It is no secret that today’s consumers are smarter, savvier, and demand more from the brands they choose to follow and engage with — and big businesses are listening and investing in elevating the customer experience. However, martech presents a unique challenge within itself.
How can you create personal, long-lasting relationships with customers, while simultaneously using advanced, automated technology that all but eliminates the human factor?
Here’s how to take martech from an overused buzzword to a relevant intersection of marketing and technology that can deliver the experience the consumer is already expecting.
Create the Connections
Personal engagement with the customer goes way beyond using a social media scheduler or an automated email service with the recipient’s first name in the subject line. Consumers these days expect relevant, relatable content catered to them. Advances in marketing technology can analyze and deliver the data to create these emotional connections in real-time — gone are the days of manually sifting through results only to apply them past the expiration date.
Creating personalized, targeted marketing campaigns that sound like they are coming from a friend (as opposed to a robot) will encourage a stronger, lasting connection with the customer.
One of the most creative examples of customer personalization is a campaign easyJet implemented for its 20th birthday celebration. Each subscribed customer received a customized email, highlighting everywhere they had traveled with easyJet to-date.
Check out this email:
There’s no better way to encourage the travel bug than to take a quick (and creative) trip down memory lane. EasyJet was able to transform personal data into an emotional story that resulted in 100% more open rates than traditional newsletters.
Staying in touch with customers is the best way to keep your brand first and foremost in their mind. A consumer may have visited your website once or twice, but that might not be enough interaction for them to actually remember your company, let alone buy from you. It can take up to eight interactions with a brand before a lead turns into a paying customer. In order to ensure better conversion rates, marketers must find a way to keep the communication open between the company and the potential customer.
For example, Sumo is a collection of automation tools that collect important user data from webpage visitors to help convert them into customers. All of these data collection tools can be easily embedded into your existing website and your team can start building lead lists right away, no coding or expertise required. These tools include various strategies for email collection, such as smart popups, compelling CTAs, and share buttons. From here, marketers can easily integrate the data to their existing email marketing lists to reach previously engaged customers who are more likely to convert.
Marketers are constantly battling the competition in order to be heard and should strive to exceed the customer’s expectations in order to set them apart. Having the data is one thing, but creatively implementing it is the real game-changer.
Streamline the Process
Consistency is key. The customer journey should be seamless from channel to channel. Once you’ve hooked them with a personalized email or creative social post, don’t fumble it on the follow-through. Shiny new martech tools and services can maximize your potential to effectively engage, convert and retain. But you have to keep it simple in order to juggle them all successfully.
Let’s say you are a professional service provider marketing a set of online courses. Using an all-in-one platform, like Kajabi, allows you to create the courses, build your website, and launch innovative marketing campaigns in one place with the same identifiable look and feel.
Integrating all of your marketing solutions together streamlines your process and ensures the customer is receiving a cohesive, well-designed experience, from start to finish.
Keep in mind, a simplified internal process goes hand-in-hand with a positive customer-facing experience. If you’re constantly caught in the weeds managing all your SaaS applications, chances are you aren’t efficiently streamlining your workflow. Sooner or later, this will almost certainly have a negative impact on the customer experience.
Luckily, there are SaaS management platforms that help marketing and IT staff consolidate the and manage the entire martech stack. For instance, Torii is an autonomous platform that can help manage your cloud-based martech/adtech stack from a single dashboard. This way, you can apply best practices from “IT governance” to the cloud and improve your SaaS management in terms of visibility, workflow and automation. You have access to multi-source data visualizations, manage subscriptions, and automate updates or renewals for all your SaaS tools.
Identifying and implementing these time-saving solutions across the board will help you to reallocate hours where it matters most — the customer experience.
Nail Your Customer Service
There is an unbelievably large pool of technology that can be harnessed to mass distribute content, analyze performance and gather data on consumers. All of which can be done on an automated scale — which reduces the customer to a number on a spreadsheet, so to speak. But the human component of martech is still just as crucial to the lifespan of a successful business.
One of the most effective ways to elevate the customer experience is to ensure positive, prompt customer service. The “American Express 2017 Customer Service Barometer” reported that a third of Americans consider switching companies after a single negative customer service experience. Moreover, it takes 12 positive experiences to repair the damage caused by a single, unresolved negative one, as Ruby Newell-Legner reveals in “Understanding Customers.”
As we have seen with the rise of social media and fanatical distribution of information, no one wants bad company sentiment to go viral. Many companies use social media monitoring tools to help their customer service team quickly identify and respond to customer issues. A timely (and human) response can make all the difference.
For example, social listening tool Awario helps you monitor the brand mentions you get from social platforms, sort them by geography, language and source, gauge the sentiment of conversations, which can help you develop better ways to address customers’ pain points.
An example of stellar social media support is from Skyscanner — an airline search engine. In this instance, they not only provided prompt service to a mistake on their website, but the social media manager went out of her way to make a personal (and hilarious) connection with the customer that ended up going viral and prompted additional user engagement.
Instead of simply apologizing and fixing a glitch that offered a flight with a 413,786-hour, 25-minute layover (that’s 47 years), she offered some thoughtful ways to pass the time during the epic layover in Bangkok — as well as promised to look into the issue.
As the fusion of marketing and technology catapults us into new dimensions of understanding and analyzing the consumer, it is crucial to maintain a human element in both customer acquisition and retention.
By properly and efficiently using lead generation, CRM and customer service martech tools, you can increase productivity, get better insights from data and engage the customer consistently to create a positive, lasting impression. But a human-to-human connection can rarely be achieved through automation alone.
Recruiting and hiring the appropriate talent in today’s marketing world is just as important as finding the software to take you to the next level. The surface customer experience really doesn’t have anything to do with technology, but the way they are treated by the company and its employees. Every interaction is an opportunity to offer value, sell and retain. Finding the right balance is the key to creating personalized connections that set you ahead of the curve.
People want connections and have no reservations about abandoning brands that offer poor service or lackluster marketing. The world of martech can and should be tapped to better understand who the customer is and what they want — but applying it in a way that puts the customer first as a person, not a number, will make all the difference.