Today, I hope to change up the conversation that is top-of-mind for marketing and business executive worldwide. Digital transformation is not about technology nor is it about process - it is about people. Placing people at the very heart of your business, supported by technology and processes. We are about to launch Marketing Factory, a new module for Digital Experience Manager, which is our digital experience management platform, that reflects our passion for this point of view. Following is what is behind our passion.
If I tried to count the number of times the word personalization is used in business today, I might need a super-computer.
For the most part, the companies using it in their marketing are missing the point. Connecting inquiries and leads with content that matches a profile is not really personalization because it is not a conversation. Is it a great improvement over the decades-long era of email blasts? Yes - but you are still leveraging information and technology. There is nothing personal about that. Think of the junk mail you get because some algorithm created a ‘persona’ of you. It bears no resemblance to you – your interests, likes, what you do at work, who you are at home. So when you receive it, you likely delete it.
Your customers and future customers are not personas, which implies a group sharing the same attributes. Rather, they are unique human beings. They have problems they are trying to solve and needs to be fulfilled that are specific to them alone. And they have expectations of you when they choose to interact with you. It could be a lead form, a call to customer support or a request for more information. How many times, when calling a company for assistance, has your call been transferred to several people, all of whom ask you to repeat everything you just explained to someone else? At that moment, you have the opportunity to start a 1:1 relationship, based on trust and loyalty, that could last for years. Or, you could lose a potentially valuable customer - forever.
An authentic 1:1 relationship is possible only when everyone in your company views your customer, in real time, as a person – not simply a transaction to be monetized. In the example above, imagine if the person who takes your call knows what and when you purchased, what you paid, where you bought it and what you may have said about it on Twitter or Facebook. Every touchpoint you have created is available to every employee that you may talk to in the company. That level of insight - the ability to respond with agility in context to the customer’s experience with your brand - will be available to each employee. It is created by technology and made useful to people – for both employees and customers.
The most vital step in earning and retaining your loyal customers is also based on technology. Your customers will soon learn that the data they exchanged for their purchase is zealously guarded – because you told them when they purchased and you will remind them with every conversation. As the CMO, you know the clear line between what technology offers and what ethics prevent. Your customers know that as well. The reward is great. Loyalty, measured in revenue, and a growing customer base, accelerated by the conversations customers have about you.
This is what Marketing Factory will offer to business-builders everywhere. The culmination of years of aspirational talk about the 1:1 model, the technologies to make it possible and, finally, an understanding that we have always been talking to people – not data.
Now you can have a relationship with people – marketing’s Holy Grail.
I will be talking more about this as we prepare for the Marketing Factory launch in January.