February 2017

Cloudcast: Welcome to the Era of the Connected Customer

Salesforce Research reveals that today’s Connected Customer is more demanding, fickle and knowledgeable than ever before. It’s a tall order for the marketing profession to meet these high expectations, but this episode of the Marketing Cloud Cloudcast gives you what you need to understand these customers better. Regular Cloudcast hosts Heike Young and Joel Bock talk to Salesforce’s own Chief Digital Evangelist, Vala Afshar, as he dives deep into the data to bring you his insights.

Customer expectations are changing

The Second Annual State of the Connected Customer Report interviewed 7,000 consumers and business buyers to find out what they wanted and expected from the brands and organisations they dealt with. The findings will be critical to helping you form your marketing strategy for the year ahead; Vala’s analysis even more so.

Here are some highlights from the podcast (which you can listen to using Soundcloud, iTunes, Google Play Music, or Stitcher):

  • Customers understand that if they don’t get what they want, technology has made it easy for them to take their business to a competitor - in fact, seven out of 10 made that point in the research. “Customers expect an intelligent relationship with brands. If they don’t get it, it’s easy for them to take their money elsewhere,” says Vala.
  • Customers demand instant attention, 65 per cent of consumers expect companies to interact with them in real time. Not only do they expect immediate assistance, but they expect it to be personalised and even proactive. Predicting what your customer wants and will do next is critical to success, says Vala.
  • The good news is that the opportunity is huge. The data found that only 15 per cent of organisations have developed sophisticated predictive intelligence systems to predict what their customers want, meaning - as Vala puts it - there’s 85 per cent room for you to steal a march on your competition and create a delightful customer experience.
  • Another big failing according to Vala is that most marketers haven’t yet understood that social media is the number one use of the web. Customers are sharing their opinions about brands online and shaping their views based on those opinions. “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room. The web is the room,” says Vala.
  • Customer service is critical to success. Our report found that 70 per cent of all customer touchpoints went through the customer service department. In Vala’s words, “They are your brand. They are the individuals and line of business that ensure companies deliver on their promises.”

What does Vala’s vision of the future look like?

By 2020, 6 billion people will have a supercomputer in their pocket, on their wrist, or on their face with the next generation of Glass. As digital marketers, we have to consider not a mobile-first, but a mobile-only ecosystem.”

So put your phone on mute, get a coffee and take some time out to listen to this podcast so you can discover how your marketing year needs to evolve.


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