By Alexandra Larralde | Posted on October 20, 2014
Marketing Continuity isn’t a buzzword—it’s a new way of thinking about new(ish) problems in an era of consumer marketing where real-time relevancy and standout digital experiences have quickly become requirements. As companies work to both acquire new customers as well as grow and deepen relationships with the ones they already have, understanding how the systems they use affect the end-to-end customer experience is critical to designing a marketing technology infrastructure that delivers real value.
Marketing Continuity is the framework for thinking about, planning for, and designing all customer interactions across all channels, as well as the technology investments required to support them. Three key trends are driving marketers toward prioritizing customer identity and the connected technology ecosystem that leverages it.
The marketing landscape is changing—and has been changing drastically—over the last decade. Where there was once a greenfield for marketing technologies, the space has radically grown in recent years to include nearly 1,000 different vendors across 43 distinct categories, and more are brought to market every day. With a proliferation of tools and platforms available, marketers must not only adapt, but also develop a sophisticated understanding of the ways in which technology investments must work together to deliver a compelling customer experience.
At the same time, new consumer technologies are adding increasing complexity to marketers’ strategies and tactics for reaching their target audience. Multiple devices, social profiles and ways for audiences to consume information require that marketers rethink our traditional approach to the purchase funnel and plan in an environment where the customer can find and engage with brands anywhere, at any time.
Understanding your customers and building a comprehensive and actionable customer identity is the first step toward building a marketing infrastructure that enables the delivery of personalized experiences. But therein lies the biggest challenge—creating truly 1:1 interactions in a time when your customers’ journey toward a relationship with your brand is more fragmented than ever before. How are they interacting with you? Through what devices are they engaging with your content, product or service? Are they registering or creating an account with you? What data are you collecting about them? How is that data being leveraged by your marketing technology systems? Knowing who your customers are, what they’re doing, and how you can influence their behavior, is essential for building a seamless journey across all of your digital touchpoints.
The fragmented customer journey means that the purchase funnel as we once knew it is long gone. The old way of thinking—where you move your prospective customers towards awareness of your product or service, to consideration, and ultimately, to a transaction—is no longer a simple forward path. With the advent of social media and the proliferation of cross-device usage, we’ve traded predictable and linear for a much more complex model.
Because consumers have so many options and so many messages competing for their limited time and attention, marketers must now invest in relationships that develop over time, and that often form in unpredictable and surprising ways. Recognizing this change and planning for a funnel with multiple points of entry and exit across various channels and screens will help you better understand how to meet your customers at every point of interaction and drive conversion.
Between an evolving technology landscape, an ever-fragmenting customer journey and the deterioration of the traditional marketing funnel, knowing your customers has never mattered more. Join us for our October 28 webinar to learn how the Marketing Continuity framework can transform a shifting market into an unparalleled opportunity for delivering omnichannel marketing experiences.
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