With social commerce becoming a reality, customer engagement can no longer be left to the delivery team.  What is the appropriate role for marketing in this space? Are you seeing social commerce becoming an area of focus for marketing?

We’re in the midst of a profound structural shift from physical to digital retail. Mobile connectivity and the ubiquity of the internet is spurring e-Commerce to $1.5T in annual sales. A part of this is attributed to social media in terms of direct sales but a big chunk of online sales is a result of influence social media has on customer buying journey.

Social commerce is becoming an integrated element of digital marketing. The opportunity for marketing will be to build foot print on social media, increase their social media diversity, explore social ads on a pay-per-click model, build original content across channels and manage and engage your community to build brand advocates.

Is customer engagement different from customer mining? How? And should the two be connected?

Customers today are engaging with brands through multiple channels and devices. Some 42% of online adults now use multiple social networking sites and 90% consumers use multi screens sequentially to accomplish task overtime.

Designing a great customer-engagement strategy and experience in digital times require businesses to have complete understanding of exactly how people interact with a company throughout their decision journey.  The goal is to reach the customer at moments that most influence their decisions.

Customer mining (Analytics) is complimentary to Customer engagement, in the sense that it gives businesses the ability to analyze, manage, and ultimately utilize customer information in order to sell more to your existing customers or start selling to new customers.

Connecting customer mining to customer engagement results in more personalized and customized experiences for the customers. Reports suggest that 53% customers are more likely to purchase when a brand personalizes digital communication.

How would you define customer centricity?

Years ago Peppers & Rogers published a classic – One to One Marketing. It’s more apt today. Gone are days of one message to million customers it is now all about million consistent messages to one customer.

Delivering customer centric experiences requires customer journey mapping. A customer journey map essentially captures the experiences a customer has with product – awareness, familiarity, consideration, purchase and loyalty. Content produced by enterprise needs to be mapped to persona of the customer and also the stage of customer in the buying cycle.

In the IT services world, the customer is often a fiercely guarded asset, with access limited both by their organization and yours.  What have you found useful in gaining access and engagement?  What are they looking for from marketing teams?

Marketing teams are now embracing digital technologies to reach and target the right customer. Customers further expect marketing to

  • Have a point of view. The more controversial the better
  • Tell a simple story. Scenario based selling. Contextualize your message
  • Participate in the conversation. Be there
  • Share best practices from across the globe and industries
  • New Technology adoption

What are the metrics you find useful in measuring customer engagement?

  • Involvement –Measurable aspects of an individual connection to an organization or brand (site visits, page viewed, time spent)
  • Interaction – Depth/breadth of an individual connection (contribution comments, frequency of comments)
  • Intimacy – Sentiment of an individual towards organization / brand (sentiment tracking- is the customer brand critic or brand advocate)
  • Influence – Indicators that an individual will encourage someone else to visit, consider, buy (Net promoter score, brand affinity)



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