Your Customers’ Top Digital Engagement Strategies and What They Mean for Security
Your customers must enhance their abilities to engage with consumers and create positive user experiences online. Additionally, they need to be able to utilize technology to improve internal business processes. Consumers are no longer limited by proximity or selection at a local store, as they can purchase any product from anywhere via ecommerce channels. Therefore, to compete in these arenas, SMBs need a strong online presence that allows them to engage consumers in a positive way.
Today’s organizations aim to create personalized, well-timed messaging, a strong customer service presence, and loyalty programs that cut through the noise to increase brand awareness and earn long-term loyal customers. To do this, there are several strategies and tools they rely on to drive engagements.
However, they need to be careful to consider how deploying these tools within their networks can impact security infrastructure, especially when dealing with sensitive customer data.
Your Customers’ Strategies to Drive Digital Engagements
To offer enhanced experiences and drive digital engagements, your customers have turned to myriad tools and strategies. Leveraging these tactics, many of which are cloud-based, enables smaller organizations to scale to meet modern demands without heavy upfront investments in infrastructure.
Some of the most popular tactics include:
- Personalized offers with analytics: Businesses are leveraging analytics-as-a-service platforms to better understand consumer preferences based on past engagements and purchases, as well as channel and device preferences.
- Constant customer support via chatbots: Chatbot solutions allow your customers to offer 24/7 customer service, quickly answer customer questions, and save money. This is a crucial investment in ensuring a positive customer experience and building loyalty among consumers.
- Offering rewards and loyalty programs through applications: Many businesses are building mobile apps for their repeat customers to track rewards and points redeemed through loyalty programs. This is especially important, as 70 percent of shoppers are more likely to participate in a loyalty program if they can easily access rewards from their mobile device.
- Location-based marketing: Businesses are turning to location-based marketing tactics to hit consumers with targeted ads based on their geography (for example, proximity to a store or a competitor’s store). This is something consumers must generally opt into, meaning organizations must prove trustworthy to handle their data.
- Leverage email marketing and CRMs: A popular digital engagement tool is a customer relationship management platform (CRM) or email marketing platform. Businesses are using CRMs and email marketing tools to reach consumers with targeted content and manage consumer data and the relationship in the long term.
What Digital Engagements Mean for Cybersecurity
While all of these tactics are centered on creating a positive customer experience, there is one thing that can make it all go south: a data breach. Think about this: 69 percent of consumers say businesses are responsible for protecting this data, and 64 percent are unlikely to do business with an organization that loses their personal information. Beyond consumer retention, there are also compliance issues to contend with when storing personally identifiable data.
These digital engagement strategies are wrought with cyber risks that could be extremely detrimental to business success for many reasons:
- Increased network complexity: As more solutions and tools are added to the network, visibility is reduced. These complex network infrastructures increase the likelihood of gaps in security architecture and challenges in determining where data is stored and how it is being used–which can lead to security and compliance issues.
- Multi-cloud environments: Many of these tools will be SaaS solutions running on different cloud providers. Each cloud provider has different security standards and offerings, but most often they leverage a shared security model. This means that your customers will largely be responsible for securing all the data they store within the cloud. SMBs will have to ensure they are centralizing all of this security and meeting the requirements of each CSP, as well as compliance regulations. This will require organizations to stretch security controls beyond their traditional networks into the cloud.
- Limited resources: Finally, once all of these digital engagement tools are deployed, SMBs often do not have the resources to ensure they are effectively secured and integrated into existing systems. Deploying these tools within existing security parameters and deploying new security controls where there is a lack of sufficient protection is resource intensive in itself. However, organizations then need to have the manpower and expertise to monitor these tools to detect and respond to security incidents in a timely manner. This challenge is exacerbated by the cybersecurity skills gap.