Leveraging New Technologies to Improve Customer Experience and Marketing Strategies

The second part of our interview with Maarten Stramrood, Director of Segment and Online Marketing at cable company Ziggo.

Maarten Stramrood is the Director of Segment and Online Marketing at Ziggo (formerly UPC Nederland), the largest cable company in the Netherlands. His role includes the running of the marketing and sales operations as well as the development and maintenance of the website and future releases. The company recently integrated the CRM and segment marketing departments because, Stramrood says, â??itâ??s a very efficient way to build up knowledge about our customers both within the onsite and offline areaâ?쳌.

Last month he took part in a panel discussion titled â??Revolutionising Your Customer Experience By Leveraging Disruptive Technology, Smart, Digital & Socialâ?? at the Customer Experience Exchange for Telecoms in London and we caught up with him in advance of his appearance to discuss emerging technologies for the CX industry and how his company has used digital marketing techniques such as personalisation and big data.

In the second part of his interview with CX Network, he talks about what new technological developments CX leaders should look at to improve their strategies and the importance of building a wall around your (social) data.

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CX Network: How can companies at the start of their digital journey prepare for the digitalisation of their processes?

MS: â??They really should start to think mobile first. With all the designs they make, they have to think with a smartphone in hand; try to design all the customer journeys around smartphone screens. So mobile first, then tablet, and then desktop. It could be an advantage for them if theyâ??re not in the digital space yet, because that means they can buy the latest technology.â??

CX Network: What advice would you give CX leaders looking to leverage new technologies to improve their customer experience and marketing strategies?

MS: â??First, like I said before, really try to think mobile first. Everyone has a smartphone in their pocket and itâ??s the most intimate piece of software they have on them.

â??Second, try to structure your data. Every company has got an abundance of data available but the biggest challenge is: how do you use it in in a profitable way?

â??And third, do things step by step but also be fast to the market. So, for example a lot of retailers want to move into the digital space from a strategic perspective and they hire a top class consultancy agency and buy expensive software, but then it takes them two years to move into the digital space. Within two years you could be dead. Itâ??d be better to build a small website feature by feature, so step by step, but as soon as you enter the digital space you have to have a really fast pace.â?쳌

CX Network: How do you utilise current buzzword â??big dataâ?? within your strategy?

MS: â??We take baby steps. First we build user cases and then we link up the available data to a particular user case and try to make the profile as intelligent as possible.

â??The biggest mistake companies make with data is that they do it the other way around. They access a particular data stream, or data flow, and they build a user case on top of the data layer. We do it the other way around, which may result in realising we canâ??t use this kind of data. If it doesnâ??t work, weâ??re not afraid to fail.â?쳌

CX Network: Weâ??ve spoken a lot about different ways to communicate with customers online, but social media channels havenâ??t been mentioned yet. Are they a big part of your marketing plan?

MS: â??We used to consider social media as a channel, now we consider it a medium. So on one hand itâ??s a care channel, on the other itâ??s a piece of advertising as well; it has multiple purposes instead of most companies that only act within web care.

â??Itâ??s of a lot of importance to our company. It gives us a lot of options and you need to try and give the visitor within any social network a consistent experience. That why we consider it to be a medium, instead of just using it as a channel. What we do on our social networks doesnâ??t differ from anything else we do within the company.

â??However, as soon as you enter social networks you need to be aware of what they are allowed to use of your data streams. As soon as you upload customer data to Facebook, for example, you lose your rights and Facebook are allowed to use it. You need to build a wall around your data or it can result in a lot of negative PR.â?쳌