Achieving unique and personalised customer experiences through data and technology disruption

DCA recently co-hosted an Executive Luncheon with AADL (Australian Alliance for Data Leadership) during the ADMA  Global Forum Event in Sydney with Senior Marketing Leaders. In an open forum format presented by Clare Smith (Director, Digital and Customer Marketing) from Roadshow Films (part of the Village Roadshow Group), we delved deep into the factors required to succeed in delivering unique and personalised customer experiences through optimal use of data and technology.

During our discussions, it became evident that Marketing Leaders across a wide variety of industries from Travel, Entertainment, Not For Profit, Manufacturing, Retail, Government and Health were all facing similar challenges.

Some of DCA’s key takeaways include:

  • The “Franken-Stack” of Siloed Databases (it gets more complex every day) – the common theme faced by the modern marketing technologist today is how to join the data across a wide variety of disparate systems and technologies. From CRMs to Martech to Adtech to Mobile Applications to franchisee/store physical locations, everyone faces this daunting task. Clare has referred to Roadshow Film’s Marketing and Advertising Technology Systems as a “Franken-stack” where they have competing Marketing Cloud Technology Vendors providing different pieces to the puzzle of their over-arching solutions.
  • Achieving Single Customer View (is not easy) – whilst some opt to centralise everything through Data Warehouses, Data Lakes and DMPs, there are others that are still figuring out the best way to consolidate these data sets – whether that is through a best of breed solutions provider or working internally to only utilise the data that is required for specific marketing initiatives and letting go of the rest.
  • One size does not fit all (with Marketing Technology) – whilst there are some organisations that have succeeded by utilising the one vendor for their Marketing and Advertising initiatives, it was emphasised that there are advantages in using the best fit for purpose marketing applications, rather than just using everything from the one Marketing Cloud Platform. As long as the data points can easily be integrated and required data obtained, it is not necessarily seen as a disadvantage.
  • Marketers have a Helicopter View of their whole organisations Technology and Database Landscape – as the landscape of Martech and Adtech becomes ever more complex (there are thousands of applications today), marketers are often required to plug in and connect data across business functions in order to obtain the information required to deliver a personalised customer experience. Marketers are seen as having the unenviable task of trying to make sense of the overall database systems landscape from a top level view, whereas the majority of the organisation do not understand or appreciate the marketing technologies at play.

Richard Harris, Commercial Director of AADL also emphasises:

  • There is clearly a need to continue to educate senior management on the importance of data as an asset of the business and the benefits of investing in clear data strategy.
  • We still rely on sales people to capture a lot of market insight and encouraging them to do so continues to be a problem. However, by demonstrating the direct value back to sales people of good data as a tool for them can assist with this.
  • Technology certainly makes things easier, but we must keep the basics in mind of distilling actionable insights that help us understand and engage better with our audiences. Particularly when you look at the content from the rest of the Forum that focused on the need to remove friction points in our customer journeys.

Everyone agreed that achieving customer experience success comes from the top-down. The organisations that have achieved superior customer experiences have their Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, IT and Data Teams all aligned with the same goal of putting the customer at the forefront.

No-one has got it 100% perfect either. Clare expressed that “It was great to connect with the other marketers.  I often think that leading the digital charge in a business is a lonely job but sessions like the lunch really help you feel like you are not alone and that everyone is struggling to make sense of it all!”

September 2018

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