How to embrace “The Age of the Customer”


Simone Ardagh, Effective Intelligence Customer Engagement Connoisseur and Evangelist, is excited about the company’s Real-Time marketing orchestration hub because it enables real-time contextual marketing that leads to more effective customer engagement.

We all know the customer is the new CEO. 2015 is the year of customer choice. The Effective Intelligence Real-Time marketing orchestration hub engages customers, delights them and cultivates brand relationships by marketing and communicating to an audience of one. It also allows companies to develop a deeper understanding of their customers, to know what they have done, what they may do and more importantly, when they want to talk to you or companies like yours. You will be able to leverage insights to deliver highly individualised customer experiences across channels in an Omni-present way.

Simone shares her opinion on the growing focus of customer experience. She advises an array of leading retail and financial brands on building exceptional customer experience through personalisation and relevancy.

Q: Most brands focus on campaign channel management, be it cross-channel, multi-channel or Omni-Channel for engagement. Where do they typically fall short?

Simone: Customers certainly interact with brands across many different channels. But organisations need to understand that the customer does not think in “channels”. Brands that are successful have to use intelligence to deliver powerful engagement in a relevant and timely manner to their customers, using the right medium for engagement.  This means that you need to pull together information from your social media feeds, call centre, point of sale, e-commerce platforms, mobile apps etc using a central listening tool or orchestration hub. To be truly consumer focused, you need to adopt an enterprise wide technological approach, (without ripping or replacing existing systems). This will allow you to construct robust customer segments and personas to understand their preferences, behaviours and motivations so that exceptional experiences can be crafted.

Q: What is customer obsession and how to companies embrace it?

Simone: For businesses today, the only competitive advantage that remains is your personal relationship with your customer. Successful enterprises are those that have powerful relationships with powerful customers. Being customer obsessed doesn’t just mean that you value and appreciate your customers. It means knowing your customers as well as, if not better than, they know themselves. When making a purchase today, they no longer take linear, predictable, easily influenced paths. Instead, they build relationships with companies and products in a non-linear, difficult to predict way – through their own research, talking to friends, change their minds entirely and then seemingly at random – they buy. But to companies that are customer obsessed, there is nothing “random” about this new buying cycle. These companies know their customers so well that they can not only predict, but also truly influence these non-linear paths. As a start, there are four things that your organisation needs to do:

1.    Forget batch and blast. This method is stale – and though it works in some instances, consumers are expecting a more personalised approach to interacting with brands.

2.    Understand your customers are individuals. Speak to them in a relevant, timely manner. Forget corporate speak or scripted, inhumane and cold interactions.

3.    Listen to every interaction and take the next best action based upon this information gathered.

4.    Be able to measure and optimise the entire process in order to cross- sell, upsell or acquire new customers.

Q: So, how do you get started?

Simone: Start by defining the Real Time Marketing goals, both at a program and enterprise level. This helps contextualise and justify to executive decision makers and increases the likelihood for executive sponsorship as it evolves across all silos within the business. The savviest marketers know they need to listen, gather, evaluate and respond in milliseconds to the individual. This capability can be deployed via EI’s orchestration hub (IX Real-Time) without replacing any existing infrastructure within record timing and most importantly, being able to deliver true ROI. Remember that relevancy has a deadline.

Press Release Issued by Effective Intelligence

Effective Intelligence® is the market leader in developing and implementing proven analytical data intelligence solutions. We help extract maximum value from customer and business data to help our clients solve their enterprise business problems in areas including strategy, marketing, risk, fraud and operational data management. Combining experts in analytics, software development and specialist data practices, Effective Intelligence® offers organisations accuracy in strategic business planning by transforming data into insights. Effective Intelligence's proven intelligent software technology is the result of decade's worth of experience in innovative design and data quality specialisation that is built into the business rules and algorithms we employ. The architectural flexibility enables industry-specific solutions and departmental benefits that solve a wide range of business challenges. Since inception Effective Intelligence® has been recognised by prominent businesses as a trusted analytical data partner. Our diversified customer base includes several Top Performing companies, nominated Business Leaders of 2011, one of the largest private hospital groups in the world, one of South Africa's largest financial services groups, the top 5 non-food retailers and the two largest telecoms companies in South Africa. Our specialist data bureau processes hundreds of millions of data records annually and this substantial capability enables us to transform and analyse client data in order to provide faster results and insights into complex problems requiring appropriate business solutions and decisions.

Contact: 0861 000 452

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