Never before has it been so easy to get an almost perfect, precise and current view of an individual customer. The evolution of mobile technology specifically, has meant that we have a front-row seat into who our customers are. This gives us the ability to create an extremely personalised user experience.
All this available information has been great for understanding the coustomer better. But it’s also made consumers more entitled than ever before. Like a child that gets whatever they want all the time, personalisation ceases to surprise or delight customers anymore. It’s expected. It’s no longer considered a bonus feature or a perk of one company versus the other. This means that personalisation is becoming more of a marketing necessity. All campaigns must include it in their marketing and advertising strategy. If they don’t, there’s a high risk that they’ll lose potential customers. With everyone doing it, how can brands elevate the experience, even more, to stand out amongst the crowd?
Marketing as a Service (MaaS)
Marketing is about communicating a message and ensuring it goes to the person it’s aimed at. It’s all about encompassing a product and its brand and then telling the target market all about it. But the next phase that takes personalisation into account is marketing as a service. You’re not only targeting your audience, but you’re taking the right next step for them.
It’s all about the marketing ecosystem you’re creating. The marketer’s job is to create interoperability between your product and other products so the experience is seamless.
Historically, it’s only been about the brand and its product. For airlines, their “product” used to be as simple as someone stepping onto the plane. Then they sit down and then they land. Once the customer is off the plane, the airline is done. But now that’s just the very beginning…
Now the airline strives to move beyond just the initial product. Marketing as a Service is about the entire customer journey – the reminder to tell someone to leave for the airport because they’re going to be late, the Uber that’s ordered to get to the airport, the food they get in the terminal and when they’re on the plane. Does the customer care that you don’t own those experiences? No. They’d rather you partner with other companies to make those experiences seamless for them – that’s exactly why Delta partnered with Lyft.
There’s so much opportunity to do more with a customer’s experience so they feel like you truly know them and have their back, it’s all about connecting the dots for them.
Another example of this is with modern tools like Amazon Alexa and Echo and HomePod and Siri. Our devices are turning into marketing services that can do and buy things for us. If you run out of toilet paper, you can tell Alexa to buy some more from Amazon. If you want to order an Uber, you can ask Siri to get one for you. That is the future of marketing – not only knowing the moment of need for customers but actually servicing that moment of need for them.
How do these concepts apply to your business?
So how do you figure out what your marketing service is? And how do you adopt this philosophy?
- Invest in the cross-device customer ID.
It’s critical that you know who your customer is and gather data so you can actually see and understand them across multiple touch points. Marketing, in general, is useless if you don’t have a physical view of your customer.
- Talk about customer experiences when you’re designing. As a starting point, look at the customer journey and analyse that, then enhance the customer journey with actionable moments. That’s really the most important piece to get you from personalised marketing to marketing as a service.
- Create cross-agency functional teams. Brands have always had separate agencies doing separate things – CRM agencies, promotions agencies, creative agencies, digital agencies. CMO’s should empower their agencies to work together and encourage knowledge transfer so collectively they can get a better understanding of who their audience is and what their marketing service should focus on.
- Don’t call it innovation. New technologies are emerging that brands are using to market services such as AR, VR and chatbots. While these are great, they’re being treated as innovation projects internally and are looked at as a gimmick versus core to the business. Brands need to bring marketing innovation in as a part of their product offering and not call it innovation – it needs to be an integral part of the experience and CRM strategy.
Keep customers coming back
As brands seek new ways to gain an edge on competitors and engage customers, they’re recognising it’s no longer enough to personalise content – it’s now in their best interest to create experiences that allow customers to act on that content. That’s the differentiator and Marketing as a Service is what is going to keep customers coming back.
If you want to know more about our Marketing as a Service packages, click here.
Or get in touch with either Jeremy or David on: 0118 925 3269.