I’ve listened to a lot of senior marketers tell me that they “really want to engage with customers”, often in very earnest voices whilst they lean forward across the table and lock onto me with their eyes, to make sure I know that they really, really mean it.
I’ve no doubt they are genuine, but all-too-often ‘real engagement’, in their eyes, is a very manual approach to marketing. In other words, customer buys a car one week, they are added to the CRM database and two weeks later we send them an SMS message about service packages – that is not customer engagement.
Sure, the message could be personalised and it is certainly segmented, but it isn’t fostering engagement. What’s more, it’s a timely, manual approach which isn’t the best use of your time or resource, is it?
It’s time marketers stop talking about real time customer data and start using it. What if we could use shipment notifications, cloud-based location services, mobile data, health data and social media, to name but a few, to really build up a highly accurate picture of individual customers? What if we could automate this?
What if we then took all of the information that is available about customers and used predictive analytics, to make recommendations to individual customers based on their behaviours and anticipated actions?
How about this? We know you like trainers because you read our latest email promoting our newest collection, and liked a particular style on our Facebook page. We then send you a message on Facebook saying that we have that style in your size, in your local store and, if you order today, then we’ll pay for the delivery. Oh, and we’ll text you on your way to work to tomorrow to let you know if they’ve arrived in time for you to collect them on your lunch break.
Now that is engagement.
Innovative technology enables disparate systems and incompatible data, which was previously impossible to use as part of a customer engagement programme, to be seamlessly integrated into an overall strategy.
Real time data, such as transactions and shipment notifications, geolocation data, individual customer preferences, social media conversations, all coming together to produce contextually relevant, cross-channel conversations.
All of this is now possible, due to our state-of-the-art logic building technology that can bring all the sources of information together and then trigger the intelligent conversations that can be delivered via SMS, MMS, email, voice, push notifications or Facebook Messenger.
In short, real engagement is no longer a utopian vision; it is much closer and much easier than you think. The results? Unsurpassed customer engagement.