Nov 10, 2023

Why Your Customers Should Be at the Heart of Your Digital Transformation

Saniul Ali

Saniul Ali

Why Your Customers Should Be at the Heart of Your Digital Transformation

In today’s digital-first world, leveraging new technologies to achieve true customer-centricity is key to any organisation’s transformation. This blog explores how emerging technologies, including AI, can help businesses gain actionable customer insights and overcome the challenges of disparate data environments. We’ll also discuss how platforms like Salesforce are enabling organisations to deliver personalised, predictive experiences.

New goal for digital transformation 

Marketing technologies are evolving rapidly to keep up with customer demand and privacy laws. Customer-centricity has become a key focus for today’s CMO. Defined as understanding “customers’ situations, perceptions, and expectations”, CMOs need to gather and utilise more customer information than ever. This, at a time when customers place high importance on data privacy, and governments globally respond with strict regulations. In addition, customer data the business does have can be disparate, inaccurate, and disjointed. 

The goals of digital transformation are changing. Approaching customers digitally is no longer enough. When organisations approach customers, it must be a truly customer-centric experience.  

Achieving customer-centricity with first-party data seems like an overwhelming challenge. But this is the only way organisations can deliver relevant and timely products, services, and experiences to their customers.

With AI and machine learning, businesses can gain deeper insights into customers that weren’t possible before. Customer experience platforms now offer solutions to gain a holistic view of each customer and serve them with tailored, predictive experiences. Platforms like Salesforce provide integrated solutions in areas like sales, service, marketing and more to understand each unique customer.

Customer profiles

Marketing, sales and customer success activities usually span multiple technologies and systems within one organisation. This means customers’ behavioural and profile data is often held in independent, unconnected platforms – or offline. That’s why 62% of business buyers say it feels like they’re communicating with different departments, not one company.   

Every business is looking for a single view of the customer, or a single source of truth on their customer. In Salesforce terms, a 360 view. But even with Salesforce Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud and Service Cloud integrated seamlessly, organisations may still lack:  

  • Connected data

  • A way to match platform-specific IDs or unknown visitors to a known person record   

  • Consistent data across a customer’s lifecycle  

The challenge of gathering first-party data has become so complicated that these challenges can only be overcome with newer marketing technologies. 

Customer behaviours and engagement 

To understand customer lifetime value, you need to examine earned customer analytics. But often, this analytical data is separated across different platforms or channels, impossible to connect. And, as with customer profile data, traditional (or even quite recent) marketing technologies struggle to keep up with evolving privacy regulations and customer preferences.   

A third of marketers say their marketing attribution process is manual, meaning the business cannot get a real-time view of the customer journey. Disjointed views lead to significant gaps between advertising, marketing, sales and customer service efforts from an analytics and operational perspective.

Leveraging AI can help bridge these gaps. By analysing customer behaviours and interactions across disparate systems, AI enables businesses to connect previously unattainable customer insights. For example, AI platforms can recognize patterns to attribute sales Pipeline data to specific marketing campaigns, providing a more holistic view of ROI. AI also allows segmentation of customers into meaningful groups to personalise engagements. This helps automate the attribution process and provides a unified view of each customer’s unique journey. Armed with these predictive capabilities, marketers can deliver exceptionally personalised experiences in real-time through automated interactions.

Marketing’s role is to deploy meaningful and tailored customer interactions across relevant channels. However, because marketing technologies each have their own first-party data limitations, personalised interactions can only happen with historic data. The only way to personalise interactions in real-time is with a salesperson’s involvement.  

Digital customer-centric experience transformational pillars

There are three mission critical pillars to achieve a digital customer-centric experience: 

  1. Extract and transform existing owned customer data into an integrated customer profile for a single (or 360) view

  2. Connect disjointed customer analytics across business functions to drive customer intelligence, using data for predictive insights and targeting

  3. Make use of integrated customer profile data and customer analytics to automate interactions, with real-time personalised experiences across owned channels

By achieving this new digital transformation goal of the digital customer-centric experience, organisations will drive customer awareness, engagement, conversion, and loyalty.

We hope you found this exploration of a customer-centric approach to digital transformation insightful. If you’d like to further discuss how to put customers first throughout your AI-powered journey, contact us today to book time with one of our experts.

We look forward to discussing how Credera can support your unique transformation needs.

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