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In a noisy and busy digital world, engaging with customers, providing them with a positive experience and building upon the relationship has become more challenging for marketers, these are top priority for many. Consumer behavior has changed and customers now have a preference toward companies that understand them individually and can relate to them directly with relevant messages and offers. Years ago this would have been nearly an impossible ask for marketers, yet with the advancements in marketing technology, the time required to do this has diminished greatly today. With many of these technologies being relatively new, many marketers still see this as a big ask because they are unfamiliar with the use cases and ways technology can help to build the relationships. Since building relationships and engaging with customers is a top priority for marketers, we have outlined three different ways marketing technology can help improve customer relationships.
Making data-driven decisions has always played an important role in marketing, and today marketers have more opportunity than ever to collect data, analyze and apply data to build stronger customer relationships. Tracking tools such as Google Analytics 360 and some marketing automation tools track customers actions on sites and to help better understand customers. Additionally, many apply machine learning to provide insights to make improvements on your website or create tailored content your users want to see. Collecting your customers’ data is one part, but with users spending so much time online their digital footprint is larger than ever, so being able to analyze and break down customer data seems daunting. However, software like Tableau can help anyone, even with no data analyst background, to see and understand their data. Connecting to many different databases and platforms, a system like Tableau provides dashboards and visualizations that allows marketers to make strategic decisions to improve their customer relationships.
Once that data is collected and insights are gathered, the next step is to create individualized and personal experiences which will help build more meaningful relationships. There are many tools that allow marketers to easily deliver a personalized experience to every website visitor. If you are a store that sells coats and a customer runs a search that says, rain coats, you could use dynamic content to have that page display something like “stay dry” with this coat, while another customer that you know based on past purchases, lives in a colder climate and makes coat purchases to stay warm would see on that same page “stay warm” with this coat. Tools like Optimizely, Hubspot, Marketo and many others make it easier than ever for marketers to deliver this one-to-one experience for customers. Of course, email personalization has been around for a while, but has evolved greatly. You can provide customers both the things that they are interested in, and offers, content or products that you assume they may be interested in, based on data and using machine learning. Many of these marketing automation tools have already implemented AI to make it easier for marketers to implement.
The way we directly communicate with customers has evolved over time. Customers want answers quickly, so the days of sending them to a call center, sorting through options to find the right department and then having a conversation with a representative, no longer delivers the experience your customers want. Companies who moved to online chat to answer customer questions and build relationships, still don’t always connect with them as quickly as people hoped. To remedy this marketers can now move to conversational marketing that uses A.I. to ask the customer the right questions, guide them to the right follow-up questions and provide them with answer they are looking for. Tools like Drift and Conversica help guide customers to automatically find the answers they want and can provide questions and answers based on their history, the content they are viewing or what similar question have been asked. This does take upfront analysis and thoughtful planning to ensure you are set to ask the right questions and guide the customers in the right direction, but it helps to create relationships with your customers at scale.
All of these are ways marketing technology is helping to improve relationship marketing to customers. As mentioned, they all take thoughtful planning to understand the data, craft the right messages and processes, they will ultimately help to scale your relationship marketing efforts.