How to increase loyalty with tech-smart consumers

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Digital transformation is sweeping the retail industry. It’s especially evident in B2C marketing, where we must rethink our processes and refresh our technology to become relevant to today’s tech-smart consumers.

At MediaWorld, Italy’s largest retailer of consumer electronics, we’re transforming by putting customer data at the center of marketing operations. Whereas before our marketing was execution-focused and subjective, today the game is analyzing data to understand each customer and measuring results through key performance indicators.

The rewards can be exceptional. Our one-to-one campaigns that touch each customer differently increase loyalty–and deliver conversion rates 10 to 30 times higher than before.

Moving toward digital transformation

Milestones in our transformation include adopting a full suite of customer-focused marketing technology, upgrading our professional skills to leverage its power, and achieving world-class performance. In this, IBM is an essential partner. IBM consultants help us develop use cases, and we’ve implemented IBM Watson Campaign Automation, an advanced solution formerly called IBM Marketing Cloud.

Learn more about what IBM Watson Marketing can do for you.

The technology addresses a key difficulty: making sense of data collected across various checkpoints. It’s easy enough when customers just visit a website or mobile app, but it’s more complex if their behavior combines social, mobile and web touches with a couple of store visits. An AI-powered solution can extract customer insights from multichannel data and then help deliver the right message to the right person at the right moment.

AI caught our attention some years ago at the start of the IBM Marketing Cloud story. We were captivated by the opportunities, which have since become industry standards, offered by AI and machine learning integrated into marketing technology. AI has the power to map the customer journey and deliver relevant offers to each of the millions of customers who approach us every day.

The vision is that most marketing decisions can be automated and run through self-optimizing processes. There’s still a vital role for marketing personnel, of course, who create the strategies and action plans behind the automated processes.

Keeping customers at the center

As you design the journey you want customers to travel, the key is drilling down into the data. Customer needs can be complex, changing over time and varied across different segments, so you really need to pay attention. Then it’s about trial and error. Your marketing technology should enable you to test and fine tune your ideas. Don’t be afraid to try, fail and then change course if necessary.

A possible mistake is becoming so enamored of the technology that you lose sight of the true mission. You may think technology drives the impact, but it’s more about psychology, understanding customer motivations and behavior. MediaWorld is moving from transaction-based retailing to relationship retailing that delights each customer. Technology’s role, quite simply, is to further that effort.

Interested in learning more about retail solutions?

Watch Giuseppe Cunetta discuss digital transformation in marketing:

Chief Digital and Marketing Office

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