Lyris Connections Blog

There’s a Gap…Now What? Part 10: And Most Importantly, Don’t Forget…

Oct 11, 2013 by

At the center of every marketer’s universe is the customer!

Over the past few weeks we’ve shared how to close the gap between marketers and consumers based on findings from our surveys with The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Now to sum it up, we want to provide you with the key takeaway – ALWAYS put your customers first! 

EIU Executive and Consumer guides

When you take the time to consider your customers’ needs, your marketing efforts flourish. Accurately tailored marketing messages means more engaged and receptive consumers, which in turn means better results.

While it may seem like a no-brainer, putting customer preferences first often takes a back seat to the latest marketing trends or marketers’ gut instincts. But with our findings from the EIU, marketers now have insight into what consumers truly want and how to use it to execute successful marketing campaigns.

So what steps can marketers take to put their customers first?

In case you missed them, here are the 10 steps we’ve covered over the past several weeks:

  1. Move beyond personalization. Consumers say that personalization has become superficial. Instead of simply using basic demographic data, marketers should incorporate behavioral data such as browsing history and abandoned cart information, and email behavioral data such as opens and click-throughs to create customized offers and individualized experiences.
  2. Don’t be daunted by customer data. Marketers must draw a full picture of customer digital journeys, employ multi-channel and multi-touch campaigns, and test the conclusions drawn from data. But don’t be intimidated by data overload. Work with the data you have to map your customers’ journeys and ensure that the data used supplies the necessary insights for action. For a marketer, insights include a view into a customer that  informs communication that delights, engages, and converts.
  3. Close the marketer skills gap. Most marketing organizations lack the skill sets needed to meet their customers’ needs. To overcome this lack of skills, it is imperative that organizational leaders invest in training and resources that will enable marketers to be savvier when it comes to understanding and extracting insights from data.  This might include investments in data analytics training.
  4. Know each channel’s strengths. Consumers expect different things from different channels. Listen to what they want and take advantage of each channel’s strength to implement a successful digital marketing strategy.  Link customers’ needs into a holistic picture for customer lifecycle management programs that indicate what and when they need on their digital journey.
  5. Align your budget. Spend your money where it matters most. Investing in channels and processes that don’t get you closer to your targeted customers is a waste of resources. See what consumers want, and align your budget accordingly
  6. Diffuse privacy concerns. Sharing personal information continues to be a top concern for consumers. As marketers, we need to diffuse their concerns by being more transparent about how we are using data and articulate why it adds value to them.
  7. Resist the urge to chase after the latest shiny object. Focus on what is actually driving ROI. Re-evaluate your marketing program to ensure that you’re adding value to your customers and pursuing the channels they prefer. Investing in and putting programs against unproven digital “shinning objects” may appear to drive customer activities, but may not drive engagement that delivers revenue. These programs may result in unnecessary long-term investments in technology and people that ultimately do not drive long-term results.    
  8. Acknowledge industry nuances. What influences consumers’ purchasing decisions varies from industry to industry. As marketers, we need to adapt our strategies accordingly to successfully gain new customers, and ensure we maintain high customer loyalty.
  9. “Channel” digital engagement. Using relevant and useful content is the best way to engage your customers and deliver what they want. Making sure your content is customized for each channel will help successfully engage your customers. 
  10. And last but not least, PUT YOUR CUSTOMER FIRST!

Putting your customers first is the most important step to closing the digital marketing gap and driving revenue, and will provide a clear view into marketing technologies, programs, and organizational investments that make sense in the long run.  

Learn more about how to close the digital marketing gap. Download the EIU Executive Summary

Angie Zener

About the Author: Angie Zener

Angie Zener is Senior Director of Corporate and Product Marketing at Lyris. She is a long-time marketer and an enthusiast of all emerging marketing technologies, in particular those that help marketers better connect with customers. Angie has managed customer communities, led social media teams, built mobile solutions, and launched many new software products. Follow Angie on Twitter: @angiezener

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