Achieving a high level of positive customer engagement is one of the biggest challenges facing today’s businesses says Simon Bowker, Country Manager UK & Ireland, Teradata eCircle.
Customers are becoming more empowered, dictating how they want to interact with marketing channels, when they want to look at products or search for information and where they want to make purchases. Businesses must adopt a new approach to their marketing strategies and processes as well as the tactics they invest in.
It’s a problem facing even the savviest of marketers. As companies grow they naturally move into new channels and maintaining the same degree of customer engagement becomes far more difficult. Systems typically become more fragmented, whilst the increase in data can often be harder to manage and handicap even the best marketing departments.
Marketers therefore have a far greater chance of furthering the interest of their customers – and thus a better chance of converting that interest into a sale – the more automated and integrated their channels and marketing departments are.
For companies like leak and spill management product specialists New Pig, which serves more than 200,000 customers across 70 countries each year, the ability to communicate a clear and consistent message in a timely and effective manner is crucial.
Managing your data, establishing it in varying data sets and cleverly using it to give your customers the feeling that they are getting the information they want, when they want, and how they want it, is a clear marker of success. If you don’t, your customers won’t feel valued or that you are communicating with them on a personal level.
Manually planning and implementing a marketing campaign – whether email, display, social, PPC or offline – that is highly personal and fulfils all your business requirements is virtually impossible, especially in the digital age.
New Pig recognised that whilst its creative department was cranking out hundreds of jobs per year, it lacked the necessary visibility and transparency needed to truly capitalise on the benefits of their investment. Its teams and systems were fragmented and didn’t communicate effectively with each other, which made it very confusing and difficult to manage multi-channel activity.
Automation often gets a bad name. It sounds impersonal, generic and suggests a lack of effort and creativity. However, if executed properly, it can dramatically enhance the content you send to your customers, help you achieve consistency across all your channels – on- and offline – and allow your business to adapt to the ever-changing digital landscape instantaneously.
By seamlessly co-ordinating your digital and traditional channels, using a single integrated platform, you gain total transparency for your campaigns and increase the level of personalisation and relevancy of your content. As a result, you can target customers more directly, identify their preferred channel, run dialog-based campaigns and invest in real-time reporting to generate fine-tuned results. This approach removes the possibility of customers getting confused by conflicting messages from your on- and offline channels, and strengthens the customer/brand relationship, whilst at the same time improving the effectiveness of your internal operations. In some cases you can double the number of jobs you complete without having to increase resources.
Whilst most businesses have introduced automated elements to their campaign management and digital marketing execution to some degree, many are failing to adopt the same principles when it comes to their marketing operations, creating inefficiencies and waste across the department. Adopting an Integrated Marketing Management (IMM) approach unites lead and campaign management and all other marketing activities/channels into a single entity, breaking down ineffective silos and improving productivity.
Automating all the processes that support your on- and offline marketing efforts – from budgeting and campaign planning, to project management, marketing asset management and finally, execution – can help overcome these issues and strip out the complexity of managing manual processes with lots of decision points and branches. This approach prevents the common breakdowns from manual operations, which can result in missed deadlines, cost overruns due to rushed items, poor campaign execution due to misaligned expectations and inadequate collaboration across the organisation.
In the multi-channel age campaigns can transcend many channels from email and web analytics to direct mail, events and advertising. Co-ordination is therefore vital to maintaining a consistent message across your output. This, in tandem with utilising your customer profile and behavioural data, enables you to deliver highly relevant, meaningful messages, rooted in rich creative, to your customers.
In a world where the inbox is increasingly crowded, standing out with an engaging offer or message is crucial to captivating the attention of your customers. If you can streamline your marketing activity, you have the ability to co-ordinate each individual aspect of your campaign, manage your multiple campaign channels and build a progressive profile that includes highly personalised content built on insight and a system for managing your activity both internally and externally. This approach enables you to maximise the effectiveness of your channels and amplify the results of your campaigns to drive revenue.