We’ve all seen examples of how delivering an engaging and personalized experience makes all the difference in building a marketing edge. Here are a few examples of companies that are effectively and relentlessly focused on building stronger connections with their customers:
- In July 2017, Bank of America earned 1.2 million views on a Facebook video ad that was a birthday tribute to Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the founder of the Special Olympics. The subtle message highlights the bank’s philanthropy.
- Stephen Colbert interviewed an H&R Block tax professional on his show and performed a segment about the tax season, mentioning H&R Block throughout the segment.
- The United Overseas Bank (UOB) used a video ad to communicate that the bank shares the values its customers care about—honesty, respect, perseverance, and loyalty.
What do these competitors have in common? There is no secret as to why these companies have succeeded, but they do share one common characteristic. They don’t just talk about being customer centric; they are passionate about customer centricity in everything they do. The foundation for their customer connections is a strong digital marketing strategy focused on the customer experience. When your technology and business strategies are closely aligned, you gain insight into your customers, their behaviour, and what attracts and repels them. That sets the stage for more engaging marketing campaigns, and more relevant and attractive offers.
Digital marketers need to better engage customers through a more personalized online experience, employing creativity, context, and content that drives engagement and conversion. This means knowing your customer well enough to present relevant offers when they need them, wherever they are. Using tools like data management platforms (DMPs), leading digital marketers are gaining better knowledge of customers through data—for better segmentation and targeting. They are also looking to social media and its real-time capabilities to spark new conversations with customers.
These initiatives are closely tied to your fundamental business processes. To succeed, you need to break your initiatives down into manageable and repeatable processes. Then move forward in small steps for your proof of concept, test and revise as you go, and make the most of new opportunities as they arise. At the same time, you’ll want to retain focus through effective measurement of results.
For many organizations, this iterative approach demands a fundamental rethink on how to bring about change. It shouldn’t be a long, drawn-out project stretching over four to six months, but shorter, more focused iterations of just four to six weeks. A successful approach to change will link people and business, data, and technology through the following steps:
Test and learn: As new opportunities arise, business capabilities such as real-time community engagement are built through a test-and-learn process. This approach validates the skills and services needed to make use of the new technologies and data sets, before fully committing your entire business and processes in a production environment.
Architect to sustain: The transformation of your digital marketing processes should be based on an advanced business, technology, and data architecture that is evolved to deliver the highest possible flexibility and scalability. By utilizing best practices, you can rapidly focus on the target model, then customize it to suit specific circumstances.
Measure and relate: A key to success in moving from the test-and-learn phase to a sustainable transformation is the ability to measure outputs and outcomes in business terms. You can apply the data and key performance indicators (KPIs) you measure to educate the business in the opportunity that can be realized through an effective marketing transformation.
The pace of change is accelerating in financial services, and keeping pace with new customer expectations isn’t always easy. With the right digital marketing strategy and a carefully planned approach to change, forward-looking organizations can turn today’s challenges into a springboard for growth and new opportunities.
To effectively connect with your customers, read our point-of-view paper, Unlock the Full Potential of Digital Marketing
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