Breaking bad habits when marketing to hyper-connected consumers | DMA

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Breaking bad habits when marketing to hyper-connected consumers


Relationships between brands and consumers have changed. The way we consume products, services – and even marketing messages – is not the same as it once was.

The proliferation of smartphones and tablets, along with the rise in value of the subscription economy is leading this change. Consumers are now hyper-connected in ways that never existed before. This shift in behaviour means marketers need to drastically alter the ways in which they engage with consumers: mass communication will no longer do. Marketing teams need to release themselves from the shackles of channel-first ways of working.

When it comes to marketing to hyper-connected consumers, it can be difficult to break bad habits. What common pitfalls do marketers need to look out for if they are to maintain strong and meaningful relationships with customers?

1.Thinking channel first, not Consumer-First

With increasing opt-out rates and lower engagement across the board, traditional marketing models need to change from being channel-centric to consumer-centric. Marketers need to enhance every customer-brand interaction by looking beyond individual touchpoints, to create a holistic journey that focusses on the critical moments that have a huge impact on deepening customer relationships and creating loyalty.

2. Failing to provide a seamless experience

Although as marketers we talk about channels, in reality, consumers are channel-agnostic. Whether they are interacting via a mobile app, email, SMS or in store, they expect experiences with a brand to be integrated and intelligent. Marketers must provide a seamless experience regardless of the channel. But before we can achieve that, there’s another bad habit we need to break (see below).

3. Not using data smartly

Hyper-connected consumers are creating a mass of data and information. From demographic to social and transactional, consumers are happy to offer personal data in exchange for a more personal service and experience. But marketers need to make sure they are collecting the right data - and using it smartly. Brands can build a single customer view by collecting data at the various junctures of the customer journey and merging it to create a 360 degree profile of every consumer. This means marketers can get to know their customers better and learn how to provide a better experience in every moment, across every channel.

4.Working in silos

Most marketing departments collect consumer data, but many do so in silos, from email data to customer service transactions – all of it is valuable, but to be truly powerful, it needs to be connected. When it is not, marketers become prisoners of their systems and technologies, creating fragmented and disparate data and customer experiences. A new way of working is needed.

5.Forgetting to personalise

Simply inserting your customer’s name into an email is no longer enough – mail merge is now the standard, not a USP. The discerning consumer now wants a truly personalised offering. As research from Planet Retail shows, 32% of consumers’ choice of brand is influenced by the provision of tailored and personalised experiences that are relevant to their needs. Savvy consumers demand a personal relationship with brands. It’s time this is reflected in our marketing. We need to treat customers as individuals, with unique likes and preferences, each on a personal journey, with our brand – only then, can we tailor our marketing approach accordingly.

The challenge for marketers is clear; adapt or be left behind. At the heart of every engagement strategy, there needs to be a Consumer-First approach; one which delivers relevant, contextual, consistent and personal experiences to the consumer. By breaking bad practices marketers will see improvements in results and marketing activity.

Join Selligent's webinar 'Breaking bad habits - why top marketers are going consumer-first' on Wednesday 28 September at 3pm.

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