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Using Technology to Build Better Customer Experiences

Modern marketers know they need to be personal, relevant, omnichannel-friendly, and more in order to build relationships with their customers. Why? Because today’s customers are savvy, and have little patience for brands that won’t put in the effort to personalize their experience. In fact, according to Oracle, 34% of customers reported “breaking up” with a brand because of “poor, disruptive, or irrelevant marketing messages.” Recently, we hosted a webinar with Retention Science, entitled “Using Technology to Build Better Customer Experiences,” to uncover four key strategies that brands should implement to better understand and activate their consumers:

Build Trust & Credibility

In essence, this one is simple. Don’t be fake, and don’t try to trick your customers. They see through overly Photoshopped images and/or fluffy product descriptions. Shoppers are more informed than ever before and will do their own research before purchasing, rather than giving the benefit of the doubt to marketing material. Remember, according to Blue Nile Research, 70% of consumers rely on three or more channels when conducting product research. It’s like the media, if you focus on any single source, your understanding will be slightly skewed. It’s best to view several sources and make your own opinion.

Deliver Value to Customers’ Lives

We’ve written about the rise in utility-based marketing. Because customers are overwhelmed with a constant stream of messaging, they now gravitate towards marketing experiences that help improve their lives. Sometimes, this is even more important than price when they consider where to shop. Put differently, customer priorities have changed. Providing value is how brands keep customers engaged long-term. There are two key factors that contribute to providing value: Data and Content.

Data informs your value. In mining customer behavior you can learn what your highest value customers have in common with one another, and how you can engage lower value customers to grow their potential. For example, Retention Science worked with Laurel & Wolf, a brand that virtually connects a marketplace of interior designers with people looking to design a place, and analyzed their consumer behavior. What they discovered was that of the 12 rooms the brand offered services for, the kitchen and bathroom were most often purchased together. So, they can craft marketing experiences accordingly.

Content is enormously difficult to create at scale. Adding visual user-generated content (UGC) has helped brands to tap into a massive content set that is already being produced by customers. In addition, it can add a new data set into the mix, and acts as a massive focus group of online consumers sharing their insights, desires, and behaviors with a brand they care about.

Provide a Unique Customer Journey

Traditional lifecycle marketing depends too much on linear, static lifecycle stages. A brand’s customers move in more mysterious and unexpected ways. This is where artificial intelligence (AI) has become useful for forward-thinking brands. As Retention Science’s Ryan Lee puts it, “AI helps turn everyone into someone.” More than this, AI makes it possible to send the right message to the right customer at the right time for improved conversions and a more positive perception of the brand. One of the most impressive examples of how AI is helping improve marketing experiences is The North Face, which worked with IBMs Watson to activate an online personal shopper that mimics the in-store experience.

Embrace Omnichannel Marketing Experiences

Finally, brands hoping to utilize technology to create better relationships with their customers must develop omnichannel marketing experiences. Today, customers are interacting with brands in enormously fragmented ways, across social media, website, third party sites, as well as traditional offline channels. To gain an accurate perspective on a customer’s profile is inherently difficult. If a brand is just getting started on an omnichannel strategy, here are three tips:

  • Integrate earned content across all marketing channels, use it as the connective tissue between otherwise siloed efforts.
  • Balance AI with human engagement and ingenuity. Neither strategy is more impactful than the combination of the two.
  • Build through intelligent growth. Focus on the tools that actually move the needle for your brand, not just what is new and flashy.

If you’d like to learn more, please click here to watch the full webinar recording.

Image Source: Unsplash.com / By: Caroline Methot

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