To capture market share from your competition, you have to be better at complex and sophisticated digital marketing than they are. You need to master Customer Engagement Marketing. 

Beating your competition requires relevant nurturing of your audience before, during and after they have chosen to engage with you. It means capturing their expectations, meeting them and delivering value repeatedly, based on knowledge you’re acquiring with each touch point. You need to understand what your customers want from your business to leverage your marketing and operations organizations. 

 

Define the Customer Life Cycle

The customer life cycle has adapted to the rapidly changing landscape of digital outreach opportunities available, but it all comes back to the basics of how the relationship begins. A courtship between customer and business starts with an introduction - Awareness. The brand presents advertising, customer receives information, customer determines fit of advertising with personal wants and needs and either ignores or gives attention to the brand - Interest.
 
When this interest is elevated to engagement, the offer and the want are in line for the customer - Consideration. The engagement turns into sale when the customer finds value in the offer. Where it gets tricky is rebooting the cycle. The introduction has already been made, so now you must continue to learn the evolving wants and needs, re-spark interest, and re-engage the customer so that they buy again and again. 
 

Identify and Develop Your Target Audience

Many businesses can’t pinpoint who their customers truly are and without that knowledge, it’s nearly impossible to figure out what they want. Amazon is a great example of how to do great Customer Engagement Marketing. While most companies will have done price sensitivity tests and know vaguely what their customers can afford and what they may want, the “science” that Amazon applies to their “Featured Personalized Recommendations” is missing.

Amazon captures their audience through customer profiles, collecting some standard data, then learns as you operate inside the site. It aggregates everything they know about the customer, from items they’ve browsed to those they’ve purchased. Amazon collects all of this information, combines it with other “like” customers and provides cross-sell opportunities based on a specific type of customer. It does this so seamlessly that we sometimes forget that we will voluntarily add “impulse” purchases because they fit with what we want and are interested in. 
 

Define Your Data Strategy-How to Apply Amazon Science to Your Business

Amazon does a stellar job of personalizing the customer experience based off of customer data. They know what you’re interested in based on where you’ve clicked, what you’ve browsed, the time you’ve spent on the site, what activities you’ve engaged in, what topics you searched, what devices you search from... and more. Based on the information you’ve provided, they can give you timely messages - emails and specific “calls to action” within the purchase pages on the site. They watch and react to your feedback, tracking behavior and targeting you again for how to provide value, and increase what you’re buying from them.

To do this, Amazon uses multiple engines, but to the consumer, it’s all simple, easy and almost too easy with “click to buy”. Amazon embraces omni-channel marketing. Their email campaigns and promotions work seamlessly with the website. Prime, Amazon’s built in loyalty rewards program, helps consumers derive greater value from its already vast offerings. Plus, the way it promotes like-criteria items allows them to cross-sell and up-sell easily.

Most businesses aren’t built like Amazon but that doesn’t mean that you can’t use technology to give the same kind of value to your customers. 

Leverage Omni-Channel Marketing

Depending on your business, omni-channel marketing will help you deliver personalized messaging that is timely, trackable and targeted. Brands that are engaging with their customers across all digital channels including email, web, social, and mobile are leveraging omni-channel. In order to sustain competitive advantage, this is a requirement.

When you leverage omni-channel marketing, you’ll begin to foster engagement and increase conversions, but to be successful, you have to establish technology to make the process scalable and flexible. 

Omni-channel’s foundation is engagement marketing - engaging an individual customer rather than blasting unfocused messages to a wide audience hoping something will stick. Doing this manually is cost and time prohibitive for most companies. You need automation tools to help you capture your existing audience’s preferences to build “like” personas so you know how to market to new people once you’ve captured their interest through advertising.

You’ll want to employ technology that helps you build customer profiles, manage leads, nurture your audience, as well as broadcast your campaigns. 

Maximize Marketing Impact to Accelerate Revenue

Cloud technology has amplified the effectiveness and customization of marketing messages. Campaigns and promotions can be tracked live worldwide. Marketers can begin to more accurately paint the picture of their customers wants and needs. This clearer image allows operations to build better product bundles and define pricing sensitivities. Marketing and sales can create new promotions and assign campaigns to better capture their audience.

The extra effort needed to apply cloud technology is returned over and over again when the value of the analyzed data is realized. Personalization based on actual customer insights will convert prospects into customers and will transforms one-time buyers into repeat business. 

This means you have a unified view of the customer which allows you to engage omni-channel and monitor performance under one dashboard. Businesses that employ the cloud can listen and respond to customers, building better brand loyalty. They can identify trends and opportunities by analyzing non-siloed data. They can save by automating previously manual tasks. They can reduce confusion and bad data resulting from poor data entry and delayed reporting. 

Moving from Ideation to Execution

Growing your business requires innovative thinking, planning and engagement marketing. To make plans and ideas materialize, you need tools you can rely on to get you there - those tools live in the cloud. To catalyze your movement into the future, you have to start at the individual level.

Engaging individuals with personalized messaging and offers will be monumentally more successful than blasting “gut instinct” marketing to unfocused targets. To imitate or resemble the Amazon buyer experience, you’ll want to start by incorporating tools for profile building, managing leads, nurturing leads, tracking customers and broadcasting digital promotions.

You can then expand into ways to cross-sell and up-sell. But first, learning will be necessary to your success. Learning can be expedited by applying technologies to capture the voice of your customer. Monitoring social and web commentary can be a window into your customers thoughts and wants. 

The Path to Engagement Marketing Maturity

Step 1: Work with Strategists to Define Your Goals - are you focused on immediate improvement, long term solutions or something in between?

Step 2: Seek the Right Tools - the tools are only part of the picture when it comes to project success. Knowing what's available will help you get focused.

Step 3: Plan Your Roll Out Process - when it comes to technology, a poorly planned execution is worse than maintaining the status quo. Defining what the roll out will look like for your business can save you lots of time and money. Make sure you're ready for change before investing in expensive new systems.

Step 4: Work with Subject Matter Experts - Modern digital marketing requires resources that are a hybrid technologist and marketing strategist. Partner with strategic advisors that possess both skills.

Step 5: Begin the Work - start by capturing new data, map your customer journeys, and target their buying moments. Create voice of the customer response programs to expedite insight gathering.
 

Choosing the Best Partner

When you choose Acumen Solutions, you’re not only choosing a consulting company that has been trusted by the Fortune 500, nor the experts who have assisted on major government technology roll outs; you’re choosing a partner who understands your business and wants to help you make the most of your existing technologies. 

We begin by translating your customers’ brand perception into actionable campaigns and promotions - driving stronger loyalty. We then embrace the technologies that work for you and begin to map out how to automate your marketing through the development of customer personas, defining customer journeys and breaking down the campaign elements and promotions that will be essential to your engagement.
 

Our mastery of Salesforce, as Salesforce Global Strategic Partner, allows us to apply tools from the Salesforce platform that best fit your business needs to assemble and implement customer profiles, manage leads, and nurture prospects in an automated way.

We can also help you to use CRM, social, and web technologies to collect vital customer data about your business services and products. 

 

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Digital Marketing Maturity: How to Optimize the Digital Experience a Consumer Has with Your BrandDownload