Despite the feeling that customer engagement should be second nature to marketers, many struggle to consistently connect with consumers and build relationships with key micro-audiences. With effective engagement serving as the foundation of building a rich digital experience for users, this tool should be a staple of every marketer’s toolbox—at least in theory. In reality, only 19 percent of marketing professionals consider themselves “very good” or “extremely good” at engagement. According to the CMO Council report, “Brand Attraction from Enriched Interaction,” those professionals still struggle to spearhead engagement, particularly through multi-channel campaigns targeting smaller subsets of a brand’s audience.
In fact, 45 percent of marketers surveyed gave themselves lackluster grades in this area of performance.
CMO Council cites technology as the fulcrum of this issue. In cases where marketers are struggling to deliver on customer engagement efforts, a common theme is a failure to take advantage of the available technology. And, as digital marketing efforts grow more multi-channel and complex, the need for better tech solutions only increases.
“Driven by the forces of cloud, mobile, and social engagement, businesses and brands are experiencing a digital disruption that is revolutionizing every interaction with their diverse audiences,” said Gary Dolsen, IBM Systems’ VP of Digital Experience, to Loyalty360. “When marketers create a personalized and tailored interaction for a specific audience on the right platform, businesses and brands will create emotional engagements, which will grow relationships and encourage loyalty while influencing behavior or purchase decisions.”
There is good news for marketers: For those in need of better tech tools, the market is rife with options. The soon-to-be-released Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 is being lauded for its usefulness in integrating operations to improve engagement with customers. According to Tech Republic, some of the top features of Microsoft Dynamics will include improved integration with the Microsoft Office suite of software, as well as improved cloud-based document sharing.
Businesses also want to make sure they’re using smart analytics tools and social media tools that enhance audience targeting while offering guidance to optimize engagement. For brands running brick-and-mortar stores, mobile beacons are another effective tool for increasing engagement and enhancing the customer experience.
Embracing Automation to Benefit Engagement
Marketing automation has proven to be very useful at increasing engagement. Many of the tools and strategies used to automate processes can also build better frameworks for targeting audiences and building a better experience—and all with minimal resource investment by marketers. As VentureBeat points out, marketing automation tools can build advanced audience segments that do the work of micro-audience targeting.
Custom messaging systems used to automate marketing can also refine the customer experience for brands, creating a better end-to-end presence as consumers embark down their path-to-conversion. Similarly, contextually relevant messaging can be delivered to the right users—and at the right time—to build a more personalized touch. And automation tools easily accommodate multi-channel strategies, alleviating some of the stress on the marketer’s side.
Any digital marketing professional struggling with customer engagement should look to technology as at least part of the solution. Better tools are critical to building a better experience, and as new solutions flood the market, brands have no shortage of options.
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About the AuthorMore Content by Jonathan Crowl