By Srishti Sofat, Senior Vice President, Oracle Marketing & Unity Product & Development
A new season brings a lot of anticipation and opportunity. Depending on where you are in the world this time of year, it means flowers are blooming or leaves are falling – a time for renewal or a time for harvest. An opportunity for reflection and transformation.
Recently, Rob Tarkoff, EVP of Oracle CX, wrote about the changes in customer expectations across CX and how these changes are influencing how brands engage. At a more granular level, marketers find themselves at a similar inflection point on the path to digital transformation. As I reflect on the ways that marketers need to increasingly adapt to build lasting relationships with customers, I’ve centered around three key areas:
People are complex. Data is key. Data helps us understand our customers at a deeper level. Simply knowing who our customers are isn’t enough anymore – we must understand what they want, how they buy, why they buy, when they buy, and who they may also be buying for. Customer data is the key to delivering exceptional customer experiences and developing a single view of the customer is paramount. Without a comprehensive customer profile in one place and the right tools to segment and target audiences with data collected across the customer lifecycle, personalized experiences fall short.
Predictions need to be strong, accurate, and scalable. Marketers can no longer rely on guesswork to recommend products, content, and customer needs. We need to understand past behavior and use those insights to predict, anticipate, and inform ongoing behavior in real-time and at scale. Having the right content at your fingertips is essential, but understanding what and when to share that content with individuals using the right tools to predict and automate actions and interactions is key to creating an ongoing experience that develops into a lifelong relationship with a customer.
Unique and consistent omnichannel customer experiences are expected. People are moving most of their discovery and buying processes to digital channels and demand a personal touch even when they are not interacting with a live person. People want to be treated as individuals, expecting to be understood and respected when interacting with brands. When companies fail to tell a consistent story across every touchpoint because of siloed teams or data, the relationship suffers, and a disjointed experience can create increasing frustration from the number of conflicting, redundant, or impersonal messages individuals receive from different departments, eventually turning them off to the brands they love (or preventing them from converting at all). To build a lasting relationship that creates lifelong advocates, marketers need to provide a full, high-touch experience on every digital channel, and consistently create new, innovative ways to interact and engage with customers at every touchpoint.
Marketers play a pivotal role in spearheading the digital transformation of businesses. To prepare them for future change, marketers need a unified suite to manage, interpret and segment customer data more effectively, build engaging and personalized omnichannel campaigns more efficiently, and improve marketing strategy using predictive intelligence to further enhance the exceptional experiences that customers crave to feel deeply connected and loyal to the brands they love.
I’m excited for the changes we are working on in the Oracle Fusion Marketing suite and look forward to sharing more as we evolve.
Srishti Sofat is Senior Vice President, Fusion Cloud Customer Experience at Oracle. She brings over 24 years of experience in building and scaling large scale consumer and enterprise software products. She has been solving interesting problems in Marketing Orchestration, Personalization, Mobile, Mar-Tech and customer intelligence to help a global set of customers. Srishti drives a strong culture of product innovation and execution within the Oracle product development group.