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Leveraging a Connected Marketing Strategy to Grow in Challenging Times

By Holly Simmons

Real-time intelligence and leading loyalty marketing improve personalization, customer engagement, and retention.

The last year proved challenging for digital marketers. The pandemic and other economic events have driven reductions in budget as well as the need to change business models quickly and marketing strategies on the fly. Despite that, top marketers have shown remarkable creativity and adaptability, and their companies are emerging stronger and more competitive.

They figured out how to do more with less, increasing investment in digital strategy and technologies to transform their businesses. These marketers have one thing in common: They have reimagined the customer experience in a time of decreasing brand loyalty. So, they are shifting focus to customer retention by optimizing their strategy with:

  • Hyper-personalization
  • AI
  • The activation or reinvigoration of loyalty programs

Connected marketing suites: The whole is greater than the sum of the parts

Most companies leverage between 40 to more than 100’s of applications in their martech stacks. Yet, only 40% of CMOs see their marketing technology stacks as effective, according to Gartner. The trend for many marketers used to be investing in best-of-breed point solutions, but marketers are learning that the maintenance and integration costs increase their TCO while also limiting their abilities to automate and execute at scale. This approach further reinforces data silos, leaving marketers to figure out to connect those silos and gain a better understanding of their customers through personalized experiences.

This is where a connected marketing suite comes into play. Not only does it deliver more value, but it makes it easier to maintain and extend when your business is changing.

A connected marketing suite leveraging a customer data platform (CDP) can eliminate data silos and provide a full picture of your customers and accounts. Imagine being able to bring together all of your customer information, enriching it with third-party data, adding behavioral information, IoT, and data from IT’s data lakes and warehouses. This data creates a robust unified profile about each customer so that marketers can deliver the most personalized experiences.

Personalization: Increase engagement with unified customer data and AI

91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that provide relevant offers and recommendations. Customers desire engaging and personalized experiences with brands, and marketers who deliver on them can directly improve customer satisfaction, conversions, and revenue.

Unfortunately for marketers, personalization can sometimes feel like a holy grail, with more than 90% of businesses agreeing that personalization is critical to their success but feeling challenged to deliver personalization even within the realm of marketing.

Successful personalization requires several ingredients:

  • Unified customer profiles
  • Robust micro-segmentation
  • AI and machine learning
  • A decision framework
  • Activation, analytics, and connections between adtech and martech systems

Unified profiles and segmentation identify the best targets, while AI, machine learning, and decisioning enable identification automatically in real time to deliver the best offer, campaign, or content to send to a customer when they need it. Once the offer is identified, it must be activated across your campaign system, advertising system, web site, or another channel.

A connected marketing suite provides all of these capabilities and leverages the latest technology, such as machine learning and AI, to help you:

  • Automate operational processes

  • Reduce errors

  • Drive instant action based on the best data available

Loyalty: Increase retention and revenue with engagement

While bringing in new leads and customers is important, many brands are doubling-down on retention during the pandemic. According to Forrester, revenue growth through increased retention and enrichment makes up more than 90% of the top-line impact of improving CX.

Marketers seek new ways to engage prospects and customers by continuously learning about their preferences. Loyalty programs help brands develop long-term relationships with customers, but with so many solutions on the market, how do you choose one over another?

You look for a solution that leverages customer data to provide personalized, engaging, and interesting experiences for customers. You can only do this with a loyalty solution that is part of a connected marketing suite.

Loyalty solutions focused on engagement versus only points tracking enable marketers to quickly and easily build engagement experiences to meet the needs of customers better. And engaged customers bring their friends and family to participate as well.

For example, a rewards program for a popular, luxury retail brand could attract many prospects interested in the brand but have not yet purchased. These prospects can also become members and engage in offers and win points toward spending at the retailer.

Conclusion

Marketers are resilient. By leveraging a connected marketing suite, modern technology, and loyalty programs, they can continue to weather the storm and take their businesses to the next level.

To hear more about how Oracle can help you meet these challenges, see the CX Product Innovation Showcase.

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