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Guest Times: Why delivering personalised communications that drive customer engagement at every touch point is a challenge for Indian marketers

Dr Ranjit Nair, CEO and Founder of Germin8 Solutions, says delivering experiences that will truly engage customers requires one to go beyond numbers

Dr. Ranjit Nair

Indian marketers continue to face steep challenges when it comes to engaging with customers across multiple channels and touch points. It takes both smart marketing and the right technology to be able to listen, learn and respond to your customer at speed and with scale. Marketers today have access to more data than ever before. But, delivering experiences that will truly engage your customers requires you to go beyond the numbers—you’ve got to be able to translate data into actionable insights. In the new world of marketing—personalised, contextualised and dynamic—CMOs are partnering with their social media analytics organisations to bring control of the human experience with a fresh arsenal of experience-focused marketing tools. We know this might work as 54% of customers think companies need to fundamentally transform how they engage.

This can only be achieved when the 3Ds i.e. Data, Decision and Delivery that your company will need to meet consumer expectations is in place. Diverse data can help an organisation to develop a deeper understanding of current and prospective customer’s behaviour and preferences. Creating a customer persona can help you compare their purchase history, demographics and their engagement with the brand. Until you have the customer data it becomes difficult for organisations to have a more personalised communication. With advanced analytics organisations can make better decisions pertaining to pricing, promotions, and services which are provided to the customer. This decision-making ability on the go, courtesy the data, can help in personalised communication with the customer to drive engagement. But this data comes is not freely available and companies are reluctant to increase their spends on marketing analytics.

Marketing technology has undergone a long revitalisation process. Channel-focused solutions such as websites, social and mobile platforms, content management tools, and search engine optimisation are fast becoming yesterday’s news. At the same time, technology has created a multitude of ways to engage customers on their paths to purchase. But the tech stack required to engage and deliver an end-to-end customer experience can be incredibly complex and challenging if not developed within the parameters of a digital strategy. While data is the currency of any personalisation programme, Indian brands still find themselves balancing the need for personalised marketing messages while consumers are increasingly concerned about privacy and data usage. To overcome this challenge, brands need to rethink their data collection, notification and deployment or risk losing consumer trust and attention.

Now lets us club all of the above and check the risks and implications involved. IT security has to be beefed up as threats and frauds are likely to increase from the PII data which the companies are using. Organisations struggle with being able to offer a user experience that is simple and seamless yet still secure. To overcome this issue, EU has come up with GDPR regulations in May 2018 which bar any company to have any unsolicited/marketing communication with their current or prospective clients or face heavy fines to the tune of €20M or 4% of their global annual turnover, whichever is more. This is just not applicable to companies in EU but all companies globally which stores/processes PII data of EU nationals.  This is a roadblock just not only for Indian marketers but marketers globally who deliver personalised communication at any touch points to their customers.

A Gartner study says 74% of marketing leaders still report they struggle to scale their personalisation efforts. I strongly believe that this is because their marketing approach includes having a single view of different customer across interactions, channels, products and time. This only adds onto inconsistent customer communications.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of and we do not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)

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