The customer journey is an increasingly complex beast. Your prospects and customers are interacting and engaging with you over a whole series of different channels and touchpoints.
Up to 76% of B2B buyers now use three or more channels before making a purchase. Responding to this fragmented picture, marketing technology came along to help marketers make sense of the new picture.
But the marketing technology landscape is now an increasingly complex beast as well! It’s estimated there are some 4,000 martech solutions now available - a whopping increase of 2500% since 2011.
In the face of all this choice, marketers can sometimes lose sight of the crucial principle - the customer experience. This should always be at the heart of any marketing tech solution and indeed any marketing strategy
With 89% of consumers said it was important for retailers to let them shop for products in the way that is convenient for them and the average shopper now makes an average of 9.5 visits to a retailer’s site before deciding to make a purchase, customer experience is changing from a focus for marketers to a central pillar of their philosophy.
In this environment it’s no good having state-of-the-art tech solutions that don’t ensure a seamless customer journey for your prospects. That’s why you need to demand a solution that delivers maximum flexibility, ease of use and intelligent campaign implementation.
In order to deliver this your marketing stack needs to enable you to target and segment prospects, deliver cross-channel marketing campaigns, deliver content marketing campaigns, work across social media, integrate into other legacy technologies including data management platforms.
We will now take a look at each of these key aspects and why each one is vital in delivering a great customer experience.
Customers today demand an integrated and seamless experience across all the channels they use.
As a brand, you have to know and understand them as individuals, not as broad demographics or generic groupings. Luckily, the technology is now there to help do just that.
If you are to deliver a truly personalised and relevant marketing approach, you absolutely must be able to easily segment and target prospects and customers. If you don’t have the ability to quickly identify and target your audience individually, they will lose faith in your brand.
Delivering personalised, timely and intelligent interactions demonstrates that you know your customer and encourages them to spend more with you.
Your prospects and customers are operating across multiple channels - but is your marketing? According to 1 in 3 customers, the biggest improvement businesses must make is providing an integrated buying experience across channels.
Cross-channel marketing doesn’t simply mean having a presence on every platform, from email to social media. It means delivering contextualised and informed messages appropriate to different channels. The keyword is orchestration. This creates a much better customer experience by integrating, streamlining and simplifying.
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” Content Marketing Institute
That means getting the right content to your prospects when, where and how they want it is at the very heart of customer experience. This is increasingly complex in a multichannel world with people accessing content here, there and everywhere. But it’s absolutely critical.
The big communications success story of our time, social media experienced an 829% increase in users between 2005 and 2015. Social media has allowed customers to take greater control of the buying cycle, and have conversations about you and your sector. These are opportunities to engage and interact with people, and also to build social media into your lead generation activities.
Integrating social tools with marketing automation tools allows you to reach customers where they are, and deliver a better, more rounded and more interactive customer experience.
Data management platforms (DMP) are designed to deal with the fragmented, multichannel world of big data coming in from first party sources you manage, second party sources you access through partnerships, and third party generic data. A DMP can aggregate and integrate disparate user information to create single customer views using all the information available about each user.
And with a single customer view, you suddenly have the power to tailor content and engage with individual prospects in a much more joined-up way. The customer experience becomes coherent and effective because of the insights you hold.
Marketers today face a colossal array of different marketing technology and marketing automation solutions. Cut through the noise and make sure you’re asking the right questions to get the optimum tools. It’s all about delivering a fantastic customer experience.
See how you can make your martech stack add up to a good customer experience, download The Guide to Building Your Marketing Technology Stack now.