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You only get out what you put in, as the saying goes. And perhaps nowhere is that better illustrated than in the world of modern consumer marketing. If you’re planning to make the leap into truly personalised marketing communications, then your data needs to be up to scratch. In short, when it comes to data, bigger really is better – and the devil is in the detail.
The better quality the data, the more personalised the message.
To understand your customers better, you have to get greater insight into how they actually behave. Basic data capture is fine and generalisations drawn from simple details such as name and address are still important, but businesses today need to gather as much data as possible on customer behaviour in real time. Is there a chance your customers are getting paid this weekend? Do they normally get their order delivered to a work address? Do you have a store close to their workplace where you could offer them a discount to tempt them into store?
In today’s customer-driven world, you need to be able to predict how your customer is going to behave. You need to be able to harvest, amalgamate and analyse multiple data entry points to give your customers an unforgettable experience. Start by using the data you already hold to build a picture of your individual customer instead of bombarding them with invasive data collection forms – getting the balance right is key and is often the difference between an opt-in and an opt-out.
Offer real-time personalised promotions and offers.
So, let’s say you’re a clothing retailer promoting a new suit costing £199, and your customer has read your email about the new suit campaign. Like most of us, they’ll have put it to the back of their mind. But while they’re out and about – maybe shopping, maybe just grabbing a lunchtime sandwich – they pass one of your stores. If you have access to an intelligent customer engagement platform with built-in geolocation functionality, you can automatically send a message saying the suit is available in-store, in their size, with 10% off if they buy today. Your customers are much more likely to respond to an offer or promotion when they’re out shopping and have a high tendency to buy. And this is a proven tactic – contextual targeting increases purchasing intent by a massive 63% when compared with audience or channel-level equivalents, according to research by IMG Media Lab.
Delivering the right message at the right time.
So you’ve got reams of data and a detailed target market. The challenge now is how to seamlessly connect the two. Ideally, you need a platform which enables you to rapidly develop complex services without bespoke programming or coding. And you need it to trigger engagement intelligently based on a set of rules you define; in short, tailoring it not only to your business but also to your customer – creating a smooth, seamless journey and the hallmark of a successful marketing campaign.
This automatic, rules-based engagement technology is now available, allowing companies to harness data, business rules and geolocation triggers to get the right messages to the right people at the right time – rising above the noise of competing messages and ensuring your brand is ‘front of mind’ with customers at the times they are most likely to want to buy from you to ultimately drive revenue. Businesses now need to push the boundaries further to deliver contextually relevant real-time interactions – sitting on the sidelines is no longer an option.