Clients come to us with what they often call ‘digital chaos’ every day. As a senior leader in marketing, how do I choose the right channels? How do I know they work? How do I drive integration and efficiency across the ones I do use?
Getting digital clarity won’t happen overnight, but here are some key steps that have proven themselves with our clients time and again. They also often inspire new and better internal discussions, bringing your brand to life more often with your leadership team, your staff and, most importantly, your customers.
1. Know your customers – create a clear picture of who your customers, prospects and key stakeholders are. Develop personas (preferably based on strong data) so that you have a clear picture of each group. This can really help clarify what you need to do.
2. Put your customers at the heart of everything you do – understand what we call their ‘pains’ that need addressing and the ‘gains’ they want to see in their role, and where your offers fit in that picture. Teams find it valuable to then use that customer ‘pain and gain’ language internally.
3. Break down the silos– silos build up in many organisations, especially larger ones, usually based on internal org. charts, geography or other factors. Customers don’t think in your siloes or even understand what they are, so these very often create a barrier to delivering seamless, positive customer experience.
4. Understand and detail your customer journeys – from initially becoming aware of you to repeat purchasing, your customer journey may include hundreds of micro-moments. These all build up the ‘scraps and straws’ of brand perception in their mind and many are critical to upselling, to your customers’ willingness to buy from you at all, and to recommend you to others. Mapping them out is always revealing and helps focus marketing and CX improvement efforts.
Alongside personal recommendation, face-to-face meetings and other traditional means, digital channels play many roles: in the customer’s early research phase (which is where things like brand awareness, SEO and mobile-first web design are critical); in ‘making the short list’ (which may mean you need great, well organised case studies and product information, and/or the right information online to satisfy due diligence); as well as in a number of roles post the initial purchase. Being clear on the pains, gains and customer journeys will help target spend, and also add ‘customer colour’ to discussions with your finance and leadership teams.
Of course, digital channels are pervasive in our wider lives, but that doesn’t mean each one is equally relevant to a brand. So there’s no doubt you need to major on some digital channels and ignore others. Digital chaos comes when we don’t know where to focus, and this chaos can negatively impact the company bottom line and the sales funnel, not to mention the marketing team’s reputation.
Employing the above steps focus everything regarding the customers’ needs, bolster a strategic red thread and the customers’ voice through marketing, and help you as a marketer sleep at night feeling you’re on the right track. If you’ve read this far then I’m sure you’d agree that the costs of living without digital clarity may be hidden under layers of frantic activity, but those costs are considerable.