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Customer obsession starts with relevance: Insights from Interact 2014

Digital technology allows marketers to have a better, deeper understanding of their customers than ever before. With a wealth of data from purchase behavior to email subscriptions, marketers can translate their knowledge into rich, personal experiences for each and every one of their customers. At Oracle Marketing Cloud Interact 2014, speakers shared how they're getting closer to customers through relevance.

Integrate B2B and B2C marketing efforts

Companies with businesses and individuals as customers face the challenge of balancing their marketing efforts between the two. With limited resources, companies often separate their teams into one that’s business-facing and one that’s consumer-facing. That’s exactly how LinkedIn’s global marketing operations team worked until five months ago, when LinkedIn restructured its organization so that B2B and B2C marketers worked closer together and coordinated efforts, said Brion O’Connor, head of global marketing operations at LinkedIn. Now, LinkedIn members who are both business and individual customers receive distinct marketing messages, rather than repetitive ones that lack customization and personalization.

Focus on quality—not quantity—of email subscribers

Sending emails to inactive subscribers or incorrect addresses causes serious deliverability problems for many marketers. Inbox placement is a moving target, as email services continuously roll out new methods for spam filtering and message labeling (e.g. Gmail promotions). “You can turn deliverability into competitive advantage,” says Daniel Deneweth, who leads a team of email deliverability strategic consultants at Oracle Marketing Cloud. “Increase placement rates to increase revenue.”

To achieve inbox success, marketers need to take a close look at their subscriber list. For Jill McEwan, senior marketing manager at HomeAdvisor, that meant removing about half of the addresses in the customer-service website’s mailing list. “When we were sending to the entire list, we were in the spam folder,” she said. Now that they mail only to engaged subscribers, they have a 59 percent conversion rate and revenue is up 42 percent from when they “sprayed and prayed” to a larger, messier list.

Strive for 1:1, continuous conversations

Customer-obsessed marketing is the new normal. “Even people who were once averse to filling out forms online are expecting rich digital experiences,” said Adrian Chang, senior principal consultant at Oracle. Chang outlined the Modern Marketing Maturity Assessment Model, a road map that ultimately helps marketers conduct one-to-one, continuous conversations with their customers. Chang focused on five tenets—targeting, engagement, conversion, analytics and technology—to show how marketers can improve their automation efforts in each segment. "Every brand can do better to engage me," he said. “Do not try to communicate without knowing a little bit about me. Actually try to make the experience relevant for me.”

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