Marketing is as much an art as it is a science. Ideally, these two combine, leveraging powerful content across well-orchestrated systems that can deliver the next best marketing experience. This is crucial to the overall customer experience, which almost always begins somewhere in the marketing process. For reasons we have discussed in previous blogs, investing in customer experience is crucial because it leads to higher revenue, better metrics, and greater customer satisfaction. While often marketers are in command of the entire customer experience, the marketing experience can be an excellent place to start.
For marketers, the next best marketing experience requires listening to consumers, understanding their behavior, and delivering the most impactful content at the right time. To do this, marketers need to develop the right strategies and practices for success. At Kitewheel, we’ve identified dozens of use-cases for next best experience, but here are three that marketers will be able to implement for relatively quick results. These are martech/adtech integration, email personalization, and website tracking and personalization. While none of these alone can enable true customer journey management, thinking about the next best marketing experience on each of these channels can help marketers demonstrate value quickly.
Bridge Gaps In the Experience with Martech-Adtech Connections
Finding marketing success doesn’t require completely changing your tools and systems, but rather using them in different ways. Most marketers interact with marketing technology (martech) and advertisement technology (adtech) regularly, but getting them to communicate remains a challenge. Between content management systems, digital marketing platforms, databases, analytics workbenches, and CRM systems most brands already have enough marketing tools. To get the most value out of any one of these tools, however, these systems need to talk to each other.
With the increasing complexity of the adtech and martech marketplaces, it may feel daunting to begin by trying to bridge gaps between these two spaces. Given the incredible value that you can provide to consumers when you do so, this is a challenge well worth overcoming. Some of the most engaging and successful customer journeys involve the careful syncing of martech and adtech. Consider Volkswagen. When they began to do ad-targeting based on website activities and customize website content based on ad-behaviors, they saw a doubling of conversion activities. They were using their website and their DMPs as data sources and next best marketing experience data generators, not just databases.
Connect Web Activities With Reactive and Proactive Email Personalization
While most organizations already use targeted communications to reach their audience, consumers have come to expect more. When businesses can’t meet those expectations, they tune out, resulting in lost attention and defeating the purpose of outreach in the first place. This is so much more than simply segmenting your email stream. To get the consumer’s attention, you need to deliver an individualized message at the right time. The impact is dramatic. Personalized emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates vs traditional email campaigns. This makes email a perfect place to begin when looking into next best marketing experiences.
While email marketing represents a common function for many marketing departments and 80 percent of marketers rate email personalization as essential to their marketing programs, few are able to deliver an email experience that changes with consumer actions. While it is true that most marketing departments do some form of advanced email segmentation, brands must now personalize on use-cases or triggers to see the biggest impact. This means switching from only emailing in batch to automatic next-best action followup. One of Kitewheel’s clients, for example, saw a 3x increase in transaction revenue when they switched from a persona based email cadence to a trigger-driven email program.
To get started, identify areas where your email campaigns are performing poorly and introduce a small subset of variables and triggers. Whatever your team decides, focus on reacting to your customers in moments of need, where an extra layer of communication will show the greatest impact.
Use Web Personalization To Build Rapport
Another way to impact consumer experiences is by delivering the next best marketing experience on your website. When customers have questions or are looking for more information, your website is often the first stop. What can set your business apart is a website that remembers your visitors and tailors the experience to them. Even more powerful is incorporating other channels to remember what ads they clicked on, or how they interacted with an email. This allows you to help the consumer along each step of the journey, leading them on a behavior-driven conversion path.
A great place to start is with dynamic content on your homepage. If you have customer profiles or the ability to listen for cookies on your website, then you can welcome visitors with relevant content – even the anonymous ones. To do this, marketers need to incorporate logic driven by a consumer’s previous behavior. If a customer navigated to the support section of your website or looked for help resolving a common issue, then automatically flagging them as someone who may need assistance can allow a marketing-to-service handoff to occur. Another option would be to flag that this user should see an alternate homepage focused on service-resolution can deliver incredible customer value.
One way that you can personalize content is by leveraging CRM data to create tags that can be understood at the cookie level and connect that with a CMS to deliver personalized dynamic content. When Kitewheel helped implement a system like this for Gerber that tracked user activity on the web and helped them tailor the next best marketing content, they experienced a 27% increase in their revenue and a 7x increase in social sharing. To get started, identify areas where customers might get confused by which content they need. Listen to what they’ve done, determine what similar consumers need based on that behavior, and then deliver the next best content.
Next Best Marketing Experiences Drive Value For Customers
Delivering the next best marketing experience is no longer optional. For marketers interested in getting started on delivering the next best marketing experience, the time to get started is now. But it isn’t easy to do it alone. Marketers who have not invested in customer journey orchestration technology tend to struggle when it comes to connecting complex systems to deliver next best marketing experiences across time. Customer journey orchestration is designed to solve this problem. To see why, consider downloading The Forrester Wave™: Journey Orchestration Platforms, Q4 2018. Inside you’ll find keen analysis from Forrester Research. This research highlights not only the importance of this field, but also the key features when you look for a vendor to help bring journeys to life at your business.