Using email to curate one-to-one relationships with customers
Columnist Scott Heimes believes marketers need to choose the right marketing technology to help them leverage data that will deliver personalized experiences to customers through email.
Many marketers understand the challenges of connecting with customers, yet some still prioritize promotions and advertising campaigns over what customers actually want and what the brands they serve strive for: one-to-one conversations and enduring relationships with consumers.
Brands are increasingly relying on technologies that enable one-to-one conversations with customers, yet still struggle to personalize their communications to foster strong and enduring customer relationships.
Fostering meaningful customer relationships through personalization
Email marketing is one of the most effective media to develop meaningful, one-to-one relationships with customers. Personalization is more important than ever for marketers, especially within email campaigns. But while email is one of the most popular forms of communication for businesses, marketers are not using it to its full potential.
Marketers need to remember that all relationships are give and take. While consumers find value in a brand’s products, the products alone do not provide the deeper connection to that brand.
Marketers should ensure they are adding value to a customer’s entire experience, using messages that are highly relevant to them, and understand that personalization must go beyond just using a first name in their communications.
Reaching the inbox through proper data integration and management
One of the biggest barriers for marketers looking to enhance their email program is that they have a hard time assessing how each customer interacts with their brand. Companies integrate data but ultimately fail to create meaningful action among their customers. This absence of customer understanding leads to a lack of personalization and context.
Thirty-three percent of marketers say that data collection and analysis is the most useful technology for understanding customers, according to Econsultancy. To win, serve and retain customers in the digital age, marketers must leverage data to deliver rich, immersive and contextual experiences through emails that are personalized and based on real-time behaviors and interactions.
However, many brands still struggle with this approach due to the limitations of current tools and implementation systems for marketing technology. If businesses can overcome these challenges and can consolidate and manage their data, they can use it to increase customer understanding and personalization and deepen customer relationships, which ultimately provides competitive advantages.
Choosing technology to maximize your customers’ experiences
To help their organizations maximize the value of customer interactions through personalization, marketers must drive the analysis and selection process of the right technology solutions. Marketers may choose to purchase off-the-shelf solutions or build their own, but some are beginning to take a hybrid approach which involves integrating a third-party marketing technology solution with their company’s custom in-house technologies and data.
By doing so, marketers are able to bypass the well-known “buy versus build” dilemma while still utilizing their company’s data alongside advanced technologies to gain greater agility for customer-centric solutions. Adopting this hybrid approach can help accelerate continuous customer engagement and provide deeper insight into the customer life cycle.
Today, successful marketers have found that aligning customer engagement strategies and the right technology investments can provide greater insight into their programs and efforts than ever before. Every company has different needs, but it’s critical to foster collaboration between marketing and business technology resources to combine the customization and integration of data, content and applications.
When choosing an integrated marketing tool, look for a customizable solution that offers marketers the ability to apply their own unique data and business logic to create enduring, long-term and meaningful customer relationships.