Until just a few months ago, the process of marketing strategies and digitalization had to respond to one main challenge of the new decade: to adopt a customer-centric approach.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Marketers have had to re-evaluate and shift toward bigger changes and rethink strategies with a new “normal”, a world dominated by social distancing and its consequences. In the above context, innovation and digitalization are the Masters and they’ve become the essential elements to ensure business continuity.
The role of Marketers before and after COVID-19
Technological progress has affected everyone in all aspects of life, and this has raised the customer’s expectations in the relationships we have with a brand.
Research* from Salesforce showed that 84% of the customers rated their experience with the company as important as its products and services. For today’s Marketers, it simply isn’t to create and disseminate promotional messages, but rather create relationships that embrace the entire lifecycle of the customer.
Three of the most immediate consequences of COVID-19, are the need to be even closer to the customer, to understand his/her needs in the changed social context, and to “emphatically” involve him/her in real-time.
Having a solid perspective on the needs, habits, and trends of the audience, the Marketer is better equipped to retain the customer, keep them happy and give a seamless experience between the various company departments.
As seen in the Salesforce 2020 report on “State of Marketing”, a vast majority of marketing teams share common goals and metrics with their sales, e-commerce and customer service colleagues. Interestingly, 64% of the CMOs surveyed, have opted to suspend promotional activities to customers who have an open support ticket.
But how does this close collaboration between marketing and service teams happen in practice? Thanks to advanced CRM technologies, it is now possible to automate these processes and manage customer relations in a structured way. Atlantic Technologies has created the Social Customer Service Demo with our CRM Marketing Strategist Paolo Riva. This shows how the integration between Social Studio and the Salesforce Service Cloud allows for smooth management of customer interaction between different departments.
The cross-functional transformation of marketing offices goes hand in hand with the technological revolution that drives companies to adopt innovative solutions for the digitalization of promotional strategies. Following the COVID-19 crisis, this process has helped accelerate and get underway the restarting of business, adaptation to the new situation, and return back to growth.
The digital revolution in B2B & B2C marketing strategies
As we’ve seen, digitalization in any company allows for better management of the customer experience throughout its lifecycle. Marketers plan a Customer Journey that starts from the customer’s first contact with the brand and goes far beyond the sales process.
Dynamic Interaction and Omnichannel Customer Experience
When a customer begins communicating with a company, 71% of them use multiple channels to reach out and they expect to see dynamic interactions that include content that is customized based on their requests. In this perspective, real-time becomes a priority and it’s clear that traditional marketing doesn’t “cut the chase”.
The personalized customer relationship through digitalization used to be a marketing strategy to gain competitiveness, now it’s a forced choice. According to the State of Marketing 2020 report, over half of the Marketers surveyed defined their cross-channel content as dynamic (31% in 2018). Hence, the reason for responding to an omnichannel marketing and communication strategy.
Technologies play the most important role in making the omnichannel strategy work: from analytics, to the integration of solutions capable of transforming data into concrete actions.
Data, KPIs and CRM are therefore critical tools that a company needs to use in order to build the most effective Omnichannel Customer Experience.
Empathic Marketing and Artificial Intelligence
The changes in relationships between customers and companies, following COVID-19, implies a change in the first point of contact with the customer. Direct sales communication is no longer preferred, but rather messages that express empathy. This is where Artificial Intelligence comes into play. Specific technology is available to create an effective empathy marketing plan. This helps to understand the customer’s needs and their specific evolution.
Digitalizzazione Strategie di Marketing – Salesforce
Artificial Intelligence helps marketing experts achieve personalization on a large scale, collect the signals & messages that customers leave on the brand and provide messages in harmony with the person’s unique needs and expectations. Artificial Intelligence also allows you to measure value for the customer with KPIs targeted to the Customer Journey, improve segmentation, identify hidden insights and manipulate future actions.
The data collected by Salesforce is impressive: CMOs have reported a 186% increase in AI since the adoption in 2018.
Again, in the above case the role of DATA and how it’s manipulated is central. Among the solutions that are most used by marketing offices are CRM, email, advertising platforms and Data Management Platform.
B2B Marketing: Account-Based Marketing becomes the standard
Optimizing the Customer Journey is not just about B2C companies, but also B2B and B2B2C. These organizations are also mobilizing to meet the high expectations of customers, starting a new level of collaboration with sales teams through Account-Based Marketing (AMB) (92% of B2B and B2B2C Marketers have a program by AMB).
Planning marketing strategies and addressing professionals of a company as a valuable prospect, brings the marketing and sales teams much closer. Even the CMOs of B2B and B2B2C companies become the pivot to connecting the various company departments.
To better focus on individuals in a company, B2B companies use data analysis and Artificial Intelligence just like B2C. They create personalized messages and value-added content. The Salesforce ecosystem of solutions responds well to this close collaboration between marketing and sales, providing segmentation and information sharing tools at the account and prospect level. The use of Sales, Service, and Marketing Cloud generates considerable value for the reference departments, facilitating the management of the cross-department customer relationship and real- time engagement.
It’s safe to say that the B2B2C world, with the spread of e-commerce, now draws heavily from B2C marketing strategies. From the construction of Brand Awareness to pre and post sales customer assistance, B2B2C companies can finally count on a complete tool for the management and digitalization of the Customer Journey (Discover the Salesforce Clouds).
* State of Connected Customer 2019