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Today’s consumers and customers are connecting with businesses and brands across multiple channels, touchpoints and interactions which means that marketers need to do more to drive customer loyalty and differentiate themselves from the competition. To do so, marketing teams need to do more to start harnessing the actionable insights from the multiple data channels available to them to create engaging and relevant conversations with their customers.

In fact, consumers have spoken and have confirmed what needs to be done to gain their trust, respect and loyalty over time. What consumers expect by the brands they interact with is:

  • to be recognized as unique individuals
  • to receive personalized content and offers catered to their needs and preferences
  • and to live a memorable and frictionless experience.

The more personalized the experience is, the happier customers become, and happy customers do not only purchase more but they often become the strongest ambassadors of our brands.

Remember that every customer is on their own unique journey. Motivations to try, buy or stay loyal change and evolve depending on the individual customer making the choice or decision. Marketers can take ownership of that moment by using technology to harvest and interpret data  and create contextualized campaigns that are triggered by customer behavior. Years ago, the most a visitor could expect from a website were messages that aimed to make them feel welcome if they were to visit a site more than once. With current technologies and the wealth of implied and declarative data captured by online customer behavior, personalization now allows for opportunities that have been completely altered and transformed beyond recognition.

So how can marketers set themselves up to be able to differentiate their offering and experience?

The following are a few tips I propose based on industry best practices:

Gain a holistic view of customers

First and foremost, marketers need to gain a holistic view of their customers to enable them to deliver even more personalized marketing interactions that increase brand engagement and sales. We often hear that consolidating the different sources of data that you capture about your customers is crucial, but what is even more important is to have a tool capable of giving you a 360-degree view of your clients to understand their different actions, behaviours and interactions and take advantage of these to ensure you can deliver a relevant experience. The more data a brand is able to gather about its customers, the more refined and targeted marketing messages become.

Automate processes

Secondly, marketers need to equip themselves to be able to automatically personalize and contextualize marketing efforts and help their brand engage and build relationships with their customers. They should be contextualizing any communication by using a host of factors including customer demographics, past purchasing behavior and patterns, favorite products, categories and brands, web browsing history, in-store interactions and conversations with call center agents – basically leveraging and considering all available and relevant touch points. If you’re actively capturing various sources of information, think about automating your processes as soon as you can. Process automation will allow you to analyze and respond to customer trends and actions in real time and adjust your approach and interactions in a timely manner, something that not many companies are equipped to do today.

Move away from segmentation

For years, marketers have been creating segments of their customers based on common traits they share. Now with greater amounts of data being collected about customers, we see segments of one being developed. These are individual customers with unique preferences and demographic information that can be used to offer individually personalized marketing messages. When someone sees highly personalized offers and messages targeted specifically to them, they are more likely to respond positively.

Instill Customer-centric Objectives & KPIs

Last but most importantly, regardless of the type of company, marketers need to structure themselves in a way that allows for the customer to be considered in every decision that is made. This can be accomplished by instilling customer-centric goals and objectives across the marketing team and the rest of the organization. Many companies still have a lot of work to do to move from a product-centric approach to a customer-centric approach. But this shifting mentality is essential to help break silos internally and identify common measures and KPIs that are not centered on the number of products sold, but on the customer and the experience we want to deliver. Make sure this notion is rooted in your organization – higher management and leadership must believe in it to be able to enforce the message and approach across the business.

It is clear that sending marketing messages with true personalization is the key to successful marketing campaigns and driving increased revenue. Contextually relevant, real-time, personalized interactions are no longer a nice-to-have for marketers, it is what is needed to be able to stand out from the rest and gain customers’ trust and loyalty over time. Are you doing everything you can to stay ahead?

Becky Wright

Author: Becky Wright, VP Salesforce Alliance & Marketing

Becky’s background in corporate marketing, sales and leadership spans several industries including Media and Communications, Retail and Consumer Goods, Professional Services, Finance and Technology. With more than 15 years of worldwide experience in rapidly growing organizations, Becky plays a major role in integrating technologies and business processes to create demand engines that influence and convert growth. Becky’s passion for technology and B2B enterprise services inspire her to share unique perspectives on digital transformation strategies that deliver strong results and deep business intelligence.