The Digital Disconnect: Why Your Marketing Needs an Overhaul

Andrea Lowe | November 12, 2018

Are your digital marketing efforts starting to feel less effective than they used to be? You’re not alone. Customer habits and expectations are changing, and tactics (like personalization) that were once the gold standard, are no longer enough. 

What’s causing this disconnect?

Despite brands doing their best to give customers the type of content they want, many are starting to feel like the advertising they see is irrelevant and impersonal. At the same time, expectations are increasing, and customers want their experiences to remain relevant to their needs at all times, regardless of the channel or device they’re using. Essentially, customers want to feel like brands know who they are and what they want, and have little patience when companies don’t deliver. 

Unfortunately, many brands are still struggling to get it right. Consider this all too common customer experience: 

Josh is an avid runner and needs new running shoes. During his commute home, he uses his phone to browse a company’s website and compare a few pairs. Later that night, he grabs his laptop and heads back to the website to complete his purchase. The company doesn’t recognize him on this new device, and, instead of showing him the running shoes, show him content for hockey equipment. Now Josh has to search through the site again to find the shoes he wanted and complete his purchase. Over the next few days, Josh also notices that whenever he goes online, he’s targeted with ads for the shoes he already purchased. 

What’s wrong with this scenario? 

Not only is the experience disjointed and impersonal for Josh, it’s a complete waste of advertising dollars. The company failed to connect the dots in his journey, forcing him to start over when he switched devices, and continued with the bad experience by targeting him with ads for a product he already purchased. 
If they had connected the dots, they would’ve recognized him when he changed devices and helped him down the purchase path by immediately showing him the shoes he was previously considering. They also could’ve improved his experience (and made better use of their advertising dollars) by showing him ads that would drive him toward the next best offer (i.e. a fitness tracker or high performance workout clothing to go with those running shoes.) 
This would’ve provided Josh with a personalized experience, and shown him they knew who he was and understood what he was interested in. This is what customers expect from brands.

How can organizations and marketers deliver experiences like this? 

For starters, paid digital marketers need to shift their focus from individual channels to connected customer journeys, and learn to anticipate what customers want, so they can deliver the right content the moment it matters. This concept is called intent-driven marketing. 
By getting to know your customers better, addressing their needs in the moment (we’re talking down to the millisecond!), and continually optimizing your efforts based on consumer intent, you’ll drive better experiences and see superior business results.

Here are five advantages intent-driven marketing offers, compared to channel-centric marketing.
 

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Ready to get started? Download our eBook, CMO’s Guide to Optimizing Paid Digital Media:   How to get more bang for your digital media buck and find out what your organization needs to do to start offering intent-driven personalization at scale. In the eBook, we show you how to connect the dots in your customer journeys, embrace intent-driven marketing in three easy steps, and outline how to choose a vendor that will guarantee you deliver the effortless experiences your customers want.