Jackie Palmer, Global Vice President of Strategy and Solution Management at SAP, examined what it takes to "market in the moment" during her presentation to Argyle's CMO membership at the 2017 CMO Forum: B2B Marketing in the Digital Era in San Francisco on November 29. During her presentation, "Discover the Three Keys to Marketing in the Moment," Palmer offered tips to help marketers connect with customers in real-time and foster long-lasting customer partnerships.
According to Palmer, departmental silos remain prominent hurdles for marketers at companies around the globe. These silos often make it difficult for a company to foster collaboration among marketing and sales teams. As such, departmental silos may cause a company to miss out on opportunities to increase its earnings and extend its global reach.
"Making sure that silos are not there within your organization is critical to a business' success," Palmer stated.
Furthermore, analyzing all aspects of the customer experience (CX) is exceedingly difficult for marketers. Yet taking a human-centric approach to the CX may help marketers discover innovative ways to build trust with customers.
With a human-centric approach, marketers can personalize the CX. Then, marketers can tailor their day-to-day efforts to the needs of a client base and increase customer engagement across a variety of platforms.
"We're challenged as marketers to deal with a complex customer structure," Palmer said. "We need to look at the diversity of our buyers … and treat these buyers like consumers."
A human-centric approach to marketing can extend to business-to-business (B2B) relationships as well.
"We need to drive toward building relationships with customers … and customers need to know that a brand is really doing something good in the world."
If marketers allocate the necessary time and resources to learn about a company's target audience, they can build intelligent customer experiences. Meanwhile, these experiences may help a business differentiate itself from the competition both now and in the future.
To deliver an intelligent CX, marketers must focus on collecting and analyzing customer data. This information allows marketers to understand a company's target audience and find out why customers may choose one brand over another. Next, marketers can use target audience data to personalize their customer engagement efforts, resulting in memorable customer experiences.
"Intelligent customer experience is the new battlefield for the customer," Palmer indicated. "The risk of not having a direct engagement with your customers and not treating your customers in a way that builds upon what you know … is too much of a risk."
Ultimately, marketers must leverage customer data at all stages of the buyer's journey. This approach enables marketers to connect with the right customers at the right time, increasing the likelihood of delivering successful customer experiences.
"We build to build intelligence into our interactions, because most people are going to do the majority of their research without dealing with a human at all," Palmer stated.
"Empathy marketing" may play an important role in how marketers engage prospects and customers too.
Palmer noted that empathy marketing requires marketers to consider a target audience's perspective. That way, marketers can consider what customers want at each stage of the buyer's journey and search for ways to deliver experiences that match or exceed customers' expectations.
"We need to get towards empathy marketing," Palmer said. "We need to drive toward building relationships with customers … and customers need to know that a brand is really doing something good in the world."
Collaboration can have far-flung effects on how marketers drive empathy marketing.
"Intelligent customer experience is the new battlefield for the customer. The risk of not having a direct engagement with your customers … is too much of a risk."
If marketers prioritize collaboration with multiple departments, they may be better equipped than ever before to maximize the value of the customer data at their disposal. As a result, these marketers could find unique ways to bridge the gap with customers throughout the buyer's journey.
"Most organizations today have many different channels … and separate systems of data," Palmer pointed out. "These organizations are unable to connect [a customer's] story."
Palmer also offered three recommendations to ensure companies can reap the benefits of empathy marketing:
- Look at the targeted information about a customer. Collect and analyze data to understand the customer's perspective.
- Build upon the intelligence about a customer. Develop a customer profile based on the intelligence that is available.
- Combine the channels. Deliver a consistent message to customers across multiple channels.
Lastly, marketers must maintain open lines of communication with a company's target audience.
Marketers who are willing to listen to customers and learn from them may be able to build a collaborative relationship with a business' target audience. Over time, this relationship will flourish and enable a company to stand out from the competition.
"There needs to be a two-way street between a company and a customer," Palmer said. "It's not ever going to be broadcast messaging [for brands]. The customer is going to give you signals, and you need to be able to react."
Jackie leads the Strategy and Solution Management team for SAP Hybris. In this role, she is responsible for the strategic vision and direction of the product including long term roadmap, partnerships, acquisitions, analyst and influencer interactions. Jackie has more than two decades of experience in the Marketing and Customer Engagement space and has held various leadership positions in product management and marketing for software vendors such as Teradata, Infor and Epiphany. She was also a founding member of Accenture’s Customer Relationship Management Group and consulted for Fortune 500 companies across many industries. Jackie has a degree in Economics and Mathematics from Northwestern University.