Marketers needs to unify their customer view and respond in milliseconds: Adobe

Adobe vice-president of digital marketing, Brad Rencher, talks about why marketers must respond to customer actions in milliseconds if they're to meet their expectations

Marketers must cross the silos of information and compile a consistent view of the customer, their actions and expectations if they want to meet today’s digital experience expectations, Adobe’s global digital chief claims.

Speaking at Adobe’s second annual Digital Marketing Symposium at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney, Brad Rencher, the vendor’s senior vice-president and general manager of digital marketing, spoke on the challenges organisations face with siloed information assets and the need for millisecond responses in order to meet the rapidly changing needs of the digitally-connected customer.

“As marketers, we have become the seekers of knowledge,” he told attendees. “What consumers want and expect from us has changed and a new normal is being set every day.

“Things are becoming increasingly complex for marketers and more than anything, fast. We are being asked to do more, and with less... with more pressures to perform in the business.”

Consumers want access to information their way and when they want it, Rencher said. “Put yourself in their shoes – we all want content when we want it and how we want it. As marketers, you also know how difficult this is to deliver.”

As a way of illustrating the transformation of content consumption digitally as well as the push to mobile, Rencher highlighted several global industry statistics, which showed a 70 per cent rise in tablet usage in the last 12 months, a doubling of big data spending to US$232 billion, and 62 per cent growth in mobile apps revenue in the last year.

All this change makes it easy to become overwhelmed and lose perspective, but Rencher stressed the importance of keeping your focus on meeting consumer expectations.

“It all comes down to that moment of truth in delivery experience, which happens in milliseconds,” he said. “If you meet those experience expectations only four in every 10 interactions with consumers, you will be an average marketer.”

The point of focus needs to be on the action a consumer makes in that moment before the experience occurs, Rencher explained. This could be loading a mobile app, clicking on a tab, or searching Google Maps for directions. In return for that action, consumers expect an experience. Between that action and experience, marketers have 300 milliseconds to get their response right.

As a way of meeting those customer expectations, Rencher identified four steps:

  1. Listen: By uniting the behavioural data from all digital interactions, all enterprise data including CRM and other systems to gain a clear view of the customer.

  2. Predict: Based on data, marketers then need to work out what the customer wants. This is driven by maths, algorithms, machine learning and technology tools, Rencher said.

  3. Assemble: Pulling together the content and assets required to give customers that experience.

  4. Deliver: Ensuring you action that experience on any device, when the consumers expect it, and continue to work on improving it. “You can’t just think about the back-end, you have to dynamically deliver on that expectation,” Rencher said. “That is no small task to make this seamless and to ensure it happens every time. Once those expectations are set, you have to deliver that again and again.”
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