“Engagement” is a foundational element of any marketing program. Customer engagement goes well beyond targeting, content, channels, and messaging to really building a lasting relationship with a customer at an individual level across the lifecycle. For brands to succeed, this requires sensitivity and a light touch.
Marketers want to better understand and anticipate the customer behavior that drives engagement. However, engagement data and channels often aren’t integrated, so we miss out on opportunities to make a bigger impact.
According to Gallup, customers who are fully engaged represent a 23% premium in terms of share of wallet, profitability, revenue, and relationship growth over the average customer. In fact, engaged customers shopping for electronics visit websites 44% more compared to disengaged shoppers, and spend an average of $84 more (Gallup).
Cross-channel customer engagement allows marketers to deliver valuable experiences to consumers at any moment or touchpoint. If you are looking for the best customer engagement strategies and technology, ensure you ask your martech provider these five questions:
- Can you easily segment audiences for targeted marketing campaigns? Segmentation is key to effective personalization and is an area all of the marketers we work with are actively trying to improve. Some companies are distributed globally, some are houses of brands with unique identities that are still trying to better target and cross-sell campaigns based on specific customer attributes such as purchases, affinities, and demographic preferences. We are seeing more and more customers move from batch and blast to more triggered, targeted, and events-based segmentation.
- Can you orchestrate experiences across multiple inbound and outbound channels seamlessly? In order to be great at engagement, we need to meet consumers where they are: mobile, social, email, web, in-store, and even good old direct mail. Journey orchestration is the great connector to ensure the left hand and the right hand of your marketing programs are coordinated, avoiding channel conflict or customer fatigue. This helps resolve the age old problem that marketers have struggled with: different martech tools and databases existing in each channel. We really need to focus on “touchpoints” as the moments that matter with brands and consumers. Channels are the tactical means to support that.
- Can you send messages and emails at high volume and scale? With seasonality spikes in so many industries, and with COVID-19 driving digital transformation more rapidly, delivering personalized messages and offers in emails at scale are key to effective customer engagement. For example, the ROI of sending email at scale is still one of the highest of all channels, at $42 return for every $1 spent. You need a provider who has been there and done that, to the tune of hundreds of billions of messages per year.
- Can you leverage send-time optimization to find the optimal times for message delivery? Machine learning and analytics can be powerful drivers to help marketers optimize conversions through automatically recommending send times for messages sent across the globe, regardless of timezone. This can be based on feedback from thousands of clicks, opens, and conversions, and make marketers’ lives much easier and focus more on content and strategy.
- Can you deliver real-time and triggered messaging? Real-time is often the speed of the customer, or more accurately delivering content at the right time for the customer. Real-time might mean seconds, minutes, hours, or longer, depending on the context, scenario, preferences and customer behavior. If someone fills out a form, abandons a cart or session, or makes a purchase, you need to be able to react quickly and efficiently to continue the dialog. The key here is ensuring brands are delivering moments of value when it matters, and doing so at an individual level instead of in a batch process.
The value in adopting an effective customer engagement strategy could mean reducing acquisition costs by as much as 50%, lift revenues by 15%, and increase marketing spend efficiency by 20% or more (McKinsey). The ultimate goal of customer engagement is to create a value exchange with consumers where they are sharing data willingly and brands are providing more effective and engaging experiences.
To learn more about customer engagement and benchmark your organization against
your peers across industries, take our Customer Engagement Maturity Assessment.
Patrick is SVP of Product Marketing at Cheetah Digital, focused on the go-to-market strategy and team for the Customer Engagement Suite. A frequent industry event speaker, Patrick has over 20 years of experience in the technology, consulting, and marketing industries. Prior to Cheetah Digital, Patrick was VP of Product Strategy at RedPoint Global, leading the product roadmap and go-to-market for the Customer Engagement Hub. Previously, Patrick was at Adobe through the acquisition of Neolane, focused on email and real-time decisioning. He has also spent time at Pegasystems, leading product marketing for the next-best-action decision engine, and spent many years at Forrester Research in the research and consulting organizations. He is a certified product manager and holds an MBA from Boston University.