Find the right path for your business with our 2014 recommendations
Regardless of whether you’re a SME or a multinational, whether you have a marketing team numbering in the hundreds or just you, now is the time to decide what 2014 holds for you and your marketing strategy.
If you’re looking to understand where to invest your budget for maximum return, try these recommendations to help lead the conversation in your business over the next twelve months.
Focus on customer engagement
Map your customer journey to understand exactly at which point your customers engage with you.
Try to map out the total customer experience across all touch points between your customer and your organisation, from initial contact, through purchasing, after sales support, and hopefully onto renewal/repurchase.
This maps the experience that:
- You want to provide to the customer
- The customer would like to receive
What are the most important factors from the customers’ perspective in determining whether they will remain loyal to your brand? The gaps between the desired customer experience and the one actually received – the “moments of truth” – indicate where the actions need to be focused. Develop a plan around how you manage those engagement touch points and analyse how you could improve each.
Take a in depth look at how customers are currently experiencing your brand.
- Whether online or offline, and whether it’s a function of marketing or another department entirely, examine and document the current brand experience your customers have at every touch point
- Remember that these touch points can occur anywhere, from a conversation with a call centre, to social media, brick-and-mortar and beyond
- Are there gaps and areas for improvement? These should be addressed in a new action plan to establish the ideal customer journey and develop a strategy for incrementally getting there
Develop a clear data strategy.
- Take an inventory of the customer and prospect data you have already and where that data is lacking
- Create a plan to collect that data over time and across multiple customer interactions—because asking for a lot of information at once can be a barrier to engagement
Consider your channel options.
- Compare the marketing channels you’re using to the channels other marketers are using within your field. There are dozens of reports which highlight the benefits of each channel and how relevant they are to your industry
- Form a strategy around your presence within those channels—whether you flock to the most common channels or you choose to stand out by using an lesser-utilized channel, like mobile
Evaluate your lifecycle campaigns.
- Take inventory of your programs across all four lifecycle stages; acquire, on-board, engage, and retain
- Identify gaps across the lifecycle stages and implement campaigns to ensure that you have some form of engagement with your customers during each of these critical stages
Roll out responsive design across mobile and web.
- Determine how many of your subscribers open your emails on a mobile device. If you have a substantial amount of mobile opens—like an increasing number of marketers report – put a responsive design plan into action right away
- Evaluate the social media channels available and create a pros and cons list for each accurate to your market and business
- Choose one or two channels to focus your efforts on first—then you can more easily scale successful strategies to other channels later on
Hone in on clear objectives.
- Establish measurable goals to avoid feeling unsure of whether your social media efforts are performing
- Add consistency to the list, and create metrics around how often you will post content, how quickly you’ll respond to customer messages, etc
Don’t ignore the importance of mobile.
- For most businesses, mobile is still a largely untapped opportunity—evaluate if mobile is right for your company
- Research what pioneers in mobile are already doing and see if any of those strategies are relevant to your customers. And since mobile marketing is still in its infancy, don’t be afraid to try out a few of your own ideas, too. If you’re struggling to make sense of what has been done before you and how you could apply it to your business, let MTM know and we can provide assistance on getting you started
Integrate your mobile efforts
- Map your broader marketing strategies alongside your mobile strategy to determine areas where the two can work together
- Bringing your email and mobile efforts together can be one of the easiest ways to see an instant return and pilot the success of mobile integration
Start communicating 1:1 with your customers.
- Collecting behaviour-based data is the best way to start working toward high-quality personalised messages
- Launch a more robust preference centre to give customers the opportunity to voluntarily share the data they’d like to shape future messages
Think about personalisation beyond email
- Today’s marketers are unveiling personalised web experiences that reach far beyond email-only personalisation to reach customers wherever they are
- Begin working toward cross-channel personalisation for social, mobile, and web if your email personalisation is already top-tier
Special thanks to Exact Target for the research findings used within this article.