Over the past few years, connected digital experiences have dramatically changed the way consumers engage with brands – and after this year’s disruption, these digital experiences are becoming even more important

Fast access to unlimited products and services has transformed customer expectations. Which means today, timely, personalised, and empathetic experiences are just as important as product quality in differentiating brands. These experiences have to be consistent, too. The very last touchpoint customers had with you likely had a major impact on how they feel about your brand going forward.

In our State of Connected Customer report, 65% of respondents said that they’d stopped buying from brands they perceive as distrustful. And 73% said they expected companies to understand their needs.

But what does this mean for marketers and their marketing technology? And how can you engage customers with the positive, personalised experiences that drive loyalty and deliver value? The answer, as it so often does these days, lies with data.


Is customer experience the new marketing?

Customer experience and its role in marketing was a key theme at our recent Salesforce Live: United Kingdom & Ireland event. (To access the sessions we refer to here in full – along with a whole array of other useful sessions – head to the event page to register.)

In our Leverage all your Customer Data to Drive more Effective Marketing session, our SVP of Product, Marketing Cloud, Sophie Crosby, spoke about how customers today demand personalisation, trust, and first-class experiences.


 “The customer experience is about creating more value for your customer and allowing your business to capture more value from that customer through retention and positive sentiment,” said Crosby. “Customer experience is, in many ways, the new marketing.”


Crosby concluded that if customer experience is the new marketing, then data is the new currency of marketing. But it’s here that many marketers stumble. And with more consumers turning to digital platforms, knowing how to use your customer data and marketing technology to engage customers has never been more important.

Data helps you better understand and serve your customers, and the most effective data platforms for marketing are kept well fed with data from many different sources – including key teams and departments like sales, service, and marketing itself.

The reality is, for many organisations, these sources remain siloed or locked from view by disparate legacy systems. This only hinders the delivery of a smooth end-to-end customer experience. Or, as we highlighted earlier, it can prevent identifying how a customer really feels about your brand based on their last interaction.


“The email manager is thinking about open rates and journey stages, the service executive is goaled on net promoter scores and closing tickets fast. And the web analytics team is thinking about bounce rates and conversion on site,” said Crosby. “They might all be thinking about the exact same customers, but their data is not connected.”


So, how do you bring all that data together to drive growth when different teams are using different data sets about the same customer? It’s a significant challenge. And as brands continue to use more channels and more data sources, it’s only going to get tougher to manage.


How to unite and unlock your data with marketing technology

This is a problem we’ve thought hard about, and with our customer data platform, Customer 360 Audiences, we believe we’ve solved it.

Even if you’re already using other marketing technology solutions in our ecosystem, Customer 360 Audiences unlocks customer centricity with a single, unified data view that lets you deliver personalised experiences across every touchpoint.

At the heart of this is what we call Customer 360 Truth, a set of capabilities that helps you connect, authenticate, and govern customer data and identity across Salesforce. In context, this means you’re supported by four pillars:

●      Customer 360 Data Manager

Unite your clouds to connect case history, order history, and customer data across your organisation for known identity resolution using deterministic, and probabilistic matching rules.

●      Salesforce Identity

Streamline user access and increase productivity with our single, global login for all Salesforce cloud, mobile, and on-premises apps.

●      Salesforce Privacy and Data Governance

Keep data secure and ensure regulatory compliance with a single platform for consent and privacy management across Salesforce.

●      Customer 360 Audiences 

And lastly, Customer 360 Audiences, which incorporates the three pillars above to provide a single source of truth – helping marketers to deliver connected, personalised experiences.

It’s a self-service, marketer-friendly enterprise data platform that helps you unify all your siloed data into one profile with powerful customer insights. And, to help you meet your customers where they are and pivot marketing strategies with ease, you can apply these profiles to any engagement platform.


Getting Marketing Technology right at LV=

We also spoke to Joanna Williams, Head of Performance Marketing at LV=. One of the UK’s largest insurance providers, LV= needed a way to pivot its marketing strategy for a post-COVID world. Its approach has always been heavily customer-centric, and to sustain brand engagement during a challenging time for everyone, LV= needed to carefully tailor its cross-channel messaging.

This meant changing its TV and radio advertising to focus more on how LV= can support its customers through COVID, and how its products can benefit people working in new, unexpected ways. It also dialled down its paid adverts on social media, shifting to a more empathetic support-driven approach.

"We wanted to ensure that if we were visible in the social space, the messaging was very much how you could get hold of us if you needed to,” says Williams. “We were replanning almost weekly, and we opted to invest in channels where we knew customers would be likely to be in market.”

To empower its marketers with the real-time customer visibility needed to deliver more relevant and timely messaging, and simplify its previously slow and complex reporting process, LV= acquired multiple Salesforce studios, and the results have been transformative.

We’re now much more specific with our messaging. It’s more personalised and relevant, and we’re seeing a higher level of engagement,“ says Williams. “With a single connected dashboard, we will soon be able to see the entire marketing sales funnel. From there, we can then bring in data from multiple sources to optimise our campaigns in real-time.”


Discover Salesforce 360

To learn more about how Salesforce 360 can help you unify your data and deliver the right messaging, in the right place, at the right time – register to watch the Leverage all your Customer Data to Drive more Effective Marketing session from Salesforce Live: United Kingdom & Ireland.

And make sure to check out the other videos while you’re there.