Your customers have never been more powerful. With so many forms of media vying for their attention, they get to choose how information reaches them and what they deem worthy of further exploration. Engaging with customers - reaching them via their preferred channels and at the moments they are most receptive to your messaging - has never been more challenging. At the same time, you've never had more data and such a thorough understanding of where they reside in the customer lifecycle.

To maximize customer engagement, consider the following 4 key tactics:

1. Personalize Content

I'm not sure why, but a certain brand (which shall remain anonymous) is convinced I love dogs. Sorry pooch lovers, I don't. But that doesn't stop the company from marketing to me at least once a week. Whether I'm online - or checking my snail mail - I see puppies and discount offers.

I got on their radar when I made several purchases from the company a few years back. So what's the problem? The items were for my cat. For all I know, the company's emails, ads and direct mail are brilliantly written and wonderfully designed. They're just not relevant to me and will therefore never be viewed.

Don't be that marketer. Harness your data to understand each customer's history with your brand, their known preferences, and where they are in the marketing lifecycle. Tailor and deliver relevant content to meet their current level of engagement - and even their next. Predictive analytics allows you consider your customer's next step, enabling you to provide them with the right content at the right time.

2. Understand Activity

Your customers, for the most part, don't engage in random activity. By monitoring their online activity and listening for digital signals, you can collect information that paints a picture of their preferences, habits, interests, and more. What content do they download? What websites or videos do they view? What email do they open and why? Do they take advantage of certain offers compared to others? By answering these questions, you can sketch an outline of who they are, and then personalize the content you deliver to their individual experience.

3. Maximize Channels

Not only do you need to provide the right content to your customer at the right moment in time, but you need to deliver it via their preferred communication channels. Some members of your audience may prefer to engage with your brand through email, while others like video or social media. Mobile is the fastest growing channel and, for some, the only way they access content. A multi-channel approach allows you to try various tactics to collect data and measure success. Over time, you'll see patterns emerge of how your audience chooses to engage.

4. Adopt a 360-Degree View

Understanding one perspective of your customer's preferences isn't indicative of their overall habits. Customers engage on several levels, which necessitates you seek a global understanding of their relationship with your brand. A 360-degree view of their patterns enables you to keep tabs on shifts in behaviors and revise your campaigns accordingly. Customers expect a 1-to-1 relationship with your brand. You must encourage that belief while adjusting to their unique relationship modifications.

Interested in Learning More?

For more tactics on driving better customer engagement, download State of the Connected Customer. It highlights insights how to deliver better customer experiences based on surveys of 7,000 consumers and business buyers.