Customer engagement strategies in 2016 and beyond will be shaped by technology and usage habits
Customer Engagement in 2016
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Customer Engagement in 2016

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Customer engagement in 2016

Customer engagement strategies in 2016 and beyond will be shaped by technology and usage habits.

To adapt, you’ll need to implement strategies that meet the demands of the consumer, targeting them with timely and relevant, personalised messages. Todays consumer expects value – and not just in the monetary sense. To succeed you’ll need to identify and utilise tracked and monitored ‘moments’ of engagement to fuel and monetize your strategy.

Good behaviour

Incorporating behavioural data into your targeting and segmentation is ‘next generation’ segmentation. Use a combination of demographic and behavioral data to understand and communicate with your audience. Behavioural data is real-time and will tell you more about who your customers are, why they do what they do and what they are interested in.

Personalisation

Personalisation is the foundation for effective customer engagement, but can often be confused as simply using a contacts name in email or DM. Personalisation is about drawing on all of the data you hold on the customer, and replaying and presenting interesting, relevant information to them in order to save them time and effort in sourcing products they desire. Content can of course be injected as part, or all of the desired message across channels; from a personalised web experience to intelligently generated email content, push notifications on devices of choice, and ibeacon technology/or and Wi-Fi to support an in-store experience.

Clearly, if the objective is to replay data, it has to be collected, stored and manipulated in the right way – and fast!  Getting the right technology solution to do this is imperative.

Predict customer needs

How can this be done? Pulling together all of your customer’s data into a Single Customer View has to be an essential starting point. Only when you can contextualise the entire customer relationship will you be able to understand what your customers really need and want. Once you have visibility, you’ll understand what’s important to individual customers, and predict future need, communicating with them with the most appropriate content.

Digitally listen to consumers

Keep your ear to the ground. Ensure the technology you use is real-time, customers can drop behavioural ‘markers’ every second, it’s important to capture and translate actions immediately. With the right solution you can automate responses to, and action responsive campaigns immediately.

Make it omni-channel

Don’t limit yourself using traditional marketing methods. It’s tempting to fall back on email as the primary means of communication as it’s often the cheapest and easiest to implement. However, the days of single communication platforms have long gone. Marketers need to use the right channel for the right customer in the right way. This means consolidating data from all channels simultaneously, and using the right technology to implement campaigns in a responsive way across multiple channels.

Humanise

As a backlash against overly aggressive marketing and detached brands, consumers have gravitated towards more authentic content. User-generated content and ad blockers rule, for many. A good engagement experience needs to feel like a friend is guiding you through your customer journey, communication needs to be sincere and genuine, otherwise customers will see straight through you. 

It’s not selling, it’s not marketing, it’s data-driven provision

If engagement strategies are genuine, you’ll be motivated to provide your customers with the right products, at the right price at the right time. It’s customer centricity at its best. If you do this, customers will buy from you, purchase more frequently, stay loyal and recommend you to others. Since when wasn’t that a commercial reason to create a great customer experience?

Who is Marketing?

Marketing is no longer a business function but a complete philosophy that has to be adopted company wide. More importantly, there will be no place in the future for channel managers responsible for their individual results, there will be no fighting to attribute sales to a particular channel. Marketing will need to evolve its mindset, skills and structure to focus on delivering for the customer regardless of channel, a new way of working is required that motivates marketers to do the right thing for customers.

Customers are driving change; technology facilitates that change. Brands will need to adapt or risk getting left behind, embrace the challenge, it’s an exciting time to work in marketing.

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