4 Tips on Critical Capabilities for Customer-First Marketing

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Key Takeaways

What? Customer-centric marketing is critical for success in an un-enterprise world.

So what? The ability to listen, reach and engage with customers at every touch point can build brand advocacy and create a unified environment.

Now what? To learn how CMOs from IBM, Nasdaq, Microsoft and more are adapting to a customer-first approach, download, "The Customer-First Future of Marketing."

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Learn how enterprises can bridge the gap between the conventional marketing approach and the ideal marketing state by rewiring marketing technology for an un-enterprise, customer-first world.

Implementing customer-centric marketing requires collaboration across departments, markets, business units and channels. Knowing who your customers are, where and when to reach them, and how to best engage with them requires all the facets of an enterprise to be integrated and unified. To succeed in an un-enterprise world, there are several mission-critical objectives:

1. The Ability to Listen to Customers

In the modern world, brands need to be able to process conversations taking place across an ever-increasing number of communication channels and touch points. The ability to listen to your customers and understand who they are allows enterprises to deliver more human and intuitive experiences, at every touch point, for every individual.

To accomplish this, customer-facing teams must be properly equipped to not only capture insights from millions of interactions, but also to analyze these insights at scale and take the appropriate action. Forward-thinking marketing leaders are recognizing the benefits of leveraging robust social listening engines to empower more informed, strategic decisions.

Social listening enables enterprises to assess and analyze the digital conversations taking place about their brand by providing answers to the following questions:

  • What are my customers talking about?

  • What do my customers care about?

  • What is being said about my company, its products and its services?

  • What industry trends are shaping the conversation at large?

  • What content is gaining the most engagement for my competitors?

At Microsoft’s Social Command Center, active listening is the first step in crafting memorable customer experiences. The team’s social listening software pulls in about 150 million conversations each year. After AI filters scan and deactivate all the irrelevant conversations (e.g., someone cleaning the “windows in their office”) 5 million are handled personally. The social team directly reaches out to customers with personalized messages and custom-made content.

WHITE PAPER DOWNLOAD: The Customer-First Future of Marketing

2. The Ability to Engage Customers

Leading companies take the act of listening one step further, by leveraging those customer insights to drive engagement strategies. At Microsoft, ideas and suggestions from customers are processed and forwarded to development teams, to be turned into product improvements. And once a product has been updated, the company circles back with those customers letting them know. These customers, in turn, organically advocate on behalf of the brand and market Microsoft products to their networks. Across all these touch points – from product research to marketing – the customer plays an active and integral role.

The brand is maniacally focused on showing, not just telling, customers that it cares about the customer experience. Microsoft CMO Grad Conn says, “Classically, in marketing, we’ve told people what we want them to think: ‘My brand is fun. My brand is trustworthy. My brand is friendly.’ The problem is that customers are no longer buying it. We’ve shifted from a mass broadcast model to a stimulus response model, and the onus is on brands to spark a real, positive reaction that results in someone coming to their own conclusion that the brand is fun, trustworthy and friendly.”

3. The Ability to Reach Customers

Listening to conversations about the brand and flipping the syntax can help enterprises know what kind of content needs to be created to effectively engage with customers.

Delivering this content to customers, however, is another story. In most organizations, silos separate advertising teams from content and research teams. This often results in inefficient and ineffective advertising. But integrating these advertising efforts with listening and publishing enables enterprises to deliver the right ads to the right people on the right channel, using content that’s most relevant to them. This is the intersection of micro-targeting and macro-reach that allows enterprises to effectively deliver personal interactions across a much wider audience. Integration enables teams to collaborate more effectively, and the enterprise to stretch marketing dollars further.

In an un-enterprise world, the ability to reach, engage and listen to customers is non-negotiable. Equally important is the way in which you approach these capabilities.

4. Migrating from Point Solutions

On average, marketers use 12 distinct tool sets to support the collection, management and deployment of marketing data, and some marketers use more than 30 different tools on a regular basis.

The problem with adding another point solution to your arsenal of existing tools is that most of these siloed solutions are unable to communicate with one another. They require different interfaces, credentials and work flows. They often use different metrics and methods of reporting, too. With one or two point solutions, the inconvenience is negligible, but an entire ecosystem of point solutions will not provide your enterprise with the insights needed to attain rich customer profiles.

When you have a point solution for planning, publishing, engagement, listening, asset management, reporting, audience profiling, reporting, governance and a dozen other functionalities, it’s a losing battle. “As a CMO, the only way for me to see that I’m going to take a revenue commitment is by knowing I’ve got enough control of the different stages of what’s happening in the nurture cycle to modify things so that it all works,” Conn says. “I need a holistic view and disparate point solutions will never achieve this.”

With every customer-facing team collaborating and serving customers in a unified environment, enterprises can manage new expectations at scale, deliver human and intuitive experiences at every touch point for every customer and build advocacy for their brand.

To learn new marketing strategies for a customer-first world, download: The Customer-First Future of Marketing.

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Author Bio:

<p>Sprinklr is a social media management platform (SMM) that provides digital transformation solutions for enterprise businesses, with a focus on customer-first.<p>
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