Next-level digital marketing | The Manila Times

AS Southeast Asia transitions to the digital economy, many businesses that have digitized are in a better position to leverage technology to achieve realistic and measurable business outcomes. Consumption across online platforms is now ingrained as the way of life in Southeast Asia with the region’s digital economy projected to be worth $360 billion by 2025.

With consumer behavior firmly shifting into the digital space, it is imperative that businesses move their operations and marketing into digital channels. Businesses that are just dipping their toes in digitization would face the harsh truth that 57 percent of digital transformations fail to hit the initial target that they first set out to achieve. For larger businesses managing multiple retail and communication channels, a more holistic approach is required for them to utilize data insights and act on data-driven decisions.

With increasingly complicated marketing needs, how can the enterprise make sense of a unified marketing platform to successfully come out on top in the digital race?

Right unified marketing platform

According to a survey conducted by McKinsey, Asean consumers were more likely to make online purchases during and after the pandemic, with Indonesia recording 60 percent of consumers intending to continue shopping online after the pandemic. The same survey also discovered that 68 percent of Thais and 80 percent of Filipinos are dropping brand loyalty in favor of new products and services.

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With customers becoming more fragmented in the places they shop, businesses have found that spending on digital marketing increases the likelihood of an effective call-to-action being placed when the consumer is considering their options online and this results in higher conversion rates. As businesses take a first step toward all-in-one platforms and are able to harness a more powerful mix of marketing capabilities, marketers could now anticipate the customer’s journey and provide personalized experiences across multiple channels that would delight the customer.

Modern-day, high-speed marketing effort requires coordination between teams simultaneously across campaigns with different messaging across numerous channels. This requires a level of close-knit collaboration to keep up with the lightning-fast customer landscape, analyze data and extract meaningful insights from an array of information silos.

Data driven marketing

Business intelligence is expected to explode in Southeast Asia. According to Ernst & Young, technology platforms and the monetization of data could create customer stickiness if it solves the needs of the masses. Businesses with data analytics and personalization engines could provide superior experiences by offering a one-stop solution to potential customers.

Data analytics could enable businesses to track the performance of each marketing effort and evaluate the trajectory of each program in meeting the business objective. A unified marketing platform with business intelligence would enable businesses to process data into knowledge and spot trends and opportunities; enabling organizations to stay nimble, and also ready to tackle new market segments.

In pairing data analytics with artificial intelligence, businesses unlock further capabilities, including predictive analysis, cognitive analytics, and the proficiency to foresee future customer behavior. As analytics are integrated into the customer relationship management platform, businesses would have a tool that could find value throughout the customer lifecycle and across multiple customer touchpoints.

This increased competition in “hyper-personalized experiences,” would drive a gap between businesses that could stay relevant and delight the customer, versus businesses that eventually fall behind. It is only through the automation of marketing efforts could brands really go the distance to anticipate the customer behavior and provide experiences that surprise, convert and satisfy the customer in the ordinary way digitization could not. “Unified marketing platform” helps brands deliver on these expectations and challenges, resulting in seamless experiences that engage with better results for the bottom line.

Automation to improve processes

By having insights throughout the customer lifecycle, businesses could then automate processes and personalized experiences to generate quality leads. The demand for marketing automation is growing in Asia Pacific, with 79 percent of marketers investing in marketing technology. This has enabled ecommerce growth and an increase in indexed sales across Southeast Asia, further fueling the need for marketing automation.

Marketing automation helps marketers and CMOs to manage marketing activities across multiple channels, generate more leads and conversions to deliver desirable campaign objectives and revenue targets. Monotonous and repetitive tasks could be automated to reduce the margin of error, and to save time, so marketers have more space for critical thinking and ingenious marketing. Marketing tasks from simple customer FAQs and weekly e-newsletters to advanced tasks such as the generation of dynamic content could be fully automated, allowing marketers to focus on the right contextual engagement for each customer lifecycle.

As consumers continue to conduct their daily activities online, it is increasingly important for brands to move toward data-driven and automated personalized experiences, businesses could build the resilience and persistence to address any challenges as the digital economy continues to mature. Unified marketing platforms are here to stay, and businesses could manage, connect and automate better, doing what they do best — solving problems for the everyday customer.

Gibu Matthew is the vice president and general manager at Zoho Corp. for Asia Pacific.

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