Sales & Marketing

How to keep your customers close to ensure your business' success

6 min read

28 February 2014

In a world where consumers are bombarded with marketing messages, it’s imperative to ensure you’re delivering the right messages, to the right people via the right channels.

With new multiple platforms including email and landing pages, and increasingly mobile and social media, extending the reach of your digital marketing campaigns to make them work collaboratively will ensure your company stands out from the crowd.

Online marketing channels can be intimate and the results are immediate. Customers can be easily engaged, yet there are damaging consequences if brands fail to acknowledge the individuals to whom they are talking to.

How can marketers better use and target such information to run effective personalised digital marketing campaigns?

In our experience, the following five techniques are essential:

Focus on quality not quantity

For many marketers the volume, variety and velocity of information that is generated daily by consumer interaction with a brand can appear overwhelming. However, the quality of data generated is more important than the quantity.

Marketers need to know what information they have access to so that they can think strategically about what types of data to collect, to help inform their campaign strategies. For example, interactions on social media networks or on websites can reveal a great deal about a consumer’s preferences. A lack of interaction on these sites can equally reveal as much as an intense amount of activity and further insight into online habits. 

Keeping the customer at the heart of it all

The term “always addressable customer,” is often used to describe those that access the Internet from multiple physical locations, multiple times per day. As customers rely more on technology and interact with brands throughout the day on a number of devices, marketers need to tailor their digital marketing strategy accordingly.

The ability to create a single, holistic understanding of each and every customer should not be overlooked. Customers should be kept at the heart of marketing strategies and multichannel campaign development. It is important that every customer is treated as an individual – ruin this and risk high levels of resentment. 

Be in a mobile state of mind

The way consumers access and interact with content on mobile devices has evolved considerably over the last five years. With the advent of smartphones, browsing, purchasing, staying on top of email – be it personal or for work – and keeping up to date with social media and the latest news ‘on the go’ has never been easier. Indeed, recent figures suggest that by 2019, global smartphone penetration will have exploded to 60 per cent, from the 25 to 30 per cent it is today. Knowing how subscribers engage with their devices will help ensure you are creating a positive user experience for those on the go, on their couch, or at their desk.

Engaging relevantly with audiences

It is essential for a brand to be able to react relevantly with its audience. For example, in order to address the increasingly prevalent issue of cart abandonment, a company could send out a follow-up email reminding visitors of their basket contents and encouraging them to complete the purchase, which could also include cross-sell and up-sell recommendations for related purchases: “people who purchased this also bought”, “recommended for you” and “get the look”. Such content engages customers and helps to guide them toward new opportunities. 

Getting tactical

Last but not least, it is essential to set objectives for every campaign and ensure the right technology is in place to support and measure performance.

If the goal of a campaign is to encourage repeat purchases, do take into account a visitor’s preferences and how often they re-purchase items. If it is to encourage cross-sells, do provide intelligent recommendations around the “people who bought X also bought Y.” If it is to encourage immediate or impulse purchases it is important to ensure recommendations have low delivery costs; and if it is to move last-season or sale stock, retailers are best off making use of what is known in the trade as “worst-seller algorithms.”

There is no doubt that technology has transformed the relationship between brands and consumers. Digital marketing has immense potential for building relationships, but has significant consequences when not executed properly. The days of poorly executed online marketing campaigns should be in the past. By keeping the customer at the heart of every online marketing strategy, consumers will feel like individuals, which will lead to a long lasting customer relationship, putting you ahead of your competition.

Anthony Wilkey is Strategic Client Director at SmartFocus

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