Executive Feature: 7 Key Trends to Active Engagement
Andy Frawley is the Chairman of the Board at Cybba. He provides guidance on Cybba’s strategic direction, growth strategies, and development plans. Andy has more than 30 years of experience leading companies in the digital marketing, email marketing, CRM and digital analytics space. He is a leading expert in the digital marketing and advertising industry.
The key to generating more active engagement amongst your customers is creating an emotional connection. While your brand may have countless interactions with your customer, the most meaningful interactions occur when the customer is activated with high engagement and positive experiences. Marketing is undergoing a transformation to take advantage of atomic moments of truth to decision personalized content in context to move consumers forward at each point of their customer journey. We are moving away from running a specified and limited set of campaigns to dynamic campaigns executed in an always-on real-time world.
Andy Frawley, Cybba’s Chairman of the Board, offers in-depth insights on 7 key industry trends that are driving active customer engagement in a distracted digital world.
Trend 1: Enterprise View of Customer Experience
The customer experience is what drives all brands to reach and engage customers in a positive and profound way. The enterprise view of the customer experience is rapidly evolving. Finding a way to break away from silos and design a multi-channel, integrated, personalized and responsive journey is no easy task. Brands are developing strategies to provide a seamless customer experience that integrate their mobile app with their website, online with offline, and across their digital channels.
Starbucks is a good example. The mobile app allows you to order ahead of time, pick-up your coffee at a designated location, and earn rewards points towards brand-related prizes. Starbucks’ multi-channel touchpoints enable consumers to have a frictionless customer experience at every moment in their journey.
Trend 2: Digital Advertising Must be Integrated with Customer Experience
One of the biggest challenges that companies face today is how their customers interact with the brand. Most of the experiences consumers have with a brand start from an advertising model, not from the brand’s own media. There’s a need for brands to integrate their AdTech environments with their owned media (and other channels) so there’s a seamless view of the customer experience. Defenders of Wildlife is a brand that Cybba works with that provides an excellent example. The designs connect directly with assets on their own site, which connect directly with retargeting ads across multiple channels to develop an integrated customer experience.
Trend 3: Panoptic Identity Becomes a Foundational Enabler of All CRM
Marketers now have almost infinite sources of information about their customers with the expansion of multi-channel touchpoints across all forms of devices. The panoptic identity represents the need to understand consumers across all their devices, and how those devices map not just to people but households. Technology is emerging to understand the full persona of a consumer – whether they are anonymous or authenticated, online or offline.
The trend that has to happen is establishing the panoptic identity as the foundational enabler for CRM so we can understand a consumer’s online behavior all the way through their transactional history and first party data. Building the identity into the CRM enables companies to formulate highly personalized messages to its most loyal customers while also building those relationships with new customers.
Trend 4: A Creative and Content Renaissance is On the Way
Today’s digital ad creatives give consumers a boring, two-dimensional, outdated experience. Technology is developing that can deliver advertising in the form of immersive, multi-dimensional advertising using Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. Right now, the industry is focused on video advertising which has much higher customer engagement. At Cybba, we launched a program with a large athletic footwear brand where we shifted from a two-dimensional creative format to video. The result was an upsurge in footwear sales.
Trend 5: The Madison Avenue Agency Model will Evolve
Brands are looking for a different relationship with their marketing agencies. Instead of the large traditional Madison Avenue agency model which acts as a holding company with brands and sub-brands, advertisers are looking for a more integrated delivery model and more transparency. Brands want to understand the complex ecosystem of suppliers that drive digital advertising, the level of service provided, what they are paying for, etc. A lot of creative talent has moved to smaller boutique agencies, but that doesn’t mean the Madison Avenue model is going away anytime soon.
Trend 6: The Linear Customer Journey is Obsolete
The notion that customer experience is a linear customer journey is obsolete. In today’s environment, the idea that a customer will engage with a website, receive an email, and get a follow-up call to move through the sales funnel in a linear fashion just does not happen anymore. The reality is that every consumer has their own individual journey, in regard to channel preferences, how they interact with different content, etc. Instead, at every atomic moment of truth, each touchpoint is enabled to detect an interaction, recognize a consumer, understand the context, and provision content to move the customer forward, and ultimately towards purchase or conversion.
Trend 7: Second Party Data Opportunities Explode
2nd party data is not a completely new concept, yet in today’s environment, it offers countless opportunities to brands and marketers. Brands will be able to partner with other brands, and share their 2nd party data through new data exchanges. This is going to help shape how brands look at targeting and prospecting for customers. For example, Cybba’s relationship with Yelp allows us to identify if someone is searching for a local restaurant, for example, we can utilize Yelp data to target them with relevant content and ad creatives in real-time. Brands should consider adjacencies with other companies for data that can provide powerful targeting capabilities.
An actively engaged customer is what is going to drive business going forward. Finding a way to take advantage of these 7 trends is what will build a customer experience that will pay dividends.