It wasn’t long ago that marketing was all about the art of segmentation, message and ad spend. For some it still is, but for some clever marketers, the dark art days of marketing are over, replaced by customer engagement, real-time insight and right-time marketing. Science, in the form of data, analytics, prediction and action is far more effective at achieving brand loyalty and aligning an organization around its revenue goals.
This marketing renaissance is a departure from the Dark Ages of spray-and-pray spending, and for customer loyalty it goes well beyond points and plastic cards. Today’s change was probably born of the economic crash of five years ago, when companies slashed budgets almost as quickly as customers stopped spending.
Coming out of that cycle, companies that could do more with less—thanks to automation and better use of data—showing the world that there was a way to increase business without adding more manual labor back into the system. Once those kinds of realizations occur, there’s no turning back.
Today, if you can identify and engage with a customer using a technology platform that seamlessly manages the customer’s characteristics and history, the context of the selling moment, and the channels where customers are found—be it social, mobile, website, or in store—why wouldn’t you? Risk? Cost? Organizational alignment? Those are all factors in why people choose not to change, but they’re also the last reasons why anyone should be missing the boat at this crossroads in history.
There’s more risk, cost, and poor alignment in not changing.
Just as the printing press was a driver of the Renaissance in the 15th century, the ability to directly interact on a personal level with customers is the driver of today’s successful brands. Similar to how the printing press put lots of monks out of the text copying business, platform-based customer engagement management will cause smart brands to survive and others to become relics.
If you’re not aware this renaissance is happening, time to take a look at what some of the more advanced retailers are doing.