of operations. The lack of a digital strategy, including channel strategy, can lead to ad-hoc decision-making, incoherence from both a business and operations perspective, and a significant load of technical debt.
A comprehensive omni-channel strategy, captured as an element of digital strategy, will bring channels such as physical, social, mobile and web together and enhance them with the two other key elements of digital strategy: cloud and data.
Some factors that can hinder the formation and execution of an effective omni-channel strategy are:
- Data in silos across business domains and solutions
- Lack of understanding of customer personas, journeys and processes
- Inconsistent service delivery across channels
- Lack of standard service delivery frameworks and SLAs
- Misaligned CVPs and differentiators
A harmonized omni-channel strategy that embodies customer-centricity will seek to resolve all of the aforementioned roadblocks.
A complete 360-degree view of the customer is the backbone of a data-driven enterprise. It will capture both the historical and current context of the customer, and can include elements such as:
- Demographic profile
- Loyalty card data and historical purchases
- Favorite gas-filling outlets
- Average spend across product categories (fuel, non-fuel)
- Purchase patterns (groceries, beverages, home products)
- Type of vehicle (budget, sedan, luxury, motorcycle, gas, battery, hybrid)
- Payment preferences
- Data from partners and even social streams
The customer 360-degree view enables personalized communications and leads directly to offer uptakes, revenue increases and improved customer satisfaction, resulting in sustainable and extended brand-customer relationships.
Data management becomes key to any intelligent insights-driven operations. A comprehensive data strategy is required, which identifies data ownership, data lifecycle management and use of data for driving processes — both back-end and customer-facing — resulting in more contextual and personalized engagement with customers. A connected business architecture that brings together back-end and front-end capability areas (see figure below) creates the right platform for developing a data-driven, customer-centric, omni-channel strategy.