The Secret Sauce to Customer Engagement
In a competitive retail market where marketing programs are ubiquitous, brands must set themselves apart to drive customer engagement and build real relationships. It’s about distilling smart, customer-centric data to deliver content that not only rewards, but also transforms customers into brand ambassadors.
Today, most brands view their customers one dimensionally. We can’t see the decision process that the customer has gone through to put the items in her basket, or what happens after her purchase. Did the customer even like the products when she used them? Did she share information socially about her purchase? The only information marketers have is at this one moment – when they buy.
IBM conducted a number of C-suite studies to survey business leaders from companies of all sizes and industries to gain a better understanding of C-level priorities. In 2013 their CMO study noted that the main CMO priority was enhancing customer loyalty and building customer advocacy for their brands. During their 2014 IBM CMO study it indicated that CMOs are struggling with how to execute on that priority in today’s digital world. To succeed, the CMOs stated that they have three prerequisites:
- Using data analytics to gain deeper understanding of customers, individually & collectively
- Designing rewarding customer experiences
- Capitalizing on new technologies to deliver those experiences smartly and efficientl
In addition, a July 2014 survey by Forbes Insights said fragmented and siloed data systems were a key factor preventing a single view of the customer. Senior executives polled in North America said their companies were using an average of 36 different data-gathering systems and vendors. Of those polled, only 24% of respondents said the various customer communications and data-gathering systems they used were integrated or connected across their organization.
To attract, retain and satisfy customers now and into the future, retailers must expand their understanding of each individual customer and use it to provide personalized and relevant content. Many retailers are challenged in this area because:
- They may not have insight into the customers’ past campaign engagement, or be able to consolidate campaign activity over the various communication channels.
- Their view of the customer is incomplete. They do not have access to the customers’ social preferences, their mobile usage and purchase behaviors.
- Their services are inconsistent because they do not have access to all the critical information about the customer that tells them the right action to take.
So – what is the secret sauce to customer engagement? ANALYTICS. Analytics can help by providing marketers with the insights necessary for a single view of the customer that they can access right when they need them. Armed with this information, they can nurture customer loyalty over time and deliver smarter marketing programs to increase customer lifetime value.