What separates the top performing marketing teams from the rest of the pack? Do they just put in more effort and go the extra mile? Or is it a matter of having more resources at their disposal?
What it really comes down to is this: The best marketing departments understand their customers, facilitate the customer experience and capture a complete view of the customer journey. It's not a matter of them working harder, it's the fact that they can see the whole picture and navigate accordingly.
How are they doing this? With customer identity and access management (CIAM) solutions.
The Best Marketers use CIAM
Now, that may sound like we're tooting our own horn, but we have the research to back this up. For the past four years, Salesforce has released an annual study on the state of marketing practices. This year's edition discovered that high-performing marketing teams were four times as likely to use CIAM as other marketers. Clearly, CIAM offers a competitive edge to these teams and serves as a differentiator when it comes to the success of their efforts.
The high adoption rate of CIAM among marketing leaders reflects a broader trend of organizations depending more on advanced technology to support their customer engagement efforts. Especially today with the increasing number of possible touchpoints and growth of the Internet of Things, interest in digital customer engagement is at an all-time high.
How CIAM Supports Digital Customer Engagement
It's really no surprise that CIAM is so popular among the best marketing departments, as it can help them map the customer journey and drastically improve engagement efforts. You really can't overestimate how important a comprehensive customer journey map is to a successful engagement strategy. Gaining that level of insight becomes more challenging with today's multitude of touchpoints and channels. It's no wonder that marketers frequently struggle to completely map the customer journey given the complexity involved.
The Salesforce report noted that high-performing marketing teams are better at coordinating their efforts across different channels, enabling them to present a cohesive brand message across all touchpoints. CIAM can be a major asset here. CIAM provides a centralized identity and access management system from which brands can support their digital customer engagement efforts across all channels. By creating a centralized repository for customer data collection, businesses can take advantage of all available information and wring fresh, new insights from it.
Providing a Personal Touch in the Digital Age
One of the main challenges that marketing teams face today is engaging with customers on a more personal level. By their nature, digital interactions can often feel detached and impersonal. Customers may feel as if they're being treated less as an individual and more as a number or, at best, a broadly sweeping demographic.
CIAM presents the opportunity to dig deeper into customer identity information and create a more personalized brand experience. Instead of filing site visitors into established personas, brands can focus on the individual person and tailor their interactions accordingly. This is possible because CIAM solutions pull data from numerous sources, providing a more complete picture of the individual user. Social media integration, for instance, allows companies to access more detailed information about their customers while also streamlining the registration and login processes.
This personal touch will be key to better customer engagement as the omnichannel becomes more complex and the buyer journey takes more twists and turns. The best marketing teams recognize the opportunity to cultivate brand loyalty and trust through more targeted customer interactions.
Turning Registration From a Headache to an Asset
Given how complex omnichannel commerce has become, navigating this massive environment can feel daunting. It's important, however, to focus on the opportunities omnichannel and the IoT present instead of being overwhelmed by the challenges. Going back to the social media integration example, many organizations view user registration as something of a burden. For them, it's nothing more than a requirement that the IT department needs to hash out. With the help of CIAM, however, registration can be a powerful tool for marketing and digital customer engagement.
If a customer is willing to register for your website, mobile app or other digital platform, that's a clear sign that they're interested in more direct interaction with your brand. It's up to you to make the most of that opportunity. Once a user is registered, that initial pool of collected data can be expanded with each new brand interaction. CIAM allows that information to be accessible regardless of touchpoint, leading to a more personalized customer experience. For instance, if someone calls up the customer service line with a problem, the representative can view all their latest activity and transactions across all other channels. Nothing is siloed, which creates a better brand interaction and experience.
Choosing the Right CIAM Solution
Accepting the value of CIAM and finding the ideal tool for your company's needs are two different cans of worms. There are a number of platforms on the market that label themselves as CIAM products, but may be employee-focused IAM tools that have been reworked to be compatible with consumers. To get the most out of CIAM, you want to deploy a solution that has been designed from the ground up with consumers in mind.
The Forrester Wave® recently covered the CIAM market, analyzing the different players and determining which products led the industry. Forrester analysts concluded that Akamai was one of the top two CIAM providers, noting our extensive global footprint and sophisticated analytics capabilities.
There's no sense ignoring what the best marketing teams already know: CIAM is a huge asset in digital customer engagement, paving the way for more personalized interactions and stronger brand loyalty. At the end of the day, CIAM may just be one of the best marketing tools at your disposal. Contact us today to find out more.