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Do you remember the wave of wacky social media personas that littered brand accounts on Twitter for a few years? (And still persists, to some extent).

 

This phenomenon popped up as a way for brands to compete for the customer’s attention. Social media opened up a new avenue for customer interaction, and brands were quick to pounce. The trend is so common now that you can turn to Google for examples and find a slew of articles on the topic.

As marketing and the technology it uses changes, the way brands seek to grab customer attention changes with it. And it doesn’t just bring some fun Twitter one-liners with it. There are many challenges that occur.

Which is why we asked our 50 women, “What are the challenges of competing for customer loyalty?

Their arguments can be summed up in the key points below:

  • Understanding customer needs and how they change
  • Integrating media channels to provide a seamless experience
  • Getting in front of the customer
  • Staying authentic amidst our many tech-driven tasks


Understanding customer needs and how they change

Here’s some important information from our friends over at SalesForce:

“Delivering personalized experiences drives customer loyalty, with 70 percent of consumers saying a company’s understanding of their individual needs influences their loyalty, and 69 percent saying the same of personalized customer care. The issue is more pressing with business buyers, 82 percent of whom say personalized customer care influences loyalty.”

The struggle is being able to keep up with consumers needs and wants, as they change rapidly today. It’s important to keep an eye on consumer behavior so that as it evolves, so does your strategy.

Seeta Hariharan

Seeta Hariharan, General Manager and Group Head at Tata Consultancy Services Digital Software & Solutions Group

“Across all sectors and demographic categories, instead of pushing products, companies now compete for consumer loyalty and revenue by selling superior experiences.”

read more from Seeta

Leah Pope

Leah Pope, Chief Marketing Officer at Datorama

“CMOs operating in this arena need to really speak to customer values and solve the real problems that marketers are doing hand-to-hand combat with on a daily basis.”

read more from Leah

Inecke Snyder-Lourens

Inecke Snyder-Lourens, Director of Professional Services at Cognifide

“Marketers need to continually evaluate which digital media are working the hardest for their customers and businesses.

Know what you are trying to achieve, and then be prepared to change your go-to channels as the preferences of your consumers evolve.”

read more from Inecke


Integrating media channels to provide a seamless experience

Today, it's just as important to sell quality customer experience as it is to sell a quality product. And having a seamless customer experience across channels helps in that endeavor.

Just take a look at the chart below:

However, a lot of companies haven’t found a way to make this multi-channel experience as smooth as it needs to be.

Seeta Hariharan

Seeta Hariharan, General Manager and Group Head at Tata Consultancy Services Digital Software & Solutions Group

“Instead of pushing products, they must now sell great customer experiences that play out seamlessly across their integrated physical and digital worlds.”

read more from Seeta

Asmita Singh

Asmita Singh, Vice President, Marketing and Demand Analytics at Travel Leaders Group

“We will also be challenged to achieve seamless integration with non-web (voice, facial recognition, IoT) and AI channels because that will drive the next wave of interactions and communications with users and define their micro-moments.”

read more from Asmita

Maribeth Ross

Maribeth Ross, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Monetate

“Today, we’re focused on digital channels. But a brand has many touchpoints with the customer, and personalization is going to have to be applied to all of those different touch points in order to really change the experience of the consumer.”

read more from Maribeth


Getting in front of the customer

The other struggle all marketers face today is getting in front of their customer when there’s a sea of competition. A digital age means there are countless services at a consumer’s fingertips.

To get the customer acquisition you want to see, you’ll need to find a way to cut through the noise.

Stefanie Grieser

Stefanie Grieser, Head of Partnerships, Events & Global Markets at Unbounce

“The biggest challenges in martech heading into 2018 will be navigating a more congested landscape where your partners are now your competitors and vice versa.”

read more from Stefanie

Inecke Snyder-Lourens

Inecke Snyder-Lourens, Director of Professional Services at Cognifide

“We suffer from very short attention spans and increased expectations. Technology is driving and enabling ‘instant’ everything, and we are quick to give up on a transactional journey if things don’t go according to plan.

This means that marketers will have to work even harder to perfect those personalized journeys to purchase, which are highly dependent on vast amounts of user data.”

read more from Inecke

Asmita Singh

Asmita Singh, Vice President, Marketing and Demand Analytics at Travel Leaders Group

“We will strive to facilitate a ‘personalized concierge’ for all customers. This involves leading them to places we know they’d like and doing it in a way that makes the journey enjoyable.

Martech will provide an ecosystem of technology tools and services to achieve that but the decisions to be made now regarding these investments will be crucial for driving success.”

read more from Asmita

Leah Pope

Leah Pope, Chief Marketing Officer at Datorama

“With an ever-increasing landscape of martech providers, there's an immense amount of competition, which means there's a massive need for today's martech businesses to differentiate themselves in this crowded and noisy space.

This has been both a challenge and an opportunity as a CMO in the space — One of the things I love.”

read more from Leah

Staying authentic amidst our many tech-driven tasks

Consumers are overwhelmed with marketing messages. Many tune them out — or just use an ad blocker to get rid of them entirely.

In fact, over 35 percent of internet users are now blocking ads on their desktops. In order to reach today’s audience, you need to find a more authentic way to connect with them.

Daina Middelton

Daina Middelton, Chief Executive Officer at Ansira

“Marketing is still about relationships at the core — not just about clicks or views.

A balance between relationships and technology means marketers will be able to finally deliver on the promise of more effective and efficient campaigns — which is something that we’ve been promising for years.”

read more from Daina

Mary Ellen Dugan

Mary Ellen Dugan, Chief Marketing Officer at WP Engine

“Generation Z, the first generation to live their entire lives on the internet, is going to fundamentally change the ways marketers connect with their audiences over the next five years.

While they aren't as advertising-adverse as their older counterparts, they have much higher expectations for authenticity, entertaining interactions with brands and experiences that predict and provide what they need before they tell you.”

read more from Mary Ellen

Nadjya Ghausi

Nadjya Ghausi, Vice President of Marketing at Prezi

“If sales and marketing departments hope to cut through the noise and succeed in this loud and crowded world of selling, it’s not just about talking to the right people at the right time. It’s about talking to them in the right way.”

read more from Nadjya

Maribeth Ross

Maribeth Ross, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Monetate

“Breaking through the noise will continue to be an issue in 2018. Every marketing department at every company is inundating their market with messages and getting prospects to engage with a brand will continue to be the thing that keeps marketers awake at night.

read more from Maribeth