Data and technology have redefined marketing. Marketing has always been based on data about segments of audiences at best. Today, digitization provides the potential to get a deep understanding of each individual person. That is when the person agrees to it. Marketing is working increasingly with other parts of the business and leveraging technologies such as integration and analytics that can drastically increase the visibility at every touchpoint the person has with the company (sales, education, support, services). The addition of data science allows marketing to capture signals about the intent or drivers of the persons. AI-driven systems interacting with the individual excel at leveraging these signals to get to a specific outcome, by acting on these drivers.
That’s where all marketers are at a crossroads. How will we use this powerful information and tools? Customers and prospects have provided data with a goal in mind, be it discovery, education, or to solve a specific challenge. Marketers technically have all the tools required to build an ideal, personalized experience making products or services look like a perfect, customized match. But that would be a very short-term gain for the business, as customers are growing to not only expect this but demand trust and context in these offers. And in this day and age of product reviews from sites such as TrustRadius, the reputation of the product would soon be ruined if they step beyond these important guidelines. The same tools can accomplish so much more than a non-genuine experience.
We can build a context in which we respond to the request of the persons in a highly personalized way, which in return will tell us even more about the person. That information can be used to instruct the right next step, content to propose, or products to guide to. That is how we can use technology and data to make their goal ours, for both the person’s benefit as well as ours. And this alignment is just the best way to start a customer relationship.
At TIBCO, one of our values is being Customer-Focused. These words sound very standard corporate speak and do not describe well a principle that is deeply rooted in our culture, our modus operandi. To make sure that we keep this focus on the customer, and that we take the right turn at the crossroads I mentioned earlier, my colleague and COO Matt Quinn and I introduced our Digital Code of Conduct at our recent TIBCO NOW conference.
Our Code includes several very important items:
Protect your data. Any person that trusts TIBCO enough to share some of their most precious assets, like their data, can be ensured we will protect it as our own. We will not share it or use it for another purpose other than the one it has been shared with us for. Beyond compliance with GDPR and other privacy rules, it’s the first step in our trust-based relationship.
Keep the experience genuine. If you interact with a human, you will know it. If you interact with an AI-driven technology, you will know it too. Artificial intelligence has a lot to offer and will be at times way more efficient than humans at answering your questions (but not always). If you receive an email from Taylor, our digital assistant, you’re exchanging information with an AI-driven system.
Help you achieve your goals. We will use the information to understand your goals as best as possible and pave the way to achieve your goals by using the best assets or actions. You will not see the same content twice, and we will propose the best action to ensure your path to success is as short and smooth as possible.
Data and technology have redefined marketing. Deep understanding of the audience, that when used well, allows paving a true digital path. It’s our responsibility to make it a path that benefits both the customer and the business. This takes marketing to a new level. The boundaries between education, product, and marketing are vanishing. The customer experience remains. And at this level, we may consider talking less about marketing and more about partnering.