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Brands today can thrive if they embrace the future: highly targeted, personalized “human” brand experiences supported by flexible teams and best-in-class technologies that can integrate seamlessly with each other and in real time. Getting there is possible, but it’s a lot faster if you have a guide. Braze’s new eBook, "Humanity in Action: What Customer Engagement Is, Why It Matters, And What You Need to Know," is that guide.

The world is only getting more crowded, busier, and more connected, with all kinds of distractions competing for consumers' limited attention. But the reality is, a lot of brands are struggling to keep up with the evolving technology landscape—and the changing consumer preferences and behaviors that come along with it.

Getting it right means having the right technology, the right data...and the right approach to collaboration. If your brand’s engagement strategy is being run by a bunch of siloed departments, that makes things harder. The same is true if the technologies you’re using can’t talk to each other effectively. And if there’s a disconnect between your brand and the brand experience you’re putting out in the world, building strong, sustainable customer relationships and hitting your long-term business goals can be almost impossible.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Brands today can thrive if they embrace the future: highly targeted, personalized “human” brand experiences supported by flexible teams and best-in-class technologies that can integrate seamlessly with each other and in real time. Getting there is possible, but it’s a lot faster if you have a guide.

Braze’s new eBook, Humanity in Action: What Customer Engagement Is, Why It Matters, And What You Need to Know, is that guide.

Building the roadmap for customer engagement

In this eBook, we'll introduce you to the concept of brand humanity and the best practices for long-term customer engagement across multiple touchpoints. We’ll encourage you to listen closely to your customers, and strive to understand their personal context before taking action. We'll demonstrate what works and what doesn't at every stage in the marketing funnel, backed up by statistics and specific brand initiatives. And we’ll dig into five key areas of focus that can inform stronger marketing results.

1. Customer journey management

Instead of one-size-fits-all outreach to customers, the goal of lifecycle engagement marketing is to communicate to customers what best fits their lifecycle stage. That means tailoring messaging to customers based on their current and historical engagement with your brand. Having this clear picture can mean the difference between overwhelming customers with messaging that doesn’t resonate and reaching them through the correct channels at the right time.

2. Personalization, user profiles, and preference centers (and the proper data capture needed to power it all)

Knowing your customer by name—and their likes (and dislikes)—is a powerful thing. According to McKinsey, personalization efforts can boost average revenue by 10–30% and lead to higher customer engagement. To power personalization, brands need to collect the right data from the start and empower customers to manage their experience through user controls over profiles and preference centers. That means giving them the option to share only what they’re comfortable sharing and to say how often they want to hear from you, what content they want to receive, and how they prefer to be contacted (email, push, SMS, etc.).

3. Developing a cross-channel strategy

What sets best-in-class marketing and customer engagement teams apart from the merely adequate is how holistic their approach is. Modern customers aren’t just engaging with your brand IRL or online, on mobile or desktop, via email or push notifications. They’re likely interacting with your company in many spaces, which is why modern customer engagement requires a cross-channel approach.

Leveraging multiple channels could be the difference between active users who engage on a weekly basis and loyal customers who engage even more frequently. Getting it right allows brands to drive stronger ROI and achieve long-term strategic goals. Getting it wrong can damage the customer/brand relationships you already have.

4. Getting tech systems to talk to each other (in real time)

Today’s modern marketing stack is comprised of many systems: lifecycle engagement tools, analytics, and data management platforms, among others. When all the tools in your stack are capable of speaking to each other—i.e. sharing data in real time—everyone wins. On the business side, you’re able to create responsive, relevant brand experiences. For customers, that means no more annoying, irrelevant updates that make them want to uninstall your app, unsubscribe from your emails, or delete their account altogether.

If they can’t all speak to each other, that means manual work, introducing more opportunities for error, and, ultimately, limiting the potential to communicate effectively externally with your customers.

5. Getting teams to talk to each other (bye-bye, silos)

Customers don’t see brands as a collection of separate departments—marketing, growth, engagement, product, engineering, and customer service. They don’t think, A customer success manager sent me that satisfaction survey and the product team is responsible for that new release update I just read. They see one uniform brand operating seamlessly behind the scenes. Or that’s what they should see. Eliminating silos is what makes that possible, but it’s easier said than done. Getting there takes care, strategy, and the right tech.

Final Thoughts

For those looking to build or overhaul your company’s customer engagement roadmap, Humanity in Action is your key to the future of your business. For a step-by-step look at what modern customer engagement takes and where it’s heading into a future of ever-more-connected devices—meaning even more channels for brands and customers to connect—check out the full eBook here.

Mary Kearl

Mary Kearl is a writer and digital strategist, who has led email, social media, and content marketing for several brands. She has helped launch six mobile apps and one niche social network and is always up for a good Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime binge recommendation or travel tip