In the Digital Age, Marketing Must Be a Two-Way Dialogue

    Digital, Marketing

    All marketers need to build trust and transparency with the customer making them feel comfortable and secure about sharing their data.

    To cultivate strong and enduring customer relationships, marketers need to know and anticipate customer expectations. Traditional companies relied on customer research groups to make such judgments, but in the digital age, things have changed. Earlier the sample sets of customers were not exactly aware of how to engage with a company and what data to disclose. These sample sets had their challenges and limited scope. The information provided by them was often predictive vs. reactive, with the ability to forecast customer outcomes and behaviors.

    However, in this tech-age of cloud-powered analytics and big data, firms have the option to combine vast amounts of customer data, pulled from a variety of sources. Firms use technologies like CRM to create detailed customer profiles. They also leverage Artificial Intelligence supported predictive technology to act on that data.

    The highly organized customer data unlock personalized experiences, helping firms to understand what content customers are most receptive. Such predictive analysis dramatically improves business planning using marketing messages that can directly define the outcomes and level of customer interest. Top marketing companies accurately combine human insights and robust data analytics and AI to reach and conquer new customers. These combined insights help to comprehend points better to engage customers with their ads and closing purchases. Ultimately, to retain customer loyalty and to create a recurring business cycle, thorough research has paramount importance.

    The business opportunities associated with personalized customer experiences and targeted ads are extremely promising, but there are risks and complications attached to being respectful of consumer data. These considerations around customer data collection and usage are evolving continuously as consumers and governments across the globe are becoming more protective of personal information and online identities. Organizations must take a technology-enabled, human-centric approach to market research. They need to provide customers with a sense of control in shaping their online journey and experiences.

    The success entirely depends on taking the necessary protective steps with customer data, while using it to design experiences, inform strategy, and provide support. This ultimately helps companies to become better marketers who genuinely relate to their customers as individuals, and not just “personas.” Companies should ensure that customers are involved in decision making regarding the data to be shared. Marketers should explain customers the reason for data collection answering questions like:

    • Why is the data being collected?
    • How will the data collection benefit the people sharing personal information?
    • Will the data be discarded ever, if yes, when and why?
    • Who else could the data be shared with and why?
    • Where can people report if they do not want the data to be used in a particular way?

    It is essential to say the right things. Customers appreciate the personalized ads and marketing messages the most, as they deem useful. They want the content to make sense in the context of their experiences and expectations. The biggest challenge for brands is to gain the trust of customers, making them confident about the safety of the data. At worst, ads can end up offending and repelling customers. To strike the right balance, it is essential for marketers to maintain transparency with the customers regarding the data collected.