By Anthony Wilkey
More and more, customers expect more personalized, real-time interactions across email, mobile, social, Web and offline channels. Thus it will be increasingly important in 2014 for businesses to engage their customers with relevant marketing messages that will drive campaign performance and increase customer lifetime value.
In the coming year, businesses have a big opportunity to make their marketing smarter – smarter in how customer data is collected and used, smarter in how campaigns are planned and executed, and smarter in terms of driving higher revenue, satisfaction and loyalty.
Use Data to Engage Customers
To provide meaningful marketing content to customers in 2014, businesses must first be able to answer the question: who is my customer? An overall picture of frequent or loyal shoppers is important, but marketers must be able to take customer engagement to the next level after converting existing customer information into relevant messages developed for each unique shopper.
We expect to see businesses focus even more on data-driven marketing strategies and technologies, such as cloud marketing platforms, that will help them develop, manage and monitor real-time, personalized campaigns and their performance. For example, knowing what devices customers are using, what information they found important, which campaigns compelled a customer to take action – signing up for an event, making a purchase or visiting your store – will enable marketers to engage more relevantly with their customers. Delivering the right message to the right person at the right time will lead to improved campaign performance and customer lifetime value.
Design Messages Fit for All Mediums
Understanding how consumers want to digest and receive marketing will be essential in 2014. The amount of time in which to make a good impression is becoming shorter. If online experiences aren’t delivered in an easy-to-view format, consumers may navigate away from websites or delete marketing messages without giving them any consideration.
With more than one billion smartphones and tablets in use around the world, the number of customers who receive news, alerts and promotions on mobile devices is steadily rising. As customers rely more on mobile technology, marketers must understand how customers view their marketing content – whether it is on a mobile device, tablet or desktop – and should tailor their online marketing strategy accordingly to deliver positive, more engaging experiences.
Personalize the Customer Experience
Businesses can gain a wealth of insight into customer preferences and behaviors as visitors navigate their websites and browse the different categories and products. With personalization technology, businesses can begin to connect individual preferences of millions of online customers — including which colors, products, price points and sizes they want —and automatically deliver targeted recommendations across e-commerce websites, emails, social channels, mobile apps and other online and in-store customer contact channels. Moving forward, businesses will be able to expand beyond traditional segmentation-based marketing into personalized one-to-one marketing that boosts conversion rates, customer satisfaction and loyalty.
With valuable customer knowledge and the right technology, it is possible to create richer, more relevant and meaningful, personalized customer experiences. In turn, marketers will enjoy a (near) future filled with deeper knowledge and understanding.
About the Author: Anthony Wilkey is regional director at SmartFocus, a provider of real-time, personalized cloud marketing. He has worked in the fields of CRM and marketing intelligence for more than 15 years and is especially focused on topics such as multichannel marketing, marketing automation and data-driven marketing strategies. Anthony is also involved with the Direct Marketing Association, sitting on the Email Marketing Council and its Benchmarking Hub, responsible for producing and editing a number of industry reports each year.