From hyper-personalisation to social listening: 2017’s top customer intimacy trends unpacked

9 Aug, 2017
4 Min Read Dan Ward

From hyper-personalisation to social listening: 2017’s top customer intimacy trends unpacked


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There’s no denying that digital marketing is a buzzword-filled industry. We’ve all heard colleagues and clients overuse terms like ‘clickability,’ ‘snackable content’ and ‘low hanging fruit.’ Many of us are probably guilty of using similar phrases ourselves. Given how often the phrase ‘customer intimacy’ comes up in digital marketing, you might assume that it’s an empty buzzword too. But the truth is, it’s a powerful tool for:

  • Driving revenue
  • Nurturing brand loyalty
  • Fostering meaningful customer relationships

At RXP, we help clients harness data to build customer intimacy across the lifetime every day. Here are a few of the established and emerging trends we’ve noticed in this space.

1. Marketing gets very personal

The future of customer intimacy is, well, intimate. Forget personalising email headers with customers’ first names, or sending promotional materials to people who live in a certain suburb. In 2017, marketing is hyper-personalised. Hyper-personalisation uses CRM data about customers to build a rich profile of their needs, preferences and expectations. It leverages:

  • Data analysis
  • Pattern analysis
  • Behavioural insights
  • Contextual information

The challenge with hyper-personalisation is to avoid being creepy. Sending customer offers for running clothes and shoes after they shared an article about running on social media, for example, could be more unsettling than helpful.

2. Organisations leverage predictive analytics

They say the past can’t predict the future. But until recently, marketers had to use post-event and real-time analytics to inform campaigns and digital strategies. Examining past performance was the only way to guide future actions. As analytics become more advanced, marketers will increasingly leverage CRM data and predictive analytics to build stronger, more intimate customer relationships. For the first time, it may be possible to accurately anticipate what customers want before they do.

3. The line between physical and digital experiences blurs

Ask any modern marketer and they’ll tell you that delivering winning customer experiences is easier said than done. Buyers are more knowledgeable, demanding and empowered than ever, and organisations rely on multiple channels to reach them. To cater to customers in this new landscape, physical and digital experiences are merging. Businesses are offering personalised products and services that are:

  • Seamless
  • Integrated
  • Consistent across all channels

We’ve noticed more organisations using CRM software to track customer engagement, histories and messages across all channels, functions, products and services. In turn, they use this data to ensure customers have a seamless experience across devices and channels. Luxury brand Burberry’s London store, for example, combines physical and digital by providing shop assistants with iPads. With access to information about customer purchase history and preferences, staff are better equipped to deliver more intimate customer experiences.

4. Social listening provides richer customer insights

Social listening is deeper than scrolling through @ replies on Twitter. It also involves analysing conversations to:

  • Improve customer experiences
  • Track conversations across the customer lifetime
  • Shed new light on customer behaviours and preferences

One company using social listening in this way is Sol Wave House, a hotel in Mallorca. Guests check in through the hotel’s Twitter app, which they also use to chat with other guests and order cocktails using the hashtag #poolbarorder. Visitors voluntarily provide megabytes of social information that helps Sol Wave House deliver the services that its guests really want.

5. Global meets local

According to global advisory firm Teneo, “customer power in the retail sector is increasingly becoming a shared, local experience.” Customers are more likely to base their purchase decisions on social media recommendations from friends and family, compare to one-to-many advertising techniques like billboard advertisements. So how are marketers adapting? They’re collecting information about customer consumption habits to develop, market and price products for individual markets. As a result, the way that products are marketed in Sydney may differ to how they’re marketed in remote areas of Australia – building customer intimacy across regions in the process.

Staying on top of the latest customer intimacy trends opens your business to opportunities including increasing customer satisfaction and brand loyalty, driving sales and growing profits. Learn how your business can take advantage of customer intimacy trends. Download our white paper, Digital Platform Trends 2017: Harnessing data to build customer intimacy across the lifetime, today.

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