When I speak with clients, I often ask them to take me down the road of their digital customer journey. This keeps the conversation open and free-flowing. I usually learn a lot about what my clients are looking for – and planning for – in the future. It gives us time to talk about wishes and wants, positives and negatives, and what the next year and beyond might look like.
Most of all, asking about their digital journey tells me how I can help them. After all, while most brands don’t have the opportunity to speak regularly to their prospective customers, marketing technology and data give us more insight into the customer journey than ever before. This empowers marketers to not only understand the journey on a more meaningful level, but also use that understanding to optimize important touch points; those “micro-moments” when a customer is ready to get in touch, request more information, or make a purchase.
By understanding the journey from this data-rich standpoint, marketers can deliver the most relevant content at the most relevant time. So let’s take a look at a few strategies that can help you connect with your customers in the most timely, effective and creative ways.
Create Content That Matters
Marketers need to identify the perfect moment to engage and/or convert customers. As soon as there is a light bulb moment, it’s time to deliver the content that gives the customer exactly what they are looking for. This can come in a variety of forms – videos, blogs, infographics, contests and more. After ample data has been crunched and analyzed, you will be able identify which types of content appeals most to your specific customer personas, making the purchase cycle even more efficient.
Build A Relationship With the Customer
The first and most important step of building a customer relationship is to understand who you are targeting. What is the customer looking for? What is their purpose for being on a particular site? As a marketer, you want to make sure you build content to target specific, quantifiable customers and fulfill their needs. It’s a little surprising, then, to learn that only 20% of B2C companies create content that generates measurable customer engagements. There is a vast amount of content out in the world, no doubt – but not a ton of interaction with it. So remember to take a step back and think: “Who am I targeting, and why is it relevant?”
Integrate Across Platforms
“Multi-platform optimization” is a bit of a mouthful, but it’s also crucial for your perceived relevance. The best illustration of this can be found in the ongoing rise (and rise… and rise!) of the mobile-first customer. Think about yourself at home, waiting for your coffee to brew. You pick up your phone, navigate to your favorite clothing site, and check out those navy blue brogues you saw in-store last week. If the site is mobile-ready, complete with a simple checkout process and a personalized free shipping offer, then there’s little standing in the way of your purchase. On the flipside, if a frustrating mobile experience makes you put your phone down and wait until you are at your desktop to look again, you become much less likely to follow through on your purchase intent. Ease and convenience, regardless of platform or device, is the name of the game.
A savvy marketer is always looking to understand what drives purchase decisions. Therefore, measuring performance – and identifying how much engagement is needed to generate a sale – is just as important as the engagements that lead to that sale. It’s a science: add the analytics tools to track content performance across the customer journey and you’ve already taken the first step to greater success. Each customer behaves and engages in a different way, but measuring their interactions with a brand will lead the marketer down the correct customer path.
Marketers have more data at their fingertips than ever before. The need now is to tap into what drives micro-moments, and engage with the customer at the right points along their journey. Very simply, you must be forward-thinking and anticipate customer behavior at every opportunity. With thousands of ways to reach your audience on multiple platforms at different times, you just have to pay close attention, measure, and make their journey as smooth as possible.
Molly Livermore is Director of Business Development at DAC / Chicago. DAC is a marketing agency that caters to the digital lifestyle.
We create, execute and continually optimize campaigns that are local, relevant, social and multi-device. We drive performance at every level, connecting buyers to sellers at the right place and time. Contact DAC to find out more!