Role of marketing teams in delivering a connected experience to customers
- Last Updated: July 27, 2022
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- 6 Min Read
Two months ago, I phoned my credit card company to cancel my XYZ credit card. The support agent was helpful and instantly deactivated it.
During the feedback session, I informed the support agent that their XYZ credit card has an expensive annual maintenance fee with no rewards or cashback, and I'd never consider getting it again.
Everything was fine until last week when I received an ad for the same XYZ credit card on social media and emails (from which I unsubscribed). Even worse is I got more than six calls from different salespeople from the credit card company asking me to apply for the same XYZ credit card.
As a customer, I felt that the credit card company wasn't really listening to me.
As a marketer, I thought about how brands can listen to their customers better and give them exactly what they want. So I decided to explore this topic more and write about it.
The problem isn't with the staff; they're doing their best to help customers. The disconnect in the marketing experience is caused by reliance on siloed solutions for managing customer data and running marketing campaigns without having enough up-to-date information about customers in the system.
Here are five actionable steps that marketing teams can put into practice to deliver a connected experience to all the customers.
1) Talk to customers
Beyond just sales and support functions, it's important for marketing teams to talk to customers and understand them. The simplest way to learn about customers and their preferences is to ask them what they want.
Marketers can prepare a few relevant questions to ask customers for a better understanding of the expectations they have of the brand. Take my conversation with the credit card company, for instance. I informed them that I don't want credit cards with expensive maintenance fees, so their follow-up question could be: Would you consider trying our zero-fee credit card or would you be interested in learning more about our credit cards that offer better reward points?
In my case, it was a support agent who spoke with me—which is typical of most organizations. But marketing teams can request that support agents ask customers a prepared set of questions to collect responses, or they can shadow a few customers calls to understand customers' preferences.
Marketers can also organize interactive sessions like face-to-face meetings, webinars, and online events, where they can ask customers about their preferences.
2) Segment your customers
After gathering sufficient information about your customers—like their content preferences, the products/services they use or want, their expectations of the brand, etc.—categorize and group them based on a few common things.
Here are some ideas for ways to segment your customers. Use this as a reference and create your own list of segments:
- Basic segmentation - Segment customers based on demography (age groups, genders, marital status), geography, etc.
- Product/services used - Segment customers based on the products/services they're currently using from your brand.
- Price - If you have multiple pricing options for your product/service, categorize customers based on the plan they're currently enrolled in.
- Content - Organize customers based on the content they prefer from your brand. For example, if your brand is a lifestyle business and you publish content on multiple topics like clothing, jewelry, shopping, and more, a few of your customers might love to read newsletters about clothing only, and a few others may prefer both clothing and shopping. Identify such interests, group them, and create multiple segment combinations.
- Exclusions - Prepare a list and segment customers who you want to exclude from a specific event or activity. Some examples of an exclusion list are as follows:
- Customers who don't want to read any of your email campaigns
- Customers who don't like or who don't want to try a particular product or service from your brand
- Customers who have used your product/service before and have canceled it out of dissatisfaction
3) Use a unified marketing platform
A unified marketing platform is a solution that enables you to manage all your marketing activities in one place. Your marketing team can add, modify, and manage all customer data, segment them based on their past interactions with your brands, create and execute personalized campaigns for the whole audience across every touchpoint, and ensure that the experience delivered to each audience member is relevant and connected.
Zoho Marketing Plus is one example of a unified marketing platform that enables your marketing teams to collaborate, ideate, create, execute, and measure omnichannel campaigns—all from one place.
In Zoho Marketing Plus, your marketing team gets a unified view of campaign performance and customer insights, and can share real-time reports with the sales and support teams by providing them view access or exporting the data to your CRM system, ensuring that everyone in a customer-facing role knows the customers well before interacting with them.
Marketing Plus also includes powerful features like condition-based segmentation (AND/OR) and duplication prevention, which enable you to segment your customers into multiple segment combinations for various campaigns without any hassle and send them tailored content.
For example, if you want to send an email campaign only to female customers who have attended your virtual events, you can use the condition "Female Customers AND Virtual Event Attendees" to generate a new segment and send them the most appropriate marketing campaign.
Likewise, if a target contact is repeatedly added to two or more segmented lists for the same campaign, Marketing Plus intelligently marks them as duplicate and sends only one email to the customer.
With better visibility and definite customer segments, a unified marketing platform like Marketing Plus makes every experience you create for your audience by default a connected one.
4) Measure the results
- After implementing the three steps outlined above as the default practice in your marketing campaigns, measure your improvement via the results. Some metrics to use to measure the overall success in this process are as follows:
- Increase the open and click rate of your email campaigns
- Increase in engagement rate on your landing pages and other marketing materials
- Increase in average time spent by visitors on your web pages
- The better experience you create for each customer, the more likely they are to follow your social handles and interact with your posts. So consider an increase in social media followers and activities as one metric of success.
- Improved Net Promoter Score (this can be achieved by adding a Net Promoter Score slider on your web pages and asking visitors to give feedback about their experience with your campaigns; if your score keeps improving, congrats—you did it!)
Zoho Marketing Plus comes with built-in tools like unified analytics to measure campaign progress in real time, analyze attribution, and measure key metrics to study the success of the connected experience you deliver to your audience.
5) Train your team to deliver a connected experience
The last step is crucial, as a connected experience is all about delivering a consistent message about the brand from people (employees) to people (customers).
Define your brand's purpose - Your entire customer-facing team should know your brand's purpose clearly. For instance, Disney's purpose is to create happiness through a magical experience. Likewise, create a simple brand purpose for your organization and ensure that all the members of your team follow and execute that vision.
Express your brand's purpose in every message - Your brand's purpose should be incorporated strongly in every message you create. It can be a blog post, email, or a phone call. The customer should experience your brand's purpose during and after completing their interaction with your touchpoints.
Prepare before every interaction - Whether it's a simple thank-you email or a sales call, make it a habit to study customers' past interactions, preferences, and response to touchpoints, and based on that, prepare the message you want to deliver.
Keep data consistently up to date - Change is constant, and so are customers' preferences and choices. Marketing teams should study customer behavior periodically (twice in a quarter at least) and remove irrelevant and unusable information, modify or update them, and based on the updated information create campaigns that match every customers' interest.
Bala is a product Marketer for Zoho Marketing Plus. He is passionate about discussing MarTech, Customer Experience, Omnichannel Marketing, and Marketing Analytics.
You can start a conversation with Bala by leaving a comment on any of his blog posts.
Bonus information - Bala likes cats, coffee, and G-shock watches :)
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