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The three Cs of appropriate marketing

Published: Friday, 24 October 2014 15:01 by Katharine Hulls, VP Marketing
Digital Intelligence

Customer behavior has been changing rapidly over the past few years: the emergence of the ‘omnichannel’ consumer is driving brands to gain ever-deeper market and customer understanding in order to achieve the level of close engagement and interaction required. This new customer dynamic puts marketers under increasing pressure to deliver real-time, one-to-one personalization driven by a deep customer insight and omnichannel understanding.

To achieve this, a new agile and appropriate marketing approach is necessary. Brands taking an agile marketing approach use collaboration and flexibility to move at the required speed, often to deliver real-time messages and responses that solve problems and create value for their customers.

However, it has to be appropriate: the agile marketing route chosen needs to be right for the organization and its customers, and so may well differ across sectors and organizations.

Customers are a heterogeneous group made up of individuals and multiple micro-segments. The challenge for brands therefore is to deliver customer interactions in harmony with those individual demands and expectations. Millennials, for example, are more likely to move quickly, so brands with a high proportion of this young audience must have the right structures in place to keep up with them and time their interactions with this particularly impatient group perfectly.

Multiple channel complexity, for example, will influence a brand’s decision on how to market its product or service. Routes to market differ greatly by sector or even product and service. For example, telcos use multiple channels such as high street stores, call centers and online, whereas others rely more heavily on one channel, pure-play e-tailers being an obvious example.

To deliver a positive and user-friendly purchase experience, brands will need to understand how individual customers move through the sales funnel. What’s the interactions between online and in-store? And which devices are used to make an online purchase: a laptop, tablet, or smartphone – or perhaps all at different points in the journey? An elaborate suite of product offerings and a complex competitive landscape will further impact the approach a brand takes to engaging and interacting with its customers. Brands simply must be able to deal with this complexity nowadays and understand individual consumers as they interact across multiple channels.  

Brands should also not underestimate the influence of their own culture on appropriate marketing techniques. Legacy technologies, common procedures and inherent attitudes are not easy to update or change. After all, how brands have marketed themselves in the past impacts both their mind-set and existing skills-sets, which of course influences future decisions. It can be the difference between a fast moving “just get it done” or a “take it steady” approach to many things, including technology choice and staffing decisions.

In this blog series we’ll look at the differences we’ve found between the retail, retail finance, telco and airline sectors in their approach to digital marketing agility to enhance customer engagement and how the three Cs – Customers, Complexity and Culture – are affecting the routes they have taken.

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