Ahead of his presentation at our Email Marketing & CRM Seminar, Figaro Digital spoke with Roy Jugessur, VP, UK & Northern Europe, Selligent, about some of the challenges facing email marketing, and how the platform can remain agile enough to keep up with customer expectations.
What’s the biggest obstacle to securing customer loyalty today?
RJ: Firstly, it’s important to note that the relationship between consumers and brands has changed beyond recognition. This change is largely intertwined with the advent of new technologies. The proliferation of smartphones and tablets – combined with uncertainty in markets and the global economy means the way in which consumers and brands now identify and place value on “loyalty” has fundamentally changed. Loyalty is no longer about buying nine coffees and getting the tenth free, it’s about brands creating profitable, ongoing and mutually beneficial relationships.
Unfortunately, many marketers are stuck using archaic systems that have not changed to keep up with this new breed of hyper-connected and entitled consumers. Thanks to increasing amounts of data and the proliferation of technology, our ability to engage with consumers is better than ever. However many marketers have not yet updated their system and working practices to match – I think this is the biggest barrier.
How can email campaigns become more agile in their content and approach?
RJ: The most simple advice I can give – invest in a marketing technology that allows your team to create better work. This year, CMOs will spend more on technology than CIOs (Gartner). The solution to becoming more agile lies within the marketer’s data infrastructure. Having an open architecture marketing solution allows you to identify the moments in a consumer journey that truly matter, so you can create relevant and contextual marketing.
It’s this ability to recognise and deliver on data-driven opportunities that lead to deeper relationships. It’s time to create agile and effective campaigns, rather than using email as a “marketing machine” to push single-serving messages.
As brands try to execute their aspiration of ‘1-to-1 relationships with every customer, no matter what their journey’; what tips can you offer for achieving this at scale?
RJ: Firstly, make sure your marketing technology acts as a strategic partner and guides you through the possible journeys. Sort the data out first – once you’ve achieved a single view of the consumer – things become more straightforward, not to mention exciting. Many brands start off small with manageable, ring-fenced campaigns that offer a solid starting point. For example, if you’re a retailer who knows where your consumer is, make use of weather context to serve relevant messaging, content and offers. This will form a solid basis for building more complex journeys that will continue to build relationships at a scalable and measurable 1:1 level in a way that puts the consumer first, in your business.
Are there lessons email can learn from social in terms of securing leads through engagement?
Social Media Marketers are becoming increasingly smart in their approach – real-time data is being used to provide relevant and contextual messages, in the moment. Many brands are also moving to a content-led approach; providing individual users with content that has been carefully curated and does not immediately seek to convert consumers to cash buyers 100 per cent of the time, rather, it’s used to engage and deepen relationships.
Those are two principles that I think are still lacking in many email marketing teams. If marketers embed the above principles, along with treating the consumer with respect and integrity, they will create smarter and more personalised content and capture the attention of consumers to secure more leads through engagement.
The Figaro Digital Email Marketing & CRM Seminar takes place on 9th February. Register here now!
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