Kalpit Jain

Kalpit Jain is the CEO of Netcore Solutions.

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Why Customers Stop Engaging With Brands

Today it is becoming easier for leading marketers to deliver consistent omnichannel customer experience across all channels through Customer Value Analytics (CVA) based on Big Data.

In the last 15 years, the average attention of a consumer has plummeted from 12 seconds to 8 seconds! With the rise and penetration of smartphones, apps, chat messengers and wearables, the consumers today are juggling between mediums to access information. This has further complicated things for CMOs, who are now in a constant struggle to find the right content, medium and time to reach out to the right set of customers.

This is in stark contrast to the era when there were no smartphones and internet; and hence, brand communication was never personalised. Brands were accustomed to a method often referred to as ‘spray and pray’— there was one brand campaign that was sent to the whole database notwithstanding the preference of the consumer.

Largely, this was due to the high cost involved in personalising the content, but there was also a lack of ‘understanding’ about the customer. Even when the internet penetration improved, brands had a new opportunity to reach out to the customers: digital marketing.

Alas! even in the nascent stages of digital marketing brands continued with database marketing tactics— practices that had already shown signs of redundancy. As expected, the results didn’t show any drastic change since it was governed by the GIGO (Garbage in; Garbage out) philosophy.

Transition matters more than switching

Today, with the number of ‘inboxes’ a customer has to juggle— be it the email inbox, social media inbox (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, among others), and now even a smartwatch— consumers are increasingly glancing through all the messages and engaging with the content only if it is relevant and personalised for them.

With dwindling ROIs and falling customer retention, marketing automation has today became an epochal need. Big data, customer personas and 1-to-1 marketing or mass personalization are no more mere buzz words. Efforts to inundate customers with unidirectional and non-personalised messages are leading to a situation of ‘message fatigue’.  As a result, the bounce rates, unsubscribe rates and even uninstall rates (for apps) have gone up considerably in the recent past. Moreover, brands risk being penalised by email service providers like Gmail if an irrelevant content is delivered to customers; thus, impacting the overall reputation of the brand.

This was acknowledged in the 2015 survey by PwC and Forrester Consulting wherein 79% percent of survey respondents said that personalization is very important to achieving their top marketing and customer experience goals, like increasing customer satisfaction, building customer loyalty, and acquiring new customers.

The report also pointed out that while nearly all firms said they personalise through email (87%), far fewer said they can personalise across new channels like mobile (51%) and social (62%). Less than half of firms are using customer interaction and contextual data for personalisation, which means most of their efforts are general and segmented, not focused on the individual.

Thus, the need of the hour is to adopt an ‘Infinite Marketing’ strategy that utilises a unified view of the customer and intelligently automates marketing messages based on consumer personas across different channels.

Understanding customer personas

Today it is becoming easier for leading marketers to deliver consistent omnichannel customer experience across all channels through Customer Value Analytics (CVA) based on Big Data. Increasing quality of sales leads, improving the quality of sales lead data, improving prospecting list accuracy, territory planning, win rates and decision maker engagement strategies are all areas where big data is making a contribution to sales today.

In this era of in-the-moment marketing, customer personas are being created on real-time basis utilising the ‘digital pheromones’ that customers leave across the digital universe. And contrary to the general perception aged data can sometimes be ineffective. For instances, if a customer was on your owned property (app, website etc.) and searching for a smartphone, the data captured during this activity may not be relevant after 30 days, since most customers complete the research to purchase cycles in less than 30 days.

Through cluster analytics and intent marketing tools, marketers can also analyse customer data to predict what a customer is likely to buy next. In addition, brand owners are now also using the data intelligence to gauge which medium is more effective for a particular persona. For instance, when HDFC Life, a leading life insurance company, switched to a full-stack marketing technology platform, it realised that woman were 1.5 times more actively engaging with brand communications on SMS in comparison with men. Using similar intelligence, HDFC Life was able to create 60 to 70 personas of its potential customers, and create an automated, personalised communication strategy for each persona.

Today, digital marketing is all about content, and content continues to be the king. Hence it is important that content is made in an engaging fashion which compels consumers to take notice of the messages shared by the brands. Brevity in communication is also important, for eg: in a push notification, the marketers needs to deliver the right kind of engaging messages in lesser words that grabs the attention of the consumers.

In conclusion

For brands to reap the benefits of its marketing investments, it is imperative that customers are exposed to messages that are relevant to them, on the most relevant channel or medium at the most convenient time. These factors hold the gospel truth for creating a successful marketing campaign in today’s world of digital nomads. In brevity: know your customers better so that they like you more. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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