April 11, 2016

Marketing at the core of customer experience

Hanne Haapoja

Head of Digital Marketing Solutions, Tieto Corporation

"Marketing should be done in a way that it feels like a good service," says digital marketing expert Hanne Haapoja. Even though the digital marketing revolution has had its challenges, many things have become easier than before.

"Marketing is no longer about pushing people to buy. It is more about meeting customers' needs," says Tieto's digital marketing expert, Senior Business Development Consultant Hanne Haapoja. "Marketing should be useful and appealing enough for the consumer to be experienced as a good service rather than a marketing effort”.

According to Haapoja, one of the biggest challenges in marketing today is to direct marketing to right channels at the right time in such a way that the service follows the customer seamlessly in different channels in a meaningful way. In the end, all our decisions are based on impressions, which challenges the companies to build their brand touchpoints in a capturing way. Company's brand plays an increasingly important role.

Haapoja has experience in brand building and digital marketing directed specifically to digital natives. She was involved in building Aalto University and was responsible for creating the brand and marketing the university globally.

"Digital channels were the only feasible way of reaching a 20-year-old in Shanghai. Using a multi-channel approach we were able to make Aalto University known globally with a relatively small budget." According to Haapoja, the means of doing that are in reality much simpler than people may think.

Analytics at the core of everything

"A marketer can easily face a problem of too much choice with an array of opportunities available," says Haapoja. Then again, new technologies also facilitating marketing in many ways.

"The solution to the dilemma is analytics. It helps in discovering what customers are genuinely interested in and what serves them best. It makes marketing more agile and cost-efficient and can help avoiding blunders."

Haapoja's takes a practical approach to the topic: Which channels and what kind of marketing do you personally consider the most useful? With this in mind you can cautiously experiment and let analytics reveal what really works.

A good example of this is marketing automation, where customers can subscribe to newsletters tailored specifically for them. Thanks to personalization, customers receive the content they find interesting, improving customer experience.

Better customer experience by breaking up silos

According to Haapoja one common challenge for improving marketing and customer experience is the lack of cooperation between different parts of an organisation. Consumers want to have a connection to brands. They want to be engaged, share, comment and, ideally, be involved in developing the products. The best results are achieved when marketing, sales, customer service, ICT and HR work together rather than in their own silos.

So, how to get the different parts of an organisation to work together? Haapoja says that the tools for integrated marketing can prove helpful. "When, for example, we start to track whether potential job applicants with the desired profile find the company's recruitment site or whether a consumer passes the customer service channel efficiently enough, this invokes cooperation."

This subject is close to Haapoja's heart. For there to be enough work in Finland also in the future, Finnish companies must be able to succeed in the tight global competition. This requires investments in digital marketing and in improving customer experience.

"Luckily, this is not rocket science" says Hanne Haapoja and smiles. "You need good 360 analytics tools to recognize customers' needs and behaviors, and take agile measures that respond to them. We just need to be prepared to monitor and measure the results and to work hard!"

Read more about Customer Experience Management 

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