The practice of collecting basic demographic information from customers to create a successful business marketing strategy is one of the past. In recent times, there has been a major shift in the way that businesses interact with their customers. The digital space has spread so far and wide that it has had a lasting influence on virtually everything we do. As a result, the conventional approaches to marketing that were prevalent even as early as a few years ago are considered severely ineffective today. The rapidly growing popularity of Big Data means that marketers need to embrace sophisticated approaches to processes and perform in-depth analysis of customer data, preferably in real-time.
The new world of marketing is personalized, contextualized, and dynamic. Increasingly, this world is orchestrated not by outside parties but by chief marketing officers partnering with their technology organizations to bring control of the human experience back in-house. Together, CMOs and CIOs are building an arsenal of experience-focused marketing tools that are powered by emerging technology. Their goal is to transform marketing from a customer acquisition-focused activity to one that enables a superb human experience, grounded in data. In experiential marketing, companies treat each customer as an individual by understanding their preferences and behaviors. Analytics and cognitive capabilities illuminate the context of customers' needs and desires, and determine the optimal way to engage with them. Experience-management tools tailor content and identify the best method of delivery across physical and digital touchpoints, bringing us closer to truly unique engagement with each and every human. Imagine a world in which a brand knows who you are and what you want, and can deliver the product, service, or experience that best suits your needs seamlessly and in real time, across physical or digital channels. Marketing technology is undergoing a renaissance. Channel-focused solutions such as websites, social and mobile platforms, content management tools, and search engine optimization are fast becoming yesterday's news. As part of the growing beyond marketing trend, organizations are adopting a new generation of martech systems that deliver unprecedented levels of customer intimacy, targeted engagement, and precision impact.
Despite warnings for more than a decade, most financial institutions are unable to manage the data at their disposal or extract actionable insights, leaving money and opportunities on the table. To compete with fintech, big tech and the largest banks, financial institutions of all sizes will need to harness the power of data, making insight-driven decisions and delivering the level of experiences consumers and businesses have come to expect from the firms with the highest levels of data analytics maturity, like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple and others. In research done on behalf of Deluxe by the Digital Banking Report, it was found that many organizations have the ability to extract insights from various data sources, supporting foundational marketing decisions and creating segmented marketing programs. Where most organizations fall short, however, is in using data and artificial intelligence (AI) to power real-time decision-making throughout every aspect of the customer journey. The lack of data analytics maturity also hampers the ability create instantaneous learnings from marketing initiatives, using tools like machine learning (ML), that can improve marketing performance over time.
Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) and the marketing teams they lead are expected to excel at creating customer trust, a brand that exudes empathy and data-driven strategies that deliver results. Personalizing channel experiences at scale works when CMOs strike the perfect balance between their jobs' emotional and logical, data-driven parts. That's what makes being a CMO today so challenging. They've got to have the compassion of a Captain Kirk and the cold, hard logic of a Dr. Spock and know when to use each skill set. CMOs and their teams struggle to keep the emotional and logical parts of their jobs in balance.
It's one thing to know whether an individual customer is intrigued by a new mattress or considering a replacement for their sofa's throw pillows; it's another to know to how to move these people to go ahead and make a purchase. When deployed strategically, artificial intelligence (AI) can be a marketer's trusted customer experience ally--transforming customer data into actionable insights and creating new opportunities for personalization at scale. On the other hand, when AI is viewed as merely a quick fix, its haphazard deployment at best can amount to a missed opportunity and at worse undermine trust with an organization's customers. This phenomenon is not unique to AI. In today's fast-moving digital economy, it's not uncommon for performance and results to lag behind expectations.