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Assembly-Line Marketing Leaves Customers Waiting – and Leaving

assembly-line marketing

The customer could not wait any longer. The marketing communications and actions were delayed until well after the opportunity had passed. As a marketer, you missed the window of opportunity when the customer needed one more thing, or one more answer, to make the purchase. But you did not show up in time. The customer left. The cause? A methodical assembly-line marketing method.

The Assembly Line

The fact is that marketing has traditionally worked as an assembly line of experts by discipline, strategy, creative, data analysis, post-campaign evaluation, and others. Marketers, perceiving an opportunity, request data to support their theory, which could be anything from a seasonal promotion to a new product or a product with new features expected to capture the customer’s eye – and a portion of the customer’s wallet. Marketers also need the data for the prime targets for their marketing efforts.

The data request will be submitted to an IT department specializing in gathering such data. That department likely has its own priorities. There are delays in fulfilling the request. By the time you execute the original idea, it’s too late.

In today’s era, marketers must personalize communications and experiences, interacting with each individual in real-time. AI and other technologies should be able to mimic the best salesperson – being there with answers in a split second and guiding the customer with helpful recommendations and promotions.

In essence, marketers must create individualized, personalized experiences on a mass basis. How do you deliver 5,000, 50,000, 100,000, or a million personalized marketing messages with offers delivered to each customer through the right channel at the right time?

The answer is not assembly-line marketing. The assembly line worked well for Henry Ford when he created the Model T and gave people one color choice: black. But we are in an era where consumers control marketing — not the marketer. The marketer must be able to adapt in real time to the needs of each consumer on the spot. One size does not fit all.

Personalization is now table stakes for marketing campaigns.

Personalized Marketing

According to a McKinsey & Co. report, more than three-quarters of consumers (76 percent) said that receiving personalized communications was a key factor in prompting their consideration of a brand, and 78 percent said such content made them more likely to repurchase.

“Personalization is especially effective at driving repeat engagement and loyalty over time,” McKinsey reported. “Recurring interactions create more data from which brands can design ever-more relevant experiences—creating a flywheel effect that generates strong, long-term customer lifetime value and loyalty.”

Another stoplight in thwarting personalized marketing has been delays in aggregating and analyzing customer data to generate business insights after the initiation of a campaign. Again, if this is yet another separate function in the “assembly line,” it will cause delays in gathering and analyzing data. Waiting for anything in marketing, especially assembly-line marketing, can usually equate to missing the sales window.

Remember, at the other end is a customer usually unwilling to wait.

So, how can marketers end the waiting game of the assembly line? A better question is: can each marketing professional have all the tools of an assembly line? In essence, be a self-contained team — like a Swiss army knife has every gadget needed. Imagine that the six or seven people in an assembly line are empowered as self-sufficient marketers. There is no waiting.

Ending the Waiting Game

At the core of ending the waiting game is employing a customer data platform (CDP). It enables marketers to start marketing with the customer rather than a product or service. A CDP perpetually collects and analyzes all customer data.

A CDP provides marketers with the data and ability to understand each customer, what makes each unique, and what drives each customer’s behavior.

Understanding customer behavior is the basis for creating a unique customer profile. The profile is calculated by analyzing data from four primary sources. 1) first-party raw data, 2) on-site/in-app user activity, 3) third-party data, and 4) campaign response history. This consolidated dataset is continuously maintained as a 360° Single Customer View, accessible to the organization as a marketer’s data mart, and used to orchestrate individualized customer relationships across all available channels.

This capability dramatically improves the efficiency and effectiveness of any marketing efforts. Marketers now have customer insights instantly available at their fingertips. Moreover, there is no longer any waiting for analysis from a single cog in a marketing assembly line.

A CDP provides rich historical, real-time, and predictive customer data. With that solid foundation, marketers can use AI-led multichannel journey orchestration. Plus, they can have statistically credible multitouch attribution of every marketing action with today’s technology. So, marketing becomes predictive in anticipating the customer’s needs.

The marketer can now orchestrate campaigns across multiple channels, automate and personalize campaigns easily, and analyze campaign results and customer data to improve marketing outcomes.

Empowered marketers with every tool at their immediate disposal, like a Swiss army knife, can realize significant business results. This doesn’t happen with assembly-line marketing. So, typically, they can improve retention rates by 10%+, increase customer order value by 15%+, and gain massive campaign efficiency of 80% or more.

A marketer who can single-handedly manage and execute all aspects of campaigns end to end does not have to wait for anything. And the customer doesn’t have to wait either. Cha-ching!

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