No two marketers face the same challenges. We talk to hundreds of marketers each week about the challenges they face, and although scope and details may differ, we’ve noticed a few common threads. These are the top three challenges that marketers at large companies are facing in 2018, and how to fix them:
Creating a seamless customer experience on and offline
Today, customers expect relevant content in relation to what they’re doing anytime, anywhere and in the format and on the device of their choosing. For traditionally brick and mortar brands, this means a digital transformation is necessary for survival (in fact, 87% of executives say that digital is a matter of survival). For companies that started online, a venture into the offline world creates opportunities for loyal customers to further develop their relationships with the brand and creates another avenue to discover new customers.
But how can companies create an offline experience that supports their marketing and branding efforts and vice versa? Online shopping is convenient, but customers crave social and experiential experiences, which can be achieved in a physical store or pop-up event. Leveraging mobile strategies like coupons, apps, and push notifications to drive traffic to stores will not only drive engagement and loyalty with consumers — it will get them in your doors.
In store, expect to use customer data to personalize shopping experiences. Technology has made it easier to target customers based on data they provide, including their buying behavior, product preferences, and demographic information, all of which ultimately drive more sales. Studies have found that consumers browse products on mobile devices for the best price while in a brick-and-mortar store and compare products online to find the lowest price. Having a robust online presence and the resources in-store to provide a cohesive omnichannel experience for customers is a must for brands who want to prosper.
Brands must also embrace user-generated content as part of their marketing strategy. UGC is proven to increase engagement and consumer trust. It allows brands to connect with customers in an authentic way, encouraging loyal customers to become brand advocates. On-demand marketing experts can help you build cart abandonment, promotional programs, and influencer partnerships to expand your digital footprint, as well as mobile apps, events and location-based marketing techniques to reach customers offline.
Driving customer loyalty, plus some
In this digital, data-fueled age, a loyalty program needs to be more than another card cluttering consumers’ wallets. New customers are important, but companies must keep their loyal buyers engaged in order to grow. Personalized, timely loyalty initiatives are a must for companies. These initiatives may range from direct mail offering to email nurture tracks customized to a customer’s lifestyle or demographics. Transparency and values can also drive customer loyalty, with branding playing a large part in the success of this approach. In addition to free loyalty programs, premium loyalty programs (think Amazon Prime) are gaining popularity. The key with premium programs, though, is to ensure that customers clearly see the value of paying to be a part of the program. By partnering with an eCommerce expert, marketers can build a robust loyalty program that both attracts and keeps customers around.
“It might seem obvious, but discounts and special offers still seem to hold a lot of clout among consumers and was cited as the top reason in the survey for brand loyalty. Customers will stay loyal for many reasons, but if you can reward them in kind for their loyalty, you’re not only providing a good experience for them but developing a mutually beneficial relationship for both parties as well. If customers feel valued and are getting a fair deal from their loyalty, then they have no reason to go anywhere else.” -Convince & Convert
One beauty company launched a loyalty program to reward members for not only spending money with the brand but also for sharing content on social media, referring friends, and reading emails. These activities kept members engaged and informed about the brand while promoting the brand’s benefits to a wider audience, turning members into brand advocates. Driving this kind of engagement and loyalty is best done through the expert analysis and interpretation of customer data. Our data and AI experts can help companies dig through their data and turn it into actionable marketing insights.
That leads us to another top challenge for marketers…
Arguably one of the biggest pushes in marketing in recent years has been personalization. Not only do customers want you to know their name and location, but they also want you to anticipate their needs. Getting personalized with customers goes beyond a few basic variable tags and location-based data—you need to get to know them. When was the last time you interviewed a current customer? When was the last time you talked with your sales team to understand what prospective customers are looking for?
In order to break through the clutter online, marketers must be targeted and personal in their outreach. This might include account-based marketing techniques, 1:1 customer journeys, or something completely different. Busy marketers may not have the time or tools to personalize efforts at scale, but personalization can be easier than you think. Remember that personalization doesn’t necessarily mean customization down to the individual customer. Tapping an expert who can help build micro-segments and journeys puts you on the path to relevant and personal programming for your audience.
Done right, personalization enhances customer experience and increases engagement and loyalty by delivering messages that map to and even anticipate what customers will want. Marketing technology and artificial intelligence can help you do just that.
Even the best marketers can’t get everything done without help. Using Torchlite’s on-demand, certified experts allows you to focus on what you do best while the experts knock out projects quickly and effectively. Interested in connecting with a digital marketing expert? Share your marketing challenges and we’ll find the perfect match for you.
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