Start your brands customer engagement strategy with 5 simple questions

“The individual-centered economy is already here” – IBM Digital Reinvention paper, 2014

Today’s customer is nearly always connected via mobile and social technologies that have rapidly changed the marketing landscape.  A landscape that is continually changing and putting more and more power in the hands of the individual customer.  For brands this poses many questions and forces a rethink of their existing systems of engagement and to look for new, innovative and highly personal ways to engage with their customers.

How can a brand prepare to drive customer engagement to new levels?

We’ve put together 5 questions every brand should ask itself if it wants to master customer engagement:

  1. What Customer insights do we have? The first step in any customer engagement strategy is to harness data to gain insights into your customers.  It might sound obvious, but it’s essential and the challenge is to overcome the various silos your customer insights might sit in.
  2. Do we understand the gap between our delivery and our customer’s needs? Integrating Twitter into your customer services when all your customers are on WhatsApp? It’s not just important to know what your audience expects, wants and needs but also how this diverges from what you deliver.  Understanding this gap will allow you to adjust and prioritise your delivery to match.
  3. How can we give value to our customers?The answer to this is often quoted as content marketing. Though value is more than just content no matter how great the content is.  A great customer experience can give great value.  A good customer service experience might resonate more than a great blog article
  4. How can we create great experiences?First of all create a strategy and clear vision and communicate this throughout your organisation – every part needs to understand and live this vision to enable you to deliver this wow to customers.  Second you need to predict the future needs of your customers before they even realise the need themselves – Step forward data and analytics.  Using data insights will help your brand suggest products related to purchase history, target personalised marketing campaigns and create a 360 customer view that will enable all customer touch points to be one step ahead.
  5. How do we measure success? Net Promoter Score is apopularyetsimplistic approach but a great starting point to see current state.  Moving beyond this customer engagement can be integrated into existing marketing metrics, Forrester Research offers a good starting point with four measurable components of customer engagement:
    • Involvement – Measurable aspects of an individual connection to brand
    • Interaction – Depth/breadth of the individual connection
    • Intimacy – Individual sentiment towards brand
    • Influence – Measures of how individual encourages someone else to visit, consider, buy

The challenge for today’s brands is to deliver this experience in a genuine and targeted manner to the right customer on the right channel at the right time.  The great thing is there is no better time to start then right now.  Laying the foundations of exceptional customer engagement today keeps your brand relevant tomorrow.

**This article was originally published on Insights-on-business.com and can be found at http://insights-on-business.com/ibminteractive/start-your-brands-customer-engagement-strategy-with-5-simple-questions/

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