Customer Engagement Platforms (CEPs): The Key to Unlocking Successful Engagement Strategies for Modern Consumer Brands!
Brands now enjoy insights-led engagement by diving into the customer, journey, and campaign data.
Malcolm Forbes once said that the best vision comes from insight. This is especially true in today’s digital world, where marketers want actionable insights backed by data, thus leading to more meaningful customer engagement.
Digital disruption has indeed created a new set of modern consumers whose tastes and preferences are in a constant state of flux as they experience a wide range of purchasing options and shopping journeys dotted with exciting features like intelligent searches, diverse communication channels, dynamic pricing, niche positioning and convenient payment and delivery options. Marketers have to fine-tune these factors and turn their brands into bestsellers.
Customer loyalty is a moving target
It all started when India’s swelling digital-enabled population reached almost 750 million in 2020. With the number projected to touch 1.5 billion by 2040, there is a transformation in marketing with brands looking for ways to acquire and retain consumers. This requires delving deep into data and gaining actionable insights from current customer journeys. Marketers thus get a road map as they move to a more customer-centric engagement strategy. It also enables them to hyper-personalize communication and products to cater better to their customers.
The use of digital devices by customers does give marketers not just access to data but also ways and means of analyzing and segmenting the data and turning them into useful insights. Armed with these insights, marketers can craft bespoke customer engagement strategies that allow them to lock in customer loyalty.
Going beyond CRM and CDP to build an insights-led engagement approach
A study of over 2000 marketers across four industries found the what and why of an insights-led engagement and how brands can get there. Current marketing tools like CRMs and CDPs offer useful data to marketers, but there’s an inherent downside of not being able to extract actionable data and real-time analytics. Specifically, marketers are groping with issues like the lack of understanding around channels and time to communicate with customers and how to personalize experiences effectively. Needless to say, CRMs and CDPs are not the only star performers in a martech stack; there is a critical requirement for insights-led customer engagement platforms.
Enter Customer Engagement Platform (CEP), the new marketing marvel tool
What is missing is a holistic and multichannel alternative; enter an intelligent and insights-led customer engagement platform (CEP), enabling marketers to make sense of the data provided by CDPs and CRMs. Intelligent analytics and segmentation capabilities are CEP’s unique features, adding to the advanced capabilities of the martech stack.
From the bi-directional flow (with a CDP) of customer interaction data to creating unique, 360-degree customer profiles and running personalized campaigns, a CEP ensures companies deliver relevant, meaningful, and engaging communication to each of their customers. The analysis goes beyond studying just a customer’s choice or affinity for products and orchestrating an optimum path to conversion. It offers deeper insights by capturing the customer’s preferred channels and time for communication that helps in creating hyper-personalized communication for each of the brand’s customers. It also identifies the aha and drop-off moments of customers by predicting the probability of purchasing, churning, or hibernating.
Pre-CEP, brands relied on previous campaigns to arrive at the best performing channel and timings, which could throw them off the mark. Now, with a CEP, they can actually predict consumer behavior with accuracy and optimize their campaigns vis-a-vis generalized campaigns that emerge out of limited tech stacks and incomplete view of customers leading to poor customer experience.
CEP’s impact on brands
Take the example of Ujjivan Small Finance Bank, which identified the need for omnichannel engagement amid the pandemic. The bank wanted to digitize customers’ EMI payments to make them more convenient and save time. The bank identified customers who are more likely to build balance, based on past expenditure patterns and ran targeted engagement campaigns to non-digital customers urging them to pay their dues online. This exercise helped in onboarding 4.5 lakh online customers and collecting Rs 123 crore of EMIs. There was also a 2% to 18% jump in customer conversions through digital channels.
Similarly, when furniture subscription commerce company, Furlenco, noticed drop-offs across customer journeys, it worked on addressing the gaps and improving overall customer engagement by identifying drop-offs using Funnel and Behavior Analytics. They then followed it up with contextual messages to retain customers on the app and grow subscriptions. The results are a more than double-fold jump in subscriptions, 30% from the app three years back to almost 75 % now.
By opting for an intelligent and insight-led CEP, marketers now understand what customers really want, who loves their brands, and how to craft the perfect journeys for customers who have already climbed onto the bandwagon.
(The author is Mr. Raviteja Dodda, CEO & Co-Founder, MoEngage and the views expressed in this article are his own)