Enhancing Customer Experiences Through Marketing Technology Optimization

In the omni-channel world of wearable technology, always-on consumers and location-aware devices, the sea of marketing communications drowns consumers with push, pull and conversation-style messaging, making it increasingly difficult to truly connect with your community. 

In order to part the sea, break through to your customers and deliver rich, engaging and personal brand experiences, marketers should look to marketing technology to activate a data-driven, automated campaign communications strategy.

This probably isn’t a surprise as I’m sure you’ve heard the widely thrown around Gartner forecast that the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO by 2017.1 But how does an organization with disparate technology, a variety of systems, vast amounts of customer data and a little-to-no focus on an integrated omni-channel campaign begin to achieve marketing success?

Consider these four actionable steps to transform your marketing technology ecosystem, improve your brand’s customer experience management strategy and ultimately achieve better business results.

Understand How Your Community Engages Through Your Marketing Ecosystem

As marketing has evolved over the last decade, countless technologies have been created in categories such as email, mobile, search, social, gamification, personalization engines, targeting technologies, geolocation, marketing automation…the list goes on…not to mention platforms such as Salesforce.com, Google, Amazon, etc. You must understand how your brand’s community currently engages through these and what gaps exist in your marketing ecosystem. Specifically, what are the core capabilities your firm needs to develop or optimize from a customer-facing standpoint? Understanding which capabilities are required to design a customer journey that’s tied to a solid business case for ROI will allow you to prioritize your technology investments. By taking this outside-in, customer-centric approach, you will avoid the pain points that come with a “technology first” approach, which often ignores the most important requirements—those of your customers.

Understand Your Current Community's Data

After you understand the community and the technologies that are currently in place, look to understanding what data is collected, and more importantly, how to integrate that data into one single view of the customer. As a customer views the brand as a one-to-one relationship, so must the brand view the customer in a one-to-one manner. All of the customer interaction data amassed through the enabling technologies must be consolidated so that the marketing ecosystem can optimize engagement communications to each customer.

Create an Omni-Channel Marketing Technology Vision

The next step is to move forward and identify how to evolve your marketing ecosystem. As the customer looks at a brand with one lens, an integrated vision across the entire marketing ecosystem must be reviewed, consolidated and defined. This vision of which technologies to enhance, enable and optimize will be dependent on the maturity of your brand’s marketing ecosystem. Looking internally, are there different decision makers for web versus social versus mobile? A brand could have a great web and e-commerce experience, but an immature email, customer data collection process and mobile strategy. The next brand may have a solid email marketing strategy but not a mobile-enabled marketing platform. This vision moves away from a silo approach and will be created to align to the overall business vision.

Execute the Vision and Measure Progress

Now for the fun part: execute the vision. Once alignment across the brand enterprise has been achieved, you can enable the technology components to achieve a holistic customer experience. As the marketing ecosystem evolves, measurement is critical to understand how to push forward and to ensure the technology assets are growing customer affinity towards your brand. While it depends on your brand’s marketing ecosystem maturity, the integrated marketing technology vision should generally be reviewed on a quarterly basis.

If you understand your community, your marketing ecosystem’s strengths and opportunities and its data, you have the ability to create and execute an integrated marketing technology vision. This vision will inspire a holistic customer experience management strategy and drive business results through intimate, engaging experiences.

About the Author

Jim Mattson brings over 18 years of enterprise technology experience to his current role as Vice President of Technology for Olson 1to1. The team is responsible for envisioning, architecting, delivering, and operating omni-channel enterprise technology solutions that support Olson 1to1 clients. Prior to joining Olson, Jim led technology and architecture teams at other marketing agencies, delivering technology solutions to Fortune 500 clients. Jim has an MS in Software Engineering from the University of St. Thomas.

1 McLellan, Laura. By 2017 the CMO will Spend More on IT Than the CIO. 2012. Webinar. Gartner.com. Web. 10 Apr 2014.