Data holds claim as the most persistent challenge across marketing agendas. It lives in excess and constantly grows, requiring regular orchestration and vigilance over how it is governed, organised, and understood. The days of third-party data reliance are dwindling, and technology continues to advance, challenging leaders to rethink their approach to their existing data frameworks to maximise first-party data usage. For many, this undertaking has already begun, positioning first-movers as leaders across the digital marketplace.
XPON, in partnership with Connect Media, gathered the marketing minds shaping the Australian business landscape to explore this undertaking. It was an evening of great discussion and insight, breaking down the challenges shared between leaders as they navigate their data challenges and digital journeys.
Personalised, seamless, fulfilling – terms that set the baseline for modern-day CX, and our consumers are innately in-tune with them. Customers expect their needs to be met before they are voiced, through journeys that deliver purpose and add value, every time. For this to work, marketing technology must work in synergy with the human understanding of CX. Teams need to consider the nuances of consumer context that often are not overtly translated by the data, delivering the right messaging, at the right time, by the right person, in a way that adds value. While data drives these experiences, the art and science of its management ultimately fuel lasting value through the purchase journey.
We know that consumer expectations of their experiences are constantly evolving. They gravitate towards brands who they feel genuinely understand their journey, with studies finding 82% of people have the willingness to share their data in exchange for additional consumer value (Customer Experience Survey, Yopto 2021). Those brands that are guided by the intricacies of the consumer journey, going beyond the tried monotony of regular touchpoints, using the data they extract to inform their interactions rather than control them, will ultimately be rewarded with a competitive advantage.
Implementing transformation is a process that often evokes a mixed response. Some are averse to its gravity, challenged by the promise of change and reform. Others see it as an opportunity to establish a different pace, do away with the long-standing and unfit practice, and return refreshed and revitalised. Amidst the ebb and flow of these sentiments, executives are clear on one defining reality: digital transformation cannot fall to the sole responsibility of one single department, instead must be undertaken as a collective endeavour.
Accountability plays a prominent role in this process. Often there exists a misalignment between marketing and other departments across the organisation, where teams lack an understanding and a shared vision of their role in CX.
Reconciling this is two-fold:
The first: Departments should be moving in ‘lockstep’ with one another, rallying around a clear and unified consumer objective, playing the same strategy, from the same angle, toward the same goal. There is power in selling the idea in ways that will make other teams working lives more manageable.
The second: Teams must be aware of the responsibility of their roles, knowing that they are custodians of data in any form it takes. Whoever can solve the problems that arise, the quickest and with the highest accuracy of information must be empowered to do so.
We are operating in an era of heightened transparency where the ethical dimensions of our data practice come under immense scrutiny. Recent data breaches have consumers on edge, prompting businesses to resolve any impression of shaken trust, leaning on their customer and marketing teams.
As data custodians, marketing leaders have direct oversight over how ethics and transparency are communicated and delivered. Privacy and security have regular circulation through the consumer vernacular, often closely tied to exchanging their data for the promise of a better digital experience. While acknowledging the differences between these protection modes provides clarity, when it comes to data, the two become a part of a collaborative effort, where understanding the infrastructure of security and the right to privacy are worked on in tandem to engage consumers and build lasting trust.
As our interactions with consumers become increasingly defined by digital, it is essential to communicate data processes across each point of the transitionary journey with increased transparency, sustaining a lasting trust and foundation for loyalty.
Success across customer experience has taken on a refined definition. Data must empower teams to deliver purposeful value through each interaction, be that in-person or online. Utilising the right technology enables this undertaking to flourish, challenging marketing leaders across industries to bridge their technological and data gaps, working in a de-siloed and cross-department fashion as they roadmap their path toward success.
We know the digital business landscape is ever-changing and relentlessly moving, requiring constant vigilance and interpretation. XPON will continue to facilitate critical conversations to unravel the complexity of this movement, empowering leaders to accelerate towards a future defined by digital maturity.