Customers increasingly want businesses to act in their interests, rather than just in pure commercial or shareholder interests. They want more digital, direct, responsive and personalised service – but don’t want to feel like they’re being tracked or watched without their knowledge. They want companies to live up to their stated values, and to act in responsible and sustainable ways. Organisations that do these things by embracing responsible growth can build stronger, more lasting connections with their customers and differentiate themselves in the marketplace.
So how can your businesses do this? By changing your marketing approach – one of the six levers for responsible growth – through better use of data and digital tools, and a fresh perspective. PwC works with Salesforce to provide a powerful platform for enabling responsible marketing, with a wide range of technologies for gathering customer insights, personalising products and services, delivering targeted messages and building loyalty across end-to-end journeys and customer relationships.
Marketing for responsible growth balances a business’ need to grow with customer needs. This means transforming digitally and using customer data and tools like Salesforce’s to market to customers in ways that are more meaningful, more relevant and more valuable to them. And that enables you to build deeper and more lasting relationships with your customers, and deliver responsible growth through genuine customer connections.
Many developments are driving the need for a fresh perspective on marketing. One is digital transformation. As digital tools play an increasing role in our daily lives, we’ve discovered new and better ways to communicate, collaborate and manage other tasks. This has also led to expanding volumes of digital data that provide organisations with insights into how people interact with them.
Accelerated by a global pandemic, how people live, work, shop and spend their free time is changing. Workplace safety, ethical business practices and sustainable sourcing become more important. Sectors rapidly need to adopt new products, services and solutions as customers continue to flock to digital channels for everything from education to banking, entertainment, eating and shopping.
Rising concerns about privacy and data security – along with legislation like Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – have also driven change. Online and mobile interactions generate large amounts of sensitive and personal data. Consumers know this and want to be sure that information remains safe and isn’t abused. But they also have higher expectations around the extent to which products, services and experiences are tailored to their interests, preferences and behaviours.
Google’s planned phase-out of third-party cookies for digital advertising – now expected to begin in 2023 – is another factor. With that mechanism for tracking people’s behaviour on the way out, organisations need to think about new ways to understand what prospective customers are doing online and how best to engage their interest. As well as making more of existing first-party customer and other data to develop insight that deepens the quality of experience and communications.
With its broad suite of cloud-based marketing tools, Salesforce makes it possible for you to seamlessly identify, understand, target and communicate with customers in ways that prioritise their needs, interests and preferences above everything else. Doing this enables your organisation to grow responsibly, by demonstrating with every interaction that you value what your customers care about.
For example, Salesforce CDP brings together all of your customer data in a centralised hub to provide a single ‘source of truth’ about engagement, marketing journeys, orders, privacy preferences and more. This allows you to understand individual customers in fine detail and segment them according to both your marketing needs and customers’ specific preferences. It also provides personalised context for other interactions, whether with sales, service or other parts of your organisation.
Interaction Studio, meanwhile, helps you to engage with customers one-to-one and understand their behaviour across different digital channels. It even lets you combine that information with data from other touchpoints – such as email and offline – to build a deep and accurate picture about customers' histories, interests and intents.
With the insights that Salesforce provides, you’ll be able to use customer data more proactively. For example, you can provide personalised recommendations based on browsing and buying habits, develop new offers targeted to a customer’s unique interests or come up with innovative pricing and bundling strategies to meet individual needs.
Beyond traditional marketing, the Salesforce Service Cloud lets customer service teams respond to queries, complaints and other interactions with all the relevant customer information at their fingertips - helping to address customer needs quickly, accurately and find opportunities to build loyalty and advocacy. It also enables self-service, helping your organisation to address customer needs around the clock as efficiently as possible and in a way that reflects customers’ increasing appetite for ‘always on’ brands.
All of these capabilities will enable you to grow responsibly through building stronger, more insightful and more personalised relationships with your customers – whatever channel you use to engage with them, and whatever part of your organisation is interacting with them.
But to make this possible, it’s vital not to be led by technology and marketing automation for its own sake. But rather to build a responsible growth strategy that starts with your customer transformation vision, the sources of growth that will drive it and the specific decisions around data, technology and processes that enable it - all driven by insight into what your customers want now and tomorrow.