Customer Experience, Personalization, Artificial Intelligence and Real-Time Engagements are the premises which
will lead marketers across sectors in the years ahead
The consumer today is more demanding than ever which is why every marketer seeks to prioritize ‘Customer Experience’ to establish a lasting relationship with him. Recent research conducted by Salesforce, ‘State of Marketing’ 2018 revealed that ‘80% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services.’ So how do companies successfully implement a customer experience strategy in the digital age? By understanding the individual customer’s needs which comes through listening and engaging with the buyers on a real-time basis along with their digital touch point journey. The fact that delivering a personalized experience is central to a brands marketing strategy is also apparent from the findings of the report which concludes that ‘56% of high-performing marketers are actively mapping the customer journey across the company, compared to 42% of
Challenges tracking the Customer Journey
Despite the growing need of delivering personalized offerings to the consumer, tracking the entire digital journey of the consumer has emerged as the biggest challenge faced across organizations. The research elaborates how multiple email addresses, social activity, web activity, e-commerce and point-of- sale transactions, and service engagements make piecing together a unified view of the individual customer easier said than done. Which is why Marketers expect their use of Data Management Platforms (DMPs) to increase by 64% by 2020.
Driving Personalization through AI
Personalization today leads to advocacy tomorrow. As consumers expect personalized offerings, marketers adoption of AI has grown by 44% since 2017, as per the Salesforce Research. The findings also reveal that ‘Teams are increasingly turning to new technologies that help them engage in a more relevant manner. For example, 29% of marketers now use AI (up from 20% who used the technology extensively in 2017) through use cases as personalized email offers based on web browsing behavior.’ Further, ‘Forty-four per cent of marketers use connected devices (up from 29% who used them extensively in 2017), including the 32% with voice-activated personal assistants like Alexa and Siri in their kit of parts. Twentyfour per cent use virtual or augmented reality — such as apps that allow homebuyers to calculate mortgage costs by pointing their phone at a house or “try on” a shade of makeup without setting foot in a store.’
Engagement Equals Acknowledgement
To be able to engage with the consumers on a real-time basis is a big challenge given the vast number of channels available for communication. However, it is imperative to an organization’s sustenance and bringing about the desired ROI. The research concludes that ‘Two-way engagement — in which marketers adjust strategy and tactics based on customer feedback — is now commonplace, and providing marketers with new insights to better engage their targets. Fifty-two per cent of marketers adapt marketing strategy and tactics based on customer interactions.’
Decoding the Indian Marketer
Marketers today are analyzing and understanding global trends and practices to stay relevant and keep up with the changing tastes and preferences of the ever evolving consumer. Talking about how consumers’ expectations can be addressed, Yashdeep Vaishnav, Regional Sales Director, Marketing Cloud, Salesforce India added, “Customer experience is the new marketing. In today’s connected world businesses are faced with rising expectations for personalization, an effective customer experience strategy integrated with effective marketing will drive a higher level of trust for your brand and hence more loyalty developing a deeper relationship with customers and your brand.”
“At Fastrack, it’s always been our endeavour to be relevant to our audience in every way possible. Today, the youth are looking to create memories with unique experiences. So over the years, we have tied up with some of the largest bespoke music festivals across the country like Sunburn and Supersonic. We have even curated, a one of a kind event that’s a perfect mix of music and sports – The Fastrack Music Run. For a cult brand like Fastrack to be relevant always, it needs to be having the right amount of traditional and non-traditional ways to engage with our consumers.” -Ayushman Chiranewala, Head of Product & Marketing – Fastrack, Titan Company Limited
“Marketing sustains a growing influence on enhancing customers’ experiences with brands. As customer experience is becoming increasingly important, brands need to focus on optimizing this experience through various marketing concepts. This shift to a strong customer-centric market is forcing brands to develop personalized solutions that specifically address customers’ needs, thereby positively impacting their satisfaction, loyalty and sales. Keeping this into consideration, marketers put customers at the centre of their marketing strategy and focus on improving the customer experience by embracing new technologies. At Philips, customer experience is at the heart of our marketing strategy. We create a meaningful experience through engagement and are committed to improving our consumer’s lives through innovations and personalization. We have undertaken various marketing initiatives, one such initiative being, getting on-board brand ambassadors like Rahul Dravid and Virat Kohli to increase brand awareness making consumers feel more connected with the brand. Regarding experiential marketing, we recently collaborated with Lakme Fashion Week, where we displayed EasyTouch Plus steamer for the consumers to understand and get a first-hand experience of using the product.”- Gulbahar Taurani, Marketing Director, Philips Personal Health, Indian Subcontinent
“Having an integrated view on the customer from various data sources helps in making a robust plan from a perspective of customizing the brand voice and sync it over different touch points. Here the idea isn’t to spread thin rather to spread wisely. We’re a young brand and for us, it matters that we catch the customer when she quickly swaps over various media and speaks in a voice that is personalized for her. We believe that a customer considers us and engages with us when we provide a connected experience over a repetitive one.”- Prachi Mohapatra, Marketing Head at fbb.
Published in the January 2019 Issue of Pitch Magazine