Highlights: Customer Engagement in the Digital Economy

Last week’s exclu­sive sto­ries on were focused on cus­tomer engage­ment in the matur­ing dig­i­tal econ­o­my. As tech­nol­o­gy con­tin­ues to become more per­va­sive in con­sumers’ lives, more and more CMOs will need to adapt to the chang­ing ‘digi­con­o­my’. Data-dri­ven mar­ket­ing enables com­pa­nies to get clos­er to cus­tomers and have more con­trol over the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence. This week’s engage­ments out­line some top strate­gies for CMOs to adopt to opti­mize their cus­tomer engagement.

Doug Mow, CMO and Head of Strat­e­gy at Ness Soft­ware Engi­neer­ing Ser­vices, began the week’s dis­cus­sions by look­ing back at the role of CIOs in the 1990s. CIOs were in a posi­tion to exer­cise sig­nif­i­cant influ­ence over what busi­ness would look like in the future in the 1990s. How­ev­er, com­pa­nies began to adopt the belief that CIOs didn’t tru­ly under­stand the needs of the busi­ness. Though that oppor­tu­ni­ty was lost, Mow says, CMOs today are in the same posi­tion of influ­ence when it comes to reach­ing cus­tomers through tech­nol­o­gy. There’s no doubt that cus­tomers live and do busi­ness in a dig­i­tal econ­o­my, and CMOs have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to be change agents, influ­enc­ing their com­pa­nies to embrace new tech­nol­o­gy and reach cus­tomers through many channels.

How­ev­er, tech­nol­o­gy brings some new chal­lenges to bear. Every­one becomes a publisher.The rapid increase of con­tent for con­sumers to sift through has many busi­ness­es lost in the mix. It takes engag­ing con­tent to break through all the noise but many com­pa­nies don’t take that seri­ous­ly. Gre­go­ry Pouy, Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Strate­gist at LaMer­ca­tique, calls this the “con­tent sat­u­ra­tion era.” Research indi­cates that con­tent pro­duc­tion is going to con­tin­ue to increase in the com­ing years. This means mar­keters will have to devel­op new strate­gies for get­ting their con­tent in front of poten­tial cus­tomers. For­tu­nate­ly, Pouy out­lines ten strate­gies for how to shape your con­tent so that it breaks through the noise.

Last week’s inter­view with Stephen O’Kelly, the Mar­ket­ing Direc­tor for Guin­ness in Europe, focused on Guinness’s rep­u­ta­tion as a sto­ry-telling brand and how the com­pa­ny is con­tin­u­ing to adapt its mar­ket­ing in a dig­i­tal world. He shares the ways in which dig­i­tal has helped the brand to reach more cus­tomers. Though the brand has been known for sto­ry-telling, O’Kelly shares how the company’s mar­ket­ing efforts have become more of a two-way engage­ment rather than just one-direc­tion­al sto­ry­telling. This means keep­ing up with cur­rent events and con­sumer sen­ti­ments is crit­i­cal to being able to have a mean­ing­ful con­ver­sa­tion in real-time.

Gré­goire Pau­ty of the EMEA Busi­ness Val­ue Con­sult­ing Team at Adobe brought the Inter­net of Things into the con­ver­sa­tion. Specif­i­cal­ly, he men­tions the way in which com­pa­nies miss the oppor­tu­ni­ty to cre­ate addi­tion­al val­ue by adding a piece of con­nec­tiv­i­ty. He argues that gad­gets must be used to enhance rela­tion­ships with cus­tomers and increase usage. He uses the exam­ples of Uber and Airbnb in using the IoT to get clos­er to cus­tomers and increase usage by sim­pli­fy­ing the process. Pau­ty chal­lenges mar­keters to use IoT to trans­form the ways in which com­pa­nies cre­ate val­ue for cus­tomers and encour­ages them to approach it from a strate­gic and a time-to-mar­ket per­spec­tive, out­lin­ing what this looks like in action.

Patrick Munden, Head of Mar­ket­ing and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions at Salmon, looks ahead to Black Fri­day and how mar­keters and busi­ness­es can avoid some of the mis­takes of last year. The pop­u­lar­i­ty of Black Fri­day con­tin­ues to increase in the UK with four times as many shop­pers plan­ning to shop online dur­ing this year’s sales. The cus­tomer expe­ri­ence dur­ing Black Fri­day and the days lead­ing up to it is a vital con­sid­er­a­tion for any com­pa­ny. It’s impor­tant for mar­keters to com­mu­ni­cate with the oth­er orga­ni­za­tions with­in their com­pa­ny to ensure that every­one is on the same page and every com­po­nent is work­ing togeth­er seam­less­ly. The goal, accord­ing to Munden, is for com­pa­nies to give cus­tomers an excep­tion­al expe­ri­ence that will earn cus­tomer loy­al­ty and gen­er­ate peak sales on Black Friday.

We invite you to read and fur­ther engage with our exclu­sive con­tent on and ben­e­fit from the help and ‘how-to’ guid­ance from lead­ing mar­keters and indus­try influencers.