October 23, 2015

Why a Personalized Customer Experience Strategy Is Critical to Brand Differentiation

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This is a guest post from Emily Heitkamp, Vice President of Marketing for Loyalty360. As an experienced market researcher and consumer insights expert, Emily has guided some of the most valuable brands in the world on their marketing strategies. At Loyalty360, Emily’s research and thought leadership provide organizations with an understanding of broad trends in the marketplace, helping them develop strategies for creating profitable and loyal customers. 

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Personalized and real-time customer experiences are critical to differentiating yourself from competitors. That’s according to Artemio Garza, Chief Marketing Officer of Meineke. In an industry saturated with immense competition and commoditized services, Meineke has become a household name. Garza must know a thing a two about marketing:

“Meineke leverages technology to offer real-time and relevant information to our customers. We use that same technology to make sure omni-channel campaigns are driving desired behaviors both online and offline.”

When it comes to customer experience, differentiating from the competition is more than a widespread challenge. It’s the single biggest challenge reported by companies, according to Loyalty360’s 2014 CX Landscape Report. Marketers are coming to realize that new technologies and the vast amount of customer data that’s available to them hold tremendous potential for understanding how to best engage customers and deliver experiences that are different from competitors.

According to Garza, Meineke has found that using consumer management technology helps create personalized engagements that set the brand apart. The brand focuses on three vital advantages of consumer management:

  • Customer Intelligence
  • Targeted Engagement
  • Memorable Experiences

The relatively recent influx of customer data and new technologies available to make sense of it and act on it has drawn marketers to the idea of targeted engagements, or more generally, “personalization.” More than 90 percent of marketers surveyed in Loyalty360’s 2014 CX Landscape report said their brands are delivering personalized experiences at least some of the time. Just as many reported that customer data is being used to improve or add value to customer experience. But identifying the right technologies to use and aligning the organization around processes that involve those technologies can be a challenge.

At Meineke, consumer management technology is used to create customer segmentation based on a customer’s actions, behaviors, and tendencies. Personalized omnichannel campaigns are deployed to motivate customers and drive behaviors across online and offline channels. According to Garza:

“Consumers are demanding real-time and personalized information on all of their purchases and all of their interactions with brands, so the focus on customer experience and customer engagement is crucial for marketers today to make sure they deliver on consumers’ expectations.

When consumers are spending their money with a brand, they want all touchpoints with that brand to be rewarding, convenient, and even fun. Brands need to make sure they have access to data and information needed to deliver on those expectations.”

Brand affinity and customer loyalty is the ultimate goal for Meineke.

Garza says that to build customers’ relationships and affinity with the brand, the focus is on delivering memorable experiences and unique interactions. Not all brands approach customer experience with such a long-term goal in mind. According to the CX Landscape study, just 26 percent of brands focus on customer loyalty as the desired outcome of their customer experience strategy — most are primarily focused on customer satisfaction.

With over 900 locally-owned shops across the United States, delivering a consistent, personalized experience regardless of the channel is no small feat. Attendees to the 2015 Engagement & Experience Expo will hear first-hand from Garza how Meineke does it.

Garza is slated to present a session titled “Delivering High Performance, Personalized Brand Experiences to Customers” at the 5th annual Engagement & Experience Expo. The expo is presented by Loyalty360 – The Loyalty Marketers’ Association and will take place Nov. 9-11 in Dallas, Texas at the Hilton Dallas Lincoln Center.

During the session, he will review how Meineke uses consumer management technology and share best practices for customer experience based on Meineke’s success. Visit the Engagement & Experience Expo page for more information and to register.

Loyalty360 is currently conducting a survey as part of its Loyalty360’s 2015 CX Landscape study. It will be released at the Engagement & Experience Expo. To participate and receive a summary of the results, take the survey here.

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