As the world continues to adopt more automated and technology-assisted processes across all industries, we need to make sure we don’t lose sight of the customer and recognise that delivering customer value is the return path to delivering business value.
The value exchange
IPMG Group’s Head of Consulting, Chris Lorang says, “We should endeavour to create a value exchange. Talk about how can we offer value to each other, about how we can, as businesses and brands, get closer to our customers so we can offer real value and develop products, services and experiences customers actually want. That’s over and above media – that’s humanising what we do.” Many brands recognise this need but are not yet putting the customer at the centre.
Make it about the individual
Bulk blasting communications is just plain unacceptable to the modern day consumer. Businesses need to take control of the process and provide value through insightful data and digital touchpoints.
“It can often be a bit flat, impersonal, and fails to find and bind in real customer experience. I think that’s the real watch out as the intersection between business, brand building and technology become increasingly blurred – the one constant should be the customer, the consumer, the student, the passenger the driver…” says Lorang.
Customer Journey mapping
The intelligent use of data starts with customer journey mapping. This discovery process provides companies with the ability to not just make broad assumptions for a large group but to put in place an actionable plan for collecting the right data, to be able to give value based on individual requirements.
“With most of our clients, we help them set up and have a dialogue with individuals around preferences and behaviour – a key component in getting to know customers. This can be done via web, email…. these days’ touchpoints can be almost anything – smart homes, cars, golf clubs. Think about how the experience can be enriched via the channel at every stage.“
Continuing the journey
Once data is collected, it’s linking this intelligence back to the unique ways your business can solve the customer problem or need, based on exactly what that is for the individual (not mass group). It’s an ongoing learning process.
Lorang iterates further, “In reality its content relevant to where the customer is on their journey and what it is that makes it of value, but often we don’t really know, so we work with customer preferences then match that with behaviour and other data… and we test and learn.“
Technology provides businesses with ways to extract external data from multiple channels and draw this into email to trigger relevant automated responses. But technology cannot play its part without the human strategy in place.
“We have worked with many customers to map customer journeys and identify digital touch points, a great example of this was a large FMCG who were wanting to provide a better service to their distributor channel to boost sales. They did this with customer on boarding, notifying distributors of local festivals in their cities and data collected from BOM based on heat spikes in locations.” Says Lorang, “Integrated data is then sent to distributors, who are prompted to restock. This ensures customers can get drinks they want at event related venues and distributors are maximizing the sales opportunity.”
Streamlined personalisation for cost savings
The tourism industry is another great opportunity where identifying a specific need is important to delivering relevant content at scale. “WA Tourism had many domestic and international customers coming from different countries and regions, for many different reasons. WA Tourism were building and sending an email to all those segments, then got that down to ten emails which they thought was efficient. We managed to simplify that to one dynamic rich content, data driven automated email.” Says Lorang.
Haley Doel - Senior Marketing Specialist, Traction Digital
Haley is a Senior Marketing Specialist at Traction Digital, a subsidiary of IPMG Group, the largest privately owned marketing communications company in the Southern Hemisphere. Haley is responsible for managing Traction Digital's marketing and branding initiatives, creating relevant and engaging content delivered using modern marketing technology platforms.