Whether you went to TFM (Technology for Marketing) or not, there are few things you may have missed from the UK’s martech-only event held at London Olympia…
We attended on both days, chatting to interested marketers on our stand and sharing insights on email marketing strategies and trends. We also enjoyed exchanging thoughts with industry experts, continuing to build on our understanding of what customers and audiences will be expecting from marketers in 2018.
Our own Suzy Carter-Kent, one of our Customer Success Managers, spoke to a packed audience on Wednesday about the importance of maintaining conversations with your customers to build that all-important trust. Her presentation, Generating Results for the Individual Using First-Person Marketing, highlighted incremental innovation, integrated strategy, and outstanding service as essential ingredients for brand loyalty and customer success. We were also delighted to launch a report on Improving Engagement in 2018 in collaboration with Smart Insights, penned by industry aces Robert Jones and Dr Dave Chaffey. This, too, initiated conversations around the importance of looking, listening, and engaging in order to build an agile cross-channel strategy.
Indeed, the needs of the customer and the role played by martech in meeting them were key headlines throughout TFM, as can be seen in some of our other takeaways from the event:
1. The customer wants to be in control
As Jordan Rogers-Smith, Solutions Engineer at Facebook, rightly mentioned in his presentation, customers’ expectations have changed. This is also something that industry experts agree on: customers want to be in control and they want transparency. According to Paul Fennemore, Digital Marketing and Transformation Consultant at Sitecore, organisations that invest in customer experience can earn 3x in ROI. Additionally, he also stated that 38% of companies focusing on customer experience see better financial performance than competitors. Our 2017 Email Strategies for Success study corroborates this, showing that individualized email messaging is considered the most effective personalization tactic to meet customer expectations.
We say: Develop an omnichannel strategy around your customers and connect your message everywhere. Start communicating with your customers and prospects with one-to-one messages, rather than resorting to ‘batch and blast’.
2. Mobile is still king
Mobile devices continue to transform the way people connect with brands. One presenter, for instance, pointed out that 51% of holiday transactions in 2016 were carried out on mobile devices. This should not be coming as a surprise: Suzy also emphasized that mobile optimization should no longer be treated simply as a ‘nice to have’, and our Consumer Digital Usage and Behavior Study reveals that 84% of smartphone users send and receive personal emails on their phone (a figure set to rise in 2018).
We say: Mobile-optimized emails are crucial for brand success, along with a mobile-friendly website and an openness to app integration (where relevant).
3. Data is everything
Your email strategy (and your marketing in general) should be data driven. Suzy was keen to emphasize that the key to customer success lies in establishing your success criteria, KPIs, and valued metrics from the very start. Then take the insight from your data and act upon it. The more information you have, the more relevant the content should be. Many presenters at TFM agreed on the importance of segmentation: there are different segments of people in your database, and you should trigger the right message specific to each customer at the right time. Suzy also encouraged us to consider the WIIFM factor – “what’s in it for me?”; if customer doesn’t feel personally recognized in your communcations with them, they are not going to engage. Simple.
We say: Your data will help you segment your customers, and that will help you to increase relevancy. Think about the data you have, and try to take your strategy to the next level. Conduct a data audit and see what you have, what is missing, and how are you going to fill the gaps.
Overall, it was great to see the customer increasingly at the forefront of industry decisions, and to hear so many visitors to our stand engaging with our primary value of First-Person Marketing. Brands send emails hoping that customers will be interested in them. This interest needs to be reciprocated.