It’s no secret that we’ve seen big changes in the way people interact with brands over the last few years, due largely to the widespread use of personal technology. This has put consumers firmly in control of what they see and when they see it. I was interested to read the other day that over 50% of emails are now opened on mobile devices.
Trying to engage with your customers and prospects today consists of a multitude of possibilities and the sheer range of options available can be intimidating to businesses looking to define their own strategies. I mean, where do you start?
The customer journey is flexible and fluid with consumers jumping across social networks, physical stores, websites and traditional media. People these days expect brands to keep up with them, tailor their offers to suit their individual needs and to treat them consistently, regardless of channel.
Any successful strategy needs to remember that, more than ever, the customers themselves are the most important element. They are the heart and soul of everything we do in marketing. Whatever you, as a brand, decide to do, think, send or create, it has to be with the customer at the forefront of your mind and based on what you know about them.
It’s fundamental to be able to identify the people you are trying to engage with. You need to be able to recognise your customer regardless of device or channel.
According to recent research, 89% of brands have difficulty creating a Single Customer View and there’s clearly work that needs to be done here. Silos between teams responsible for different channels need to be eradicated because brands have to talk to their customers across channels. Goals need to be aligned, KPIs need to be aligned and teams need to work together. Sometimes they’re not even sitting in the same building.
This involves ensuring your data is good enough, developing cross-channel identity and device profiles and then being able to check that they are in fact who they say they are. Fraud prevention and customer identity go hand in hand.
Focusing on the customer’s experience is the key. Put the people first. It’s all about building relationships and trust – remembering the people behind the devices and doing your utmost to treat them as you would wish to be treated yourself.
If you can get that right, you will create a loyal customer base who will continue to come back to you for the same positive experience, time and time again.