An Era Of Digital Marketers
We live in an era of ever evolving digital technology, and so does our customer. With the advent of multiple screens, the attention span of the customer is reducing every passing day. Add the hyper-competitive market to this scenario and you have a major marketing challenge at hand. It is imperative to get up close and personal with the customer and make the most of opportunities to communicate with them via things that are relevant.
Let me start by illustrating an analogy from my life. Every month, since the past 10 years, my credit card company has been sending me emails asking whether I would like to avail EMIs. I have never availed it in all these years and am not likely to in the next 10 years either. This communication from the brand seems like such a waste of a consumer engagement opportunity. As a credit card company, they have access to information such as where I travel, where I shop, what I eat, what hotels I like to stay in and more. This provides the brand rich data which should enable them to create conversation opportunities with me.
Or take the example of a retail store whose loyalty card I hold. Every season I get standard email communication (which probably goes to their entire database of a few million card holders). The retail chain has tonnes of information on my buying preferences. Why can't I get a personalised emailer that displays products based on my past buying behaviour (or my website browsing behaviour)?
Digital marketing has so far worked in silos. It has given rise to multiple consumer touchpoints (social networks, search engine, email, SMS, app notification, website). However, like it appears in my two instances above, there are two key challenges that a brand encounters:
1. Inability to track a customer journey (at a single customer granularity) across various touchpoints to ensure the customer sees consistent brand communication.
2. Incorrectly using the one-size-fits-all approach rather than optimising the true power of digital- talking to a customer as an individual.
This is where Marketing Automation technology comes into play. In this era of attention deficiency, it is incredibly important to be relevant to the consumer in the short window of opportunity that he/she gives us, in the form of seeing a brand message whether via email or SMS or a web banner. Marketing automation sits at the heart of digital communication today. It enables a brand to track customer behaviour across multiple channels; create customer communication journeys based on customer persona and build digital assets (emails, SMS, etc). And then, these digital assets get delivered to the customer based on certain triggers and get rendered on the customer's browser (or app or SMS window) depending on her past behaviour. Thus, every customer gets personalised and relevant communication, across all channels. And this happens in an automated rule-based manner.
As a credit card company, they have access to information such as where I travel, where I shop, what I eat, what hotels I like to stay in and more
Having said that, clients are not interested in just buying technology. They are looking for a partner who will help in increasing sales, getting better ROI, increasing engagement, and enhancing the overall consumer experience. This involves domain-understanding, digital understanding as well as expertise in leveraging the full power of the marketing automation platform.
The starting point in using such a platform is an in-depth understanding of the customer behaviour basis the available data, domain expertise and market intelligence. With this understanding, consumer personas are sketched. And then for each of the personas, consumer life-cycle journeys are crafted. This ensures that every consumer gets engaged on the right channel, at the right time with the right messaging. This results in great consumer experiences.
Once a marketing automation solution has been set up, it is plug-and-play for the digital marketing team to use this solution to create customer communication. A typical marketing automation team will comprise a campaign manager (a digital strategist), a technologist (who creates HTML or manages databases) and data analysts (who analyse the outcome of campaigns and recommend further optimisation).
A marketing automation solution is a long-term investment by the brand. Thus, it is very important to choose a solution provider who has the ability to scale up the solution and keep up with the fast pace of change, as social networks and digital marketing evolve further. Data analytics, data visualisation and use of DMP are some of the enhancements to a standard marketing cloud platform. We, at Mirum, offer end-to-end customer lifecycle management solution using marketing technology. We are team of 225+ digital professionals. Our in-depth understanding of digital, on account of our creative and media practice, makes us more than just a system-integrator. We are able to work with the client at a strategic level ensuring optimum ROI on their marketing cloud investments.
Back in 2012, Gartner predicted that CMOs would be spending more on technology as compared to CIOs by 2017. Well, it's now 2019, and it is time to prove that Gartner's forecast was indeed correct!