Marketing As A Service In The Age Of The Customer

01/05/2015 8:20 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Do you know if your customer is happy with you or when he or she is likely to switch to a competitor when the opportunity presents itself? How much will the actions of one customer impact those of others?

In today's connected consumer environment, customers have more power than ever before. They are increasingly interconnected through various sorts of social networks, resulting in tremendous influence and reach. Customers are using PCs, smartphones and tablets to ask questions, make purchases and, yes, sharing their opinions, experiences and preferences with their friends. No business, large or small, global or local can ignore the fact now - it's all about the customer!

Organisations that are able to transform a high-volume and wide variety of structured and unstructured data into insight-driven actions in real time will be able to turn existing and potential customers into loyal brand advocates.

Consider a common consumer's journey. Say someone who is looking to upgrade his home theatre system. He may use his mobile device to check out the options available on various online portals and brands. Marketers and brands should already be paying attention at this stage. What device is he using and what content can be shared with him via that device about the brand? Where is he geographically and can a list of nearest partner/brand stores be shared with him to encourage a demonstration and thus inch him closer to the sale? A combination of predictive and real-time analytics provide marketers a holistic view of the customer experience and help create new methods of engagement. It enables chief marketing officers (CMOs) to maximise returns on investment by developing campaigns and products to help drive sales growth and brand recognition.

Businesses today are shifting from an advertising-fuelled model to a personalised approach that delights their customers, no matter where the connection is made. At the core, having a clear understanding of customer needs and preferences and the ability to deliver value across at all stops along their brand journey is fast emerging as a key differentiator. CMOs who choose to leverage sophisticated analytics are proving that marketing needs to evolve into something more than a pitch - it needs to reinvent itself as a service in today's age.

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