In a recent conversation with a chief technology officer, he asserted all digital technology changes in his organisation were being led by IT and not by marketing. It made me wonder: How long a marketing function like this could survive?
With marketing trends being dominated by big data and automation, marketers still struggle with grabbing the customer’s attention – and keeping it. In a choice-rich digital space, Yatango decided to use hyperpersonalisation, empowerment and transparency to give the control back to their customers.
Speaking at the Oracle's Marketing Cloud Conference in Sydney, Yatango head of marketing, Mark Taylor said the problem was that big corporates like Optus were trying to deliver on a unique customer experience, but weren’t able to personalise services.
“In big corporates, customer service teams are completely disconnected from marketing teams, and nobody knows what is going on,” he said. “Our CEO went to Optus and said we have this brilliant idea, we want to disrupt the pre-paid space, let consumers take control and build what they need. Optus said great – this is awesome, but we can’t do it. We’re too big and it would take too long to implement, so why don’t we give you a network contract and you go ahead and do it.”
In response, Yatango set out to build a platform for customers that provided a single user experience across multiple products and services. Taylor said the mobile space was a great place to start as it was very big and consumers were finding it hard to compare between products.
“Within our ecosystem or products and services, we really wanted to give customers control over everything and reward them through our loyalty program, then encourage consumers through our community to bring their friends and family on board and in turn, create that unique Yatango experience,” Taylor said.
The three key pillars to Yatango’s marketing strategy were personalisation, empowerment and transparency.
“It is a crowded, noisy market and consumers want us to talk them, particularly gen Y,” Taylor said. “We really wanted to bring that control and empower our customers to save money. And in the mobile space, there are a lot of smokes and mirrors – contracts, clauses – so we wanted to keep it simple, open and honest.”
Building a community, not a customer base
Yatango’s core aim was to foster a robust product and exceptional experience by building a community rather than just a customer base.
“Our customers are our members – we talk to them like they’re our friends and family,” he said. “We want them to share their experiences and help us grow and become advocates.”
According to Taylor, 4G Optus pre-paid helps customers build their own plan and contract that is fully flexible. Yatango then rewards the customer by delivering that personalisation through the plan and seeing it through the platform. On top of this, Yatango shopping is an e-commerce platform that also rewards customers for engagement and helps them earn and redeem points as part of a whole user ecosystem.
“We started as a tech company but we have expanded to cosmetics, fragrances, sunglasses, apparel – you name it,” he said. “We’re building that and giving back to our customers by redeeming with their points and really adding that value.”
Taylor stressed the importance of testing in a digital marketplace in order to optimise and monitor customer actions.
“Testing everything is critical – not just for startups, but all of us should be testing every month and have a solid testing plan,” he added. “For us, digital is a great place to start and Facebook is a huge platform for us for this.”
The trend is hyper-personalisation
Moving forward, Taylor said personalisation is moving to hyper-personalisation and marketers will keep using big data and automation. But the singular goal is to retain the customer’s attention – and keep it.
“Hyper personalisation is more than just putting a person’s first name on an email,” he said. “Everything is now moving towards the individual’s needs and interests. Gen Y and even younger are disengaged - they’re very switched off, they’re not watching TV and have ad blockers. So how do you get through?”
In this context, Taylor said it’s important to truly understand behaviours and needs, then provide recommendations of products in the Yatango ecosystem to address that. This means targeting the right audience at the right time with the right product. As a result of implementing hyper-personalisation strategies, Yatango has seen a dramatic increase in conversions along with higher relevance and higher trust from the customer, he claimed.
“Customers just want to know what’s in it for me, that’s all they care about,” Taylor said. “So it’s really about moving to conveying an idea and telling a story, going through a journey, not just from the customer acquisition phase, but all the way through the customer lifecycle.”
Taylor stressed hyper-personalisation is so much more than just basic data and CRM and should include evaluations of the customer’s social portfolio, where they are buying, what they are buying, how they earn, their hobbies and data usage.
“It’s all about delivering that truly exceptional and integrated customer experience, which is a long-term, all-encompassing way to really differentiate yourself,” Taylor added. “Everyone’s trying but not everyone is doing a good job of it.”
Automating data to scale your business and customer base
To drive its approach, Yatango’s group marketing manager, Jackie Hill said the company sought to automate data processes efficiently and effectively.
“The problem is we have so much data and it comes from a million different places, and we actually have to build a single customer profile, and understand that individual,” she said. “We have usage data, a transactional database, customer profile of gender and birthday, website tracking information, Google Analytics – then we need to actually say ‘what does our customer want and what does she need and where is her journey going’. That is very challenging and something we’re still working on.”
Hill said Yatango had a preliminary idea of who would be its target market at launch date, but after analysing long-standing customers having really great experiences, they realised these customers weren't exactly aligned with its initial targeting.
“We adjusted our strategy to actually go after somebody who was a little bit better for us,” she said.
To help, Yatango deployed Oracle’s Responsys to align data and have the right processes in place to be able to create the efficiencies and automations needed in having personalised interactions with customers.
“This helped us to get the experience aligned to scale,” Hill said. “You need to have efficiencies in place within your team and you will need to grow your team to be able to scale.
“Obviously we need to get more efficient and that helps us all save time so we can go and do all the other stuff we have to do. But I don’t want to think about it as set it and forget it; it’s not all about that. Automation allows you to focus on your whole marketing journey together and cohesively.”
Yatango is now looking at additional Oracle products to completely automate and scale marketing in order to go global with its personalisation strategy while retaining efficiency.
“The time is now, as modern marketers, to use that data and provide the right personalised experience – all at the same time,” Hill said. “Keeping up with trends and implementing trends – we need to push for what we want. It’s is all up to us to drive that change and drive that success.”
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