Customer engagement is where the heart is. Data-driven marketing offers industry leaders the opportunity to increase their market growth, while shaping customer satisfaction.
Based on the Forbes Insights and Turn report, “Data Driven and Digitally Savvy: The Rise of the New Marketing Organization,” executives agreed that data-driven marketing is critical in our competitive global economy. Companies embracing this idea are three times more likely than others to say they have achieved a competitive advantage in customer engagement.
Engagement marketing initiates when interested prospects interact with your business. The interaction is more than just talking; both sides must be willing to listen to one another. Your company’s goal is to fulfill their interests, while simultaneously achieving your own business objectives.
Marketing, sales, and customer support managers must work together to create an effective data-driven strategy centered on customer engagement. To attain the best results, your team should integrate a variety of marketing techniques.
Encourage dialogue between your consumers and brand. Improve your strategy with these four approaches:
1. Segment Customers with Personalization
Specificity gives your business the flexibility to cater to your customers’ needs and desires. Commit to learning more about who they are as people. Target visitors based on their lifestyles, not demographics.
Start by defining realistic goals for your big data projects. Setting expectations can secure buy-in within your organization. Moreover, it filters out the big data hype.
Get personal with advertising. Gathering consumer data should help you advertise effectively. No more guessing what product works best for your customers. Data facilitates wise decision-making for the budget.
Leverage data by segmenting your website visitors, and then serve up targeted ads based on users’ interests. You will ensure that the right ads reach the right visitors.
According to Ad Age, when the computer technology company Lenovo implemented this method, its “click-through rates increased by 30% and resulted in greater conversions and sales.”
Be different than your competitors. By aggregating and analyzing more information faster, your team can create smarter campaigns—leading to better customer engagement.
Brands should strive to gain an accurate description of their customers. Then, create personalized messages that stimulate action. According to BtoB Magazine, “real-time analytics create a better link between CRM and email analytics.”
Doggyloot segments its potential customers differently: by the size of their friendly pets. Follow their lead by producing customized ads and sending intentional emails. As Marketing Sherpa mentions, it doesn’t make any sense to give a 10-pound bone to a five-pound dog.
- Define segmentation within your company.
- Design advertisements with the customers’ needs in mind.
- Develop smart campaigns with consumer data.
2. Set Behavioral Triggers
Evaluate customers’ interactions. You will gain new perspectives on how to effectively engage people with your brand. When clients click on a particular button or sign up for a specific mailing list, their behavior should signal a reaction from your team.
Don’t just collect the data. Dig deep and monitor the dynamic behavior of your customers. Identify behavioral outliers, patterns, and associated contexts. Every communication is prompt by “an accurate reflection of the customer’s current behaviors and needs.”
Further, detect your customers’ next moves. The old practice was to let your team study the analytics from a historical perspective. But for today’s marketing, you need analytics that present a forward-looking view. Predicting behavioral patterns lead to better timing for customer engagement.
To increase the duration of engagement, prevent people from stopping. In the computer game industry, when players get bored, the game displays new tasks to complete, in addition to the main activity.
So, how does this relate to your business? Prevent customer inactivity by stopping the boredom cycle. Analyze what’s “boring” about your product, website, or customer service. Then, identify opportunities to introduce new mechanisms of engagement.
Behavior-Triggered Email Campaigns
Email with a purpose. Through automation, you can produce email campaigns that engage consumers and convert them into buyers.
Focus on sending emails triggered by your customers’ behaviors. Analyze the campaign’s success by measuring the program ROI, revenue per email, and customer lifetime value.
Take a proactive stance. For example, recover lost revenue from abandoned carts. Compose an email to remind your customers of their abandoned product. Offer to answer any questions or provide a discount to encourage purchase completion. When creating behavior-triggered email campaigns, think about customer value to increase your bottom line.
- Analyze your customers’ behavioral patterns.
- Use predictive modeling to adjust to the future needs of your customers.
- Keep your customers “active” in your brand with ancillary tasks.
- Create email campaigns based on customers’ actions.
3. Create Ongoing Conversations
Customers expect a certain level of communication with your brand. Whether you desire feedback or not, people will share their opinions about your business. Monitor and manage customer sentiment by boosting your competency in real-time reporting.
Ian Lurie, author of Conversation Marketing: Common Sense Internet Strategies, reveals that conversation marketing is direct and conservative. Instead of the used car salesman tactic, this marketing technique strives to ask customers questions about their likes and dislikes. It’s not constantly telling people: Buy me!
Conversation marketing leverages technology to build and maintain relationships with customers. The key is to maximize sales over a customer lifetime, not just a single purchase.
ROI and revenue may not effectively measure method. Optimize conversational marketing with conceptual analytics.
Consider examining your Net Promoter Score. Think about how messages induce responses and how competitive messages influence customers’ perceptions. Investing in metrics that measure loyalty can impact how you approach the customer lifecycle.
No Sales Pitch Necessary
Listen intently to your customers. Pay attention to their tone and word choice. What emotions are connected to their responses? Then, customize the conversation. Engaging with a listening ear can eliminate many challenges.
Remember a cultural shift has occurred. Consumers desire open communication. However, a door exists between you and customer, and the consumer wants to control when the door opens. That’s why spam blockers and caller ID exist! So, deliver messages when and where the customer wants them. Talk with your customers—not at them.
Show customers you’re listening without a “hidden” agenda. For example, let’s look at the viral blue/black vs. white/gold dress debate. As the conversation exploded on social media channels, brands joined with their own messages. See Tide’s tweet below.
The tweet received thousands of retweets and favorites. Tide got its brand message across minus the sales pitch. Join the conversation by acting quickly and creating a relevant real-time message.
- Investigate the best place and time to talk to your consumers.
- Don’t start customer conversations with a sales pitch.
- Participate in real-time discussions.
4. Influence Brand Ambassadors
Your team isn’t the only entity influencing people to try (or not try) your service. Experts and high-ranking YouTube reviewers are dictating how customers interact with your brand. Be available to keep them honest. Research and seek ways to collaborate with influencers.
Start by investing in your people. Employees are the most important assets of an organization. Their performance dictates the growth of the business. Therefore, practice employee evangelism.
Make customer engagement a responsibility for all team members. Specify everyone’s roles in ensuring profitable customer relationships.
Your workforce is an extension of your brand’s personality. If employees are valued, brand influencers will notice the investment.
Brand ambassadors humanize your brand.
Create a community. Let your customers see how their peers are benefiting from your services. They will be inspired to communicate and share success stories.
Brand ambassadors should be genuinely interested in your company. They should have the time and passion to give a wholehearted effort in expressing how your brand makes a difference in people’s lives. To develop a sense of community, host an event or party for ambassadors to meet one another.
Recognize and reward ambassadors. Think beyond monetary gifts. Mention members on social media. Give them cool swag, like a gift package of stickers and apparel.
In return, your brand ambassadors will become more loyal. The “Loyalty Ripple Effect” points out that customers can contribute to their own satisfaction by their participation.
How valuable are your brand ambassadors? Measure the effectiveness of the program. Revamp based on the results you desire. Evaluating performance will lead to more improvements and opportunities.
- Designate customer engagement responsibilities for employees.
- Challenge your customers by granting higher levels of engagement.
- Measure the effectiveness of ambassadors’ actions on your business.
We are all connected. Our society lives and breathes “connectedness” with our devices.
Learn your consumers’ behaviors and give your loyal evangelists an opportunity to join the brand. Analytics will support your efforts as you gain momentum.
To be successful, toss out the old ideas of traditional marketing and embrace customer engagement.
About the Author: Shayla Price lives at the intersection of digital marketing, the law and social responsibility. She inspires a new breed of innovative attorneys at Hearsay Marketing. Connect with her on Twitter: @shaylaprice