Shoppers are using multiple channels to research product information and collect reviews before completing a purchase. Noting this trend, retailers are meeting consumers at their channels of choice and providing the desired information in order to increase the likelihood of purchase and foster brand loyalty.
To help retailers along this journey, a recent webinar revealed how retailers can move past “batch and blast” marketing techniques and develop meaningful, one-to-one communication with shoppers in the channels they frequent. Jeff Nicholson, VP of Product Marketing, Customer Analytics and Interaction at Pitney Bowes Business Insight, shared these and other strategies in the Loyalty 360 webinar titled Customer-Centric Marketing: Making the Move from Campaigns to Cross-Channel Dialogue.
To formulate a strategy that delivers relevant dialogue, companies must first understand the new definition of “customer-centric,” Nicholson explained. In the new age of customer loyalty, “customer-centric” marketing focuses on communicating with consumers in the channels and during the times that work best for them, he noted. “Customer-centric marketing is when you are actually able to execute at the individual level,” according to Nicholson.
Although a poll conducted during the webinar revealed that 80% of attendees believe their company focuses on customer-centric marketing techniques, Nicholson believes that majority of campaigns are more focused on selling a specific product or service. “We tend to see that organizations are not set up to be customer-centric,” he said. “They’re still operationally focused, they still have product managers that are responsible for product unit and dollar revenue and they’re pushing campaigns out in a product-specific manner.”
While discussing the new age of customer-centric marketing, Nicholson spotlighted the “Customer Centricity Chasm,” which reveals the misalignment between customers’ expectations of retailers and what tactics marketing teams actually are deploying. Although shoppers want retailers to understand them, remember and value their business, and stay connected with them across touch points they frequent, merchants tend to develop product-centric campaigns that merely create customer fatigue from an influx of marketing schemes, Nicholson explained.
“As a result, consumers are less engaged,” he said. “And it’s not intentional — as a business we want them to be engaged. But despite our best efforts they’re not engaged because we’re not able to meet those expectations.”
By analyzing customer behavior, retailers can find out which channels are most-utilized by their target audience. This technique allows retailers to better predict future shopping trends and focus on developing marketing messages that will truly resonate. “Customers are looking for you to focus your strategies and not send out things that are going to drive them away,” Nicholson said. “It’s going to be important for you to focus on those things that can change their behavior and get them to do something they wouldn’t have normally done on their own.”
Retailers can develop an efficient, step-by-step plan for effective one-to-one dialogue by following a “Who, What, Where, Why, When and How” calculation, according to Nicholson.
This strategy allows retailers to investigate the following components:
– Who is the primary audience you’re trying to reach?;
– What exactly should be said to them that will peak attention?;
– Where are they located?;
– Why are we interacting and what is the context of our communication?;
– When should I speak to them?; and
– How should I interact with them and through what channel?
To learn more about how to orchestrate effective, one-to-one customer dialogue across multiple channels, view the on-demand version of the webinar here.