Data Driven Strategy: Personalise for CX Leadership

Data Driven Strategy: Personalise for CX Leadership

Using data in marketing and profit are intrinsically linked. A study by McKinsey and Company shows how businesses that have used big data and analytics have five to six per cent high productivity and profitability.

This is probably because data and the analysis of it can provide a more personalised customer experience – and research shows that customers will be more loyal to businesses that provide personalised experiences while rejecting those that do not.

To complete the equation linking data and profit, a better customer experience equals retention, and retention leads to greater revenue. A Harvard Business Review study once showed that retaining just five per cent more customers could boost profits by 100 per cent – a huge reward for getting it right consistently.

Repeat customers develop a relationship with the business, and are happy to share more of themselves, which gives the business more data.

 

The Importance of customer experience

The concept of customer experience involves looking beyond just service and staff to every point of interaction between customer and brand. For example, websites and landing pages, emails and SMS – even the social media advertising that is seen before customers buy anything. External sources like friends’ opinions, online reviews or a company’s public relations efforts can even affect customer experience.

Today’s customers have more information than ever at their fingertips and are better equipped to do their research before committing to a purchase. There will be signs of this research – for example, on a website or on social media – so it is critical that small and medium businesses (SMEs) are able to gather this data.

The amount of research customers do before making a purchase may mean businesses need to collect data from a wide range of touchpoints. The earlier businesses want to provide a personalised interaction with customers, the more touchpoints they will have to monitor and the more data they will need to collect.

 

The importance of data

Data provides businesses with knowledge about their customers. It shows where customers sit in the sales cycle, how loyal they are and even their mood toward a brand. This data can be analysed to produce insights about either a group of customers or individual customers, or the business itself. By analysing the data, businesses can see why some products are not so popular, which sales representatives are most effective or where potential prospects are leaking from the sales funnel.

 

Technology is essential for using data to its potential. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools can gather vast amounts of real-time data, store it, then conduct analysis cleanly with complex metrics much faster than a person can. Market leading CRMs like Salesforce can also use the data to make predictions that can produce better outcomes for a business.

 

These predictions can drive marketing efforts to improve customer experience. For example, they can tailor email content to prospective customers based on knowledge of pain points, direct a customer to an expert on a topic of interest or enable a business to recommend new products to existing customers based on purchase history.

 

How a data-driven strategy can be successful

  1. Choose the required data. Businesses developing a data strategy should first determine the information that is necessary to collect and analyse in order to drive better business decisions. There’s no point collecting terabytes of data in the hope that it can all be used. Thinking this way at the beginning helps later on when the data is used for CRM predictions and action. Having unnecessary data and insights that cannot be used can get in the way of relevant data and insights. McKinsey and Company believes that a model should start with the opportunity a business has identified, and then the business can see how the model can improve performance toward the goal.

 

  1. Work together.McKinsey and Company point out that legacy IT structures may act as silos and prevent proper data storage and analysis. If it is to be properly utilised, a CRM requires the IT systems to support it. When all parts of a business are using a Salesforce CRM, for example, the data within the system is current and complete, meaning that the insights garnered from it and the predictions developed will be most accurate. In the same way, insights generated from Salesforce should also inform all aspects of the business: sales, marketing, communications, and even finance.

 

  1. Make predictions and take action. In a report by the CMO Council this year, 43 per cent of marketers said they had no problem with the amount of data they had, but they didn’t have the ability to transform it into real time action. An intelligent CRM like Salesforce crunches raw data to develop meaningful insights that can be acted upon and is equipped with an artificial intelligence (AI) system called Einstein AI that enables businesses to take intelligent action. For example, it can automatically generate help topics online for consumers or enable businesses to create bots that can handle simple customer queries. However, it is crucial that the system is used across the organisation so the customer experience is consistent. The same CMO Council report found that 41 per cent of marketers believe that fragmented platforms and systems were getting in the way of successful customer experience strategy.

 

  1. Ensure the business can capably execute. The capability of data systems are constantly improving and changing, and businesses that get the most from data will embrace change and learn. In talking with businesses, McKinsey and Company also found that managerial distrust for big data systems is a reason they’re not used. While managers using the tools sometimes need re-education, it’s important for statisticians and IT staff to keep in mind what frontline managers require when acting on insights daily.

 

A current picture of marketing suggests that businesses are focusing on customer experience, but there is still some way to go. In the CMO Council study mentioned above, 47 per cent of marketers admitted that the personalisation their organisation offers is selective and only five per cent believed they were able to deliver hyper-personalised experiences across all touchpoints. A successful data strategy could prove the difference.

 

What Blirt Offers

Blirt shows you how you can make your business a more successful, data-driven SME by using the world’s leading CRM platform, Salesforce.

Blirt is a Salesforce Cloud Alliance Partner, so it knows how businesses can use the system to improve customer experience.

If you would like to develop your own data strategy that will improve experience for your customers, we can book a discovery call and help get you started.

 

Micro-moments and their impact on Customer Experience

Micro-moments and their impact on Customer Experience

We are spending more time than ever online. A recent study of UK consumers found that the average person spends more than 24 hours – a day – online every week. And mobile phones are becoming a more prominent tool. In the survey, 92 per cent of respondents said browsing the web through a smart phone is important while only 75 per cent said making calls was.

With the increase in time spent online and mobiles making the Internet accessible everywhere, consumers have the power to research products whenever and wherever they want. This gives rise to micro-moments that brands can use to communicate with their consumers.

 

The theory behind micro-moments

The term ‘micro-moment’ was originally brought to the forefront of marketing and sales by Google. It is used to describe a moment where a consumer turns to a mobile device and starts using the internet to research a product or service.

What differentiates these moments from looking up the time or the weather is the intent behind them. These ‘micro-moments’ are moments where a purchase decision can be made – moments where the consumer is receptive and brands can make an impression. For example: which movies are playing tonight and at what time? How much would it cost to book a hotel in Port Vila in January?

Micro-moments can happen anytime: at a lunch catch-up, at work, during a workout, or even just before sleep. This is a cosmic shift in how consumer decisions are made. Once, consumers would see an ad when they read the newspaper in the morning or watched TV in the evening, then wait until the shops were open to purchase. Now, they can be reminded of something, turn to their mobile device, research, and make a purchase decision then.

Micro-moments are a result of a technological revolution that has put the power into the hands of consumers – metaphorically and literally.

 

How important are these micro-moments?

Sometimes, micro-moments can be the first interaction that a potential consumer has with a company. In the Port Vila holiday example above, the consumer may never have stayed in Port Vila. He might search online and find a hotel website or online travel agent. If that site has a clunky booking system or he can’t find the information he is after simply, he can quickly leave and go elsewhere. Research suggests that somewhere between 70 to 96 per cent of people won’t come back after they leave. There are times when micro-moments might determine whether there even is a customer experience, so they are important.

Google sees micro-moments as ‘game changers’ for brands. The search engine giant says that 69 per cent of online consumers agree that how they see a brand depends on the quality, timing and relevance of company messages. If you get them right through user-friendly systems or delivering the right content or product offerings, you can convert browsers to customers.

Content marketing is one of the simplest ways to impress potential customers in these micro-moments. Offering some expertise for nothing or presenting a solution to a pain point can keep a customer stationary for longer, and the goodwill can start the customer experience on excellent footing.

Businesses must learn why customers are coming to this particular point of interaction so that the content delivered is relevant and useful.

 

Mapping the customer journey

Customers have often already started their purchase journey before a business finally sees them. However, once they are statistically represented as a visitor to a website, for example, the business can start collecting data about them – and should.

Intelligent Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems like Salesforce can begin gathering information the moment a customer appears. If employed by all parts of the business, this data can be drawn later to deliver insights, which can help determine the content directed to the buyer, or even the products that should be advertised. Salesforce also allows marketers to automate content delivery, so it can be delivered at the right time and within pre-determined parameters.

 

The power of personalisation

Micro-moments provide data about a customer and these can later be used to personalise the customer experience. Customers will be more loyal to businesses that provide personalised experiences and even reject companies that don’t provide them.

The more information a business collates during these micro-moments of interaction, the more powerful a CRM’s insights and the better marketers can use personal communication channels like email, SMS and social media. The first micro-moment between brand and customer is obviously very important, because it determines whether the customer journey continues and whether the brand finds out anything more about the customer.

 

Consistency is critical

If personalisation of the experience helps a brand or business develop a relationship over time, it is critical that all future micro-moments provide a consistent experience. A Salesforce “State of the Connected Customer” report found that 73 per cent of customers will change brands if service isn’t consistent across digital and non-digital experiences and half of consumers were likely to change brands if their needs aren’t anticipated.

These statistics suggest that customers expect a consistent experience. That means the first micro-moment sets the tone for the customer-brand relationship. If that starts off well, it is crucial to then gather data, ensure there is a powerful enough tool like Salesforce to develop insights and personalise interactions, and a flexible team who can make service standards in the non-digital realm consistent.

While a micro-moment has a huge impact on future customer interaction, it is also an incredible opportunity to deliver a positive experience itself.

 

What Blirt does

At Blirt, we specialise in helping small and medium enterprises transform themselves across sales, marketing, service and finance, with the objective of improving the digital experience. We can help you deliver amazing customer experiences throughout the entire customer journey, including in micro-moments.

If you would like to find out more, we can book a discovery call to find out what you need and tell you more about our approach.

 

What You Should Expect From Digital Marketing Services

There’s no debate about it – digital marketing is a must if you want your business to succeed in 2017 and beyond. Any brand that’s skimping on their online marketing is leaving money on the table. Who wants to do that?

A whopping 80% of people conduct research online before making a purchase. If your company isn’t being found on search engines, then you’re giving away business to competitors. Focusing your attention on SEO is highly recommended.

But more than that, you need to focus on mobile marketing. In 2015, 51% of smartphone users discovered new brands and products using Google. This number is only increasing.

Without digital marketing services, your chances of making your brand discoverable becomes a lot harder. Rather than learning all the tips and tricks yourself, you can hire an expert who already has it all figured out.

If you’re considering using digital marketing services, here’s what you can expect.

Quality Web Hosting

Whatever digital marketing firm you decide to hire needs to offer great web hosting services. Your website won’t perform well if it’s always crashing. You need a server that can handle an influx in traffic with ease.

When your digital marketing efforts start to prevail, you can expect to see peaks in traffic. If the digital marketer you hire doesn’t offer web hosting, you can always find one yourself. Or get a referral to one from the firm yo­u’re working with.

Responsive Website Design and Development

It’s not enough to have just a basic website. You need one that has all the fundamentals, but designed specifically for your audience. The digital marketing company you’ve hired should develop a strategy based on data collected from your target audience.

The industry you’re in will also affect the type of design used. But in any case, a responsive web design is a must. This will ensure any person using any device can access your website. It sure beats having a separate mobile website created.

Plus, Google loves responsive designs, so it can help boost your rankings.

Optimization for Search Engines

In other words, SEO. Without search engine optimization, there’s no you in Google or any other search engine for that matter. It takes a carefully planned strategy to boost your rankings up to the first page of Google.

Both on-site and off-site SEO will need to be used. This includes selecting relevant, low-competition keywords to rank for. Then place them throughout your site and content. Having backlinks from reputable industry-related blogs will also help with your ranking.

Paid Ads

Using paid ads with your organic search strategy is ingenious. Together, you can capitalize on how users search for products and services. The great thing about paid advertising is it yields fast results. You can use this in the beginning stages of your plan.

Then once your organic SEO starts to kick in, your traffic should increase tremendously.

Just make sure your digital marketing company is balancing the costs with conversions. It’s good to have the company working on your SEO to handle your paid ad campaigns.

A Cohesive Strategy

Every aspect of your digital marketing strategy needs to work cohesively together. This is why it’s best to use digital marketing services that are well-rounded. Entrusting your overall strategy to one firm is ideal to ensure everything fits together like a puzzle.

Using multiple service providers can create blind spots – each provider doesn’t see the whole picture, so will lack a complete understanding of your company and strategy. Consider building a close relationship with one firm.

Increased Email Opens

If you hire a digital marketer who is on top of their game, you’ll see benefits like increased email click-throughs. Something as simple as adding social media buttons to emails can increase click throughs.

Email is still the default method of communication between customers and businesses. You need to perfect your email marketing to ensure you’re getting a return on investment. Your digital marketer will know ways to do this.

Social Media Promotions

You can’t deny the power social media holds for brands. Having visibility on social networks can increase your traffic and reach to customers and prospects.

Adding social media promotions to your digital marketing strategy can also boost your website rankings and profits. Make sure the digital marketing services you use implements social media.

Don’t Use Digital Marketing Services that Don’t Have These

Too many businesses fall prey to digital marketing companies that are unprofessional and complete rip-offs. SEO and other online marketing tactics have gotten a bad wrap because of it. You can safeguard your business by staying away from digital marketing firms that show the following:

Lack of Transparency

Digital marketing is no big mystery. In fact, it’s the tool used to solve your biggest plights as a business owner – getting more leads. But if you can’t see what your digital marketing provider is doing, how do you know if it’s working?

The digital marketing firm you use should offer regular updates about the progress of your site and campaigns. You should also have access to the accounts and tools to keep an eye on things yourself.

Lack of Knowledge of Tools and Platforms

As the business owner, you have other important matters to attend to. Your digital marketing provider should vet the different tools and platforms out there for you. No sense in you wading through the sometimes confusing information.

Plus, it’s great to hire a firm that already has tools and platforms they feel are top-notch.

Untrustworthiness

It’s not always easy to tell who you can and can’t trust. But there are telltale signs you can watch out for with a digital marketing company:

You’re given inaccurate data/numbers

Your budget is being overspent

Deals and negotiations aren’t honored

Outdated methods and tools are used

Your strategies and data aren’t protected

Their firm is overburdened with other accounts

Finding Digital Marketing Services You Can Count On

Your business deserves the best digital marketing services it can find. One with a great track record for strategies that actually work.

At Blirt, we offer a line of online marketing services packed into competitively-priced packages. With us, you have a full-service digital marketing firm on your side. This includes website audits, keyword research, digital PR, guest blogging outreach and much more.

If you’re interested in enhancing your online presence, then don’t hesitate – contact us today!

8 Steps In Digital Transformation Which Created The Experience Economy  

8 Steps Have Lead Digital Transformation Globally.  The Result; The Experience Economy

We live in the experience economy.  An economy driven by experiences and sustained through digital integration and innovation.

How did we get here?

Well here’s digital transformation in 8 steps.

1. Internet maturity has allowed large but geographically spread groups of people to unite. 

2. Fragmentation of State and the unification of tribes is real and underway.  This was predicted by Milton Friedman and commented on by Seth Godin. This is exampled in many countries right now in the breakdown of major political parties and the rise of the personality based leader.

3. Cloud platforms have grown as like minded people have sought to connect, share and grow with one another and global markets have opened.

4. Big Data was birthed through cloud platforms but really this is mirco data.  Large volumes of small amounts of detailed data on people and things.  We can now connect 2nd and 3rd party data with 1st party data and drive influence.

5. Mobility exploded with the maturity of the Cloud, with it’s low bandwidth resources Cloud technologies have allowed mobile to boom through platforms such as iOS and Android.  As mobile has boomed through the smart phone, our data habits, which are very personal, have been brought into light. The ability to engage in personal ways has transformed communications.

6. Mass personalisation of content and platforms has allowed social or other personalisation platforms to create long tail media products. Long tail media products are content based assets created by users ‘being personal’ and allow the platforms to leverage long tail advertising products.

7. Longtail media has allowed predictive content to blossom.  Long tail media is media sales derived from trillions of unique pieces of content shared or created by individuals across platforms.

8. Predictive Content.  Today we don’t search for personal content but now we receive in feeds tailored to our desires. The future is in predictive, personalised and pushed data.

So what should you be doing about it?

Well, start building a customer experience strategy which unlocks how your customers are searching, enquiring and buying.

Fundamentally we live in an experience economy.  The fact most of us receive our news via a predictive feed on a mobile app says we experience the world around us.  We explore only that which we are shown – not the unknown and we engage with that which we like or have a preference toward.

How does this tectonic shift in society effect your organisation? Is it time you reworked your strategy?

 

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