Every year, about two months after Amplify (our annual customer conference), I like to go back through my notes. I find that reviewing them around about this time helps me remember key nuggets of information I would otherwise forget. As I was reviewing them this year, I thought I’d share my list in the hopes other marketers would find this information helpful:
1) Digital marketers are often overworked.
One of the things that became readily apparent to me this year is how overworked digital marketers can be! I had a bunch of conversations with clients in which they told me they were so busy trying to keep up with their campaign schedules that they often didn’t have time to develop strategies or implement automation.
This can be a dangerous situation as marketers caught in this trap are often unable to take advantage of new technologies or implement new strategies. If you find yourself in this situation, I recommend you look at the top three things you spend your time on and brainstorm ways to speed up or automate them. This exercise can free up a large portion of time that you can use for strategy and additional automation. (If you’re a Silverpop client, IBM Silverpop Professional Services can also help with this.)
2) Long live C2B!
Today’s world offers customers a lot of choice, and old B2B and B2C paradigms are falling away as companies realize they need to transform into a C2B (Customer-to-Business) model. As Deepak Advani, General Manager of IBM Commerce, said during one of his speeches, "You have to get your customers to love what you're offering." How do you do that? By providing outstanding customer experiences at every interaction point.
3) We need to rethink how we interact with our customers.
Traditional marketing efforts have often been one-way. Whether print, television or radio, companies broadcast the message to potential customers in the hopes that this message would result in a conversion. Even many of the new digital technologies, such as ad remarketing, are designed to push a message. However, in the new world of C2B, we should be looking to have two-way conversations with our customers that deliver the right message at the right time. During his keynote, Advani noted, "Marketers must embrace technologies that offer them the opportunity to build two-way engagements with each customer and deliver a meaningful and relevant experience.”
4) Data overload is already here.
Today’s marketer must cull through all kinds of data including attitudinal, behavioral and interaction. This allows the marketer to gain the proper mix of insights to reach customers. However, this much data can easily create an atmosphere of analysis paralysis. IBM provides products such as the IBM Marketing Cloud and innovations such as Journey Analytics to allow marketers to gain insights into customers at depths they could never have imagined just a few years ago. Teams can then turn these insights into campaigns to deliver powerful experiences that engage customers in context and ultimately build advocacy.
5) Personalization is a critical first step to deeper engagement.
If you want to transition to more individualized marketing, you’ll need to improve your ability to pivot between aggregate trends and individual behavior. For example, we all know that different demographics will react differently to different messaging and content. This could be something as simple as tailoring your messaging to a person’s gender or age, but with the right data you can go much deeper. Is your customer a dog lover? Do you know what breed of dog she loves most? Why not personalize your messaging to help customers know what product or services would be best suited to their favorite companion?
We’re quickly approaching an all-new wave in how we interact with our clients and customers. C2B is here today. Are you ready?