Christopher Jacob
Guest Article

A quick roadmap to overcome marketing challenges in 2022

Our guest author, Christopher Jacob, senior director, product marketing, Salesforce, talks about how Indian marketers can solve their challenges and address their priorities at the same time.

Between 41 and 54 per cent of Indian marketing leaders say they have completely changed their marketing strategy in key areas, due to the COVID pandemic. The areas include digital engagement, channel mix, data management, content, and organisation.

This is stunning and shows that the new normal in 2022 will look very different from 2019.

The seventh edition of Salesforce’s state of marketing report highlights that some of the top priorities and challenges for these marketers actually overlap. This presents a unique opportunity – solve these challenges and you can address your priorities at the same time. Here’s how:

Real-time customer engagement needs real-time data visibility

Real-time customer engagement was found to be a top priority for the 300 marketing leaders surveyed. This is in line with the rising customer preference for relevant and hyper-personalised marketing communication across channels.

To achieve such 1:1 engagement, the marketers will need instant visibility in customer data to know what their audience wants and when. This means understanding quickly and, at a granular level, customer preference, location, purchase history, prior brand interactions, buying stage, among other things.

The solution can be found in customer data management platforms that unify all the customer data for a single, unified view of each customer profile. Such a platform offers real-time cross-channel insights, allowing you to analyse and adapt engagement strategies in the moment.

Cohesive journeys call for cross-functional sync

When it comes to building cohesive customer journeys across channels and consumer devices, a lack of organisational synchronisation can be a big challenge. Inaccessibility to customer data lying with the different departments (sales, service and marketing) prevents marketers from tracing customer touch points and interactions end-to-end. Result? Siloed efforts and fractured customer journeys.

To build cohesive customer journeys, one must ensure that the teams and departments work together as a single, dynamic entity. If the company’s workflows or policies are not set up for this, a suitable amount of restructuring may be required to allow cross-team collaboration and role-based access to cross-functional data. The customer data resting on all other systems, devices, and applications in a company – whether in the cloud or on-premise – needs to be integrated and unified as well.

From a technology standpoint, organisations can adopt an integrated CRM solution that brings all the relevant customer data from across the organisation on a single platform. Look for a solution that also enables smooth API-based integrations with third-party data sources.

Improved marketing ROI lies in data analytics upskilling

Forty-one per cent of the marketers have completely revamped their organisational priorities this year. And, as part of this narrative, they are particularly focused on improving marketing ROI. But to drive improved ROI, marketing teams must be adequately equipped to make informed decisions and strategies.

B2B and B2C companies have reserved 20 and 12 per cent of their marketing budgets, respectively, for upskilling of teams. Some part of these budgets can be used for much-needed training in state-of-the-art marketing tools and technologies, such as data visualisation and AI-enabled analytics. Such an upskilling will help marketing teams to use the right tools and interpret data to leverage the right opportunities and continuously improve performance, as they, among other things,

  • avoid vanity metrics

  • use actionable metrics to inform decisions

  • try innovative marketing campaigns

  • perform A/B testing on campaigns

  • identify the most effective marketing channel(s)

  • analyse market and customer sentiment

Getting collaboration right to overcome marketing challenges

Working remotely has changed the way teams collaborate. Boosting efficiency in times of remote collaboration, remains a top priority.

Marketing is a creative field that requires rigorous brainstorms and a continuous exchange of ideas, creating the need for regular, seamless collaboration. Since the pandemic’s early days, marketers have ramped up the use of collaboration platforms to digitalise workflows and build digital-first teams. But the employee response to virtual collaborations has been a mix of ‘completely satisfied’ and ‘not working out for me’.

As hybrid working becomes the norm, standalone collaboration platforms for instant messaging, emails, content management, project updates, etc., will no longer work. A single, robust collaboration platform that enables seamless and secure real-time communication and information search-share-retrieval, is the need of the hour.

Fuelling innovation with accelerated use of marketing tools and technologies

Outdated marketing tactics will not only fail to attract new customers, but also frustrate the existing ones, leading to high attrition rates.

For a customer to appreciate the ‘newness’ in marketing communication and feel compelled to try a brand, the entire marketing mix will require an upgrade. The 4 Ps – product, price, promotion and place – will need a pumped-up strategy. This calls for quick and easy access to data, metrics and insights that trace all selling initiatives – from pre-sales to post-sales. The end-to-end visibility will enable contextual, relevant interactions and one-to-one personalisation at scale, contributing to business growth.

Both B2B and B2C sectors have pledged 17 per cent of their total marketing budgets to deploy tools and technology. This should include tools and technologies that:

  • unify all customer-related data

  • gather market intelligence

  • offer AI-enabled analytics

  • come with intuitive dashboards

  • are cloud- and mobile-first

So, as we look towards 2022, what should we be focusing on and prioritise? The simple answer is start with your customer. Eighty-nine per cent of the customers in India expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations. So, ensure that this is your guiding light.

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