Marketing in Action

The marketing process relies on a range of technologies to automate and facilitate an organisation’s day to day marketing activities. Automation and analytical software tools inform strategy, helping marketers to reach the right people and with the right message at the right time.

Data

Customer data forms the foundation of a sound marketing strategy. Marketing teams collect, organise and analyse data to leverage insights about their customers. This helps to predict future customer behaviours and maximise the organisation’s Return On Investment (ROI) from marketing initiatives. In an increasingly digitalised marketplace, data can be collected from a vast array of touchpoints. This can include a whole range of customer interactions from the organisation’s website, mobile app, social media pages, email, SMS, in-store activity, internet-enabled smart devices and more. In addition, marketers incorporate data from other secondary sources such as research consultants, government census data, newspapers and media outlets to understand trends taking place in the marketplace, and broader society.

Strategy

Effective marketing strategy reflects the opportunities and challenges of the market itself. Strategic decisions are made from a careful analysis of the available data. Objectives are then developed to guide the organisation’s long term direction. Without a formalised documented strategy, marketers will not remain focused working within their teams and with other organisational divisions, misallocate precious organisational resources and weaken their competitiveness in the marketplace.

Segmentation

Most organisation’s customer bases are made up of a variety of different people who think and behave differently, including the way they purchase and use a product or service. Segmentation is the process of dividing potential and existing customers into groups based on common characteristics such as shared needs, common interests, similar lifestyles, where they live or even similar demographic profiles. In business-to-business markets, organisational consumers may be segmented according to industry, organisational size, location, turnover, number of employees, technology used, purchasing approach, or any other relevant variables. Once these ‘segments’ of the market have been determined, marketers can apply different tactics to position their offerings in a way that appeal to the most valuable segments. Today, much of the segmentation process is done through automation software. For example, customers receive targeted marketing communications based on their interactions with the organisation.

Engagement

Both marketing academics and practitioners consider customer engagement to play a vital role in the customer experience efforts of organisations. Customer relationship building helps drive transactional loyalty however effectively engaging customers can add value to the organisation beyond simply making purchases. The internet-enabled media landscape offers greater possibility of interactions with, and among customers – product ideas, reviews, recommendations and post-purchase customer support all flow freely. Marketers can capture, and encourage, these voluntary customer engagement behaviours to inform improvements to their offerings that drive positive outcomes for customers (i.e. satisfying experiences), and ultimately the organisation (increased market share, revenue and profit).

Value

Creating and delivering value is crucial for sustaining long term customer loyalty. When a customer perceives the overall benefits derived from a consumption experience (i.e. using a product or service offering) outweigh the costs, this constitutes value. Marketers gather and use insights from customer data to better understand which elements of the organisation’s offering and customer experience drives value perceptions of customers. Once known, marketers can invest in value creating activities within their marketing programs to better engage consumers and build loyalty and retention.

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