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How can brands improve customer experience with marketing technology?

Thu 14 Nov 2019

David Coombs, Cheil, Head shots, 5Dec2017, ©BronacMcNeill

David Coombs is Head of Strategic Services at Cheil UK where he oversees creative technology and data output. Following his talk “Welcome to the smart(ish) home” at ad:tech London 2019, he tells us about trends in marketing technology & which brands are delivering the best customer experience.

Where do you see opportunities for improving the customer experience with marketing technology?

Most companies still struggle with truly understanding their customers, interpreting data into actionable insight and developing differentiated and personalised propositions based on data.

Marketing technology solutions that use machine learning and AI will continue to be at the forefront of CX change. A 360 view of the customer, predictive customer analytics and CX measurement are key opportunity areas in improving customer experience as they are key to offering personalisation.

Dynamic journey visualisation is also a critical area of opportunity to improve CX with marketing technology, as journey maps help businesses to understand ‘moments of truths’ in customer journeys and socialise customer-centric opportunities within the larger organisation.

Which brand do you think is delivering a great customer experience and why?

Slack is one of my favourites. Its focus on delivering the best customer experience is its secret sauce to success.

The Slack journey started from two simple insights. Firstly, too many emails everyday make it difficult for people to stay on top of the key conversations. Secondly, accidental ‘reply all’s cause embarrassment and workplace problems.

Slack was created to tackle these customer problems and evolved by learning from the community to constantly improve the product. It has become the go-to tool for many teams across the globe as the trend for flexible working continues to grow.

When people are not physically in the same space, seamless communication becomes even more important. Slack makes it possible by constantly learning from their customers and using customer-generated stories to tell the Slack community what they can achieve by using Slack.

Others doing really well in this space are First Direct, Monzo, Octopus/Bulb, Lush, and Sephora

What sector do you think is lagging behind in tech adoption for marketing purposes?

Financial services is still lagging behind. Legacy systems and strict regulations impact the pace of change in financial services.

They are also more cautious about adopting new technologies due to privacy and security concerns as well as systems integration challenges. Public Sector organisations is also another area facing similar challenges.

What are the barriers to growth for marketing technology businesses and what is the growth strategy should they pursue in 2020?

Privacy and security concerns and increased pressure on protecting people’s data are the key barriers to growth for marketing technology businesses. Marketing technology companies should focus on tackling these while delivering the best possible personalisation.

What’s the most hyped technology that’s underdelivering at the moment?

For me this is VR and AR. The hype and potential are massive but the barriers to entry are still far too high for consumers to adopt this in anything but a niche fashion.  It is compounded by the fact that brands seem set on creating gimmicky experiences that do nothing to further a cause!


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