Technology solutions that build strong customer connections

22 August 2017

With the rapid expansion of marketing channels and the need to understand customer behaviors and patterns, Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are finding themselves in an unfamiliar and uneasy place.

We live in a dynamic marketing environment with new marketing channels and communication platforms emerging nearly every day. CMOs are continually challenged to stay on top of trends and new opportunities, juggle the ever-expanding marketing landscape, improve ROI for programs, and, what’s most important and possibly most complicated—get to the heart of the customer.

No problem, right?

Establishing an authentic, emotional connection and creating a positive customer experience (CX) may be easier than first thought. Many marketers are producing generic content and publishing it, hoping for customer engagement. However, the best way to better understand the human connection, make a profound impact, and influence the personal connection, may, ironically, be to use artificial intelligence (AI).

AI technology can determine what is concerning customers, identify the buyer’s channels, categorize content preferences, and pinpoint the most relevant content at every stage of the buyer journey—all of which are incredibly difficult without technology.

Leveraging these technology solutions also provides useful insights to enable you to speak in your prospect’s language, align your content with prospect intent, and reveal how they interact with your campaigns.

When considering technology as a marketer, maintaining a full scope of relevant options and channels that can be utilized is important. Here are items to consider in advancing your content marketing with the use of technology and to emphasize the most important aspect—your customer.

Data is Evolving
The new digital landscape requires that you analyze literally everything you do. Data no longer exists in just rows and columns. It’s in the news, in our hands, and on our wrists. There is an abundance of data with real-time access everywhere. The explosion of this available data can be captured, stored, analyzed, and made sense of to appeal to your customers and effectively drive future content marketing campaigns.

A New Language
The rise of communication through visual content has been one of the most phenomenal changes inspired by pervasive access to the internet and the smart phone. Millions of conversations are had daily through platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat. Visuals are rapidly becoming the default means of communication. Marketers can explore data through the customer’s eyes. Whether data is directly solicited or passively mined, we can find a wealth of information in visual language (pictures and videos) that can be analyzed in real-time. Tools such as GlimpzIt’s AI engine can analyze any form of visual content and automatically tag (or code) its content, making it easier to decipher the personal insight behind every piece of visual data and turn this knowledge into a stellar customer experience. Other visual language market research technology alternatives include mindswarms and FocusVision

Social Listening
Social media platforms have now proven to be an integral part of content marketing. Understanding how your content is resonating and engaging with your key audience is critical. Utilizing social listening to monitor each platform can help you analyze successes and failures. Brandwatch, Hootsuite, and Sprinklr are social listening platforms many social marketing experts use to make informed decisions for clients. They gather millions of online conversations that directly connects marketers to the thought streams of their customers and then turn this data into insights that inform the creation of customer-centric content. Being tuned in and applying data through advanced methodologies, you can better plan campaigns and achieve desired outcomes for both you and the customer.

Get Personal
Personalization is no longer a nice-to-have, it is a necessity. Consumers are tired of being mass- marketed to. They expect brands to understand their personal preferences and behaviors and have little patience when they do not. As the advancements in technology occur, marketers can continue to evolve their campaigns and personalize tailored offerings with the use of data. This data empowers businesses to propose offers that are contextually relevant and benefit the customer. However, it’s not just the data that allows personalization, but the platforms that support it. Marketing cloud platforms like Salesforce, Oracle, Adobe, and Marketo give marketers the ability to engage with customers in real-time with personalized content and create a single view of a customer profiles using integrated data from digital, social, and mobile channels. Developing these personal connections can spark early interest in the consideration phases of the customer journey and builds trust, which can lead to brand loyalty.

Benchmarking for Success
You’ve spent time understanding your customer, producing resonant content, promoting on social media channels, and spending budget on paid advertising. However, to improve the process, you need to have at-a-glance access to view the success (or lack thereof) of your social media advertising. Benchmarking helps to explain how you’re adding value to the bottom line—plus it’s a huge time saver. At Metia, we use a Performance Benchmarking Index to track, measure, and optimize all of our social advertising campaigns. It can answer the question “Is what we’re doing good enough?” and recognize the performance efforts. It acts as a yardstick to gauge how your content is performing, allowing you to make tweaks and adjustments to your campaigns to continually improve.

Demands of Scale
As content creation continues to grow exponentially, managing your content can quickly become overwhelming. Marketers have often needed to rely on manual methods to capture multichannel performance, which slows down response time and ability to build predictive models based on a common data set. The rapid advancement in AI (or machine learning) has now made the task of analyzing unstructured qualitative data automated and scalable. CRMs, marketing automation, and predictive analytics platforms create a tremendous opportunity to understand who’s buying and why. This helps content marketers build and deploy quality, data-driven content much quicker and effectively.

This powerful technology is only scratching the surface for content marketing. Smart uses of customer data can take many forms—audience segmentation, account-based marketing, revenue modelling, and even multichannel optimization and churn prediction. There’s an enormous opportunity to stand out to your customers by turning data into quality, customer-centric content. New techniques and tools will continue to assist marketers to build stronger customer connections through more insightful, contextually relevant content.

As new technology and social media change customer behaviors, so must marketers continue to transform. It’s up to you to determine how quickly you will embrace that transformation.