What does digital-first approach mean to you in terms of customer acquisition?
For me, the digital journey for customer acquisition has to remain pretty much connected to human emotions in terms of targeting, nurturing, and bringing people in the acquisition cycle before a person actually interacts with them. The scale that we can achieve from a digital-first approach is not achievable in only human-based interactions. However, digital-first doesn’t mean that you completely make it devoid of human emotion.
I think the challenge we very often have is that you can pick up any corporate website, take away the logo, the visual identity, and it will all read the same. We need to shift a bit more to a human-centric approach; targeting people’s behaviours, their motivations, their desires, their needs–thinking about them as a person, rather than just a buyer. So, I believe that journey and interaction on acquisition will remain digital-first, but with the human touch.
With the digital buyer journey becoming the norm, does human engagement still play a role and if so, how important is that role?
In my view, the digital journey has to be a natural extension of human engagement, otherwise it’s artificial and superficial. Whenever there is a degree of complexity, personalization or a localization of a solution needed, the journey will include a human touch at some point. I think the question for us marketers is how much, where and when we need to bring that human engagement in, from an acquisition journey perspective.
Human engagement is not limited to phone engagement–it’s about how we speak to people’s motivation, needs and requirements from a digital perspective, whether they are reading it in an online digital manner, or speaking to someone on the phone.
“I’m really keeping an eye on innovations around persona development in the B2B world on understanding humans as humans, and really linking their motivations, desires and needs to what they do within their daily lives”.
“The digital journey has to be a natural extension of human engagement, otherwise it’s artificial and superficial.“
When it comes to telemarketing, selecting the right people to talk to is obviously critical. What tools and techniques do you use to identify your target audience and what innovation do you see coming?
I believe there’s two aspects to it. First is a traditional market research approach of understanding the market via traditional research tools: surveys, focus groups, interviews, qualitative, quantitative research to really target your focus; second is the digital data that we now have available that helps us get better at segmentation and targeting.
The other innovations that I’m really keeping an eye on are innovations around persona development in the B2B world on understanding humans as humans, and really linking their motivations, desires and needs to what they do within their daily lives. I believe that this kind of targeting based on human traits, is really going to help us better target our audience, better understand our customers and make an emotional connection, rather than just seeing it as a vendor/seller relationship.
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