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Published: Mar 15, 2017 4 min read
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How strong is your customer engagement?

By Rhiannon Prothero

Source: Marketing Week


Customers today are more digitally connected, socially networked, and better informed than ever before. The customer journey, or the path that each customer takes with an organisation, is an organic one. It spans across channels and touch points. It can start anywhere, at any time, and can move in any direction – even backwards and in loops.

Each customer journey is unique. Whether buying or getting help for a product, customers will vary their process each time, based on what is convenient at that moment. They expect a consistently great experience across channels in real-time – from a marketing touch to a commerce interaction, from the contact centre to a sales meeting.

Multichannel integration and single customer view have been talked about for years, so why are they not yet a reality?

Today’s businesses face tremendous challenges to differentiate, adapt and meet ever-changing buying behaviours of the digitally empowered customer. Engaging customers is difficult. Regardless of industry, customers are more demanding of individualised and relevant experiences than ever before. Most departments, however, have their hands full addressing their own internal challenges: marketing on Facebook, offering live-video support, adding a mobile shopping experience, etc, and have not been able to take the concerted approach required to really engage the customer.

Modern customers have little patience for traditional marketing tactics – turning away from broadcast media and tuning out online advertising – plus marketers have not been able to turn volumes of customer data into insight to individualise experiences in real-time.

According to a recent survey by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), marketing executives have a detailed picture of their customers and prospects, thanks to their existing marketing channels.

While the survey found up to 73% of respondents routinely collect information about current customer behaviour, only 37% use this information for marketing purposes. Why?

Link up data

Could it be the fact that most of the data collected is sitting in disparate systems that don’t ‘talk’ to each other. Harnessing data is a challenge but it is fundamental to achieving a single customer view, which in turn is fundamental to competitive advantage. A recent Econsultancy report stated that only around a quarter of companies use a cross-channel campaign management tool. But those using such tools are more likely to hit financial targets.

“Marketers have not been able to turn volumes of customer data into insight to individualize experiences in real-time.”

Accurate data is central to creating a single customer view. This involves capturing it, maintaining it and managing it if it sits in disparate systems. This in itself is difficult, as data sets often sit in silos with different teams managing and being responsible for them.

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