Using old Abba lyrics is an attempt at stealing your attention so I may update you on the use of data for gaining customers’ attention, loyalty and spend. In particular, I want to sing about knowing the customer and winning their favour in the emerging world of social, geo-location and mobile – a new revolution going by the acronym “SoLoMo” (social, local, mobile).
Today’s smarter brands have started to respond to falling customer response rates to direct marketing by trying to get more personal and relevant in their communications with customers. They’re liberating channel-siloed customer data from the likes of email, web browsing, direct mail and mobile marketing responses, and drawing it into a marketing single view.
Hundreds of brands are using cross-channel data (typically in marketing automation platforms) to stimulate and deliver one-to-one offers. The more forward-thinking brands have automated ongoing value-added conversations, in-bound and outbound, with the objective of turning fleeting customer acquaintances into lifelong, mutually-valued relationships.
And it’s working - brands are reporting gains of anything up to 100 per cent increases in return on marketing investment through improving the one-to-one relevancy of their communications. Just as brands are starting to get on board with this cross-channel, conversational marketing, so they face the challenge of new channels flying into the mix.
The use of social media (especially Facebook and Twitter), location-based services and apps, combined with customers’ near omnipresent and ever-on smartphone devices, presents a fresh brand opportunity to further bond and interact one-to-one with opted-in customers. In the context of SoLoMo, mobile apps are particularly intriguing, as they provide not only geo-location data, but also innovative new communication channels.
But how does a brand face up to the challenge of holding both traditional and emerging channels within a real-time, conversational marketing strategy? How does the brand build a progressive profile of customer engagement that encompasses responses and behaviour from all available channels and sources - including social, location and apps? How does the brand make data-driven decisions about which offers will resonate with prospects and which opt-in channels are most appropriate to deliver those offers and hold those conversations?
The answer lies partly in a new breed of data capture and data mart capabilities. Conversational marketing techniques certainly require data - lots of it - in real-time from all channels. But, more importantly, it requires a new breed of marketing technology platform to progress further into using that data to define and optimise which communications are likely to resonate with the target audience.
To present those messages, chosen from a central message catalogue, as part of a consistent campaign at exactly the right time, through almost any relevant channel based on customer preference and opt-in requires a platform. For large enterprises, the distributed marketing environment means local marketers will perhaps need to be empowered to use their more intimate knowledge of the local target audience to define and deliver unique location-based offers, remaining compliant with corporate marketing controls over brand consistency.
Increasingly, customer marketing is a data-driven profession. Customers have come to expect relevancy in brands’ attempts at engagement. By selecting the right conversational marketing platform, brands can respond to that demand with opted-in customers across all channels, winning an edge over competitors, including in the new worlds of SoLoMo and in app content.
Knowing me, knowing you? It’s all there in the data.