Driving success with your Marketing pursuits.

We now live in an ultra-connected world. Both consumers and businesses now toggle with the physical and digital world to buy or invest in products and services, stay in touch with friends and colleagues and be informed about news and other compelling events. As a result, technologies and practices that enable and enrich interactions across these converging domains are in constant flux, making it crucial for CMOs to keep up in order to stay ahead of the competition.

More importantly, the success of any marketing initiative now lies with the consumer. Technology gives consumers the power to sift through the clutter and be in control over what they read, buy and share. Many savvy businesses have embraced this change, including Coke with its Share a Coke campaign that prompted consumers to participate in the success of its campaign through the use of social tools for sharing and suggesting of new names on bottled Cokes.

So what can you do for your business right now to leverage these trends in an increasingly evolving digital marketing space? How can a company cut through the clutter and have their brand or product heard?

TIP: Know your customers, and then do some more.

Businesses have the potential to capture and reference bottomless amounts of data on customers and prospects: what they say about your product or brand over the phone, how they navigate through a website, the number of likes on your most recent campaign on Facebook. The concept of unstructured data points particularly from social network conversations has the potential to enrich a business’ customer records to help make decisions quickly so that the opportunity to convert a prospect into a customer is not lost.

Grabbing the data is relatively easy, the challenge is turning this data into actionable insight for future marketing activity. It’s about creating relevant moments of truth with your customer in a way that not only delights and benefits them, but also triggers a desire to take some form of action that is favorable to your business – that hopefully means signing up for your product or service!

Tip: Dedicate time (DAILY) to tweaking your marketing strategy.

Gone are the days where you spend 2 months at the start of each fiscal year planning out budgets and activities to help achieve your targets. The very nature of the globalized economy is that barriers to entry are low across any industry, so it’s important that you take time to define and refine your investment plans continuously based on what you Learn About Your Customers through each of their interactions with your business.

The concept of optimization is now a common practice amongst the marketing planning cycle process where the most recent customer activity is then used to adapt the user experience, offers and messages of future campaigns for that particular customer.

Achieving this is now much easier with the help of marketing automation software which regulate the offers, creative and messages sent to a particular customer or customer segment. The other key benefit of the software is that it can manage large volumes of messages across different channels: email, social and SMS to name a few in an automated fashion (once campaign rules are defined and set up within the system). This leaves you more time in your day for strategy: reviewing results from previous campaigns and using this knowledge to tweak rules for future campaigns.

Tip: Break through the digital clutter with a rewarding customer experience.

Blasting your customer base with generic emails is no longer the answer towards growing your engagement scores. An average email user in 2012 receives around 147 emails per day of different sorts, 48% of which gets deleted, according to research conducted by Baydin in 2012.

Beyond customer insights and a targeted offer and Contact Strategy, the Aesthetic Appeal of your Marketing Message is a key ingredient to achieving a compelling experience that is consistent with the values that underpin your brand. With 43% of emails opened on the mobile (Litmus, 2012) and 40% more emails are shared when a video is included (The Relevancy Group, 2013), successful Marketing managers now look at optimizing experiences for different devices and screens, and invest heavily in the creative and visual elements behind each campaign to maximize engagement and conversion rates.

Irrespective of what business you’re in, as marketers we’re ultimately concerned about a common set of goals: grow engagement, grow your customer base, retain or turn your customers into brand advocates. Nirvana is striking whilst the iron is hot: for example, when your customer has checked out and added a pair of Nikes in your store, then has decided to not proceed to checkout, and you follow up with a special offer of 15% off the same pair of shoes if the transaction is completed over the next 3 days. With these moments of truth becoming rarer, it’s important that companies seize every opportunity to make a positive mark about their brand, product or service by taking a strategic, integrated approach to their marketing initiatives.