There’s no question that today’s digital marketers are facing a host of complex challenges – emerging technologies and channels, increased global competition resulting from fewer barriers to market entry, and the always-present request to do more with less. To help modern marketers understand how well equipped they are to deal with these challenges, let’s draw some inspiration from the music world and look closely at three universally important questions:
Who Are You?
How much do you understand about the individuals interacting with your brand? For marketers, this is becoming increasingly important as large companies continue to raise the bar relative to the experience that online consumers — both B2C and B2B — have come to expect. The new customer expectation, quite simply, is that businesses should deliver a consistent cross-channel experience.
The cornerstone of that consistent customer experience is an ecosystem that allows people to move seamlessly from one channel to another, but still be viewed as one individual in the eyes of the brand.
Think of it as a digital conversation — if your customer is viewing a particular product, or category of products on your mobile app, wouldn’t it make sense to acknowledge these behaviors when they come to your website later that week, rather than starting the conversation over? This is particularly important for considered purchases in which the amount of online research increases.
Multichannel and omnichannel strategies are red-hot topics right now and will continue to be uber-important for the foreseeable future. Fortunately, there are easy-to-implement technologies such as Web tracking and Silverpop’s Mobile Connector that will set you on the path to providing the cross-channel experience that modern customers have come to expect and help you understand who your customers are as individuals.
Gaining a better understanding of your customers will put you in a position to deliver relevant content at the right time and via each customer’s preferred channel.
Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Your customers are asking themselves this question on an ongoing basis. As I mentioned earlier, competition is increasing in the digital commerce space, and the proliferation of smartphones and tablets have made online brands even more accessible. In fact, according to a recent Search Engine Watch study, 46 percent of searchers use mobile search exclusively to research purchases.
So how important is a fine-tuned mobile strategy? In short, it’s mission-critical for marketers and will only become more important as mobile search becomes the predominant channel for digital consumers.
The “mobile” customer experience isn’t limited to mobile devices, however. Imagine a scenario where a retailer has connected its in-store point-of-sale system with its marketing database of record – it can now use that data to customize messages based on purchase history. This brand has effectively unified three channels — in-store, website and email — and the result is a personal experience that drives loyalty and engagement.
By connecting your mobile app, you can enhance the customer experience even further, and use data captured in the app to inform messaging on your website and the content of your emails or SMS messages.
Bottom line? You can help your customers make the decision to stay with you by delivering a killer digital experience that makes them feel loved and appreciated.
How Soon Is Now?
According to US News and World Report, mobile accounted for 17 to 20 percent of total Cyber Monday sales in 2013 — a 55 percent increase from 2012.
The pendulum has swung, and digitally savvy customers expect more. The good news for marketers is that the latest technology has democratized the ability of companies of all sizes to deliver this modern brand experience.
So, take baby steps in 2014 and begin to architect your ideal brand experience. Set milestones for important things like connecting your mobile app to your marketing database and website, implementing Web tracking, and automating programs like cart abandonment, replenishment and mobile app adoption, and you’ll be on your way to delivering a super-personal experience to your customers in 2014.
Thank you rock ‘n’ roll for the inspiration!
What song titles relate to your marketing efforts? Share your selections below.
1) White Paper: “7 Key Marketing Trends for 2014 – and Tactics for Thriving in the New Year”
2) Blog: “Top 5 Most Popular Silverpop Marketing Videos of 2013”
3) Blog: “5 Top-Rated Silverpop Marketing White Papers and Tip Sheets of 2013”