Obsessed: The ten rules of the principle abiding marketer


Strategy: Move beyond insight into foresight using relationships


RULE#2: Martech is inextricably about helping your customers helping you – by helping themselves in the easiest way possible.


A BLOGPOST BY Renout van hove,growthagent



If you go back to Rule#1 in the previous post, you know the principle of reciprocity very much also applies to emotions. The customer who feels appreciated – meaning being sincere and with genuine interest how she feels- might become the customer who also wants to have an emotional relationship that us durable. Being genuinely interested in your customers means you deal with their terms and respect their pace. They determine the tempo, the intensity and the way they want to engage with you. Not the other way around. They determine what channels are preferred. Not you. As they do so, they switch screens, channels, journey stages and mindsets that make quantum computers look like a Gameboy.


A couple of statistics to underpin rule #2: 
  • According to Forrester, 68% of buyers prefer to do their research independently online. 
  • 60% of buyers would rather not communicate with a sales rep as their primary information source
  • 47% of buyers viewed 4 pieces of content before engaging with a brand or sales rep


Needless to say, the funnel just flipped 180 degrees and is now upside down. Good luck with that if you lacking the right Martech stack to deal with this.


A Walker study found that by the end of this year, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. 


However, today, already 43% of consumers say they would not give companies permission to collect their personal data (such as location, age, lifestyle, preferences and purchase history) to allow for more personalized, customized experiences. Needless to say, the same mindset applies for B2B and B2C…B2B buyers, in the end, are consumers as well – so no excuses there…

So, how do you deal with this? Customer experience rules and convenience prevails, but paranoia wins…


According to Forrester’s studies, consumers feel differently in one instance. For a service they say they truly valued, 63% said they’d be more open to sharing their data. Building trust in this context is imperative. 88% of consumers say that how much they trust a company determines how much they’re willing to share personal information. 


Long story short, you need to become clever when it comes to collecting data and start thinking of a behavior first data collecting mentality and culture. Data is no longer about how your customer is, it’s rather on what they do – and more and more about what they will be doing next. It’s about what they read, open, engage upon. But also what messages or channels they neglect. 

More and more it’s about using AI as an enabler to becoming predictive. Admit it, when was the last time you really searched for a song on Spotify? Making it easy for your customers means we leave them cozy and well in their recommendation bubble…but when they do need help, make it easy to engage with you. Hence we need to focus on different kinds of metrics that measure this. Customer Effort Score as a key metric, for example, will become leading in this context. And the concept of the ‘North Star Metric’  that aligns all your companies’ silo’s around the value you create for your customers around this one single overarching metric. During the 5th conference on Martech, we will further elaborate on how to establish these types of metrics for your organization. 


The power of an AI-wired world


So, how do you measure the value you create for your customers, away from vanity metrics that reduce your Marketing department to a cost center? Additionally, while the value can be a competitive differentiator still today – more and more, you’ll see your competitive playground is not your current direct competitor – but that your competitive benchmark is based on the best experience your customer has ever had. Frictionless and effortless non-intrusive predictive experiences are swiftly becoming the new normal, and it can take a great deal of Artificial Intelligence to come to that state of experience building. 


The most logical step would be to take a CDP (Customer Data Platform) inhouse – rather than run by your agency – and to solely rely on external data, which in essence is owned by the brand as they are paying the campaigns. This way, you can be your own gatekeeper and make sure the data isn’t used by competitors.


CDP’s can help brands communicate within a cookieless world. An ever-increasing trend online is to erect paywalls and to offer gated content. If the added value is good enough, users are glad to share a bit of information with brands. Once a user is logged in, all relevant information can be used to tailor their experience. If you know that someone is price-sensitive, messaging across the website can be tailored to take away their worries. If an offline contact revealed a change in their family composition (i.e., a baby or even a new pet), their user experience could be customized to make their next desired action (purchase, review) takes as little effort as possible.


CDP’s needs to be considered as a helpful spider in the middle of user experience web which ties everything together. CDP’s are essential in becoming truly data-driven. Because remember. Data is Queen, Content is King. But the Queen wears the pants. 



This blogpost is based upon the new book of Marc Bresseel and Renout van Hove: OBSESSED: Decode the data landscape. Reboot your sales and marketing.

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