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Microsoft in Business Blogs

man with headphones working on his laptopMarketing leaders today have the power to understand and shape the customer journey in a way that was unimaginable only a few years ago. A customer experience that is more holistic than ever before is now possible. Cloud-based tools, applied wisely, have helped the marketing function move beyond product promotion to being a central strategy driver for the organization, with CMOs taking the lead. Marketing teams can be empowered to make needle-moving decisions more quickly and with more clarity, backed by data every step of the way.

Effective marketing drives not only revenue growth and market share increase but also customer loyalty. It becomes a building block of organizational resilience. The right technology tools enable your team to transform insights gathered today into the stronger relationships of tomorrow. Are you on the path to mastering the four new superpowers that are giving modern marketers an edge?

Find the right balance of personalization

Greater personalization capabilities exist than ever before. However, geo-tracked ads, programmatic experiences, and other user-identifying marketing efforts must walk a fine line between making customers feel seen without feeling surveilled.

Handling this increased capability gracefully requires both power and finesse. Finding that line takes incremental experimentation. The right cloud and paid media partner can help implement testing programs designed to expand audience comfort levels and find the sweet spot. Tracking analytics can help validate A/B testing strategies to create even more optimized content offerings, while a solid data collection strategy can help shape the messaging for a specific audience.

Canadian retailer Home Hardware used Microsoft Azure to create an accessible and impactful analytics portal. The company uses Azure Synapse Analytics to store data and Azure Analysis Services to provide data to users via Power BI dashboards and reports. These data dashboards help Home Hardware glean insights from huge amounts of customer data to improve its promotional activities.

Analytic insights help identify where customers are and what they’re interested in, so the marketing message lands in the right spot at the right time without being obtrusive

Understand and shape the customer journey

The empowered modern marketer has the ability to create a single 360-degree view of customers. The data management platform (DMP) that many have relied on for audience insight is losing its luster, as shifts including the end of third-party cookies reduce its effectiveness. This is just one reason the customer data platform (CDP) is becoming an increasingly strategic tool. A strong CDP is platform agnostic and unifies data coming from disparate sources, creating that holistic customer understanding. This gives a marketing team the power to deeply understand the people with whom they are building relationships.

Used wisely, it creates the ability to understand where the customer is going and what their next behavior could be, and then present the next best action through these activation points.

Chipotle Mexican Grill built a cloud-driven platform for capturing and applying customer insights with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights. Using its analytic insights, Chipotle can identify when customers are more likely to order and target them with timely offerings. Since the platform’s launch, the restaurant chain has grown loyalty members by 30% and spread its personalized offerings from the entrée menu into the online experience.

Armed with insight, the modern marketer knows what the most appropriate next move is and when to act on it.

Predict and respond to emerging customer needs

With the right tools, marketers can use live insights to create and revise campaigns as demand evolves, meeting customers’ needs as soon as they know they have them. Quick, agile responses to changes in market demands can give a first-mover advantage. In other words, marketing leaders can guide their companies to deliver what customers want as soon as they want it. The iterative cycle of creation-deployment-assessment-revision moves faster than ever. During the early days of the sudden, widespread shift to remote work, Office Depot was able to use modern marketing tools to act swiftly.

Amid the skyrocketing demand for at-home office supplies, including devices and furniture, Office Depot had a tremendous opportunity to meet its customers’ needs and grow market share. The company needed to maintain access to its products even as restrictions and fears grew around the traditional in-store shopping experience.

Within days, the store was able to act on the customer need they identified for online purchasing and curbside pickup. With internal collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams, the company’s leadership was able to create an operating model and educate associates on requirements and expectations. Customers furnished their home offices, and Office Depot maintained its competitive edge.

Act quickly to seize marketing moments

Enhanced metrics are another source of strength. By augmenting traditional marketing techniques with a new generation of analytics, modern marketers can inspire a new model of customer engagement. Supported by advanced technologies, marketers can deliver a cohesive internal and external experience that creates more engaging campaigns, aligning consumer trust and engagement and driving business growth.

Microsoft solutions for marketing help to tie marketing impact to financial metrics to support business performance. Crocs is well known for its iconic molded foam clogs, which have a particularly loyal following among healthcare professionals. When COVID-19 closed shoe stores just when healthcare workers were on their feet more than ever, Crocs donated more than 860,000 pairs of shoes to individual healthcare workers around the world. The initiative built trust and goodwill with its customer base, and diverse areas of the company collaborated daily to coordinate sales and marketing for the charitable effort.

Put it all together

Where values, inclusion, and responsibility intersect, trust is built. Modern marketing is built atop a bedrock of trust with a connected, consistent vision across internal collaboration, customer experience, and finance and operations.

Learn how modern marketing tools from Microsoft can give you the superpower of orchestrating customer journeys across marketing, sales, commerce, and service to provide a holistic customer experience. Explore a new data-first marketing landscape defined by overarching visibility and seamless collaboration across the entire organization. There’s a new world of opportunity available to the marketing leader who has the right tools and understands how to put them to work.

Learn more about how you can help your organization master modern marketing by downloading our e-book, The modern marketing playbook: Future readiness in a data-first landscape.