Meet Complexity Head-On With a Single Point of Operational Control

digital marketing funnel
With the right data-driven technology, complexity falls by the wayside regardless of how a customer chooses to engage with a brand.

It is readily apparent that marketing complexity is growing by the day. More devices, more data, more channels and more customer data sources can easily overwhelm marketers tasked with meeting customer expectations for a consistent, personalized experience throughout the buying journey — on any channel and in real-time. 

The complexity, some fear, is out of control, and that is even before accounting for rapidly changing customer behaviors such as a preference for curbside pickup and other contactless engagements, or the desire to control an omnichannel journey on a combination of physical and digital channels. 

If consumer behaviors are changing seemingly by the day, is technology now getting in the way of adapting to those changes? What’s the sense of investing in personalization if you simply cannot manage the complexity that goes along with it? 

Break the Inertia with a Customer-Centric Approach

Rather than being frozen by inaction, I would argue that the sensible course of action is to buck the conventional thinking that incremental technology additions are better than nothing. In many cases, it is far better to remove overlapping technologies and put the right foundational elements in place to radically reduce complexity. This approach delivers far superior results than incrementalism and is less risky in the long run as you will be able to adapt more quickly in the future. Technology is now available to fulfill the promise of segment-of-one marketing that delivers a highly relevant, personalized customer experience at the moment of interaction across channels. 

[See also: Retaining the New Consumer Through the Power of Technology]

By facing complexity head-on, organizations can indeed become customer-centric, which according to research from Bain, drives revenue. The study revealed that companies that excel at customer experience grow revenue 4-8% above their market. To deliver a superior customer experience, however, organizations must go beyond using just transactional, preference, and historical data to form a personalized engagement strategy.

Rather, to be truly customer-centric they must also look at behavior across devices, analyze device usage, IoT and sentiment analysis, and first-party, second-party, and third-party data across an anonymous to known record.

Getting there requires eliminating siloed data, people and processes and treating customer experience the same way customers view their relationship with a brand — as a holistic series of interactions that span every channel. That’s the expectation; it’s not in pursuit of some “ideal best” experience on every channel, but rather consistent relevance during every interaction that is individualized to every customer’s need. A core brand experience, in other words, transcends marketing.

Solving for complexity begins with understanding each customer, which of course requires integrating customer data sources into a single platform. But that’s just the start. To meet modern customer expectations head-on also requires resolving data quality issues in-line (i.e., at the point of data ingest or earlier) and applying advanced identity resolution capabilities to create a true single customer view that is updated in real-time.

With automated machine learning and a real-time decisioning engine, it then becomes possible to intelligently orchestrate tens of millions or more interactions that are personalized in the context of an individual customer journey.

Shedding Complexity With a Single Point of Control

With the right data-driven technology, complexity falls by the wayside regardless of how a customer chooses to engage with a brand. That’s because with a single point of control over data, decisions and interactions, an organization is virtually guaranteed to deliver a next-best action optimized for channel and in the cadence of the customer journey.

A digital customer experience platform takes out the guesswork by developing the pitch perfect sequence of experiences that are hyper-relevant to a customer’s behaviors, regardless of the seemingly infinite combinations typical in a non-linear, non-sequential modern customer journey. 

[See also: Evolution of How Consumers Shop]

This is a different approach than the traditional channel-centric view of marketing that most organizations have in place. And it’s different than high-level persona or segment-driven experiences. Along with the right technology, meeting the expectations of the modern consumer requires adopting the mindset that marketing is, indeed, a mission-critical department with the potential to be the top revenue driver for the enterprise.

John Nash
John Nash

Technology, strategy and process challenges may seem daunting, but in the long run they’re more easily solved with the right foundational elements. Particularly when customer demands for a superior customer experience will only increase over time.

John Nash is CMSO of Redpoint Global.

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