“All marketing begins with WHO”: This simple tenet is the heart of every successful marketing campaign. It’s apparently the brains, too, as customer-focused metrics now rank among the top key performance indicators (KPIs) used to gauge marketing effectiveness, according to Salesforce’s latest State of Marketing report.
More than 78 percent of the 8,200 global marketers surveyed say they’re responding to the past year’s radical shift in consumer expectations and behaviors by changing or reprioritizing their performance metrics. The most valuable measure of success? Customer satisfaction. Metrics such as net promoter scores (NPS) outrank both revenue and sales marketing funnel performance on their list of most valuable KPIs, which came in second and third, respectively. Rounding out the top five: content engagement and customer lifetime value (CLV).
The addition of CLV makes sense—marketers are increasingly being tasked with tying campaign performance to more tangible financial outcomes—but content engagement? How did this seemingly “soft” metric make it into the top five (even ahead of CLV)? It all boils down to how consumers’ engagement with brands has changed since the start of the COVID pandemic last March.
A cohesive customer journey is key.
Consumers’ swift and substantial migration to digital channels means their brand experience begins (and often remains) online—and they’re expecting brands to deliver what they want, how and when they want. The digital “forgiveness factor” of the early pandemic days is over: Your brand must create a superior, cohesive, and consistent customer journey across digital devices and physical channels—or your prospect will find a competitor that does.
So yes, engagement metrics matter more than ever. When you’re not interacting with a consumer face to face, indicators like visitor bounce rates, time on a page, session duration, and social shares can help you determine whether you’re truly connecting with targets and creating online relationships that successfully engage prospects and move them through the conversion funnel.
Let data be your guide . . .
But you’re not going to engage, convert, or satisfy anyone—much less increase the lifetime value of your relationship with them—unless you understand who they are, what they’re looking for, and how you can best deliver it—every step of the way (both online and off).
Now more than ever, data is a marketer’s best friend.
So much so that 78 percent of the marketers surveyed say their customer interactions are data-driven, and 84 percent adapt their marketing strategy and tactics dynamically, based on customer interactions.
Knowing everything you can about a person and their journey with your brand empowers your marketing to communicate the right message at the right time with the right vehicle—creating a stronger relationship and potentially increasing a customer’s lifetime value in the process.
Bottom line: The more you can personalize what you’re saying, the greater the likelihood someone will listen.
and let real-time measurement drive decisions.
In marketing, though, listening is a two-way street. And you better hear (or see) what your targets are saying (or doing)—and respond in real time.
Metrics are only as good as what you do with them—and when. Of the marketers surveyed, 66 percent automate campaign measurement and monitor results in-market, optimizing for performance in real time.
The same should hold true for all your brand-to-consumer interactions.
Integrate your campaign data into your customer relationship management (CRM) system so you can further tailor communications based on individual behavior. Review all your touch points to ensure they’re in sync and build in internal feedback loop so the “right hand always knows what the left hand is doing” (or can at least easily access the information). Finally (and perhaps most importantly) make sure to respond to any question or comment (especially negative ones) in real time.
There’s no question that a holistic approach that creates a tailored journey for your targets fueled by data and measured in real time can yield greater satisfaction and a solid return. To find out how our marketing team can help you create a strategy that begins—and ends—with WHO, contact us.