In the age of digital connectivity and with increasing demand from consumers for authentic experiences, connecting with customers throughout their entire journey is crucial, writes Jenni Baker in the lates Festival Intelligence report.
Customer centricity is increasingly proving a clear advantage in business, and brands that can deliver customer-centric communication can ultimately create more long-term value.
But putting your customer at the centre of your communications isn’t quite as straightforward as it sounds. Research from global media advisory firm MediaSense and strategic marketing consultancy OxfordSM found that 77% of marketers are committed to customer centric communications, yet only a third are achieving it. The research cites challenges surrounding organisational structure and siloed functions, skills and capabilities, resources and technology, ways of working, and perhaps most critically data integration and insight as the biggest setbacks – for 70% of marketers, their biggest challenge is that their organisations are not aligned to their customers’ journey.
Achieving customer-centric communication, according to MediaSense, is based on three main pillars:
- Personalised & Relevant – targeted communication using the most appropriate audience channels through interesting and relevant content
- Seamless & Contextual – timely delivery that complements the customer journey using consistent, applicable messaging
- Engaging & Respectful – a human (and sometimes fun), two-way interaction between brand and customer that provides helpful advice.
If this year’s Festival of Media Global Awards shortlisted entries are anything to go by, it’s encouraging to see that achieving customer centricity is a challenge brands are showing more and more willing to embrace.
While it’s clear that many of the brands featured on the shortlist are focused on addressing customer needs and committed to delivering customer value, a number of standout entries focused on offering a great experience from the awareness stage and throughout every stage along their path to purchase and post-purchase.
“We understand that every purchase cycle is different and how each brand engages with its audience is unique,” said Akama Ediomi Davies, Head of Brand Development, Oath UK. “With negative and positive perceptions of brands being made in both passive phase and intent signal being influenced in the active phase; then it logically makes sense as no two campaigns should be the same. If we are continuing to drive value for consumers and brands we need to move away from looking at media performance in the silo of the channel and embrace attribution models which better reflect the complexity of consumer decisions.”
To succeed in delivering customer centric communications requires more efficient ways of working, with one consistent view of the customer across teams, as well as knowing how to mine data for stronger actionable insights. A focus on creativity and its role in delivering authentic communications, as well as the services needed to collaborate or nurture in-house, all have a part to play in filtering business decisions through the lens of the customer experience.
“Brands rightly so are demanding more leadership, deeper expertise and uncompromising objectivity to become more centric with their communication,” said Ryan Kangisser, Managing Partner of MediaSense.
Festival Intelligence suggests that we are on track to see a rise in the delivery of customer centric communications: targeting communications accurately, flexing communications in line with new customer preferences, and varying it according to how far along customers are with the brand journey. As marketers continue to overcome the critical barriers currently holding them back, the age of customer centric communications might not be as far off as we think.
We put the spotlight on two FOMG Awards 2018 shortlisted entries, which highlight this trend:
Crossing screens and driving sales | Dodge Charger & Dodge Challenger | Cadreon | US
Shortlisted for: Best Use of Data & Insight Award
While many broadcast and technology companies are working on developing cross-screen capabilities, the philosophies vary greatly and don’t offer seamless, deterministic solutions that span TV and all digital (desktop/tablet/mobile) devices. Of the offerings that do exist, there are minimal measurement capabilities and even fewer data partners who can accommodate this type of execution to provide tangible, scalable results.
Developing a proprietary first-to-market approach would be no simple task and Cadreon needed to ensure collaboration across a variety of disparate teams to be lock n’ step with the client. Having a strong foundation at the onset would be key to success. By unifying the media efforts in the marketplace, it would be able to effectively target its “Auto-Enthusiast” audience and get them to the dealership – and better yet, behind the wheel.
The agency developed a cross-screen solution through an agnostic, 100% in-house approach allowing for cohesive messaging across multiple media types and tactics in an addressable manner. In order to fully understand the consumer journey and prove the effectiveness of the creative message / tactics, it implemented three measurement KPIs and developed team structures in order to effectively aggregate and analyse data sets across the digital and ATV teams.
Read the full case study here.
Crushing the biggest shopping day on the planet | Uniqlo | Mindshare | China
Shortlisted for: Best Use of Data & Insight Award, Best Use of Digital Media, Effective Use of e-Commerce
Single’s Day, the one-day shopping extravaganza on e-commerce giant Alibaba, is the biggest shopping event globally. Started as an obscure anti-Valentine celebration, now Single’s Day revenue is twice the total of Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday together in the US. Why did Uniqlo drive traffic to offline stores on the biggest e-commerce day?
Owning the direct customer relationship is essential to Uniqlo – and in its offline stores it is able to deliver a truly value-added customer experience. By combining both offline and online purchase data, it was able to identify multiple methods to bring Uniqlo’s Alibaba shoppers to its offline stores.
Combining these two sources, Mindshare was able to identify five top product lines to target and designed unique creatives featuring different product lines. In the creative, it offered coupons and put “lower in-store prices” in the ad copy. Then it targeted these messages to all consumers with these five product lines in their shopping cart, as well as those who browsed similar offerings from competitors. If consumers were close to Uniqlo stores, the coupon value was even higher to provide a bigger incentive for consumers to visit.
Read the full case study here.