Vertical Stack Series

Exploring the Vertical Stack: Every Brand’s Dream

Mary Kearl By Mary Kearl Dec 1, 2019

Today’s brands are living in an in-the-moment, technology-driven, mobile-first world—and so are all their customers. To break out of old habits and transform the way you’re speaking to your customers, you need to take a hard look at the technologies supporting your customer engagement efforts.

One key ingredient you may not be leveraging? A vertical engagement stack built on real-time, streaming data. To help you better understand what a vertical stack makes possible and how to leverage it effectively, we’ve put together a seven-part content series exploring all the ins-and-outs. Enjoy!

There are so many different companies out there, each of them with different products and services, different strategies and value props. But at the core, almost all of them are trying to do the same thing: Give their customers an exceptional experience when it comes to their brand and then reap the rewards that come with it.

For members of today’s marketing, growth, and engagement teams, crafting exceptional customer experiences is usually goal one. Why? Because getting it right matters, and has a major positive impact on your business.

According to an analysis conducted by the Harvard Business Review (HBR) that looked at consumer spending patterns through the lens of customer feedback, there’s clear support for the idea that great customer engagement has inherent value. HBR looked at customers of transactional businesses and found that the individuals with the best experiences spent up to 140% more than those who had the worst experiences. And when it came to subscription businesses, HBR found that customers who’d undergone bad experiences had only a 43% chance of retaining their membership a year later, compared to a 74% chance for those who had had the most positive experiences.

What does that mean for your business? That the experiences you serve up to your customer base have a clear, direct impact on your bottom line.

The Worst Case Scenario

Few brands would ever intentionally subject their customers to the sorts of messy, confusing, or just plain awkward brand experiences that—unfortunately—happen now and then to almost all of us. (Or trap them in a brand interaction they can’t find their way out of, for that matter!) But when people, processes, or technologies working behind the scenes fall short, that’s what ends up happening.

What does that look like? Subscribers receiving poorly timed emails. Potential shoppers inundated with too many competing offers deciding to just give up midstream, instead of making a purchase. Personalization efforts that don’t lead to personalized messages because your data collection and management just isn’t up to snuff.

It’s not a pretty picture.

The Best Case Scenario

When things go right, marketing, growth, and engagement teams have the resources in place to understand customer behavior, act responsively, continue to learn more about each individual’s ever-evolving interests, and keep on adapting to provide even more relevant, valuable experiences over time. But let’s be clear—this kind of success is a symphony. If you don’t have the right people, the right, instruments, and clarity about what you’re all trying to do, it’s not going to sound right.

Your marketing technology can be the deciding factor, the difference between nearly-good-enough and exceptional. The tools your team relies on can help power seamless brand interactions, enabling marketers to surprise and delight new customers and reward loyal advocates. On the flip side, your tech stack could be the very reason your efforts are falling short, your new users keep churning, and previously active customers are falling away.

Next Steps

If your technology is holding you back, and you know it’s time to do something about it, but you’re unsure where to get started, we’ve got you covered. Head over to the Braze Product page to learn how the right technology system can help you provide your customers with the brilliant experiences they deserve.

Mary Kearl

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

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