As marketers strive for customer experience innovation, many companies are running into challenges with both obtaining and utilizing the tools needed to create personalized CX.
 
During Thursday’s SAP webinar, titled “Transitioning Your Business Toward an Ideal Customer Experience: A Practical Plan,” the technology company provided attendees with valuable tips related to building the infrastructure necessary to create and leverage a full perspective of customer data. Hosted by Loyalty360, the webinar featured insights from David Raab, Principal at Raab Associates, and Chris Dircks, Director of Marketing Solution Management at SAP.
 
“What do marketers want?” Raab asked. “Ideally, marketers want whatever consumers want, and consumers want personalization.”
 
Delving further into what personalization efforts entail, Raab explained:  “A huge gap exists between what customers think marketers can do, and what they can actually do.”
 
This gap is usually caused either by a lack of personalization tools or the inability to utilize the tools at the company’s disposal. By making use of marketing solutions, whether that’s a best-in-breed, marketing cloud, or integrated suite system, marketers are able to close this gap and create the tailored experiences that consumers have come to demand.
 
Going into more detail about creating personalization, Dircks emphasized the importance of gathering slices of contextual customer data at different points of the customer journey. By seeing what a customer has done, is doing, and (through predictive analytics) will be doing, a company is able to gather a more complete perspective of their individual customers. Most importantly, said Dircks, it allows the organization to see “what [the customer is] interested in, what they’re excited about, and what piece of the context they’re bringing to the engagement at this very moment.”
 
As an example, Dircks went into detail about SAP’s work with the National Hockey League. In working with the NHL, SAP helped consolidate data from ticketing, merchandising, paid on-demand subscriptions, and even fantasy leagues to determine each fan’s favorite teams and players. From there, the NHL was able to target customers with relevant offers on tickets and merchandise.
 
Concluding the webinar, Raab walked through the process of finding the right technology according to the needs of individual businesses. First, companies must document their current state, including challenges faced. Next, the company must define the target state, granting perspective on which challenges would be most beneficial to overcome. Finally, a change plan must be put into place, taking into account things like budget and timeline. Using these steps, in conjunction with the proper tools and execution, brands are able to leverage a 360-degree view of the customer data to create relevant branding and personalized offers.

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