It was a great week out in Palm Springs attending eTail West, where some of the finest marketing minds and brands came together to share experiences and drop some knowledge. Our Selligent team was excited to be there, and grateful for all of the conversations we had and for those who attended one of our events. Kat Berman, Selligent’s Head of Global Sales Enablement, led a highly interactive roundtable discussion on “maximizing every moment with your customers,” focusing on best practices for brands to leverage artificial intelligence and emerging solutions to drive sales through intelligent content. Our team also led a luncheon workshop exploring what technology offers today to help marketers create programs that drive conversion and improve customer experiences along the way.
Of course, what’s a marketing conference without all the trending buzzwords and topics? This year there was a strong focus on technology, personalization, AI, data silos, omnichannel, automation, and much more. But as the conference unfolded, other themes and topics emerged; ones that were not on the agenda or promoted at any of the vendor booths. But important themes that would be top-of-mind for a conference like this.
These themes could be heard as an undertone in the keynote speakers, among panelists, in breakout sessions, and in organic, unplanned hallway conversations. I’ve distilled them into four key words: content, curiosity, value, and delivery. It’s good to refocus on some of these broader ideas; to take a step back from the data, metrics, and KPIs to help bring your marketing program to the next level. We can be so metrics driven these days that sometimes we lose sight of the bigger picture. So let’s unpack each of these themes and then wrap them together. Hopefully, this perspective will help as you continue to improve your marketing programs.
Everyone was talking about content at eTail West. And for good reason. Content is the cornerstone to every brand. Every brand has a story to tell and content is the fabric of that story. It’s all the pieces and parts of the story that need to be told, and it’s delivered in a variety of formats, from an article, to pictures, video, and more. With the rise of technology, consumers expect rich, personalized contextual content. Brands and marketers need to determine: what content is going to make up your story – and how are you going to tell it most effectively? People are more likely to engage if your content is relevant and rich. Use content to curate experiences and stories that create or trigger emotions, to connect with consumers in a deeper way.
The dictionary defines value as “the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.” The right content delivers value, but value is perceived and determined at an individual level. That’s where segmentation and personalization become critical. You have to stop and think, what does your customer value? What kind of content is most meaningful, relevant, convenient? Is it a how-to video, a coupon, a birthday greeting and/or offer, or maybe a simple “thank you we are thinking about you” message? The moment you stop delivering value, people will begin to disengage and move away from you, looking for value somewhere else.
Marketers must be inherently curious. Curiosity is what ties everything together. To find answers, you must ask questions. Through asking questions, you start uncovering information. As you keep refining and digging deeper into the questions, you’ll continue to learn more about your customers and the value you’re bringing to them. From there, you can start measuring and testing things, which will then bring you back to the data and metrics that everyone is so focused on. This understanding allows you to deliver the relevant, rich, personal content that creates value. The more value you can deliver, the more you can improve CX and boost ROI.
Delivery is how you get your content and value out into the world. It’s sending your content to the channels where people start to engage with your company or brand. Technology has and is constantly creating new avenues and points of engagement, from websites, to mobile apps, emails, SMS messages, voice, and more. In today’s world, it’s essential to have an omnichannel strategy so you can engage people along all the journeys they’re taking. You need to be able to take advantage of and maximize every point of interaction in a unified way. It’s not enough to tell a story through one channel. The world is too full of distractions that are fighting for your attention, and consumers are connected in so many ways at any given moment. You have to tell your story from all angles, delivering your content across channels and touchpoints – and be ready to always meet your customers in those critical “micro-moments” of engagement.
At the end of day, everyone is unique, so it’s important to be curious about yourself, your brand, and your marketing strategies. I think that’s the most important takeaway that I left with from this year’s eTail West: the need to think and be curious about what’s right for YOUR business. Look internally and begin to ask questions. What am I doing to create value? What content am I using? Who is engaging with it? How am I delivering value, content, experiences? Am I using the right channels?
Stop, step back, ask questions, and then go create the best experience for your customers. If you create meaningful experiences, in a way that’s memorable, and you deliver your content in a way that connects emotionally and contextually, and build authentic relationships, you can elevate your marketing campaigns to a whole new level and be on the path to become an icon brand.
We’d love to talk with you about how our platform can help you create and deliver your story to the right person, at the right time, on the right channel. Contact us or request a demo for more information.
Selligent Marketing Cloud is part of the CM Group family of brands.