With the revolution of Internet 2.0 emphasizing user-generated content, customers in today's digital economy are now connected, socially networked, and incredibly informed more than ever. Thus, brands are refocusing their strategy to centre around their clients and personalized experiences to stay ahead in a disruptive marketplace. SAP S/4HANA Marketing Cloud can help brands achieve the kind of customer engagement that was once thought unfeasible. 

Retaining vs acquiring

It is common knowledge that having a customer retention strategy is the key to a profitable business. According to the book Marketing Metrics, businesses have a 60 to 70% chance of selling to an existing customer while the probability of selling to a new one is only 5 – 20% [1]. Additionally, it is also established in a report by BIA that on average, a returning client spends 67% more than a new customer [2]. Therefore, businesses should focus on strengthening relationships with existing clients by understanding and satisfying their needs. However, in reality, profiling your target customer is profoundly challenging as it requires a large amount of data to be captured, processed, analyzed, and acted upon.

Even though marketing technology continues to grow perpetually, only 16% of companies can capture customer intent and respond in real-time. 80% do not have much information on their clientele, and only 28% can deliver a personalized experience across channels [3]. This absurd fact begs the question: are brands not embracing marketing technology because they do not fully comprehend it? That is where SAP S/4HANA Marketing Cloud can help. With SAP S/4HANA as a digital core, the application can help marketers apprehend their customers and deliver exceptional service by enabling real-time contextual engagement coordinated across various channels. 

Capture your customer with SAP S/4HANA Marketing Cloud

The application is an open, data-driven marketing suite that helps businesses capture the real-time intent of each customer and interactively deliver relevant experiences across multiple channels. Integrating cloud deployment for effortless scalability, SAP S/4HANA allows marketers to analyze granular data to leverage predictive modelling and text analysis. By supporting every step of the customer journey, the subscription-based system assists businesses in achieving excellent engagement: 

  • Consumer profiling enables brands to capture and enrich customer information allowing them to establish what is the best strategy to interact with their clients. For example, the “Best Sending Time” capability leverages the impact of email letters at an individual level, subsequently increasing awareness and reducing response time of their customers.
  • Segmentation and campaign management identify the most suitable audience for different marketing campaigns and personalize brands' messages across various channels to reach customers at the perfect time. 
  • Commerce marketing allows businesses to compose campaign content such as emails, newsletters to promote products, services relevant to the intended recipients. S/4HANA utilizes the extended marketing profile of a client, providing a personalized buying experience for each customer.
  • Marketing resource management provides the tools for brands to manage operational complexities. This is done by integrating customers, contact and sales data from SAP ERP to automatically create marketing leads, tasks, appointments and phone calls. This capability enhances brands’ ability to organize and optimize their internal and external marketing resources.
  • Marketing analytics analyses and respond promptly to new opportunities with real-time performance insights.
  • Marketing lead performance allows brands to recognize qualified leads and monitor success, closing the gap between marketing and sales.

Interested? Check out this article to find what you should not do when integrating SAP S/4HANA: How C - suite Can Counter SAP S/4HANA Implementation Challenges

From data-driven to customer-driven

Numerous companies have improved their customer satisfaction level by implementing SAP S/4HANA Marketing Cloud, take Železničná spoločnosť Slovensko a.s. (ZSSK) as a prime example. Operated as an ecological alternative to individual car transport, ZSSK operates passenger railway transport in Slovakia. With the aim to attract more clients using targeted marketing campaigns, the company needs to gain access to crucial customer insights for plausible customer segmentation. With its legacy system incompetent to do the task, ZSSK implements the software for more data-driven decision–making processes. Modernizing their operation with S/4HANA allows ZSSK to improve their marketing tactics by using advanced customer segmentation capabilities to attract new customers. The application also delivers insightful reports while minimizing processing time (from hours down to minutes), helping the leadership team make better business and financial decisions on time. According to Richard Kujan, CIO of ZSSK, by implementing the application, their business is ready to cater 100 million passengers a year by 2030. The integration also helped ZSSK run highly targeted marketing campaigns and broaden the number of used digital channels [4].

In the long run 

The digital transformation has empowered consumers like never before, compelling brands to shift their focus to deliver personalized experiences to meet customers' needs. To compete in a highly – saturated market, S/4HANA Marketing Cloud equipped brands with the right tools to obtain a holistic view of their client's data. Subsequently, the application allows business to understand their customer behaviour and create individualized profiles for segmentation and targeting. As the technology provides the ability to better understand and profile customers, brands should embrace it to stay ahead in the disruptive competition.

Author Tran Diep Trinh