Know your customer in order to grow your business
Steven Ledgerwood, UK managing director at Emarsys , on why it pays to understand what your customers actually want out of our increasingly multichannel world.
What are the challenges of raising brand awareness in a multichannel world and what benefits can doing this successfully bring?
The challenges facing today’s marketers are diverse. Basic segmentation techniques and automated messages are not enough any more. Competition is fierce and customers want a seamless shopping experience that satisfies their expectation of speed, efficiency and personalisation. Customers’ shopping habits are constantly evolving and retailers are under pressure to offer a dynamic shopping experience across multiple devices and channels.
Marketers already have the tools to capture the attention of buyers, but success is often hidden in a huge amount of data that needs converting into actionable intelligence. Once uncovered, this customer insight can be used to create engagement strategies adapted to each stage of the customer shopping cycle – essentially, these are messages that reach the consumer at the right moment on the right device and channel.
While this may seem overwhelming to put into practice, the good news is that marketing automation platforms have evolved alongside these more nuanced consumer behavioural changes. With predictive marketing, marketing teams can go a step further and build a unified customer profile across every channel. The end result is the production of engaging, relevant and meaningful content.
The main business benefits are a significant competitive edge, increased customer loyalty and larger average order values. What is your advice to retailers looking to develop stronger relationships with both new and existing customers? Too often, people are bombarded with marketing messages with no meaning or connection to who they are as an individual.
If you want a stronger relationship with customers, start treating them like people and not as leads, cookies, target quotas or a source of revenue. Just like you would with your friends, try to know them, understand their needs, preferences and desires. Shape your strategies with this information and speak their language. Just as a picture paints a thousand words, a meaningful, engaging message can bring countless loyal customers who, in time, could become strong brand advocates.
How can social media feed into this to support ongoing efforts?
Social media has become an integral part of marketing but if these channels are handled incorrectly, a brand’s public image can be seriously damaged in a very short time. To create the best experience for your customers, your social media strategy needs to be in sync with other channels and campaigns. A smart social approach will increase the overall impact and ROI of your marketing efforts impressively. It’s in the name – be social!
Is there one top tip that you’d give to retailers who are looking to prioritise strong customer relationships and engagement?
In today’s omnichannel, mobile-centric industry, keeping customers engaged across every channel and device is crucial. Use data smartly. Put customer intelligence at the heart of every campaign. Constantly optimise. Never stop refining your approaches based on what your most recent data is telling you.