Customers Have Changed
How customers engage with organisations is vastly different from the fairly recent past and will continue to change in the future. Customers engage with individuals and companies in two way communication through multiple channels, across multiple communities and platforms. Through this engagement they are shaping how companies and brands are perceived. Marketing needs to change to address this change in behaviour and to engage with customers in a personal and consistent way.
Many companies are struggling with internal organisations, processes and systems geared up for product centric, one way, mass marketing which is increasingly irrelevant to today’s customers . It’s safe to say that the companies that succeed in the future will be those that make the shift to one to one marketing and engage customers as individuals.
Today many companies use multiple and uncoordinated databases, processes and campaigns. This leads to uncoordinated activities with multiple, inconsistent customer contacts. As well as often being irrelevant to customers, it is also inefficient, costly and doesn’t provide the greatest return on marketing investments (ROMI). Companies that provide a consistent customer experience, integrated across channels, that is personal and relevant to the customer can improve customer retention and advocacy, as well as achieving greater returns.
Moving To One To One Integrated Digital Marketing
It’s a huge challenge for most companies to move to integrated digital marketing but perhaps the biggest challenge is how to leverage the organisation, processes and systems to engage efficiently with a huge number of customers at an individual level. While this is a significant challenge, it is possible if companies:
Get organised for the new world
• Integrate strategy and planning across all digital channels
• Align systems and processes to meet the business needs (not the other way around)
• Allocate budgets dynamically to give flexibility to meet ever-changing customer needs
Engage customers individually and consistently
• Perform customer level campaign management
• Implement processes to monitor and engage across channels and third party communities and platforms
• Leverage consistency across channels by optimising the production process
Measure and Optimise
• Measure what you can and analyse the data
• Optimise content, channel usage, processes and campaigns to improve customer engagement.
• Test changes to validate your options
In practical terms, this change needs to be managed, first by getting organised, then by segmenting customers over time down to an individual level. The only way this individual segmentation can be successful is by measuring and analysing data, followed by testing improvements to validate optimisation options. The importance of this analysis and testing can’t be underestimated – it’s the only way to truly understand individual customers and to move to one to one integrated digital marketing in an effective and structured way.
Customer engagement is no longer a ‘nice to have’ it’s key to delivering business objectives. By analysing data and optimising activities, processes, content and channel use, companies can achieve unique customer understanding and engagement. This will move them towards one to one integrated digital marketing, improve ROMI and create competitive advantage.