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Engaging Consumers Starts With Understanding Them

People are people. We all have needs and desires that ebb and flow in accordance with a million other variables in life.

The good news for organizations is this: With a sound data model, great analytics, and a design-driven attitude, orchestrating meaningful customer connections and experiences is very much in reach.

The first step: Never forget who you’re interacting with. Understanding customers as real people is the very foundation for long-term trust, and it also sets the stage for a personalized engagement strategy.

The Human Side Of Data
A human-centric approach comprises the following: data privacy and security; customer experience (CX) design and optimization; the ability to support unstructured data forms; and new communication channels.

An underpinning data model that brings everything back to a single view of the customer also is essential. So is following customers at every point throughout their journey–from awareness and consideration to, hopefully, purchase, loyalty, and repurchase. These, and more, are critical moments of truth where you have an opportunity to interact with the customer in a personalized and contextual way.

Customer-Centricity For The Win
According to Econsultancy’s “2018 Digital Trends” report, published in association with Adobe, brands with a strong focus on CX, CX design, and other customer-centric elements are 57% more likely to have significantly surpassed their 2017 business goals.

That demonstrates the effectiveness of a client-driven, not sales-driven, strategy. 

Indeed, in this digital world, power is in the hands of the consumer. Independent review sites, the power of instant feedback on social media, and the ability for news—good and bad—to spread instantly makes it impossible for organizations to magically manoeuvre their way to customer loyalty.  

For brands that are genuinely trying their best to support their customers, the possibilities for using digital marketing to create meaningful connections and relationships with customers are endless.

And make no mistake: Customer expectations around transparent, meaningful interactions with brands will only rise. Great products, sold and supported by good, caring people, are something to shout about. Customers are hungry for it, and if it’s real, they will buy it and be loyal.  

Handle With Care
With data availability set to grow exponentially, my advice to regional brands is to leverage intelligence in order to improve the delivery and management of meaningful, personalized customer interactions. This also calls for an alignment of your data and analytics infrastructure with your marketing and advertising technology infrastructure.

When done right, the future for consumer interactions is bright–and I love that because, at the end of the day, I’m a consumer, too.

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