Patrick Tripp, SVP of Product Marketing at Cheetah Digital, gives the top five questions to ask your MarTech vendor about customer engagement.
“Engagement” is a foundational element of any marketing programme. Customer engagement goes well beyond targeting, content, channels, and messaging to really building a lasting relationship with a customer at an individual level across the lifecycle. For brands to succeed, this requires sensitivity and a light touch.
Marketers want to better understand and anticipate the customer behaviour that drives engagement. However, engagement data and channels often aren’t integrated, so we miss out on opportunities to make a bigger impact.
According to Gallup, customers who are fully engaged represent a 23 per cent premium in terms of share of wallet, profitability, revenue, and relationship growth over the average customer. In fact, engaged customers shopping for electronics visit websites 44 per cent more compared to disengaged shoppers, and spend an average of $84 more (Gallup).
Cross-channel customer engagement allows marketers to deliver valuable experiences to consumers at any moment or touchpoint. If you are looking for the best customer engagement strategies and technology, ensure you ask your MarTech provider these five questions:
1. Can you easily segment audiences for targeted marketing campaigns?
Segmentation is key to effective personalisation and is an area all of the marketers we work with are actively trying to improve. Some companies are distributed globally, some are houses of brands with unique identities that are still trying to better target and cross-sell campaigns based on specific customer attributes such as purchases, affinities, and demographic preferences. We are seeing more and more customers move from batch and blast to more triggered, targeted, and events-based segmentation.
2. Can you orchestrate experiences across multiple inbound and outbound channels seamlessly?
In order to be great at engagement, we need to meet consumers where they are: mobile, social, email, web, in-store, and even good old direct mail. Journey orchestration is the great connector to ensure the left hand and the right hand of your marketing programmes are coordinated, avoiding channel conflict or customer fatigue. This helps resolve the age-old problem that marketers have struggled with: different MarTech tools and databases existing in each channel. We really need to focus on “touchpoints” as the moments that matter with brands and consumers. Channels are the tactical means to support that.
3. Can you send messages and emails at high volume and scale?
With seasonality spikes in so many industries, and with COVID-19 driving digital transformation more rapidly, delivering personalised messages and offers in emails at scale are key to effective customer engagement. For example, the ROI of sending email at scale is still one of the highest of all channels, at $42 return for every $1 spent. You need a provider who has been there and done that, to the tune of hundreds of billions of messages per year.
4. Can you leverage send-time optimisation to find the optimal times for message delivery?
Machine learning and analytics can be powerful drivers to help marketers optimise conversions through automatically recommending send times for messages sent across the globe, regardless of timezone. This can be based on feedback from thousands of clicks, opens, and conversions, and make marketers’ lives much easier and focus more on content and strategy.
5. Can you deliver real-time and triggered messaging?
Real-time is often the speed of the customer or, more accurately, delivering content at the right time for the customer. Real-time might mean seconds, minutes, hours, or longer, depending on the context, scenario, preferences, and customer behaviour. If someone fills out a form, abandons a cart or session, or makes a purchase, you need to be able to react quickly and efficiently to continue the dialog. The key here is ensuring brands are delivering moments of value when it matters, and doing so at an individual level instead of in a batch process.
The value in adopting an effective customer engagement strategy could mean reducing acquisition costs by as much as 50 per cent, lift revenues by 15 per cent, and increase marketing spend efficiency by 20 per cent or more (McKinsey). The ultimate goal of customer engagement is to create a value exchange with consumers where they are sharing data willingly, and brands are providing more effective and engaging experiences.