How brand strategy, data, and consumer experience are rewriting marketing rules


The way sponsored ads now hog space on your Facebook feeds and Instagram walls, you know the digital age has changed the focus of marketing and advertising. Barely a decade ago creativity was the pivot on which marketing success hinged. Cut to present, marketing executives are focusing on different priorities in an attempt to woo their clientele.

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Well, these new priorities are brand strategy, customer experience, and data. Surprised to hear that? You should be. After all, for most Chief Marketing Officers, parameters like customer experience and data figure much lower on their list of priorities.

The paradigm shift could be traced back to a number of factors which include digitisation and demographic shifts. Things have never been as competitive as right now, and it has become difficult to maintain customer loyalty and trust.

In a survey by global consultancy firm Ernst & Young and Forbes, 69 percent of the interviewed marketing executives said customer experience was vital to drive growth and ranked customer experience, ahead of product innovation and pricing in their list of priorities. The reason? If you do not impress the customer, then your marketing strategy will be of little use.

Improving customer experiences is as crucial for a marketer as prioritising it, which is where data analytics come to your rescue. Real-time data offers an insight into what sets the ball rolling for your clientele and lets companies personalise marketing strategies to reap the optimum benefit. Leading companies are using social networks, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and point-of service to spot trends in customer experience. According to Joerg Niessing, a marketing professor at INSEAD, “The most successful companies use analytics to understand how well they generate demand and the quality of the customer experience they provide,” as stated by Harvard Business Review.

For instance, US-based insurance giant Progressive Insurance was able to drive up its customer reach by analysing the data on how its mobile app users behave. The data, collected by the marketing team, indicated that the buyers wanted more than information and would like to buy insurance via the app. Giving app users the option to buy insurance improved the New York Stock Exchange-listed company’s customer experience vastly.

A winning brand strategy is another crucial concern for marketers as it is the brand which makes a consumer choose your product over that of another company’s. Taking the case of mineral water, there might be little difference between the taste and quality of water that different companies offer. However, it is the packaging of the product and its reliability that makes it stand out.

According to MarketShare’s Scott Goodson, brands outlive business cycles, and there is a reason iconic brands like H&M, Ford, and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) have stood the test of times.

The entry of digital interface and social media has ushered in a new wave of marketing opportunities. Digital trends have undoubtedly democratised the marketing space, allowing companies with limited exposure, like startups, have an equal chance to tap in to a consumer base. Further, the new focus on customers experience has helped startups like Pixlee expand and adjust their scale of operation to achieve an optimal product-market fit.