Most marketers are struggling to keep up with the proliferation of new digital touch points as new technologies come to the fore. While many marketers are still making sense of mobile and social—each of them a complex and fast-changing channel in its own right—they’re also starting to hear growing buzz about wearables and the Internet of Things.
Rather than getting confused by the noise, sensible marketers should take a step back and look at their business’s objectives. It’s not just about the channels that you use, but rather about how you can create breakthrough customer experiences that drive customer acquisition, satisfaction and retention.
For that reason, we at Acceleration urge our clients to go back to their business plans and goals when they come to us for help with social, mobile, search, or any other digital channel. To be on Facebook or to interact with consumers on their wearable computers is not a business goal, so our question is always, “Why do you want to do that?”
From our perspective, the right reasons to adopt a channel are because it is where the customers already are or where they will be in the near or medium-term future and because it allows us to create a superior customer experience. The important thing to remember is that no touch point stands alone—hence, it’s essential to deliver a consistent experience wherever the customer interacts with the business.
Data is the key
The key benefit of digital channels lies in the way that they allow organizations to collect a wealth of data about their customers and use it to develop a far deeper understanding of consumer behavior. In the past, we could only develop approximate models of our customers’ behavior, often based on old data.
Now, however, we can not only gather data in real-time, but also use it to create rich, immediate interactions with our customers. But to make the most of this amazing opportunity, marketers must think about the touch points they use in a strategic and integrated manner. This is a challenging undertaking, given the sprawl of touch points and channels in most businesses.
Many companies will face the challenge of aligning the many agencies they use for different touch points and channels behind an integrated strategy. And there is also the need to integrate data from a range of marketing and CRM systems to connect the dots between different touch points.
What’s more, many organizations operating many of their marketing functions and channels in siloes. Not only do they have separate digital and traditional disciplines, they may even have different teams focusing on areas such as search, display, eCRM and social.
That means that organizational change is a prerequisite for designing a consistently great customer experience. Changing an organization’s culture and tearing down the silo can be a massive effort, but the rewards will be immense.
Remember that digital transformation is really about more meaningful customer engagement and relationships, and you’ll be successful with every channel and touch point you use. Put customers first, rather than channels, and you’ll be able to create the experiences and engagement that enable you to drive better customer acquisition and retention.
Acceleration crafts digital marketing capability for the largest global brands. We are digital natives. Technology is in our DNA. We have always understood the radical impact that technology would have on the future of brands. To read more of our thinking, click on the link below.Explore Our Thinking