There's a ton of information that customers share with companies that can - and should be - used to develop more personalized, relevant, and contextual engagement with customers at the right time and in the right channel. Drawing on a full range of customer data has become a business imperative for marketers, particularly as customized content and messaging is needed to engage today's finicky, highly mobile customer.A new study released by Forrester Research entitled "The Power of Customer Context" underscores these issues. According to Forrester's survey of more than 61,000 U.S. adults, just 32 percent of consumers say they trust information that's displayed on company websites. Customer trust in advertising and promotions they view is even lower in other channels and formats (e.g. company-generated emails: 20 percent; text messages from companies or brands: 12 percent).
As the author of the report, Carlton A. Doty, points out, marketing campaigns don't deliver competitive advantage anymore since competitors are just as skilled at campaign execution. Plus, competitors also have the same types of tools available to them to help craft and deliver marketing campaigns. However, as Doty notes, changing the focus from customer acquisition to interaction management and from media schedules to "customer moments" can truly help companies to differentiate themselves.
Interacting in real-time or at the right time with customers in the digital channels they use with the right messaging, offers, content, and other types of information that customers find useful based on their interests and needs can help strengthen engagement. It can also help boost customer trust, especially when customers feel like a particular company knows who they are and provides them with relevant and timely information, says Don Peppers, founding partner of Peppers & Rogers Group.
In some instances, real-time engagement is critical for capturing a customer's attention, such as when a customer is visiting a company's website for product information and engaging them before they redirect to a competitor's website. In other cases, a customer may prefer follow-up messaging that's not necessarily in the moment. For instance, behavioral data may reveal that certain customers prefer to receive and interact with content during certain times of the day or after work hours.