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Budget Planning for Real-Time Personalized Customer Experiences

The budget planning season is nearly upon us and it’s time to start thinking about what is needed to empower our marketing departments and improve our capability to deliver personalized customer experiences in real-time.

The question is, where to begin? In my experience, the only place to start is with an assessment of what new technologies and tools your team needs to successfully meet the demands of the customer, drive loyalty, and increase revenue.

Customer Experience Technologies Now Accessible by All Companies

Technologies that can advance your team’s capability to add context, cross channel, and real time to their marketing programs, are now readily available to all companies, no matter their size. They can be easily integrated into or layered onto existing systems to optimize the tools already have in place.

3 Capabilities Needed to Deliver Real-Time Customer Experience

Empowering our marketing teams and improve our ability to deliver personalized customer experiences we need to assess our organization’s capability to execute the following:

Real-Time Customer Experiences

An Investment that Pays off with Increased Revenue                                 

The value of these enabling technologies is clear – they empower your team to deliver the personalized customer experiences that increase customer loyalty and drive overall customer lifetime value, thus increasing revenue for your organization.

And research to backs this up– McKinsey reports that delivering a contextually relevant message is up to 50 times more likely to trigger a purchase that a low impact recommendation.

So, jump in – you have nothing to lose and everything to gain… To find out more about what technologies you should consider, download our recently published eBook: How to Apply Context, Cross Channel, and Real-time to Your Marketing Programs.

About VeraCentra: Marketers everywhere want to use data to implement more modern customer engagement strategies. But there can be many obstacles standing in the way of success. That’s where we come in. VeraCentra provides easy-access Customer Data Hubs. We represent best of breed Cross Channel Engagement Platforms (so marketers get the right fit) and offer the Marketing and Data Services that guarantee speed to value and quick win ROI from technology investments. We deliver these solutions with an unmatched wholehearted approach bringing personalized support, care, and service to every client. That’s why many of our client relationships span more than a decade.

 

 

The Benefits of Machine Learning for Marketing

Machine learning is playing a bigger role in our daily lives.  Look no further than Apple’s Siri, “you might also like” suggestions on Amazon, or pre-approved credit offers, to experience machine learning in action.  By definition, machine learning is artificial intelligence that enables the ability to learn and create accurate predictions without explicit programming.  While machine learning applications can be leveraged across the entire enterprise, the benefits of machine learning for marketing are nothing but exciting!

Data is the Key to Competitive Differentiation

Few can argue that today’s competitive differentiation lies in our ability to use data to better understand customers.  We use that insight to take action on what we know by designing personalized experiences.

One common challenge amongst marketers is the ability to harness the power of the vast and varied amount of data generated by our customers.  The second challenge falls in the ability operationalize the insight and the ability to scale communications in real-time, so customers enjoy a personalized experience.

This where machine learning plays a key strategic role in marketing.

Predict, Optimize, and Automate

To fully leverage machine learning, all customer data must be connected to form a single 360º view of customer activity, across all channels and devices. Machine learning can then predict, optimize, and automate real-time decisioning to drive next best actions including; offers, alerts, notifications, and other contextually correct and relevant messages.  The benefits of machine learning include the ability to efficiently create meaningful customer experiences, at scale with reduced marketing effort.   What could be more exciting?

Learn more about the benefits of machine learning for marketing in our just published eBook, How to apply Context, Cross Channel and Real-Time to Your Marketing Programs.

 About VeraCentra: Marketers everywhere want to use data to implement more modern customer engagement strategies. But there can be many obstacles standing in the way of success. That’s where we come in. VeraCentra provides easy-access Customer Data Hubs. We represent best of breed Cross Channel Engagement Platforms (so marketers get the right fit) and offer the Marketing and Data Services that guarantee speed to value and quick win ROI from technology investments. We deliver these solutions with an unmatched wholehearted approach bringing personalized support, care, and service to every client. That’s why many of our client relationships span more than a decade.

 

 

Digital Disruption and Personalized Customer Experiences

Most people think of digital disruption as reinvention of new business models that shake up the status quo, like what Uber did to car transportation.  But if you are working for a company established long before the rise of digital connection, you are likely looking for ways to digitally transform certain parts of a current working business model.  And that transformation is crucial when it comes to creating a competitive advantage.

More Companies Need Transformation 

A recent IBM study reports, 72% of businesses are not prepared for digital disruption, despite the fact that disruption innovators are in a position to outperform their competitors.  What’s holding these businesses back?  Perhaps transforming a current business model is more challenging than creating and launching a new model.  In any case, finding ways to react and shape digital transformation can be found by strategizing new, and different, ways to create more personalized customer experiences.

Customers today want to remain constantly connected to the people, the brands, and the things that matter most to them. And how they remain connected is what’s most critical to explore. From fitness wearables to smart appliances and other IoT, it’s how our customers connect today that offers the greatest opportunity to innovate.  We must look beyond the traditional communication channels.  Our strategies must embrace new ways to connect with customers digitally and must be highly relevant while being seamless and without friction.

Data and Agility Is Needed to Compete in a Digitally Disrupted World

Digital transformation and the ability to create personalized experiences cannot happen without the ability to collect, integrate, and analyze all customer data. The ability to activate that data in real-time by providing customer messages in context, across any digital channel or device, is the key to the type of personalization that creates digital competitive advantage.

Today’s technologies can facilitate the real-time agility and cross devise connection you need.  But do not assume technology drives digital transformation.  Strategy must take the lead, and robust technologies follow as enablers to strategy execution.

For more information about technology that supports digital transformation, download this solution brief provided by our technology partner, RedPoint Global.

About VeraCentra: Marketers everywhere want to use data to implement more modern customer engagement strategies. But there can be many obstacles standing in the way of success. That’s where we come in. VeraCentra provides easy-access Customer Data Hubs. We represent best of breed Cross Channel Engagement Platforms (so marketers get the right fit) and offer the Marketing and Data Services that guarantee speed to value and quick win ROI from technology investments. We deliver these solutions with an unmatched wholehearted approach bringing personalized support, care, and service to every client. That’s why many of our client relationships span more than a decade.

 

 

Investing in Personalized Customer Experiences

Marketing is facing a new reality; that of transformation. The technologies customers use to interact with brands are transforming not only the way we do marketing but also the way we need to treat our customers. We know we need to do something to deliver more personalized customer experiences, especially when our competitors are early adopters. None of us wants to, or can afford to, lose any of our competitive advantage. But where do we start?

The Balancing Act – Business vs. Customer

There is always the need to balance valid business concerns with the desire to take care of our customers. After all, we will not do ourselves, or our organization, any favors if we don’t stay keenly aware of our responsibility to strike the right balance between customer need and what the organization can realistically invest.

The debate does not center around whether to invest in delivering more personalized customer experience, but how much do we need to invest to transform. Can we migrate in a couple of areas to deliver the value needed to execute more personalized customer experiences?

Understanding the Expectations of YOUR Customers

Customers’ expectations vary by brand, so it is difficult to assess your marketing organization’s needs until you understand, fully, what your customers’ expectations are when it comes to personalized experiences from your brand. So start there.

Once you have this understanding, assess where your company is in terms of delivering your customers’ expectations. Identify the gaps between company/organizational capabilities and customers’ expectations. Prioritize the capabilities you need to shore up or develop to close the gap. Lastly, build a plan to fill the gap with reasonable investments you can afford.

Delivering more personalized customer experiences is not an option in today’s transformational marketing landscape. Striking a balance between our business needs and our customers desires requires a fresh look at where we are with our specific customers and closing the gap in a judicious manner.

To find out more download VeraCentra’s e-book,

Five Ways to Kick Customer Engagement into High Gear.

 

About VeraCentra: Marketers everywhere want to use data to implement more modern customer engagement strategies. But there can be many obstacles standing in the way of success. That’s where we come in. VeraCentra provides easy-access Customer Data Hubs. We represent best of breed Cross Channel Engagement Platforms (so marketers get the right fit) and offer the Marketing and Data Services that guarantee speed to value and quick win ROI from technology investments. We deliver these solutions with an unmatched wholehearted approach bringing personalized support, care, and service to every client. That’s why many of our client relationships span more than a decade.  We’ve made it our mission to help marketers advance and thrive.  Learn more about us at veracentra.com.

 

 

Increase Differentiation by Orchestrating Real-Time Customer Interactions

Creating great customer experiences is not a new concept for marketers. We all know today’s customer is driven as much by the experience the brand offers as the products and services it sells.

In fact, Gartner Research reported recently that 89% of marketers expect customer experience management (CEM) to be their primary differentiator. This begs the question — what can we do to deliver a differentiated customer experience?  The answer — orchestrate real-time personalized customer interactions.

What does that even mean?  Are we being hit with yet another buzz word? Maybe. But, the term orchestration is the best way to describe the migration from batch based, calendar based, and channel based campaigns to marketing’s ability to manage discrete customer interactions, across all touchpoints. In other words, with orchestration ability, we finally get to build a relationship with our customers, one customer at a time.

If we are able to deliver personalized messages by managing these individual interactions, we take a giant step forward in delivering a differentiated customer experience.

New Times Call for New Methods

The way customers interact with our companies today does not match the way we currently deliver our marketing messages.  We focus on out-bound campaigns, targeting the same message to a customer group in a scheduled or triggered way.  Our ability to break free from this traditional marketing methodology and our ability to migrate to orchestrating personalized messages, whenever and where ever the customer shows up, is the very crux of successfully delivering a differentiated customer experience.

What it Takes to Create Real-Time Personalized Customer Interactions

Personalizing and managing customer interactions requires the right orchestration enabling technologies.  When you decide to make the leap to manage your messages as an orchestrated approach several critical components must come together.

You need the ability to:

  1. Capture all customer interaction data from multiple source applications and cleanse, transform, and centralize it.
  2. Establish a single identity for a customer, valid across all touchpoints.
  3. Leverage analytics to understand not only multiple customer interactions but also, intent at each touchpoint.
  4. Based on this insight, build and execute cross channel journeys or workflows. (You will need engagement platform technology capable of executing across all your channels.)
  5. Leverage automated trigger capability to immediately respond to customers when they engage.
  6. Use machine learning capabilities and in line analytics to trigger the next best message and interaction.
  7. Use customer metrics such as customer lifetime value, engagement, and satisfaction to determine success.

Don’t Wait Too Long

If customer experience is our primary differentiator, speed is critical.  Buzz words or not, real-time, orchestrated, and personalized customer interaction is fast becoming the new marketing methodology.  For our customers, a personalized interaction creates a positive customer experience, which is the new standard for driving differentiation.

Ultimately, adopting this more modern approach will drive more revenues, increased loyalty, and improve our internal efficiency.

To find out more about how you can orchestrate your customer interactions, download VeraCentra’s e-book, Five Ways to Kick Customer Engagement into High Gear. 

About VeraCentra: Marketers everywhere want to use data to implement more modern customer engagement strategies. But there can be many obstacles standing in the way of success. That’s where we come in. VeraCentra provides easy-access Customer Data Hubs. We represent best of breed Cross Channel Engagement Platforms (so marketers get the right fit) and offer the Marketing and Data Services that guarantee speed to value and quick win ROI from technology investments. We deliver these solutions with an unmatched wholehearted approach bringing personalized support, care, and service to every client. That’s why many of our client relationships span more than a decade.  We’ve made it our mission to help marketers advance and thrive.  Learn more about us at veracentra.com.