It’s tough out there for marketers.
For starters there's the 98 percent of Americans who switch between devices on the same day.
As marketers, we face a daily challenge of connecting with our consumers at the right place at the right time, and it’s our job and responsibility to adjust our digital marketing strategy to accommodate this.
Marketing automation used to be considered a one-size fits all approach — as we all know too well from the archaic “email blasts.” Now, instead of taking a blanket approach to “personalized” marketing, marketers have tools to create campaigns that are highly customized to a specific individual or small group.
If you want higher conversions, individualized marketing is crucial in today’s oversaturated marketing environment. Every interaction with your customer is an opportunity to connect with that person in a very relevant way and in turn, set up a long-term committed relationship.
But how do we even get to the point where that’s possible?
Individualized marketing can unlock the holy grail of digital marketing: true 1:1 engagement. Throw in data patterns of unknown users such as website traffic, social marketing chatter, advertising clicks and abandoned shopping carts — you name it — and you can bring digital experiences to a whole new level: individualized messages that anticipate behavior, needs and wants — wherever, whenever.
Customer-Centricity is Key
As marketers, our goal is to understand how our buyer and customer experience relates directly to revenue growth. Data on your customers will influence the type of strategies you’ll use. However, in the age of the empowered consumer where marketing channels are continuing to multiply, the customer experience is rapidly becoming more and more complex.
Digital marketing platforms today enable marketers to focus on data specifically from, about and for the customer, and use data-driven marketing strategies to react quickly to marketplace opportunities. All with the goal of making the customer relationship stronger.
This technology is at our fingertips for one purpose: to reach our customers and gain data. The question is, can you capture that data and use it in an intelligent way to improve your targeting?
For example, marketers can now see that an individual customer was engaging with the brand on her desktop, and then interacted with an email, signed into the mobile app, and etc. All the anonymous data out there can now be tied together, and that gives huge power to marketers turning routine shoppers into loyal buyers.
There’s Life After Purchase
Websites, CRMs, mobile apps, ad servers, offline data (point-of-sale system), and third party data live in siloes.
But combining anonymous and known data points can help you make a link between behavior on a website, a click in an email and an in-store purchase. Marketers tend to focus on the acquisition stage of the lifecycle. With today’s technology, we can look at the entire lifecycle of the customer. Also, it’s paramount that we don’t forget our customers after they convert. Keep the relationship moving and hope for repeat sales and referrals.
Of course, we need to be responsible with data. It’s all about building trust with your customers in order to have a strong relationship with each individual — even after they click “buy.”
Listen, Listen, Listen
Listening is just as important as acting and reacting. The concept of social listening has gained quite a bit of traction because you can get the answers to the following questions:
- What message(s) resonate best with your customers?
- What message(s) turn your customers off?
- How do your competitors’ messaging resonate?
Plus, the data you gather from listening can give you an acute opportunity to help understand where people are engaging with your brand. Social media is a great way to enter the realm of your users and engage with them on a very personal level.
Today’s consumers expect a lot. They expect the brands they love to love them back — to reply in real-time, with a uniquely human voice and personalized response. Social media is your chance to build a community for brand awareness.
Companies that are demonstrating massive improvements in gaining a return on their marketing investment are the ones focused on data-driven processes and measurable results through highly individualized content that their customers actually want to read and share. Those companies that can leverage data at every stage of the customer journey will not only succeed in their individual marketing efforts but also provide a superior customer experience that will leave the competition far behind.
Title image by Cole Hutson