This article was produced in partnership with Salesforce.
We live in a fully digital world where customers expect more from brands to deliver personalized and uniquely relevant experiences. Based on the latest version of Salesforce fourth edition “The state of the connected client“Today, nearly 88% of customers expect businesses to step up their digital initiatives due to COVID-19. With digital engagement showing no signs of slowing, businesses need to digitize their operations for more multi-channel and tactile interactions.
Much of this, of course, relies on the use of personal information, and customers are now loudly calling for increased transparency and stewardship. All of these new dynamic changes, combined with economic uncertainty, pose a series of new challenges for businesses while providing the opportunity to rethink and reset the way they engage customers.
Executives agree that customer experience is imperative
At a recent CX practices panel discussion, Eugene Lee, regional marketing director for McDonald’s Asia, said the brand plays an important role in driving sales. “Marketing communications are divided into seed and nudge. Priming is for big brand executions that make customers fall in love with the brand and the nudge is more of a tactical job, ”Lee explained. Ultimately, the two have to work hand in hand to generate income. “Your marketing calendar can’t just be 100% focused on one or the other,” he said. Lee added that in the midst of the pandemic, data from McDonald’s showed that the markets that were able to communicate with consumers in a way that resonated with them and balanced tactical elements were the most successful. .
Chris Jordan, Regional Sales Manager for Digital 360, Salesforce ASEAN, agreed that branding plays an important role in resonating with consumers as more consumers want to align with brands that champion their convictions. They want to be alongside brands that are empathetic and understand them rather than those that simply believe in promoting promotions or one-sided conversations.
Jordan said that according to the Salesforce report, “68% of customers expect brands to empathize, so you need to have data to be empathetic,” explaining that brands need to know what their consumers think. He added that companies often confuse empathy with sympathy. “Consumers don’t just want to hear from brands they don’t resonate in a one-sided conversation. In the midst of COVID-19, many companies sent communications messages to consumers they did not have a relationship with. But it’s more about gaining sympathy than showing empathy. Empathy comes from two-way communication and understanding your consumer, ”he said.
Moet Hennessy brand manager Hemanth Jayaraman said last year the company decided not to take a reactionary stance through tactical discount campaigns, but instead to do good for its entire community. The company has invested in and leveraged data to understand its consumers and business partners. “We knew data was powerful, but we wondered if the data was just powerful for us, or if it could benefit our customers, wholesalers and business partners, who also weren’t very data-driven and this has benefited the entire ecosystem. “
According to Diana Wong, Marketing Manager for Bata Malaysia, over the past year the team has invested in a partnership with Salesforce to align their data across different touchpoints to achieve a unified view of the customer. “We worked in silos, from CRM to e-commerce and social media. So we started talking to Salesforce even before COVID-19 hit to unify our data for the future, ”she said. She added that it was triggered when Bata Malaysia saw that customers increasingly demanded that the brand know their needs and wants in real time.
“You can no longer analyze your customers once the campaign is over. We don’t have the luxury of time to do it. It’s either we’re in or we’re out, ”Wong said.
Hyper-personalization is the future of customer engagement
Over the past year, businesses have operated in uncharted territory and many traders were unprepared for the disruption. The playbook or best practices for marketers no longer existed. So where do marketers or brands go from here? How do brands keep pace with changing customer behaviors, perspectives and needs?
To continue to meet and adapt to changing customer needs and expectations, marketers and brands must move beyond basic personalization to hyper-personalization, using data from customers. customers to generate nuanced personalized experiences. Being able to really know your customers, understand their needs and even anticipate their desires to proactively solve their problems and maintain a permanent dialogue with them is now the key differentiator of brands and crucial for the survival of a company.
Get started now with the free resources.
Salesforce is a global leader in integrated customer relationship management – the world’s most powerful 1: 1 digital marketing platform. Marketing Cloud offers solutions for digital marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, customer journey mapping, marketing analytics, marketing automation, and B2B marketing to help you personalize customer communications at every digital touchpoint, wherever you are. Find out more.
Photo courtesy: 123RF