The Festival of Marketing event concluded on the 11th October, during which time over 200 speakers delivered more than 160 hours of content covering marketing’s most pertinent topics. The annual conference brings together marketing professionals, industry pioneers, and digital specialists for two days of insights on current challenges, innovations, business strategies, and forward-thinking thought leadership. And on the 11th October, on the Brand & Creative stage, more than 150 delegates gathered to hear Matt Garbutt, our Creative Director, and Hannah Kimuyu, our Director of Paid Media & Data Insights, speak on their topic: ‘where head meets heart (or how data informs customer experience strategies)’, which tackled strategic and practical approaches for brands to apply when considering the customer journey.
Given the volatile state of the high street, it’s more important than ever to understand customers. While many businesses will fail in their attempts to do so, what’s key is that marketers learn and improve off the back of every mistake made.
The brands that are getting customer experience right are the ones that aren’t acting as faceless, automated robots, but rather are making the time and setting up the processes to get to know their customers better in order to offer them more of what’s valuable and important to them.
With today’s slew of technology and systems that offer audience data and insights, it’s worth investing in a tool that caters to your business needs and how your customers consume your products or services. When we work with clients, we make use of a data management platform (DMP) to better understand their customers’ attitudinal, behavioural, and psychographic tendencies. It adds value by collecting data and managing it agnostically, so that customer profiles are a true representation of their preferences and values. This adds value as brands are often confused by audience data given that people will switch device hundreds of time each day (and even share multiple devices), or data is collected through multiple sources that can’t connect all the data points.
The three big issues that brands face when looking at their data are: fragmentated data, no clear user journey, and multiple audiences. Tools such as a DMP enable marketers to overcome those challenges, and make sense of what their audiences are actually doing. We advise having a data team that works with teams to inform strategies and value points by analysing and interpreting audience insights.
Once a clear picture has been painted, a good creative brief can be put together, and that’s the part where the human touch comes in. While data will unearth valuable nuggets of information that will be key to planning and strategy, turning that into an innovative campaign or communication requires people who understand the brand and it’s USP. This is where tech and automation take a back seat, and people take control of the data and use it to benefit the overall customer experience by delivering something that customers really want.
To conclude the session, Hannah and Matt shared a three-step checklist for marketers to reference when bringing data and creativity together. It was suggested that brands ensure they’re achieving these three things to get the best results from their efforts.
- Relevance: Good data analysis enables brands to personalise and deliver the right message, at the right time, in the right place.
- Empathy: In knowing their brand’s audiences, marketers will have a better shot at creating a better brief, which will maximise their chances of building empathy with their customers.
- Honesty: It’s up to the brand to be honest and true with their audience, both the good things and the bad, in order for them to create a deeper and more meaningful long-term relationship.
Finally, it’s important that marketers treat their customers like human beings. Audiences are ordinary people who aren’t pre-empting what a good customer experience is, they just want to consume brands and not have bad touchpoints along the way. In order to delight and add value to the customer journey, brands need to get the balance between data collection and creative execution right to reach customer experience nirvana.