The digital revolution has changed how customers shop. Instead of buying from brick and mortar stores or other middlemen, consumers buy directly from online brands that they identify with. This fundamental shift enabled by technology saw e-commerce sales growing four times faster than in-store sales over the past 10 years.
Direct-to-consumer (D2C) and some innovative traditional brands were quick to adapt to the change by investing heavily in their digital marketing and advertising capabilities, which resulted in an explosion and fragmentation of the digital marketing technology space.
Marketing technology vendors splintered off into 3 types of services: data management platforms, content production automation tools, and campaign optimization services. In an attempt to stay ahead of the competition, forward-looking marketers invested to these groups of marketing technology value chain:
- Customer data platforms (CDPs), data capture, visualization and segmentation platforms to consolidate activity on the app or website and trigger actions
- Content production automation tools offering easy and quick content production in a semi-automated way through templates and stock images and videos
- Campaign management tools across multiple channels to deploy campaigns and track their performance when engaging with customers
Such a rapid development and adoption of different marketing technologies caused some critical business challenges.
First, how does one extract insights from customer data when little is known about the customer who just joined the mailing list or purchased their first product?
Second, how does one translate those insights into more emotionally intelligent content and customer engagement?
And lastly, how does one operationalize those insights to have a meaningful business impact?
Previously, companies tackled these challenges by hiring expensive data science teams, having them build predictive models for customer targeting. However, hiring data science teams can only be afforded by large brands that have high volumes of data.
Companies solved the content production issue by outsourcing it to expensive ad agencies. However, entrusting a brand’s storytelling to a 3rd party had significant risks. As for campaign management, these tasks were always manual and sometimes completely disconnected from the other two.
Luckily, today brands can access next generation technology which directly addresses such challenges – they are turning to a new SaaS product category emerging on the horizon, the Customer Growth Platform.
An AI-powered Customer Growth Platform enables three fundamental shifts in marketing strategies and is usually leveraged to achieve three marketing goals: growth optimization, increasing campaign engagement and customer retention management.