In the digital age, business success is increasingly determined by the ability to keep pace with technological advances and customer behaviour. As consumers become more digitally savvy, confident, and dependent, businesses need to transform their offerings to align with this precedent for digital.
The customer-centric role of marketers makes them suitable drivers of digital transformation within their organisations. They have transformed from being a service component of the business, with the purpose of feeding leads to sales, into a critical competitive foundation of the business with a seat at the revenue table.
So how can marketers implement innovative digital strategies and meet revenue goals at the same time? Here are three ways they can get started:
- Understand customer behaviour
Marketers know better than anyone how important understanding customer behaviour is. Profiling audiences grants them the ability to uncover the truth and obtain valuable insights about consumer trends and habits. Understanding audience behaviours also allows marketers to address them as individuals and establishes the critical foundations for implementing personalisation (as discussed in point 2).
Marketing automation, for example, is just one tool organisations can use to understand their customers’ behaviours and begin to create a more accurate picture of their audience. This invaluable marketing tool has transformed over the years into a scalable, behaviour-based engagement marketing platform, allowing marketers to understand what people are really doing, beyond what they just say they’re doing. As the amount of customer interactions continues to grow, it’s imperative to listen and speak to consumers in meaningful ways at every stage of the customer journey.
By putting in the time and effort to understand customers on a deeper level, marketers are able to connect emotionally with their audience and identify target consumers across genres.
- Personalise the customer experience
With their unique access to technological tools, marketers are in lock-step with their customer and understand how the right innovative technology and data supports the ability to be personal. With this, they are starting to shape entire organisations around this concept.
Personalisation, when done right, should not look like marketing, but rather feel like a great experience. It should leverage rich customer information in real-time and deliver messages consistently across channels.
One way to deliver a consistent, cross-channel experience to buyers is to integrate personalisation capabilities into the primary channels they access, such as an organisation’s website—the hub of marketing activities. Leveraging a web personalisation solution is an effective way to treat buyer’s as unique individuals and make marketing more effective by delivering relevant, personalised experiences based on the preferences buyers have exhibited.
- Engage with customers to build stronger relations
True digital transformation is a journey with multiple layers. In addition to focusing on customer retention vs. acquisition, marketers also need to look to constantly improve customer engagement. Without adequately understanding their audience, and tailoring messages to individuals (tips 1 and 2), adequate engagement cannot be achieved.
In today’s environment of content overload, customers are bombarded with messages and are tired of being talked at. They want to be engaged with. Using tools like marketing automation, marketers are able to conduct 1:1 dialogues, daily and at scale. Becoming customer-centric means knowing your customers and engaging them through their preferred channels with relevant messaging. This is what earns marketers “the right to be heard”.
Armed with this knowledge about the customer, today’s marketers will move beyond striving for a seat at the revenue table, to earning a place as the primary driver of digital transformation across their business.
About the author
Bill Binch is the ANZ Managing Director at Marketo, a digital marketing software and solutions company based in San Mateo, California with offices all around the world.