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The Age of the Customer: It’s Your Customer’s World – You Just Live In It!

Last updated: July 3, 2018

This November, Marketing Evolution once again brought an exceptional group of marketers, media owners, and research experts together for their semi-annual roundtable discussion on current trends and advancements in the Marketing landscape. Among the featured speakers, Tina Moffett (Senior Analyst with Forrester Research) shared four key strategies to embrace the Age of the Customer and how best in class Marketers are leading the industry in getting there. The most successful of these enterprises will reinvent themselves to systematically understand and serve increasingly powerful customers.

Tina kicked off the conversation by stating, “It’s your customer’s world, you just live in it. People these days are connected to everything from their cars to our own bodies to even donuts!” (Tina referenced the Krispy Kreme app and how you can locate the nearest store to get a hot, tasty treat.) There is a strong trend in moving towards the quality of the customer experience and their emotional journey to more effectively connect with consumers amidst the 5,000+ touches people are subjected to every day in advertising.

Among the key concepts she discussed were four headlines rising to the top:

  1. Embrace Mobile - In 2014 for the first time in history, smartphone-wielding US adults spent more time looking at their tiny mobile screens than they did looking at TV screens.
  2. Provide a Stellar Customer Experience - The quality of customer emotions defines the brand relationship. Data from Forrester proves that emotion is the strongest driver of customer retention, enrichment, and advocacy.
  3. Bring Big Data to Insights and Insights to Action - Attain maximum customer intelligence by turning big data into business insights and seek the broadest impact by transforming their customer experience.
  4. Become a Digital Business - Customers are now more mobile, consume more reviews, and buy more online than ever before.

This customer-centric movement forced Marketers to increase their budgets. But, so too, Marketers are investing heavily in Analytics which is up 43% according to Forrester. These Analytic leaders rise to the top as they become empowered to take action on those insights with confidence. Yet, not all Marketers are sold on advanced measurement. So what, now what? Well, simply said, the bigger the challenge, the bigger the opportunity.

Enable Real-Time Interaction Management – Make sure your advertising and message is contextually relevant to the consumer through experiences, value, and utility in the right place and at the right time. In order to do this Forrester offers seven Core Components to consider:

  1. Customer Recognition - Targeting customer segments is not good enough; firms must engage customers as individuals.
  2. Contextual Understanding – It is critical to understand who the customer is and how they’ve engaged with the brand in the past, but also where that person is in their lives at the moment of interaction. Think McCormick and Schmidt’s online flavor profiles – engaging, contextually relevant, and customized to you when you want the perfect spices for your next meal.
  3. Decision Arbitration – Using customer data and knowing the moment they are in, what do you do next for them?
  4. Offer Orchestration - The goal is not simply to conclude a one-time transaction but to spark a self-perpetuating cycle of continuous interactions that drive customer engagement.
  5. Measure and Optimize - Analyzing data from every customer interaction provides valuable insights to drive ongoing interactions, enhance offer details, or course-correct in-flight campaigns. Make sure to include Efficiency, Effectiveness, Customer Value and Revenue measures.
  6. Promote Customer Identification – Analytics allow brands to connect across customers’ interactions, channels, and sessions. Drive the activation of interaction for your customers through reach (e.g. TV, OOH), depth (e.g. Social, Mobile apps, Web), and relationship (e.g. Email, Direct Mail, communities) channels. However, be cognizant and compliant with PII laws and regulations.
  7. Provide More Precise Media Buying Opportunities – Advanced measurement helps Marketers plan more effectively. Think about change from your customers’ point of view while optimizing for both short and long term customer value.

In closing, Tina challenged the audience to become a customer-obsessed firm. Embrace the obvious but manage difficult pathways as well through change management and executive sponsorship. As part of the change, ensure you establish a strong foundation for data, analytics, and measurement.

Get intimate with your data and measure up!

Written by Marketing Evolution