The days of being able to steer a customer down the linear marketing funnel are long gone.
Succeeding in the increasingly complex age of the customer requires mastery of customer engagement and loyalty beyond customer acquisition. It requires an insightful understanding of the customer journey and how to maximize customer relationships at each stage of their journey. And while marketers are recognizing they need all their available resources — people, processes, and technologies — to work together, they continue to face challenges.
A “Ball in a Pinball Machine”
In a recent AdAge article, written by Jason John, on the death of the funnel, he aptly described the customer journey as resembling a “ball in a pinball machine.” One that bounces around in every direction possible before landing.
This is why we, at VeraCentra, commissioned the May 2016 study, Fulfilling The Relevancy Promise, from Forrester Consulting. We wanted to better understand how business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers are prioritizing, engaging and maximizing customer relationships and the specific strategies they are employing to bring order to what can appear to be haphazard buying behaviors.
The Challenge of Diminishing Brand Loyalty
Our research shows that today’s perpetually connected consumer has limited tolerance of brands that do not deliver relevant and meaningful experiences. And a direct result of not delivering relevancy is greatly diminished brand loyalty.
The majority of marketers in our study, acknowledge this and say they are prioritizing their department goals accordingly: 78% said their priorities are influenced by the always-connected customers and 81% seek to address decreased customer loyalty.
And yet, despite these priorities our study showed marketers are having ongoing challenges in getting beyond the first step – understanding customers. 59% stated they are challenged in generating customer insights, and 55% face an uphill battle of increasing the marketing operation efficiencies necessary to deliver high levels of customer engagement and loyalty.
A Holistic Approach Is Needed
So what’s the answer to the challenges faced by marketers? How do they focus the resources they have — people, process, and technology — so that everything works efficiently and effectively to engage and retain customers? In our experience, an integrated approach to customer relationship strategies offers the best chance to successfully deliver customer engagement, reverse diminishing loyalty and increase marketers’ ability to deliver ROI.
A Parting Note
This is two of a series of three posts we are writing on the results of our study, Fulfilling The Relevancy Promise. If you missed part one, you can read it here
About the Author:
Connie is passionate about customer relationship strategy and truly understands consumer behavior. An executive level advisor for some of the world’s most prestigious brands, Connie has a track record of delivering game changing customer strategy alongside significant bottom line results. Through the years, companies such as GE Capital, Intuit Software, and Costco Wholesale have sought Connie’s expertise. Connie is President and Founder of VeraCentra, a Customer Relationship Agency.
VeraCentra has developed an all in one closed loop answer to your customer marketing efforts. Agency services and marketing technology combine to provide you with a tailored fit solution integrating relationship strategy, data analytics, and design with an automated digital platform. Our services and technology are wrapped around your customers, creating a full embrace that propels loyalty and drives profitability.