Guest blog: Maximising efficiency through tailored marketing solutions – Mike Watson, IO Integration

In a relatively short space of time, consumer tastes and demands have shifted dramatically. We now live in a world that is so much more connected and socially active than any time previously, and this has changed how brands must market themselves.

Simply put: a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing has never been less relevant or effective for brands. To obtain the consumer’s attention, marketers must tailor each and every one of the campaigns they run according to the product/service they are trying to sell, or the market in which the campaign is running. If done well, personalising their work in this way can ensure brands are effectively engaging with increasingly savvy consumers. The challenge here is that brands need to convince their customers to part with their data in order for it to be used to provide targeted, personalised and relevant offers.

Being able to customise the technology that underpins a typical modern-day marketing campaign is also critical to success, but many organisations are forced to compromise and deal with pre-determined marketing solutions that aren’t built with their specific organisational goals at heart. While a solution such as this would likely deliver marginal improvements for marketing departments, they would struggle to reap all the potential benefits that personalisation or 1-2-1 marketing bring.

However, it could be argued that failing to consider specific business needs is not solely the fault of the vendors, but also of the marketers themselves. All too often, we see that the motivations to implement new technology come from the wrong place: Instead of installing a tool to reach a new goal, they will do so simply because there is a budget that must be spent.

The importance of orchestration

Taking a laissez-faire attitude towards purchasing technology solutions can lead to a siloed approach where businesses are left with a tangled web of software solutions that don’t work cohesively as a whole. This creates unnecessary overlap: there might be eight different systems being used when one will suffice, for example. This can cause obvious technological confusion, while also diluting the over-arching messaging of a marketing campaign.

The best way to prevent this is to take a step back and identify the goals you are trying hoping to achieve. It’s important to define the tactic versus the strategy. For example, the technology functionality you are considering is a tactic, but there might be multiple tactics that form the strategy, so ensure they can work in tandem.

A tech-based approach

If marketers want to build upon existing market share and grow a loyal customer base, they must take the time to investigate the technology-based solutions that can help to deliver hyper-personalised, contextual customer experiences across all relevant touchpoints.

Marketers are often left worrying they may lack the relevant technical knowledge, but this should not be of concern. Instead, the onus should be on the technology vendors to focus more closely on guiding marketers through the evaluation process and helping them understand how each solution will help to meet their business goals from a base level.

Adjust your perspective

In today’s environment it is critical that marketers take the time to ascertain how the audience is receiving their messaging. Without being able to observe how messages are communicated and how the campaign is being conveyed to audiences, it can be tough to respond dynamically.

The connected consumers of today demand natural communications across various channels, but only to a certain limit. For example, if there are ten different ways to absorb a piece of information, customers will realistically only choose between three and five different ways to do so, and the channels themselves will be very much dictated by your customer base and the market you are in. As a result, marketers must ensure that each avenue they choose offers the same level of messaging to boost engagement rates, loyalty and conversion.

The role of technology in this exchange between brand and consumer is only set to become more important as time goes on. Having the right  content marketing systems (CMS) is key to ensuring assets are up-to-date, accessible and available to the relevant stakeholders and appropriate for the campaign or target audience.

Always stay ahead

The typical consumer today is more ‘tech savvy’ and less brand loyal.  It can take them seconds to research competitor solutions, which is why brands can no longer implement a ‘cookie cutter’ marketing approach in a bid to stand out from the crowd. Instead, they must adopt a solution that is effective from both a performance and a financial perspective.

To ensure your brand is delivering the best quality and most relevant content to the right audience, brands should go for a tailored marketing technology solution. The right use of such solutions can help brands to continue delivering engaging, multi-channel customer experiences to new customers while retaining their existing audience.

By Mike Watson, sales director, IO Integration

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