Marketers used to approach customer experience strictly from a campaign-centric perspective. And, frankly, many still do. But this is an old way of thinking about customer experience that comes with severe limitations, resulting in campaigns that are:
- Disconnected and inconsistent across channels
- Batch-driven and require the use of hard-to-compile, static data sources
- Without a contextual understanding of the larger customer relationship, only showing isolated events and interactions and no ability to adapt to real-time insights
Most importantly, with these approaches, it’s difficult to consider the full customer journey. This translates into campaigns that eat up significant time and resources but deliver low engagement and conversion rates.
Today’s consumers have higher expectations and more choices. According to the fourth annual “State of Marketing” report, 52% of B2C customers say they’d switch brands if they didn’t feel they were receiving a personalized experience.
To effectively market to today’s fast-paced, connected consumers, brands have to move away from costly campaigns that are manually driven, difficult to measure, and hard to predict to real-time conversations that deliver a personalized experience to every customer. Let’s break down what that actually means for today’s marketers:
Moving to real-time conversations
Today’s most successful brands are taking their campaigns to a new level with real-time, context-driven, omnichannel experiences that fit within a larger, fully-personalized customer journey.
If that sounds like a lot, you’re not alone. Moving to real-time conversations like these requires marketers to rethink old concepts and consider some entirely new ones. In the end, though, you’ll be better positioned to meet the changing needs of your customers.
What does “real-time” mean?
“Real-time” refers to your ability to understand, deliver, and take action based on knowledge of an individual customer and their up-to-the-moment journey with your brand.
Real-time capabilities allow marketers to deliver the next best action or conversation to individual shoppers at scale and in the moment, as well as extend that understanding across every channel — online and offline — so that every interaction between the customer and the brand is always seamless and relevant.
Brands that can take action in real time are able to meet their customers’ changing needs. In today’s fast-paced world, being able to quickly adapt is critical for brands that want to succeed.
What does “context-driven” mean?
“Context-driven” experiences combine a customer’s holistic activity across channels and throughout their entire journey with their intent in that moment.
Using this 360-degree view of the customer, marketers can personalize every interaction a customer has with their brand, suppress irrelevant campaigns, and even build new campaigns based on the customer’s needs.
What does “omnichannel” mean?
A truly omnichannel approach creates a seamless, consistent experience across every channel — both online and offline — where customers interact with a brand. In this way, omnichannel marketing, at its core, must take into account both data collection and orchestration. Marketers can collect and analyze real-time data in order to deliver the right messages, on the right channels, and at the right time in a customer’s journey.
Thinking beyond individual channels and, instead, approaching them from the view of an entire customer journey pays off. Research has shown that companies with the strongest omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers (Source: Aberdeen Group, “Omni-channel Customer Care,” 2016).
The value of real-time campaigns
Now, you might be wondering if real-time campaigns are worth the investment? In short, yes. These supercharged campaigns drive results in three key areas:
1. Real-time campaigns increase revenue
Campaigns that are personalized and relevant to customers are dramatically more effective than campaigns that are not. For example, one hotel brand saw an 85% increase in bookings, and another saw a 60% uplift in sales. Each brand did this by infusing their existing campaigns with deeper levels of customer insight and personalization. In fact, according to McKinsey’s 2017 report, “Data Activation and Personalization,” retail personalization can boost sales by 15-20%.
2. Real-time campaigns increase brand loyalty and trust
According to Accenture’s “Seeing beyond the loyalty illusion: It’s time you invest more wisely,” 81% of consumers feel loyal to brands that are there when they need them, but otherwise, respect their time.
Today’s customers are more discerning than ever before, have high expectations, and are less forgiving when brands don’t get it right. Real-time campaigns help you know when to talk to your customers and when to hold back. You’ll build long-term loyalty, develop relationships based on mutual trust, and see a positive impact on your retention and satisfaction rates.
3. Real-time campaigns reduce cost
Real-time, context-driven, omnichannel personalization can have a significant impact on your marketing ROI. It has been shown to:
- Reduce acquisition costs by as much as 50%
- Lift revenues by up to 15%
- Increase the efficiency of marketing spend by 10%–30%
When you understand your customers and how they interact with your brand across every channel, you can stop spending on campaigns irrelevant to them and focus on the ones that work.
Overall, real-time customer journey insights and analytics reveal where your campaigns fall short, so you can optimize your spend in areas that deliver better results. You’ll also have the insights you need to build better, more effective campaigns into the future.