We talk a lot about ‘The Age of the Customer’, but in a world where everything and everyone is connected – it’s hard not to.

The advent of social, mobile, AI and IoT has transformed the way customers engage with brands, but it’s also given modern marketers new power to reach broader audiences and measure that engagement.

In 2017, the focus is now on building 1-to-1 customer journeys. More and more, marketers want to connect with customers across every single touch point they have with the brand.

To transcend expectations and go even further in your own marketing:

  1. Focus on connected experiences, outside marketing: 58% of high-performing marketers lead the Customer Experience across their business.
  2. Leverage people-based, AI-driven marketing: 56.1% of the UK population use a social media platform in 2017. The data is out there—so let’s use it.
  3. Don’t abandon the basics: use email, mobile and social marketing: 49% of marketers say email marketing directly links to company revenue. It remains the workhorse of digital marketing.

Move forward together

Our recent State of Marketing report revealed how marketers were taking the lead on driving Connected Customer Experiences within their business. 

Ask yourself, is your sales team aligned with your marketing team? Does your ecommerce experience run parallel with your digital marketing? If not – it’s time to unite. Round up all your teams and departments, identify what your sales journey looks like today, and paint a vision of what you want it to look like. 

With the advent of cloud computing, machine learning and AI, achieving a much desired 360-degree view of your customers is well within reach. Personalised and predictive experiences, smarter onboarding, higher retention – it’s all possible.

Simon Denny – Connected Customer Champion

Simon Denny is Principal Consultant at Roost Consulting Ltd, an agency dedicated to helping businesses get truly customer-centric – from defining their customer journeys, to embracing the connected technology needed to deliver a seamless marketing experience.

Before founding Roost Consulting, Simon worked as Business Change Director at The Economist, leading the company’s new customer engagement strategy.

At the time, the magazine faced a number of customer engagement challenges:

  • Customer and subscription management was supplied by 3rd parties
  • Customers had limited ability to manage their own account
  • Customers had limited subscription payment options 
  • The company had no single customer view

The publication wanted to refine their customer engagement strategy and bring it onto a new platform, owned and managed in-house. 

How did they do it? With Simon Denny’s help, The Economist created a five-step plan to connect its customers’ marketing experience. It’s a plan that any organisation can follow:

  1. Define the problem. Reflect on your recent history to understand your business vision. Identify the pain-points and blockers with input from colleagues, staff, customers and partners.
  2. Evaluate the capability. Next, analyse your customer management and operational processes, and review existing systems and integrations.
  3. Align the vision. Based on your business vision and existing systems and processes, define what you want from your new in-house platform. Setting clear objectives and metrics will help you align your stakeholders around your product vision.
  4. Propose and prioritise. Acknowledge functional and non-functional requirements, also identify use cases and business benefits. Define the scale of business change you want to achieve.
  5. Deliver value. Clear the roadmap, phase the delivery, and prioritise quick wins!

Keeping your whole organisation on the same page is crucial. As Simon says: “I’m a great believer in conversing with people in the organisation – everybody’s got a good view of what they think should happen. Consulting with partners and customers also offers a greater understanding of current customer behaviour and pain points, which can then be backed up with data.”

After identifying their key pain-points, crawling over data and identifying what needed to be fixed – The Economist needed to choose their connected, in-house platform. As Simon explains, “When we looked at the requirements of the team, Marketing Cloud ticked the right boxes, allowing multiple teams to engage seamlessly with customers across the business.”

Through its holistic, methodical approach to transforming customer engagement, The Economist has been able to usher in a new era of cross-functional customer management. It now has a single customer view, and its own subscription management platform – enabling more strategic, seamless marketing than ever.

Want to learn more?

Check out the latest State of Marketing report for more statistics and insights, or watch this on-demand webinar where Simon Denny and I had an excellent discussion about The Economist story and how marketers can create the seamless experiences that their customers demand.