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BizReport : Advertising : January 28, 2019


Expert: Mar-Tech gaps a problem for marketers

Although the plethora of consumer devices, platforms, and content sites give marketers more options for advertising and branded copy, these platforms are also cutting some brands' ability to serve an experience that is on-brand and similar from platform to device to site. This, says one expert, can make it harder for brands not only to be seen but to fully connect with consumers.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Why do you think consumers are unimpressed by brand experiences?

Lynne Capozzi, CMO, Acquia: As consumers shop on more devices and platforms than ever before, they expect the same engaging, high-quality experiences they receive in one place to be replicated across every platform. However, shopping on their desktop is very different than shopping directly from Instagram, or even from a brand's app. Marketers find themselves struggling to connect all these different potential touch points, which causes experiences to be disconnected and not representative of just how well the brand really knows the customer, and what they want. It comes down to having more options - and when consumers remember their best experience with a brand, that then sets the bar for all other brands they engage with, whether they're B2B or B2C. If one brand does not meet that expectation, a buyer can simply move on.

Kristina: Why do marketers still plan to invest more money in their martech stacks next year despite being underwhelmed by their marketing technology so far?

Lynne: Even though marketers believe they're not getting enough return from their martech investment, 86 percent of global marketers plan to invest more money into marketing technologies over the next 12 months as a way to meet their goals. It's no surprise why - marketers are increasingly facing pressure to achieve higher engagement that leads to bigger sales and as a result, bigger profits. As new technologies are introduced, marketers are drawn to them because they think one of these tools could be the missing piece they have been looking for. However, they need to adapt their thinking. It's not always about the missing piece; it's about finding the missing connector that integrates all of their technologies to seamlessly work together and provide a comprehensive 360-degree view of the customer. Before they add more to their stack, marketers should ensure what they already have is working for them seamlessly.

Kristina: Why do you think there's a gap between how marketers think they're performing and how consumers actually say they're performing?

Lynne: When we asked marketers to assess their own effectiveness and the effectiveness of the industry as a whole, we were surprised to see such a wide discrepancy between the two.

Results of our global survey of marketers and consumers on the state of the customer experience showed that 87 percent of marketers think they are doing a good job and delivering engaging customer experiences. But when we asked them how their experiences as consumers have been, nearly 80 percent said they were disappointed. Many of them couldn't even recall the last time they had a memorable brand experience. A lot of consumer disappointment comes down to the fact that marketers recognize other brand experiences are lacking, but not those that they deliver. Marketers need to take a look in the mirror and realize it's not just other marketers that aren't meeting customer expectations - they're underperforming too. It's not for lack of effort, but because of a strategy or technical approach that is not setting them up for success.

Kristina: What's your advice for marketers to deliver personalized experiences in 2019?

Lynne: For marketers to deliver more personalized experiences and grow engagement in 2019, they need to make sure they have a full view of the customer journey from the very first touchpoint. Having access to a 360-degree view of a particular customer's interactions means that marketers can make better decisions about how they engage with that specific person. In the past, they have struggled to gain a comprehensive look at their customers because the data was stored in various systems spread across departments. In 2019, marketers need to integrate these tools to ensure customer information is in one place. This eliminates data silos and gives marketers insight into the entire customer journey, allowing them to deliver more relevant, unique content.

Kristina: How can marketers give consumers the personalized experiences they want, while adhering to data privacy regulations?

Lynne: With all the buzz about GDPR and well-known companies coming under fire for mishandling data in 2018, consumers will be even more diligent about ensuring their data is protected in 2019. They are rightfully concerned, and it's up to marketers to acknowledge this unease and make sure they are respecting consumer data and privacy. Nearly 80 percent of consumers would rather brands didn't use customer data to market other products and services to them. But this doesn't mean consumers want generic marketing messages - they still expect personalized content. For consumers who agree to data use, brands should guard it carefully and only use it for the purpose it's intended for: to deliver better experiences.

Kristina: As marketers build their stacks for 2019, what should they consider?

Lynne: Most importantly, marketers need to think about what their customers expect and what's needed to achieve this. With this objective in mind, marketers should look for technologies that integrate with each other. For example, an open technology ecosystem allows for the integration marketers require. Using an open platform that enables API integrations with any application means that no matter what tools a marketer uses, they all talk to each other. An open approach to marketing technology avoids vendor lock-in, providing the insights needed to deliver the experiences customers have come to expect: personalized and convenient.

Tags: Acquia, advertising, advertising tips, content stack, content tips, mar:tech, marketing stack










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