Chandreyi is a Content Marketing Specialist and Social Media Manager at Skyline. She specializes in building engaged online communities and sparking conversations about business-to-business marketing trends, Follow her at Google+ or tweet her at @chandreyisaha.
Once considered a Holy Grail of sorts, digital marketing is now set for a sea change. As customers who have come to expect personalised, relevant content at every touch point cease to recognise boundaries between channels, marketers are left wondering what’s next. One aspect “Discover Experience Marketing” is a new system within digital marketing arena, wherein marketers are required to know every customer and shape each experience in a way that delivers value for both parties over the lifetime of a business-customer relationship.
But nothing stands still. Marketers have recently been in the business of channel management; new digital channels—especially social networking and mobile—have emerged that give customers greater power to educate themselves, influence others in the decision-making process, and engage with brands wherever and whenever they want to. Customers have become more aware of the digital data they generate and how it can be used to help make interacting with brands easier; they expect marketers not only to use that information but also to use it wisely. What is certain is that traditional mass marketing tactics are not tolerated anymore.
There have been two key strategy drivers in the digital marketing era, with some companies deepening their customer relationships by making their marketing more personal, whereas other companies have focused on breadth, making sure they have better coverage across more channels. The most successful companies have invested in marketing technology that allows them to do both, setting the bar for relevance in their industries.
Although just being relevant at every touchpoint is key to delivering a superior customer experience, it isn’t the same thing as Experience Marketing. Experience Marketing amalgamates all interactions a customer has with a product or brand, in both the digital and real worlds, into a continuing, compellingly relevant, composite experience that wins customers for life.
This is a more holistic approach to marketing that is more integrally connected to customers as well as the business. As a discipline, Experience Marketing requires you to know every customer and shape every customer experience in a way that delivers value for your customers as well as your business, over the lifetime of the relationship.
So, technically speaking, are you ready? Customers have already accepted the blurring of the digital and real worlds. They are ready for Experience Marketing—digital influences everything your customers now do, and even in the “real world,” they are looking to digital to enhance their offline experience. Experience Marketing, based on a holistic, integrated view of customer and business expectations, still seems like a nice-to-thinkabout vision of the future.
From a different perspective while talking about human contribution in today’s age of digital disruption, we can think about change mangement. The digitization of processes, deployments of digital solutions, strategic-cultural shifts, moving to a more customer-centric and integrated approach etc. all have a transformational impact, just as is the case for many business projects in general. However, the transformations are not dictated by the technology. They are defined by the goals we want to achieve and the ways in which we are organized to achieve them.
Another area to consider – social collaboration. Digital projects often fail because most attention goes to the possibilities of collaboration and always being connected and there is a lack of collaboration behavior or, very often the case, collaboration capacity. We cannot be connected the whole time and the adoption of collaboration should not lead to collaboration fatigue. Its the human element in the business, who need to learn how to collaborate, be more customer-oriented, manage their time, learn new skills and change amidst a changing digital world. However, digital technologies in the enterprise should also be adapted to them.
Overall, Human beings is the governing factor in digitalization. The rate of change of pretty much everything in modern day life seems to be increasing. However, we, the human beings in this equation, are the governing factor. If the rate of change is too great, then the “slope” it creates becomes too steep and we can’t follow the path. Organizations must therefore pay more consideration to the human factors associated with technological change.
Finally as per Walker Insights, “The customer of 2020 will be more informed and in charge of the experience they receive. They will expect companies to know their individual needs and personalize the experience. Immediate resolution will not be fast enough as customers will expect companies to proactively address their current and future needs.”
1. “Nielsen Digital Consumer Report,” February 2014
2. “Sitecore” Discover Experience Marketing
3. walkerinfo.com/ “Customers 2020 Report”