Happy customers make for happy marketers. At this point, you’ve been bombarded by steady streams of articles and influencers stressing how crucial customer experience is. And they’re not wrong! Awesome customer experiences are the new proving grounds for marketers.
At Iterable’s recent Activate 19 conference, we shared three big marketing movements we’ve observed in the market that speak to this notion:
- Personalization must evolve toward individualization
- Cross-channel is table stakes because it’s native to customers
- Channels resonate differently but all contribute to a holistic experience
Nothing on this list is a “new development,” but what should elevate the heart rates of marketers everywhere is the fact that these are the new consumer standards. Brands need to ace the experience test because a growing number of brands already are—and that bar is continually being raised.
Luckily, there’s a growth-minded strategy that can help you get there and we’ve identified how marketers can start elevating their game. Re-evaluating your production strategy using these simple concepts and then making the changes (whether incremental or massive) will help you start clearing the consumer experience bar.
1. Make Execution Easier
Marketers and silos don’t get along; that’s a fact. A recent survey showed that 42 percent of executives agree that silos present their biggest blocker from digital transformation; tearing them down should be your top priority.
Your first strategic exercise revolves around identifying then deconstructing the different silos surrounding your marketing team. To do this, think about the processes and steps you need to take in order to bring a typical campaign to life. Go step by step and dive into your traditional workflow to identify:
- What information you need
- Where you go to find it
- Who you get it from
- How long this takes
- What you do next
- And so on
Identifying the organizational or cross-functional team silos might be easier to spot than underlying data silos. But when data flows, engagement grows!
If you don’t have a ton of experience or contextual understanding of what to look for, be sure to check out our platform migration guide. Even if you’re not switching ESPs, we’ve detailed the strategic vantage points from which you should be evaluating the interdependent relationships between your data, your processes, and your campaign output.
The daily grind has a way of ingraining habits, processes, and mindsets that we come to accept as standard operating procedure. Even though that approach might be riddled with inefficiencies, such recurrence promotes acceptance “as-is.”
Once you’ve properly identified your blockers, it’s much easier to start removing them—this paves the way for faster time to market and new agility to engage your customers.
2. Put Your Data to Work
The ramping of the technology curve has revealed a new world of data-driven possibilities. New tools inside the broader marketing stack are much more adept at capturing the wakes of data that digitally-connected consumers leave behind on the web.
Consumers have a heightened awareness of these trails and are recognizing that if brands are going to justify their collection practices, they better be getting something in return. As marketers, it’s our responsibility to understand that these are the new consumer rules and the onus is on us to deliver responsibly.
Determining the right data strategy for your brand’s technology stack is difficult but should align with these core capabilities: you need the ability to capture it across all tools, to consolidate it into a single view, and to then act upon it!
Unlocking new data doesn’t have to be an all-or-none endeavor; each new data layer you’re able to pull back offers a variety of potential insights. And with new insight comes new ideas and new grounds for experimentation!
Boxed, a one-stop shop for stocking up on supplies for home, for work, and for life, shared a story of their experimentation strategy using direct mail. They garnered campaign success by using customer data to send a highly personalized message to their customers.
Instead of delivering their message through email, they changed the channel and sent it out via direct mail. It was personalized, targeted, and automated—and all made possible through a silo-free and data-rich marketing environment.
3. Execute and Iterate
Like we saw Boxed do, experimenting with personalized outreach on new channels makes for interesting results. With your organizational hurdles cleared and data silos torn down, now’s the time that marketing really gets fun!
Start by expanding the scope of experimentation. Naturally, there are a million different variables that might seem worthy of testing right off the bat: text, imagery, calls to action, timing, channels, and so much more. Don’t get overwhelmed by opening the experimentation flood gates too fast!
You need a good strategy to guide your experiment design and operation. Whether you’re new to testing or looking to level up your game, approaching with a deep understanding of your test variables and experimentation strategy that will make sure you’re able to garner outcomes worthy of your time.
Proper testing takes time and care to be sure your results reflect what’s really happening among your customers, not a fluke or errors generated from improper test setup. Keep these six practices in mind as you create your plan and set up your test:
- Always test the variants simultaneously to reduce the chance that time-based factors will skew your results.
- Test a statistically significant sample for accurate results.
- Review and gain insights from the empirical data collected, not your gut instinct.
- Test often, and build upon your learnings over time for the best results.
- Test only one hypothesis at a time so you know not only which campaign won but also why it won.
- Think creatively (or model from others’ successes) while seeking continual improvement.
Conducting experiments with a testing structure that you can build on will help you glean greater insights and improve your marketing efforts bit by bit across all channels.
Do it for Them
As your brand starts racing toward a reenvisioned customer experience, lean into the concepts we’ve shared above. Simplifying the execution path as you arm yourselves with new data insights will give you and your team a new marketing superpower: agility.
Working faster and understanding new layers of nuance about your customers will empower you to shape the experiences they crave.
Learn how you can start channeling your marketing agility to do more for your customers with a growth marketing platform that does it all.