By Paul Yang
This article is part of our series on customer experience where we focus on topics relating to connecting data, intelligence and experiences. Further reading: Silo Busting is Essential to Delivering Personalized Experiences.
Delivering exceptional customer experiences has quickly become table stakes for marketers. Too often, though, these experiences are undermined by inconsistent messaging and opportunities go begging.
Repeated or irrelevant messages breed consumer intolerance and annoyance, which they are not afraid to shout about to the hilltops.
Inconsistent messaging can also be a lost opportunity. For instance, when a customer expects to be informed, but there is silence. Such as when a customer signs up to a new program and reasonably expects to receive a welcome email. When they receive nothing, that can create confusion and concern — which can be just as damaging as a sending a poor message.
In markets like China, where social and ecommerce platforms are dominated by a few large players, the risk and reward of consistent messaging increases, particularly for B2C companies.
For example, WeChat and Alibaba both have an incredible reach. And, given their prominence, consumers often use both platforms. So, any inconsistent message on WeChat can quickly undermine strong messaging on Alibaba, and vice-versa.
Compounding this problem, marketers sometimes focus too intently on WeChat and Alibaba and neglect their owned channels of email, SMS, and website. The messaging in all channels must be relevant and consistent.
Why It’s Happening
This isn’t rocket science, but it still trips up many marketers. The reason? The ubiquitous problems that arise from disconnected data systems and data access – marketers and systems in silos. Marketers simply do not have a single view of the customer, much less an accurate idea of what messaging has already been delivered.
That problem snowballs when channels are managed by different teams — such as a media agency for acquisition and remarketing, another agency for social marketing, while a company’s own marketing team manages email and mobile channels.
When this happens, even a central marketing plan can’t connect the data and creative for individual customer experiences.
Many organizations still lack the skills and tools necessary to unearth customer insights from first-party data. Those insights are needed to improve customer experience and deliver consistent, relevant messages through all channels automatically.
How to Fix It
A great place to start is to build consistency on the areas over which you have control and where you are comfortable.
For example, implementing automation and template programs for email and mobile channels will improve consistency in message cadence and content. At Oracle, we recommend leveraging existing data and using dynamic content to personalize your messages while maintaining a consistent message.
Next, build a data strategy to inform segmentation and start to weave that in other channels. It’s likely that your first major roadblock will be addressing how customer data is managed and accessed. Therefore, when getting data architecture in order, the focus should be on creating a core customer view in a secure, transparent and privacy-compliant way. All other data — such as sales, product, and policies — can then be attached to the core customer data, creating the fabled 360 degree view of the customer.
It is no small feat to upgrade data architecture and automate marketing. However, the benefits that accrue will quickly justify the undertaking.
Want to learn more? Get the Cross-Channel Orchestration Fundamentals Guide to learn how you can give consumers the personalized, relevant, and consistent experiences they want.