The evolution of digital marketing

Why customer experience sits at the heart of marketing’s digitisation

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A guide to transforming customer experience

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The digital transformation of marketing

Today, more than ever, the customer is in control. One bad interaction with customer service, an outdated platform or even something as simple as website speed, may cause them to find the product they want elsewhere. With price and quality comparisons at consumers’ fingertips, brand loyalty is also much harder won. As a result, companies of all sizes and industries have a renewed focus on customer experience (CX), viewing it as the key to gaining sustainable competitive advantage.

Digital has changed the rules of customer engagement. To continue acquiring and retaining customers, organisations need to adapt to these new dynamics.

Digitisation has formed more channels and ways for customers and businesses to interact, putting pressure on modern marketers to compete for consumer attention through an ever-growing number of touchpoints. Such is the ubiquity of integrated services today though, customers expect a seamless, omnichannel experience with businesses, where they can swap between devices, a desktop, a store or a salesperson and still receive a consistent and up-to-date response. They also expect communications from brands to be tailored to their specific preferences and informed by previous interactions.

Businesses must, therefore, have cutting-edge internal processes in place in order to provide both insight-driven, personal communications and a unified, cross-channel view of customer insights. As customer communications become progressively more scattered and complex, manual management not only leaves businesses open to error but also commands valuable time in processes that could easily be streamlined and managed by digitalisation.

But companies are commonly structured in a way that means no one department has full responsibility for the customer journey, leading to confusion over ownership of data. This makes effective company-wide data use a challenge and means that many struggle to translate disparate pools of insight into a unified customer experience.

The digital transformation of marketing

Transforming CX with CCM

But digital help is at hand. Rather than expecting digital transformation to happen in totality overnight, in order to overhaul a business’s marketing strategy, it is far more effective to embrace a hybrid state and concentrate on digitising function by function, prioritising those that stand to benefit the most. For marketing, CCM (Customer Communications Management) is a digital priority.

With CCM, businesses can enjoy highly personalised and on-demand communication. Its dynamic output ensures customer communications are responsive, optimised and accessible via any device. CCM’s multi-channel technique allows customers to choose their preferred method of communication, as well as enabling clients to respond to communications instantly via their selected device, which speeds-up internal processes. End-to-end CCM helps businesses to craft and distribute the personalised communications consumers expect today.

Boosting digital maturity

Gartner defines CX as the “customer’s perceptions and related feelings caused by both the one-off and cumulative effect of interactions with a supplier’s employees, products, systems and channels”.

The companies realising massive success in the digital age are those that have succeeded in delivering both the isolated and cumulative, omnichannel customer experiences Gartner is talking about. Amazon, Uber, Netflix and Spotify, to name just a few, offer more than a service to their customers: they make that service more straightforward, tailored and convenient than anyone had thought possible. In many cases, this connects previously disparate digital experiences.

These aspirational experiences should form the goal for every other business hoping to compete, and it sets the standard for modern customers.

Technologies like AI, machine learning and adaptive personalisation delivered through platforms like CCM, together with effective use of data, can enable any brand to provide a next-level customer experience.

The key to all progress in digital marketing is to understand how people move through a business, and what the customer journey looks like from every angle. This ensures that marketers can then organise processes accordingly and ensure that there is one integrated funnel that works across all functions.

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