In digital advertising, we’ve moved past the age of the connected consumer: We’re now in the age of the hyper-connected consumer. The ways to engage them are ever-changing, and the time they spend with your brand is ever-shrinking. This raises the stakes for marketers and highlights the opportunities and challenges we face when trying to make the most of each engagement. This is best viewed through the lens of the CMO, who is facing three core challenges.
CMOs now need to rethink all areas of their business. From people, process and tools—it all needs to be more customer-focused, data-driven and measurable.
Competition is no longer confined to industry, product or solution, but is also based on the quality of the customer experience brands can deliver. Consumers demand a seamless, personalized user experience no matter their business or industry. This has blurred industry lines and raised the stakes for everyone.
And finally, the marketplace is vastly different from what it used to be. Consumers are more connected and empowered than ever before, and consumer fragmentation across multiple channels, devices and brands is at an all-time high. The customer journey is unrecognizable to marketers. Yet, they still need to deliver connected, cross-channel customer experiences without seeing any change in budget or resource allocation.
Will merging technologies deliver solutions?
Inevitably, CMOs turn to their ad-tech and mar-tech stacks to overcome these challenges. But as each of these becomes more siloed, it’s only adding more confusion to an already complex state. And although we have more data at our disposal, it’s coming from disconnected end points and solutions, delivering only a narrow view of the customer.
The acceleration of “mad tech” is addressing the confusion head-on. Mad tech is the convergence of ad tech and mar tech with the goal of developing a complete view of the customer across all channels and touchpoints. And it could be the answer that CMOs seek.
Mad tech’s power is in its ability to deliver a holistic view of the customer, including who they are and what their buying traits and consumer behaviors are. How? By augmenting a brand’s first-party data set with advertising-interaction data from online and offline channels as well as third-party data. Combining the data management platform (DMP) with the customer data platform (CDP) into a unified platform offers a deeper understanding of customers and prospects.
For example, let’s say a digital ad prompts a customer to become curious about a brand and leads them to visit that brand’s website. By doing so, they may realize that a product they are interested in is available at a store close to their home. Later on, they visit that store and make the purchase. This example calls out engagement points that are traditionally siloed, where ad tech (digital ad) and mar tech (site) govern separate consumer journeys. Mad tech bridges this gap.
Demystifying the consumer with connected data
Data portability is the crux of mad tech’s power to break down the previously mentioned silos. Marketers need open access to data across the entire customer journey, no matter how complex that journey may be, to make smarter, more informed decisions that drive better outcomes for both the business and the customer.
This includes insights from digital engagement across channels and devices as well as CRM data and email programs. Data portability creates an opportunity to create a more holistic profile of your customers, their experiences, wants and needs to map a new customer journey that’s more aligned with today’s consumer.
Mastering the new customer journey
The rich view of the customer moves marketers from reactive thinking to using proactive, predictive insights that should inform their long-term strategy and lead to successful one-to-one consumer experiences. With deeper insight into the effectiveness of their campaigns, marketers can optimize for success faster and with greater precision.
This also empowers marketers and advertisers to make more informed decisions across all their marketing programs: ad inventory, media buying, email campaigns, search engine marketing, social and beyond.
The ability to map and master the new customer journey is the culmination of the aforementioned connected data and insights. The advent of mad tech will enable CMOs and their teams to deliver the seamless, cross-channel customer experiences that the C-suite now demands, leading them out of the disruption danger zone.
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