Contribution by Helene Blanchette, Senior Manager of Marketing Innovation and Regional Head of the 1:1 Experience Service, Fuji Xerox Asia Pacific

Today’s world of marketing is fast-paced and the number of available channels is multiplying, making it hard to keep the consumers focused and for marketers to keep consumers engaged. On top of an increasing number of media, there is also a lack of proper measurement benchmarks that enable marketers to make relevant business conclusions with the data collected.

 

The Era of Confusion

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On top of the number of available channels increasing, from traditional print and television to online and social media, there is also the influx of direct, or spam mail. These all contribute to diverting the consumers’ concentration, and with additional unwanted direct advertising, it makes them more resistant to the marketing messages.

 

Sieving through the build-up of Big Data

Coupled together with a multitude of medium choices, marketers also lack an effective assessment or measurement benchmarks for these various deliveries. Marketers are not able to sieve through the data to make relevant marketing and business conclusions, and instead, only media statistics may be delivered, compared to the return on investment metrics requested by the firm’s board.

Over time, more avenues may lead to more confusion over decision making for marketers – which medium is most suitable for the brand and its target consumer, and when is the optimum time to use it. This leads to a tendency of creating media silo strategies, where each channel is reviewed and analyzed individually. This isolation of data by avenue then contributes the build-up of Big Data. With this, marketers face yet another challenge to integrate and cross reference this data for it to become meaningful and usable for making marketing decisions.

 

Keeping consumers engaged and loyal

Faced with these challenges, many companies and marketers are turning to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, with the intent of getting a better customer view. However, technology alone may not be able to provide real insights on customers’ profiles and buying behavior that is needed to help marketers bring value to consumers. Even with multiple suppliers providing different variations of CRM technology and processes, marketing solutions still do require vital inputs from marketers themselves – integration, intelligent analytics, and the actual usage of data.

Without gleaning and using the data suitably, brands will remain confused on the media choice. This leads to the selection of a strategy that may not be the most appropriate, and in turn the company’s mass acquisition over and over to fill the pipeline of high drop outs and to gain market share.

 

Disconnect and lack of loyalty

On top of the misapplication of data and marketing strategy, it is also getting harder to get consumers to remain loyal to a brand or product. With the barrage of marketing messages, end users are able to simply tune out, and go for a more enticing “offer of the day”.

In a global study conducted by Accenture in 2013 it has been observed that 68% of customers disconnect themselves with a brand because they feel the company does not take care or engage them. The remaining consumers lose interest due to other factors, including bad service or competitors’ products or services that have become more appealing.

In order to attract and valuably retain a customer, companies have to do much more than just sell a product or service. They have to create an enriching consumer journey, and let customers live through an experience. With consumers’ behavior constantly changing, marketers need to engage and nourish a valuable customer relationship in a timely manner. On top of ensuring an engaging experience for the consumer, they also need to find a way to remain relevant across the different profiles of their customers, from different age groups to income levels.

 

Tackling the marketing dilemma with the right use of data

With the conundrum of balancing the different aspects of marketing such as consumer engagement, choice of medium, and budget, marketers need to gain the know-how of using the collected data in order to make well-informed and relevant choices on marketing strategies.