‘What are our customers’ needs – and how can we add value to the customers?’ Implementing this leading motto in a digital landscape, that is constantly moving its boundaries, can be a challenge: What opportunities and pitfalls does AI bring, will blockchain replace intermediaries like Google and where do we stand if quantum computing chops off the legs of blockchain? Spoon Gothenburg’s Mariana Lucic investigates.
It is easy to be confused by all the different scenarios and opportunities that follow in the path of digitalisation – therefore it is important to always land in and to start from the customer’s needs and create value.
One way to do this is to constantly work with the digital customer journey and implement new technology where it adds value. The digital customer journey is an iterative roadmap on how customers are interacting with companies and their offers.
The customer’s journey is not only circular and halting – it can take place at several touchpoints simultaneously, physical as well as digital. And just to make it even more challenging; customers can skip stages in your (funnel) model. This emphasises the importance of mapping: to add value, you have to know where your customers are and what they want.
Many marketers – and content creators in particular – have for some years been working with marketing automation as a leads generating tool. This has proven to be an effective way to create value for the customers through own channels. It is also a development towards fully personalised communication and very dependent on relevant content.
Many stakeholders must interact to create content that generate leads. In simplified sports terms, we can find search and social media in the backline, marketing automation, the faithful grafter, on the midfield, and the spotlight-seeking content in the attack. To win the match, everyone must interact. And not least – along the sideline we find a stressed digital strategy, which must be replaced at very regular intervals.
However, marketing automation is more than a lead generation apparatus. In the digital customer journey, it is particularly effective in offering customers solutions that add value – but for a company, marketing automation is also an effective way to find the right customers. And this is where things can go wrong. Really wrong.
Using automatic targeting, for instance, requires caution about data, algorithms and the bias that may be built into AI. There are many scary examples of how wrong it can go. Reuter reports on how Amazon’s automated recruitment tool didn’t like women. The system (algorithms) had learned that male candidates were to be preferred, among other things the system downgraded women who had attended female colleges.
3 tips for working with content in digital customer journeys:
Although technology trends are shiny, there are some old principles that remain and that one should keep in mind when working with content and customer journeys in digital channels:
- Tear the silos. Digital platforms require a digital strategy where, among other things, organisation (culture), content production, distribution and analysis are adapted to each other and cooperate. A chain is not stronger than its weakest link. This is also true for digital marketing – silo thinking is simply a threat to an efficient customer journey and company profits.
- Analyse more. Digital platforms generate lots of (big) data. Investing in a structure where data is analysed and where knowledge is implemented is an important basis for keeping up with – or staying ahead of – customers.
- Dare to stumble. The old motto ‘Test!’ still applies. Stay up to date on what’s being released in the digital channels and test the findings. It may be enough to invest just a small sum, but where the outcome becomes a large dose of knowledge. The result(s) may be disappointing, but at least you learned something.
Today’s truth can easily be tomorrow’s lie.
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