Brands’ corporate narratives are changing. Thanks to the branding teams at household names like Gillette and Nike, brands are daring their leadership teams to be bolder in their marketing and use their global reach as a platform for encouraging societal change. In this piece for RetailTechNews, Grant Coleman (pictured below), VP and market director, UK, SC, Benelux, Emarsys, explains why marketers need to not only tell the c-suite what customers will be most receptive to, but also concentrate more of their time on developing creative ideas the board and customers alike will love.
Using overarching corporate brand exercises to elevate a brand is one thing, and they go a long way towards increasing customer acquisition, but in the age of the constantly connected customer, creating impact at a more granular level – particularly when it comes to increasing customer retention and loyalty where sustainable revenue growth is realised – is a more complex exercise. It requires brands to use the latest technologies available to ensure a consistent, high-quality customer experience (CX) across all channels.
And while marketers and the c-suite are working to the same overall business objectives, by and large they speak different languages when it comes to designing a business’ approach to achieving these, with marketers focused on defining strategy and tactics and leadership centred on core sales and revenue metrics. Both, however, meet at the cornerstone of every successful brand: that of providing the best customer experience possible; and no one is in denial as to the role technology plays here.
However, while marketers are contemplating deploying tools such as AI and machine learning (ML) to deliver personalisation at scale and encourage customer loyalty, the c-suite is more concerned with investing in solutions that support their commercial goals. How can technology bridge the two?
Here are the key considerations to help marketers and business leaders get on the same page and use technology to not only elevate their brand in the coming years, but also deliver commercial business objectives.
Success is better shared
Marketers and senior executives clearly work on different parts of the corporate machine. While both understand marketing’s immense potential, they define its success in very different terms. The latter predominantly focuses on revenue, while marketers talk about uplifts in abandon cart, abandon browse, or retention. One leads to the other, but bringing these two views together is key to implementing successful campaigns and creating a strategic and sustainable business plan.
To overcome this divide, marketers must record and evaluate how they use these specific metrics to tailor campaigns on a case-by-case basis; and in so doing, optimise to improve performance over time. Doing so requires brands to have all their marketing intelligence and campaigns in one central platform, so the c-suite can clearly see what success looks like for each campaign, and therefore how it contributes to the broader financial picture. In this way, when the mandate is to increase revenue by a defined percentage, specific proven strategies can be employed and the tactics within deployed.
Find a friend in feedback
Today’s technology provides extremely sophisticated reporting tools, which produce myriad metrics that brands can use to gauge the performance of their digital marketing campaigns.
However, drawing insights from these platforms can be complex, particularly for senior executives who aren’t involved in running these campaigns on a day-to-day basis. Setting them up can also involve significant time investment from marketing teams, which can be frustrating for the c-suite, who would prefer they concentrate their efforts on tactics that will help drive revenue growth.
And what if a certain campaign doesn’t deliver? Marketers are able to take the lessons and apply them to subsequent campaigns, but CEOs only see the top line numbers and stop listening. Marketers should, therefore, consider AI- and ML-powered tools that have embedded marketing knowledge from millions of customers and thousands of previous campaigns. That way, they can calibrate their campaigns to the exact demands of the c-suite in real time in just a matter of clicks – whether a push on win-back, an increase in average transaction value, or otherwise. In turn, this helps senior executives get the exact feedback they want and can work with marketers more effectively to achieve their collective goals.
Getting closer to your customer
Deciding where and how to invest marketing budgets is one of the c-suite’s biggest challenges, and one that can’t be done without an accurate view of each individual customer. As a result, many marketers have invested plenty of time, effort, and money in trying to create unified customer profiles – a process which often involves drawing data from lots of different, disparate platforms.
Marketers shouldn’t be spending all their time bogged down in technology. They should let AI do the legwork and create individual customer profiles by creating one central repository for CRM data. That way, marketers can not only tell the c-suite what customers will be most receptive to, but also concentrate more of their time on developing creative ideas the board and customers alike will love.
Marrying c-suite desires with customer needs
Ultimately, every marketer’s main consideration should be their brand. That’s what really matters. And most understand it’s their creativity that provides the greatest value to their business. But this can be difficult for those from a more corporate background to quantify and understand – they are more used to hearing how certain initiatives or activities will support the business’ continued financial growth.
Marketers, therefore, need to consider tools that allow them to deliver on these corporate mandates, while also enhancing the customer experience. Ideally, these tools should create clear frameworks that demonstrate to both marketers and the c-suite what tactics they should deploy at any given time to tailor their campaigns to customer demands and grow their brand.