Finally, the platform tracks how well all these interactions go. Are customers completing forms or abandoning them? Are they watching videos all the way through? Are they discussing their experiences through social media?
While Adobe’s system may work best for companies aiming massive marketing efforts across a variety of digital platforms, other companies are looking to address the needs of more modest marketing efforts.
For example, Greenrope, a company based in San Diego, aims its product at small and midsize companies that simply want to be able to identify their customers in different communication settings.
“Small businesses have so much to keep track of with just doing their work,” says Lars Helgeson, the company’s CEO. They know that personal responses to comments on Facebook pages can give them a leg up—“By tailoring a response to someone, it makes them feel special,” he says—but in practice, it’s difficult to know that the person commenting on Facebook today bought a product at the store last week. Helgeson says, “We’re trying to create a convergence of information.”
Such systems aren’t perfect, he acknowledges. For example, Greenrope’s technology can search for Twitter handles that obviously match the real names used on LinkedIn and Facebook or in e-mail addresses, but some Twitter handles don’t reveal the user’s name. In that case, it’s up to the company to make the initial connection. Then the system can track all the person’s interactions from that point forward.
Companies are still trying to figure out how best to communicate with consumers. “There’s still a lot of experimentation going on,” Helgeson says. Systems such as Greenrope’s and Adobe’s, however, can help them unify their efforts, collect data about what works and what doesn’t, and ultimately get better at using new media and mobile devices to stay connected to their customers.