Renee Adams on Understanding Customer Experiences

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Earlier this month we sat down with marketing strategist and CRM expert Renee Adams and asked her for her take on marketing personalization. She gave us great advice about the importance of knowing your customer in order to create engaging brand experiences, and also had a lot to say about how retailers are going the extra mile to connect with their buyers.

You can watch the video of the interview above, or read the transcription below. Be sure to keep an eye on our YouTube channel for more videos like this!

What are some recent changes in the field of marketing?

Some of the biggest changes I’ve noticed is the explosion of marketing technology, and those different types of tools and platforms that people are using to connect with and understand their customers. Earlier on in my career, I did marketing automation implementation and that’s where I learned about implementing technology and I enjoyed working with the technology teams.

From my research, it seems like today there are over 2,000 companies that offer these different tools and platforms. What’s really important is that these companies and brands need to be able to create an overall base marketing strategy, understand the customer, and then determine what tech and tools they can use to deeply connect with, understand, and engage their customer.

How will marketing evolve to meet customer needs?

It’s about being able to understand who the customer is: where you find the customer, how you reach the customer, and then how do you optimize that experience. Understand more about who the customer is, what they’re wanting, and then creating engaging customer experiences.

I read an article about the CEO of Target, who had a deep marketing background. He went out, came to Dallas and interviewed some of his key customers, who are moms. He asked them to go into certain areas of the stores and observed their activity so he could get richer, deeper insight into that customer set. Based on that, he’s creating this marketing strategy that’s focused on the customer and creates products that meet those customers’ needs. This is the simple way of approaching marketing as understanding your customer – who are they, how do we reach them, what’s important to them – and then having the technology to reach those customers, as well as the analytics to understand how buyers react to your brand and how you can optimize that experience further.

What should retailers look for in a CRM?

The number one key element: Is it easy to use? There are a lot of marketing tools and marketing platforms out there with lots of bells and whistles, but managing them on a day-to-day basis practically requires an army of people there to maintain the tool, optimize it, and add to its performance.

Who is your marketing hero?

I love beauty, makeup, and skincare and so I’m a huge fan of Ulta and Sephora. I think Sephora’s done a really good job with their app. My favorite section of theirs is called “INSPIRE ME,” and within that app they’ve got articles, images, and videos that show you how to do different makeup looks and where purchase the products involved.

They’re great marketers because they understand that our field is really more than just selling a product: it’s about creating engaging customer experiences, relevant content, and then when people have that positive emotion with your brand they’re more likely to visit you and purchase from you.

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