Steven Ledgerwood, UK MD at Emarsys, outlines how to raise brand awareness across channels and borders
What are the challenges of raising brand awareness in a multichannel world and across borders?
“Consumers can now interact with brands anywhere, at any time, and in any format they choose. Whether through the web, social media, apps, email, SMS or otherwise, many brands find it difficult to guarantee a consistent UX across a multitude of different channels and languages, meaning their engagement with customers can become fragmented.
“The challenge is to reach consumers at the right time, on the right channel and with the right content – that is, content that reflects where they are in their purchasing journey. Doing this requires brands to ensure they are making full value of their CRM data, and drawing insights into customer profiles based on variables such as their product preferences, how often they purchase, how much they spend, their preferred channel for purchase, when during the month they spend, when they open emails or social media, what is popular in their local market, when they are open to offers, what milestones they have coming up such as birthdays/anniversaries – and so on. Using the power of AI to draw these insights, the content and design of each channel can be customised to the preferences of the customer – in their own language – to make sure it resonates with them and improves their perception of the brand, whether or not they choose to purchase.”
Is there one top tip that you’d give to retailers looking to build and maintain strong customer relationships?
“To listen to what customers are telling them! Customer interactions look different now. Rather than a few comments on a website or in a review, the place brands need to take their feedback from is their data. Using the power of machine learning and AI, we now have the ability to understand exactly what consumers like, based on the data brands collect from them. It’s therefore the responsibility of these brands to use this data properly to help inform each customer’s individual experience, and improve the quality of their interactions with their favourite brands.”
How do you balance localisation of brand engagement efforts with sense that consumers are arguably becoming more sophisticated about ‘international’ offerings
“While localisation is always important, it can be very difficult to identify the exact specifics of each individual market if the data sets available are limited. In some cases it can be preferable to opt for a language or design based on brand perception, rather than the local market. In Scandinavia, for example, many customers prefer to shop from websites using English rather than the local language, as brands’ messages can resonate better prior to translation, and many perceive English-language sites to be more sophisticated.
“But on top of this, localisation needs to be met with personalisation. After all, the customer still needs to be understood as an individual rather than a region. So that still means an understanding of the marker, but with a need to analyse the preferences of each individual consumer, offering them the kind of experience they prefer, whether that caters for the locality or not.”
What’s the role of social media here and how aware do you need to be of local social media nuances?
“To create true brand resonance, an omnichannel approach is always advisable, so a brand’s message is consistent across multiple platforms. Each one plays a different role however, and CRM data plays a huge role in determining what content should hit each consumer, when, and on what platform. Using it to establish which consumers have expressed a preference for social media, and providing them with the best offers within a social media platform is therefore the most likely route to convert interest into a purchase. While local considerations play a part, their previous online activity remains the determinant factor, regardless of the location.”
Emarsys in brief:
- Date launched: 2000
- Global reach: 17 global office locations, serving more than 2,000 clients in 140 countries.
- Customers: eBay, Toys ‘R’ Us, Nike, Canon , Volvo, American Express and L’Oréal.
- Employees: more than 700.
- Contact: for further information contact Emarsys via Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin. www.emarsys.com