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Reaching the new generation of digital consumers with ‘madtech’

By Saurabh Madan | general manager, SEA & ANZ

February 18, 2022 | 7 min read

For digitally-native brands, with 100% digital customer acquisition strategies, the challenge is more than just consistency, it’s about hyper-personalized consistency. With the myriad of different marketing channels at a brand’s disposal, capturing accurate ‘drop off’ and ‘conversion’ touchpoints are crucial to brand success, says Saurabh Madan, general manager, SEA & ANZ, MoEngage.

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The best part about madtech is the ability to gather insights from a lot more data than before

How well do you understand your customers, the new generation of digital consumers?

There has never been a better time to find the answer to this question, and here’s why. Digital consumption in South East Asia (SEA) is growing at a far quicker rate than in other Asia Pacific regions. Bain and Company found that digital shopping in SEA now outstrips China at a 1.6 times growth rate. The number of new digital consumers added in one year in this region is equivalent to the population of the entire UK. Imagine how quickly this number is likely to grow this year as nations accelerate 5G roll-outs to advance their digital economies.

As this new generation of digital consumers continues to grow exponentially, there is only one thing for businesses to do – learn to understand them better and to serve them better. And the experts agree – Gartner suggests that this year brands will need to focus on breaking down natural silos to innovate with customer experiences so that a more holistic approach might be achieved and a ‘total experience’ is delivered. One way to do so is to leverage ‘madtech’ – the convergence of marketing technology (martech), which puts the customer at the focal point, and advertising technology (adtech), which puts the brand/campaign at the center of the strategy.

Going madtech for the digital consumer

Let’s paint a picture. A consumer visits a brand’s website for the first time after seeing an online advertisement. Later, they visit the brand’s store near their house and buy a small item. In a world where adtech and martech exist as silos, the brand would not be able to establish a link between the online and offline interactions of the customer. The problem here lies in capturing information across channels and ensuring a seamless experience – both online and in-store.

For digitally-native brands, with 100% digital customer acquisition strategies, the challenge is more than just consistency – it’s about hyper-personalized consistency. With the myriad of different marketing channels at a brand’s disposal, capturing accurate ‘drop off’ and ‘conversion’ touchpoints is crucial to brand success.

Brands need technology to analyze all interactions and map out the value earned through the online advertisement’s original trigger. This data stimulates more relevant interactions, leading to a more meaningful relationship between your brand and consumers. Bain and Company highlights this as a critical factor in the battle for brand loyalty, noting that leading brands in SEA will build ecosystems that offer seamless experiences across multiple touchpoints. In contrast, value-added experiences will provide differentiation and loyalty.

Capitalizing on the power of the madtech convergence will help marketers reach out to an intended audience with the highest possibility of conversion, and create enduring relationships with customers easily. While adtech tells marketers who to direct promotions at, martech gives them the means to reach out. Technology and data management form the core similitude of both approaches. When combined, madtech can help businesses develop an insights-led strategy for effective customer engagement and a return from every impression. For brands that want to cut through the clutter and stand out, such a strategy will help cater to the needs and demands of everyone alike.

Merging the two

We’ve established the differences between adtech and martech, but it is also worth considering that while martech metrics follow a line similar to adtech, their primary measure is ROI.

With this approach, the personalized reach of martech is meshed together with the substantial data pools of adtech, creating memorable experiences for customers and superior returns for marketers. This lets marketers and advertisers understand, assess and measure their media spending and ad inventory, and reach out in a better manner.

But it’s not just about delivering what customers want; it’s also about giving it to them before they even know what they want. This is why forward-looking brands move from a campaign-centric approach toward a customer-centric strategy. These brands have started investing in a full-stack customer engagement platform to merge customer data and a technology stack to build proactive engagement strategies.

This becomes the first step in resolving customer identities and implementing identity-based strategies. Businesses that are better at capturing, analyzing and using customer data can increase their use and match ability. For example, Amazon employs ‘anticipatory shipping.’ Using machine learning (ML), the company packages items for particular areas even before a customer places an order.

There’s more that businesses can do to excel at madtech:

  1. Better analyze customer behavior for greater experiences: the best part about madtech is the ability to gather insights from a lot more data than before. Brands should use this to their advantage and converge the data between the two platforms to drive deeper insights, such as through tailgating customers on their journey from mere interest in a product to clicking on a display ad. These insights can drive greater personalization and a transformation of traditional brand experiences through innovative ways for full-fledged engagement.

  2. Communicate more efficiently and relevantly: madtech can help marketers to use the right data and context for products, so that they can better identify preferred timings, channels and messaging to use with individual customers.

  3. Create seamless customer journeys: in many businesses, the marketing and advertising teams rarely communicate and do not share a unified technology stack, never putting their heads together to arrive at shared technology systems or data storage methods. Marketers must focus on integrated technologies that support seamless customer journeys from consideration to adoption and advocacy.

Going beyond assumptions

Brands must do more than just ‘assume’ what is needed to comprehend the whys and hows of the event leading to a purchase decision. Companies must integrate offline and online data, apply an insights-led strategy through increasingly sophisticated matching tools and expand the scope of customer engagement platforms to build a customer-centric strategy.

Saurabh Madan is general manager, SEA & ANZ, MoEngage.

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