· Be real-time and context-correct.
It’s easy to fall a step behind customers, to act on what they’ve done in the past rather than what they’re wanting to accomplish right now, right where they are — whether that’s their location, current behavior, or even mindset. In a PwC survey, less than half of firms said they use real-time customer interaction and contextual data for personalization.
Travel and hospitality companies know the importance real-time, contextual customer experiences. From discovering and booking travel to the trip itself and memories that follow, customers have lots of options, and in-the-moment experiences can make all the difference. Loyalty might come down to an upgrade offer that anticipates a traveler’s preferences as they’re waiting for a flight, or a favorite drink offered the moment that traveler takes their seat. Or customer satisfaction might depend on softening the blow of lost luggage with an in-app notification that alerts the passenger of the issue before they even gets to baggage claim — and then automatically routes the luggage to their hotel.
Timeliness and context are nearly always essential dimensions of effective cross-channel campaigns, no matter what the industry. A manufacturer may want to use Internet of Things to provide real-time maintenance updates for their customers, while a high schooler might need the nearest physical store to pick up an online back-to-school clothing order. In either case, it’s all about the here and now.
The reality is that “here and now” regularly means shifts in channels. And the better channels can work together, with automated triggers that execute instantly, the more marketers can make the experience continuous, timely, and right for the customer.
· Listen to understand, measure to validate.
You can’t understand people in all their complexities if you don’t pay attention to them. That’s why it’s necessary to listen to customer interactions across all channels and devices, wherever they go, at all times. By performing a true cross-channel analysis, you can connect the dots across touchpoints and identify new opportunities to delight your customers every step of the way. Plus, you can find opportunities to increase your own performance — how activities on the web lead to offline conversions and vice versa, for example.
One way to do this is through algorithmic attribution, which allows you to determine the complete sequence of events that leads a customer toward a purchase. By measuring the precise impact of each marketing touch along a customer’s journey to conversion, you can continually fine-tune your content, improve and deepen your personalization, and avoid overspending on less effective channels and tactics.
You can dive deeper into each individual marketing touch to see specifically what worked within each interaction — and what didn’t. Start by looking at obvious performance metrics, such as response rates, campaign lift, or return on marketing investment. Then take a closer look at engagement metrics, such as how long customers spend viewing content and how often they return to it.
But don’t stop there. “Customer-obsessed marketing emphasizes the impact on the customer — lifetime value, wallet share, or advocacy,” says Forrester analyst Rusty Warner. To find this lifetime value, zoom your measurement lens out again, so you can see beyond single transactions to understand the overall experience that each customer is having — from what they think of your brand to whether they’re advocating for you. Keep in mind that one poor experience can cause a ripple effect, leading to an overall negative brand perception. So the measurement of each interaction must be tied to the measurement of the overall customer experience and loyalty. To accomplish this, identify analytics technologies that help you make the leap from measuring campaign performance to understanding end-to-end customer experiences.