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Insight-led customer engagement: 20 dos and don’ts

23rd Jan 2020
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Whether it's generating more ad clicks, attracting new newsletter readers or collecting more comments under social media posts, increased customer commitment has got to be the main goal for marketers in the new year.

Such commitment does not come easy. But one essential way to make gains is to improve the insights that are being drawn from your customer data. By using analytics to make sense of your data, patterns and trends can be uncovered which otherwise might have remained buried.

The best insights are actionable – and the actions can improve your marketing and inform your future path.

Here are my thoughts on the most important requirements for -- and obstacles to -- successful customer engagement in 2020.



1. Rush into cross-channel marketing

Holistic cross-channel marketing should be your goal. However, companies that have only served a few channels should approach such a project carefully. Today's consumers are demanding and expect a personalised, authentic approach. In order to avoid mistakes and ensure a positive customer experience, marketers should gradually build up their communications.

2. Produce isolated, rigid work

Rigid corporate structures in which each department works separately are bad news for cross-channel marketing. If the social media team works independently from the email marketing team, messages cannot build on each other. Interdisciplinary work is incredibly important.

3. Only listen to gut feeling

Many marketers continue to base their decisions on gut feeling. But costly campaigns should be based on hard facts.  A data-driven approach means that marketers base their actions on insights and then review campaign effectiveness. They use the knowledge they gain about their own target group for future campaigns.

4. Rely only on last-click attribution

Many companies continue to rely on last-click attribution models to determine which marketing channel was critical to a website visit. This is outdated as consumers today travel through multiple channels before interacting with a brand. Successful companies have instead moved on to detailed customer journey mapping. This allows marketers to more easily identify disruptive factors and opportunities for improvement and plan their budgets accordingly.

5. Provide discounts to everyone

Companies that issue discount codes indiscriminately run the risk of damaging their revenues in the long term, as ROI is negatively affected and margins are reduced. It is better to offer vouchers and promotions only to those customers who would not convert without reduction. Predictive analytics is essential to identify the appropriate target group in order to obtain forecasts of conversion and churn probabilities.

6. Write off inactive customers

It is seven times more expensive to acquire new customers than to reactivate inactive ones. In addition to selected discount campaigns, bonus programs, event invitations and customer surveys, you should also be thinking about ways to revive the inactive customer relationship.

7. Neglect visualisation

Dashboards make it easy to visualise marketing metrics so you can see the performance of campaigns at a glance. The data displayed can provide deep insights, provided that they are presented in a consistent manner. Depending on the issue at hand, the KPIs can be manipulated in different ways, for example by marketing channel, content, region or business area.

8. Promote stagnation

The following attributes separate mediocre marketers from outstanding ones: Constant curiosity and flexibility. What works today can be obsolete and irrelevant after only six months and companies must not rest on their once defined marketing strategy. Only constant optimisation ensures long-term success.

9. Ignore feedback

Dealing with customer feedback is not as important in many companies as it should be.  How companies deal with criticism often influences a customer’s decision whether to commit to the product or service in the long run. Marketers can also draw valuable insights from comments and customer service concerns.

10. Renounce consent

Anyone wishing to address customers via several advertising channels must also take care of the associated opt-in processes. With the advent of GDPR, no matter the channel, customers must give their approval, or data collection is not lawful. If they receive individually tailored and attractive offers, customers are happy to give their consent.



1. Refer back to your own data

Your own data not only provides the most accurate predictions of customer behaviour, but it also generates insights that are not available to the competition. That creates a considerable competitive advantage.

2. Overcome data silos

If marketers can find a way to store cross-organisational information in one place that can be linked together, it is possible to create a holistic view of the customer, helping to inform the decision-making on which cross-channel campaigns are run.

3. Use one-to-one personalisation

Your marketing activities should be individually tailored to every single contact across all channels. Powerful marketing analytics can achieve this.

4. Market in real time

The faster marketers respond to customer interaction, the greater the advantage they gain over their competitors. Real-time content enables customer-centric communication.

5. Communicate across multiple channels

The advantage of using multiple channels on a regular basis is that marketers can reach their target group at different times of the day and at various contact points during the buying cycle.

6. Combine touchpoints

This is the secret of successful cross-channel marketing: put together an individual mix of contact points for each (potential) customer in order to effectively bind them to the brand. Contact points can be specific product pages, email newsletters, social media channels or apps. The advantage of this process is that it provides additional data to improve  your future marketing activities.

7. Increase loyalty

Customer loyalty requires consistency of messaging, which is achieved when the tone and frequency of the messaging is optimally coordinated, making the marketing campaigns highly relevant to the target group.

8. Simplify interactions

Marketers should keep in mind the need to always keep messages as simple as possible -- keep the participation requirements low in order to achieve a high level of commitment. By using innovations such as AMP emails, you can do way more within an email than ever before. This focus on simplicity extends to landing pages and web shops that enable products to be purchased without customers having to shift platforms.

9. Define the right key figures

KPIs are indispensable in data-driven marketing. Web pages and blogs focus on views and bounces, email channels on opening rates and conversions, and social media channels on impressions, likes and dislikes. But KPIs are only really useful if they serve the overall business goal. In cross-channel marketing, KPIs need to be linked, not viewed in isolation.

10. Choose the most up-to-date technology

Marketers need a platform that combines, interprets and visualises data across channels, to help them to get a complete picture of their target group. Before deciding on a tech partner, you should be asking the following questions: How easy is it to integrate data from internal and external sources into the system? How many functions does the marketing platform combine? How quickly can the solution be implemented? When will a positive return on investment be achieved?

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