Racing to catch the connected customer: digital is transforming marketing

February 22, 2017

Technology and its benefits are beyond democratized among connected customers nowadays.  To compete, to thrive, requires new perspective…now. It also necessitates transformation of the digital and philosophical kinds. Time is ticking. As customers and employee behaviour evolve and once your competitors set out to address them, you are reactions and actions seal your destiny and legacy. Digital transformation is the realignment of, or new investment in technology, business models, and processes to create new value for customers and employees and more effectively compete in an ever-changing digital economy.

The transformational role of customer experience in marketing and beyond

Before doing so, here are some other areas where the customer experience has a transformational impact. And in todays connected and digital world, they are all closely and increasingly related with digital marketing from the customer experience viewpoint. After all, transformation is a lot about integration around the customer in the broadest sense.

  • The transformations within call centers and customer service departments of organizations: led by increasing customer expectations and the increase of channels and data (and changing customer interaction preferences). The whole discussion about moving the call center to anomni-channel contact center in which there needs to be a clearer role of the contact center in creating customer value instead of being perceived as a cost center is a lot about customer experience optimization (and cost efficiency).
  • The evolution of the IT function: experiences and outcomes first whereby the traditional approach to IT is changing. User and customer adoption, shaped by experiences, are more crucial than ever and the whole shift towards user/customers even leads to a bimodal view on IT (or, as some – in our view more accurately say – atri-modal approach).
  • Shifts in the roles and even new roles within the C-suite: the digital customer leads the dance here as well. Also think about the creation of new functions such as the Chief Customer officer, which started a few years ago and, increasingly, the discussions about using customer experience and customer satisfaction metrics as performance metrics to gauge the performance of C-level execs and their teams. Finally, there is a big debate about who is responsible for the results (not the same thing as the ownership) of anything that’s related to the customer experience and even thedigital customer experience.

 Steps to bring marketing operations into the digital era

Truly understanding customers

Most companies are only at the beginning of creating comprehensive customer-insights programs. While establishing “war rooms” to monitor and react to social-media conversations is a good example of how companies are moving in that direction, what’s needed are organizations that integrate and make sense of all sources of customer insights. One global hotel chain, for example, has combined its customer-research group and marketing-analytics group in an effort to better understand its customers—specifically, those who engage with their marketing, stay in their different hotels, and spend their money once there. These two groups have been combined into one insights team that reports directly to the chief marketing officer.

Delivering a superior experience

. As an experience is delivered to the customer, there needs to be a system to capture how that shopper responds and feeds that information back into the organization, which then adjusts its offer or message accordingly. And this feedback loop is not just about optimizing the customer experience. It also helps decision makers adjust campaign spending based on trends and opportunities, for example, or direct salespeople to stores where product inventory is low. We’ve found that best-in-class companies reallocate up to 80 percent of digital-campaign budgets during a campaign.

Selecting the right marketing technology

Beginning with a clear vision of its ideal customer-delivery needs, it defined key performance indicators, outputs, and levels of personalization, and then it set out to assemble the technology that could do it. But it also needed a solution that could play nicely with the company’s many legacy systems and would also be easy for a large group of global marketers to implement and manage day to day. The company wound up combining off-the-shelf data, content, and analytics platforms with a personalization engine.

 Implementing processes and governance

Establishing such clarity up front requires the client to be a strong orchestrator and the agencies to stick to their defined roles. Rather than being restrictive, this level of governance can enhance creativity, as it frees people to focus on their responsibilities instead of wasting time and energy jockeying for position with other agencies.

Using the best metrics to drive success

To be most effective, however, metrics need to deliver insights quickly—often in real time—so the business can actually act. They need to be delivered in a way that is easy for decision makers to understand, and they need to be forward looking to identify future opportunities rather than focus on reporting what has already happened.

Digital technologies therefore offer the chance for individualised, tailored, accelerated and more effective strategy for businesses. If you want to know about the power of digital transformation, Anglo African team can help you,  do contact Naazreen on 2331636 or via e-mail at

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