The fast-paced, ever-evolving world of information technology has an incurable addiction to acronyms. However, SMAC has not yet made it on to Wikipedia’s list. This particular acronym stands for: Social . Mobile . Analytics . Cloud
SMAC is a rapidly spreading methodology which can have a significant positive impact on a company’s digital marketing strategy. Let’s look at SMAC’s components in more detail.
Media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube serve as great “connectors” for millions of people worldwide. Businesses are increasingly using social marketing tools to increase exposure of their products and services and to grow the popularity of their brands. Social media channels are used to engage targeted viewers and to build a marketplace in the social media community. Businesses are able to create “mind-sharing” personal relationships with their customers and thus build targeted and productive digital marketing strategies.
Who do you know who doesn’t own a smartphone? Mobile devices are increasingly being used by consumers to purchase goods and services. Shoppers are able to engage in sales transactions anywhere and at any time of the day or night. Users are provided with much-appreciated shopping convenience and businesses with insights into the preferences and buying behaviours of users on a global scale. Most companies have developed their own business mobile applications in order to take advantage of this low-cost way to connect with their customers and increase their customer bases.
“Big Data,” a “buzz phrase” currently in vogue, is the name given to the treasure trove of information which can be collected from social and mobile platforms. By analysing this massive mountain of data, business enterprises can gain an inside view of their customers’ likes and dislikes and can respond in real time to their shopping preferences.
The use of cloud computing will only increase. One advantage is that it enables businesses to reduce their IT budgets by avoiding the sometimes significant financial costs for premise-based hardware and its subsequent maintenance. Cloud computing also provides business flexibility and agility with respect to meeting the demands of customers.
The Benefit of the Stacking Effect
Each of the four individual SMAC components is a valuable tool in its own right. However, if this quartet is combined to form an integrated “stack,” the stack has more overall power than its individual parts. Harnessed together, the components can provide a broad-ranging view of customer spending habits, enabling companies to more accurately target their customers. For instance, the data gathered from a user’s social media postings can be teamed with location-based information coming from the user’s mobile device. This combined data is then ready for real-time analysis on a virtual cloud platform.
How SMAC Helps
A big advantage of an SMAC marketing strategy is that it enables companies to move into high-margin areas with relatively minor financial expenditures. It’s a strategy with low overheads, far-ranging availability, and worldwide reach, creating unparalleled opportunities for organisations to more thoroughly understand, engage, and influence their prospective customers. Because modern, tech-savvy shoppers don’t possess as much brand loyalty as their parents, they will shop by first reading reviews and doing research on a product before making a buying decision. By putting in place individualised marketing and sales strategies, a company can significantly increase its bottom line. Personalised service equals a happy customer. Here are some ideas to achieve this highly desirable SMAC multiplier effect.
Assessment: Assess what stage you are currently at with respect to leveraging the use of each SMAC component. Then, determine where it’s most important to target the delivery of information on your products or services.
Quick wins: Take a look at each method currently being used to gather insights about your customers and make sure it’s working properly and efficiently. Then put it to use. For example, your customer interface should be straightforward and easy to use so that a new customer has no problem signing up. Then, your system should be constructed so that the data inputted by your customer follows the customer as they journey through your website. So, if a buyer has filled out an application form for one type of product, that person should not be made to enter the same information all over again if they decide to purchase something else.
Analyse: Your customers’ experiences of your end-to-end services need to be as trouble-free as possible. For instance, when a customer experiencing problems contacts your call centre, an integrated SMAC approach would enable the customer services representative to see exactly the stage that the customer has reached and help move the transaction along to the next step.
Continuous improvement: There should be a continuously evolving process in place to develop the best products or services tailored to the insights gained from your customers’ preferences. Evaluation teams should be set up to keep on top of how your program is performing. You could even employ a specialist whose assignment would be to design internal best practices incorporating best practices used by other businesses.
Using SMAC as a digital marketing strategy can be a transformative experience. Never before has it been possible to obtain so much information on your customers’ preferences and buying habits and put it to good use.