Before Bonnie Thorn, head of marketing at Red Balloon, stepped up to give her presentation at CeBIT 2016, the chair asked the audience, ‘Who’s heard of Red Balloon?’.
Just about every hand went up – a striking demonstration of Red Balloon’s marketing success.
Thorn began her talk with the following Steve Jobs quote:
‘You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology, not the other way around.’
It should come as little surprise that the head of marketing at Red Balloon, a company that is all about gifting experiences, would be underlining the importance of customer experience, but while she says it can be difficult to monetise the effects of customer experience, the pay-off for investing in it can be huge. According to American Express, ‘One happy customer can equal as many as 9 referrals for your business,’ and the top 20% of companies have conversion rates greater than 4.5%.
The customer experience journey begins with customer engagement and content, a cycle that involves the following steps:
- Identify demand: keeping track of what topics are trending in customers’ searches, and making appropriate content available for each stage of the identification journey:
- Monitor competition: how you do rank against your competitors in terms of content, social media, analytics, offers? How do you leverage search and data to create content?
- Create content: Authenticity and relevancy are key to engagement – understand what your content is for and how it will benefit your customer.
- Measure results for business impacts: results should be measured across the funnel.
Nowadays, marketing is not just about selling products, but creating a personalised experience for the customer, and personalisation is becoming a huge facet of digital marketing. Giving your customers information that relates to them directly, and allowing them to tailor their experience or product builds trust. Integrating personalisation into your business, however, does require a huge shift in the way a company operates, and a thorough audit of the landscape, infrastructure and benefits should be done in the first instance. It is also essential to make sure your digital ecosystem – your consumer-facing channels, data-collecting assets and systems – is set up properly for personalisation, as this is what makes it possible.
One of the challenges in marketing is keeping up in a rapidly evolving digital environment; for this reason, it’s paramount that your marketing and IT teams work closely together and that you have an integrated marketing and IT strategy. It’s also important to keep your teams engaged and adapting to change, so you can stay agile in a shifting landscape.