Subhakar (Stanley) Rao Surapaneni

Investor *Sales and Marketing Pioneer * Author* Technology Champion *Philanthropist * Leadership Mentor

Transition From Digital Marketing to Individualized Marketing!!

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Being welcomed as a recognized individual is a warm shopping experience that we all enjoy isn’t it?

We relish the personal touch imposed by brands that remember specific moments of our life-right from birthdays, to anniversaries, festivals and other important events. Today’s digital age is the age of familiarity where individualization is the key in any buying process.

2015 is the new age of personalized customer journey. The turning point is B2B marketers now have access to exuberant data which they can transform into big data capital. Marketers are reeling to leverage this power of data paired with technology tools to optimize 1:1 customer journey. Today, digital marketers have shifted their attention from what the enterprise seeks, to what really is preferred by the customer.

Out of 1500+ marketers, 90% marketers consider individualized marketing as the priority in marketing business. Sadly, only 50% are able to apply data to individualize their messages and offers- as per the data from Global Data Marketing Survey. The reason behind this is most marketers lack knowledge and data churning strategies that can offer insights upon changing customer preferences.

With such wealth of implicit and explicit customer data, B2B marketers are striving to find one answer of this million dollar question-

What is driving target customer experience today?

The answer to this lies in churning out your customer journey map employing some research efforts; that can unlock true customer insights. There are two types of extensive researches every marketer should conduct about their customers.

  1. Analytical

  2. Anecdotal

Analytical- It is obvious that most marketers have already gathered some information about their users. Analytical researches, especially website analytics are great piece of surveys that offers deep insights about how your brand is perceived by your target audiences as well as where your customers have given up. But watch out! Many a times, analytics might go wrong while interpreting customer engagement metrics. To cite an example a lot of website clicks might be wrongly presumed as happy customer views when in fact, your visitors are too confused or lost.

Anecdotal

Customer experiences are popular compelling stories that are valuable outputs for your business. Gather social media responses, comments, track customer viewpoints and feedback; gather excerpts from front-line staffs that interact with customers every day. Gathering those research data in one place can offer true insight about your customer experiences and expectations.

After completion of this research, it is now time to create the customer journey map.

What is a customer journey map?

A customer journey map is a customer-centric data-driven vision that outlines the user story endorsed with anecdotal and analytical evidence. Make sure that it reflects the user needs, questions and reactions at the forefront of the map. Highlight the key touch points of specific customer experience at each stage of purchase. This will enable a 360 degree customer profile view of each customer.

Now that you have a solid customer journey map all ready to improvise the accuracy of your marketing strategy, it is time to use this data for effective marketing. Here’s how to do it!

Use this data for personalization:

61% of customers feel more positive about the brand based on personalized marketing messages as per the recent Responsys consumer survey report of 2015.

Repeat businesses and repeated customers are the results of accurate data harnessed into effective customer engagement tactics that can yield true customer experiences. Strike a relationship with the customers based on their prior personal experiences and strengthens the bond between your brand and customers. By implementing the right consumer experience strategy, brands are more likely to resolve customer pain points and deliver 360 degree shopping experience. This will not only facilitate long term relationship with customers but also create loyal brand advocates in no time.

Don’t lose human touch

No matter how much advanced marketing technology you employ, it is still your brand’s human touch that can differentiate you from the rest. Make ‘human touch’ your unique bandwagon of doing business with your customers. Capture critical customer moments and integrate solutions that can resolve those experiences and offer enhanced shopping experiences.

Build strong IT/marketing partnerships

Marketers cannot make it all alone with data. Let IT departments shift a tad and join hands with marketers to become close marketing partners. By working together, marketers not only bring effective customer acquisition strategies to life but also reap the benefits of accumulating accurate data by IT departments. Such an accurate approach can render flexible and faster response to the needs of customers across all platforms.

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