By Namrata Gupta, Principal, Digital Customer Experience at Capgemini Americas
Customer-experience standards are higher than ever and the way consumers perceive their experiences is changing in ways that require a new approach to marketing. By the end of 2022, 80% of consumers will view the world as entirely digital, with no distinction between online and offline experiences.
To meet consumers expectations now, brands need to deliver one-to-one experiences across channels that meet customers where they are in their journey. A “Connected Marketing” approach gives brands the capability to do this.
What Defines Connected Marketing?
The goal of one-to-one personalized experiences isn’t new but connected marketing makes it possible to orchestrate experiences at scale. Connected Marketing also allows brands to differentiate by offering a unique branded digital experience across touchpoints.
Data and recent automation technology advances — especially cloud technology that manages, synchronizes, and analyzes massive amounts of data in real time — make Connected Marketing possible to deliver new benefits to customers, marketers and brands.
With a Connected Marketing approach a brand can cover the entire value chain— from customer profiling to content strategy, campaign activation, cross-channel activation, operations and performance management.
The Advantages of Connected Marketing
The shift to digital commerce has been helpful for customers since the start of the pandemic. However, it can also be frustrating when the experience is fragmented and information is incomplete.
For example, shopping for anything right now can be a challenge, due to supply-chain issues and product shortages. As customers seek what they need in a timely way, brands will lose 50% of sales on backordered items unless they compensate with CX.
Many customers are also tired of making decisions and that’s one of the reasons consumers will turn to uplifting, pleasing products and experiences in 2022 that offer a reprieve from the ongoing uncertainty. By giving customers individually personalized experiences, Connected Marketing makes it easier for them to make decisions that they feel comfortable with.
Connected Marketing gives CMOs the tools to eliminate data silos in their own departments and across the organization. By unifying customer data, Connected Marketing technology provides a way to see the entire customer journey accurately and allows for real-time adjustments to the digital brand experience that drives more conversions and optimizes ROI.
Connected Marketing initiatives also help marketers develop campaigns that better support business goals.
For example, one beauty enterprise implemented Cloud technology for content lifecycle management to provide a more cohesive and properly personalized customer experience across dozens of its brands in more than 50 markets. The resulting improvement in brand consistency led to a 23% increase in revenue.
Because Connected Marketing requires data unification and visibility, it can benefit the entire organization, not only the marketing department. When leaders from all departments can see the customer journey and related data, it’s easier to build a unified strategy across departments.
That approach can increase operational efficiency, reveal more revenue opportunities, quickly identify areas that need to be improved and earn customers’ loyalty through consistently seamless and excellent experiences. Because unified data offers so many benefits, it’s not surprising that insights-driven firms will be three times more likely to outperform their competitors in the year ahead.
How to Implement Connected Marketing
Getting data out of silos, formatting it properly, and analyzing it are the core steps on the path to a successful Connected Marketing program – but there’s more to building this kind of program than simply deploying new technology.
Connected Marketing development requires a plan that includes change management, communication, training, and technology integration strategies. There must also be a commitment to the new program from the top down, to help overcome some of the most common hurdles to Connected Marketing implementation.
First, organizations need to identify the right partners to enable and support their move to Connected Marketing. Deploying a cloud-based one-to-one personalization program across multiple channels, touchpoints and steps in the customer journey requires expertise that only the very largest companies may have in-house.
An ideal partner will have experience integrating the organization’s legacy infrastructure with the appropriate cloud solutions to get the marketing capabilities they want.
Next, executive buy-in and managerial commitment can help overcome the normal resistance to change that many organizations have to work through for any new initiative to succeed.
Keep in mind that it’s not just customers who are a bit worn-out from nearly two years of uncertainty and rapid change; employees are often dealing with the same type of fatigue. By making the Connected Marketing program a companywide commitment and starting with early, easy wins, leaders can maintain momentum during changes.
Another challenge is pulling data out of silos and legacy applications so that every department has visibility into the same data. Typically, this requires moving the data to the cloud, which has more storage and analytical power than many legacy software solutions.
In addition to offering better data visibility, Cloud technology also offers cost and security advantages over in-house software systems. Combined with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), cloud-based data management systems allow for learning about customer behavior in ways that would otherwise be impossible at scale.
By starting to plan now to find a technology partner with Connected Marketing expertise, forging a companywide commitment to the Connected-Marketing transition and bringing together all the necessary data for a 360-degree view of the customer journey, organizations can recognize their customers as individuals and orchestrate experiences — even at scale.
About the Author
Namrata Gupta is a Principal within the Digital Customer Experience practice at Capgemini Americas. She is an experienced senior executive who builds trusting client relationships and drives innovative marketing programs and products that truly transform brand perception and consumer engagement.
Namrata has been driving digital transformation for Capgemini clients for over 15 years and is the offer leader for Connected Marketing in North America.