Jen Jones, Director, Industry Product Marketing, Oracle, examined adaptive marketing and its impact on today's business leaders in her presentation to Argyle's CMO membership at the 2016 Leadership in Digital Marketing Forum in New York on Oct. 19. In her presentation, "The Path to Adaptive Marketing," Jones provided a path to adaptive marketing that business leaders can use to foster long-lasting partnerships with customers.
According to Jones, mobile technologies have transformed the way that businesses and consumers connect with one another.
No longer can business leaders expect to provide customers with information and support through a single channel. Instead, business leaders must be able to interact with customers across multiple channels and provide these customers with relevant, engaging information; failure to do so could cause a business to fall behind its rivals.
"We live in a world of micro-moments now," Jones said. "It's no longer enough to just say that mobile is a big deal. It's completely changed human behavior. It's changed the way we think about data, the way we value data and the way we interact with products."
Furthermore, the buyer's journey has evolved due in part to the sheer volume of data that is available.
Buyers now can access information about a company, its products and its services from any location, at any time. As such, buyers have greater control than ever before, and business leaders must do everything they can to provide customers with the support they need day after day.
"[The buyer's journey] is overly linear. People don't behave that way," Jones stated. "The reality is that's not how the real world works."
Although customers generate a wealth of data for businesses, few companies possess the skills and know-how needed to optimize the value of this information.
"It's no longer enough to just say that mobile is a big deal. It's completely changed human behavior. It's changed the way we think about data, the way we value data and the way we interact with products."
However, business leaders who devote the time and resources to implement marketing technologies may be able to collect data and gain meaningful customer insights from it consistently.
"Our customers today meander from channel to channel, device to device and back again," Jones noted. "And as they do, they're proliferating device IDs and cookies throughout."
Jones pointed out business leaders can use a four-step process to benefit from adaptive marketing:
1. Build Profiles That Span the Anonymous and Known
Data is readily available, and business leaders who understand how to collect and evaluate this information properly may be able to build profiles based on both anonymous and known customers.
"We tend to think in terms of that ideal journey and what we want customers to do," Jones noted. "We have to flip that [journey] on its head and think about all of the things that all of our customers could possibly do."
Plus, business leaders can use this information to find the best ways to provide pertinent, engaging experiences to customers.
"You can build experiences for your customers that are individualized and treat each customer as a single person," Jones said. "A good marketing technology stack will knit that together for you."
2. Intelligently Orchestrate Micro-Moments
Micro-moments can happen without notice, and business leaders need to prepare for these occurrences.
"You can build experiences for your customers that are individualized and treat each customer as a single person."
To do so, business leaders can learn about the interactions that take place in between a transaction involving a company and a customer and plan accordingly.
"If you start to focus on the behaviors that happen in between a transaction, you can drive so much more value," Jones said. "There is enormous value that can be gleaned by focusing on those in-between behaviors."
3. Make Content a First-Class Discipline
Understanding customer personas can help business leaders produce content to connect with a business' target audiences.
Customer data may make it easier for business leaders to develop customer personas as well as content. And with an ongoing focus on leveraging data and learning about customers, business leaders may be able to develop content that drives customer engagement across multiple channels.
4. Test and Optimize the Customer Experience
The customer experience may be difficult to understand at first, but business leaders who test and optimize the customer experience can overcome myriad challenges.
Testing the customer experience requires business leaders to focus on the "five W's" – who, what, when, where and why. By doing so, business leaders can understand exactly who they should try to reach and develop effective strategies to connect with a company's target audience.
Building a successful customer experience often requires hard work and patience, and completing assessments enables business leaders to evaluate customer experience successes and failures. Continuous testing will empower business leaders to find ways to optimize the customer experience and find the best ways to fulfill customer requests.