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For Advertising Success, Awareness Leads the Way

An estimated whopping $300B+ digital dollars will be invested in advertising globally in 2019. Top industries that drive this spend are retail, auto, and financial services. There is no dearth of trust in the capability of digital advertising investment globally. The promise digital advertising dollars bring is unequivocally high, however, some challenges stand in the way of realizing value from these large-scale advertising investments.

Common challenges faced by retail, auto, and financial services today as they stay invested in digital advertising are:

Experiencing a blurred view of customers and their journey across screens and channels.

  • Achieving personalization at scale across touchpoints.

  • Driving actionable insights from data collected through varied and often disconnected sources.

  • Driving incremental online sales.

  • Fostering direct ongoing relationships with customers in the digital age.

To address these challenges, organizations need to introspect and look inward at how are they placed in an ever-evolving ecosystem that is changing rapidly.

The CTO, CMO, CIO, CDO, and CFO need to collaborate more than ever before across functions in the organization for one single reason — and that is customers today expect brands to know their preferences and provide delightful experiences. The first step toward providing delightful experiences is awareness — what state is the organization collectively in? It might involve asking some tough yet important questions, such as:

  • Does the organization record data across channels and screens? If yes, is that data meaningful to cull out the story of customer journeys?

  • Does the structure and digital ecosystem enable organization for nimble execution and personalization at scale?

  • Is the digital ecosystem seamlessly integrated across functions? Does it foster collaboration to leverage insights at scale? (According to a Harvard Business Review survey, the top barrier to digital transformation for organizations is “organizational silos.”)

  • Is the organization able to provide a consistent experience to establish trust and great relationships across several customer touchpoints?

Answers to these profound questions, mostly, lead the organization onto a digital transformation journey to define the goal, launch the change management program, and scale up. However, the first and the most critical element in this journey is awareness — how aware the organization is about its digital setup. Do the CXOs strongly believe they have the right digital setup to address the above-mentioned challenges?

As Nathaniel Branden said, “The first step towards change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.” It is this awareness that will lead the way, a point solution approach will hardly be able to help transcend the current experience to the desired experiences that customers expect.

The missing links that be stitched through organizational awareness are:

  • Using analytics to drive a real-time unified customer profile.

  • Building agility to execute on the go — content creation and dissemination.

  • Providing consistent customer experience across channels and screens.

  • Leveraging artificial intelligence to stay ahead of the curve and delight customers at every turn.

Once these missing links are catered to, organizations will transcend the average customer experience to delightful experiences at every touchpoint. And in this journey, awareness will lead the way!

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