May 19, 2020

FEATURE: How Retailers can win Christmas Custom through Mobile Marketing

Annifer Jackson
4 min
Sofa Sunday and Cyber Monday take on Black Friday in the Battle for Christmas Sales

As retail brands gear up for the busiest periods of the year, mobile is proving more vital than ever to capture festive shoppers and drive online sales.

According to an Accenture survey of UK consumers, 34 percent of respondents believe shopping with a mobile device is a useful way to compare prices while in store and leads to better discounts. As the physical and digital retail worlds continue to integrate, retailers need to look to capture these consumers across multiple channels.

Whilst many have started to implement processes, it is clear a number are still playing catch-up. So what can these retail brands do to quickly target and engage this critical audience?

The multi-screen approach

With rapid technological advancements taking place in the past few years alone, retailers now face a generation of consumers who are constantly connected to their devices. Whether they are waking up to check their smartphones, or falling asleep watching a programme on their tablet, people are always switched on. This new state of intensive connectivity means retailers need to adapt their approach to marketing.

Whereas traditionally retailers utilised different approaches to offline and online marketing, this couldn’t be more different today. Consumers have come to expect a unified cross-channel approach along their path to purchase. If they begin their journey on a tablet, there is a presumption that they can continue this experience via a phone call or even across social media platforms like Twitter.

The path to purchase is no longer a smooth one-dimensional journey and retailers now need to deliver a seamless brand experience across multiple touch points. Disjointed customer journeys, inconsistent messaging and varying brand experiences can trigger a user to abandon their purchase or even drive them to competitor sites that are only a click away. It is more crucial than ever for retailers to truly understand their audiences.

Bulk-targeting audiences is no longer enough, they need to plug-in to individuals and directly engage with them to break through the noise of the festive period. Enter programmatic advertising: technology that enables retailers to track individuals and target them with personalised and relevant messages across all mobile devices.

‘Tis the season for big data and programmatic marketing technologies

Big data is very much on-trend across all business units at the moment. For retailers, this couldn’t be more prominent. Understanding consumer behaviour is essential as well as determining return on investment. With traditional channels making it difficult to link behaviour with exposure, in contrast programmatic utilises this big data and enables a wealth of insights to be garnered.

Put simply, programmatic advertising is about the automatic buying and selling of media opportunities on digital platforms. Instead of having an individual at the end of the phone who sells inventory, the whole process is automated. This allows retailers to deliver a targeted message to the right person, on the right channel, at the right time to achieve a desired call-to-action. 

Programmatic takes account of the fundamental marketing principles of segmentation and targeting. It is actually one of the easiest and most effective routes to reach the right consumer at the right time by selecting them based on their individual characteristics rather than what they are looking at. So don’t be overwhelmed by the technology and industry jargon with terms like real-time bidding and demand-side platform regularly banded about.

Retailers that implement a programmatic approach will begin to develop a better understanding of the path to purchase, effectively engage with customers, enhance content, as well as collecting actionable insights that are critical for enhancing customer loyalty.

Engage with consumers in time for Christmas

Programmatic technology is continually learning and adapting to consumer insights. By tracking every aspect of an individual impression, including the user profile, the time-of-day it was viewed, and the platform it was viewed on, programmatic enables retailers to see the entire overview of the process that led to the engagement of each individual.

This level of insight means that marketers are given the data they need to adapt campaigns and control which exchanges they invest across, thus offering greater efficiencies and minimising wasted investment.

Savvy retail marketers who are willing to move beyond traditional marketing tactics and invest in programmatic now stand to earn big gains in time for Christmas. Programmatic has the ability to instantly provide insights and metrics that can direct retailers to relevant individuals and provide instant returns.

With increasing numbers of advertisers moving all of their budgets to programmatic in line with ad exchanges making their entire inventory available, the race is on to take advantage in festive season.

By Charlie Faulkner, Head of EMEA and APAC,

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Jun 12, 2021

Re-defining the economics of CX in the new customer journey

Roger Beadle, Co-founder & CEO...
6 min
Roger Beadle, CEO of Limitless looks at how CX can directly Influence revenue generation in streaming services

There’s no shortage of customer service channels for the enterprise to select from today. Regardless of the many new metrics that have emerged – such as customer success, or empathy – cost reduction is still a primary driver in selection criteria.

There are many articles dedicated to how companies can turn customer service and customer experience (CX) from a cost to a revenue centre. The problem is, if you stop there and don’t look beyond cost reduction, you’re limiting the scope for CX to become an even bigger economic contributor in the enterprise.

There is every opportunity for customer service and CX to significantly influence the front end of business, particularly amongst direct-to-consumer subscription-based products and services, such as popular streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, as well as sports subscription services like DAZN.

In these products and services and others, there are new customer journeys that may drive business growth and revenue. They start earlier and may last a lifetime, so getting things right at the start of the journey is key so that customers have the best experience from day one.

Not only will this help in making customers less likely to reach out for issues-based support further down the line, but these customers will be much less likely to churn, and much more likely to take up new services as they are offered throughout the lifetime journey.

So, what does the new customer journey look like for these services?

Opportunity waiting for the likes of Netflix & Disney

While consumers may have previously regarded customer service as a way to mitigate the inconveniences in their lives, the customer journey is expanding in scope every day. Today there are many more touchpoints available that put CX in a position to drive revenue.

For one-off purchases, traditional CX deployments have not changed significantly in the past few years. However, if you look at the change in the CX relationships we’re seeing with subscription-based products and services, particularly media-based streaming services, it’s clear that these companies lead what quickly become very multifaceted relationships with their customers. These have serious potential to evolve over time for increased economic benefit.

For any sort of subscription-based business, customer lifetime value is paramount, and the requirement to actively manage a continued positive customer experience is critical.

Every interaction is an opportunity, and every data point is a chance to offer more value. Introductory offers can convert to longtime customers. Longtime customers may take up opportunities to upgrade to more premium products or services. They may also appreciate incentives to invite family and friends to become customers. Consumers who like a particular service, for example, may appreciate a recommendation for another similar or complimentary service.

It all starts with customer interaction, and the customer experience journey becomes an opportunity to strategically affect the user base and resulting revenue - which is a far cry from the limitations of call center cost reduction or churn metrics.

How do companies support the new customer journey?

More and more, customers look at the new customer journey as engaging with brands as part of their lifestyles. Many companies are making brand ambassadors available before the traditional customer journey even starts, which is a marked change from a purely transactional relationship associated with a one-off purchase.

These ambassadors, who are often independent users of products or services, are providing trusted pre-sales advice, and that same trusted advice can also function to nurture the customer journey in a subscription-based relationship. Call it ‘GigCX’ or ‘crowdsourced customer service’ or even ‘peer-to-peer customer service’ - it doesn’t matter.

The key is in providing impartial, trusted advice from real users. Think about it: who would you rather get advice from? Someone who has used a product or service extensively, or someone who has been trained to provide customer service surrounding that product or service?

For services such as streaming media, advice from trusted experts with real product know-how could be invaluable. This may not be limited to technical issues, such as what to do when you can’t access your favourite show, or how to access services across various devices. It could be parents helping other parents who are concerned about how to restrict adult content from child viewers, or simply customers who have similar taste in programming who can comment on the benefits of upgraded or premium products. The point is, these experts are easily available at any touchpoint in the customer lifetime journey, creating more chances to add value.

It’s also about tipping customers from ‘passive’ to ‘promoter’ in the NPS scale. It’s an opportunity to turn neutral customers who may be vulnerable to competitive offerings into loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and referring others, fuelling growth. It may ultimately help drive even further revenue by creating customers that are helping to sell the brand itself.

And, while chatbots and automation may play a key role, they are often not able to handle the more complex support needed in the new customer journey. Conversational AI is rarely as conversational as it claims to be, and in the new customer journey, most companies are finding that a mix of automation and people-centric service is an ideal way to nurture the many new touchpoints created.

It’s no longer about trying to replace human capital with automation: it’s about orchestrating a uniquely personalised CX, and proactively engaging during the customer lifecycle to enhance the experience, and to create more long-term value.

At the moment, we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of the power to affect the economics introduced by the new customer journey. We’ll no doubt see this evolve rapidly particularly amongst streaming companies as they use human-centric connections in CX to support the full potential of customer lifetime value.

About Roger Beadle
Roger Beadle is an entrepreneur and business leader who is reinventing how customer service is delivered via the gig economy. After establishing several businesses in the contact centre industry, Roger co-founded Limitless with Megan Neale in 2016. Limitless is a gig-economy platform that addresses some of the biggest challenges faced by the contact center industry: low pay, high attrition and access to new talent. Previously, Roger and Megan helped to build one of the largest privately-owned outsourced contact center business in Europe, before selling the business to the global conglomerate Hinduja Group. Roger is an outspoken proponent of digital ethics, worker’s rights and the ‘good-gig:’ which encapsulates gig work for incremental pay versus full time work, skilled gig work, no unpaid time/downtime and zero expenses.

About Limitless
Named a Rising Star at Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 program, Limitless is a gig customer service platform, combining crowdsourcing and AI to help global businesses address their biggest customer service challenges – rising costs, increasing attrition, variability in demand and the need for diversity. Brands like Microsoft, Unilever, Daily Mail Group and Postmates are using Limitless’ SmartCrowdTM technology to connect with their most engaged customers, and reward them for providing on-demand customer service that can flex in line with demand. Limitless is one of the world’s first global tech platforms to introduce localised platform terms to protect the rights of its gigging workers. Backed by AlbionVC, Downing Ventures and Unilever Ventures, Limitless is empowering people worldwide to earn money for providing brilliant customer service for the brands they love.

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