Customer Experience (CX) has become key in today’s digital landscape. Successful brands like Coca Cola, Scoot, & OCBC all have one thing in common - They put their customers first and at the foundation of any digital efforts.
What is Precision Marketing?
I define Precision Marketing as a strategy that stems from piecing together a single view of the customer, which enables us to reach them at the right time, through the right channel, with the right messaging, and with the ultimate goal of driving a conversion. The new breed of marketers today understand the significance of this - but how do we turn this dream into reality?
The number of touchpoints that each user has with a brand before actually converting into a sale will surprise you - The path of purchase for a high-end, luxury product like a car will see significantly more touchpoints from the customer as compared to the path of purchase for fast moving goods like shampoo. Understanding this and mapping it out will help you reach customers at every point in their journey with messaging that is relevant to them and increase the probability of them converting into a lead or becoming an advocate.
Now that we have painted the ideal scenario, how do we get there? I have broken this down into 5 stages which will help us perfect our CX strategy and maximise business impact.
Collecting & Aggregating Data From Multiple Sources
Running activities on multiple platforms mean a plethora of data is collected everyday. Data can be collected from your paid, owned, earned, and shared media.
The amount of data flowing in from these sources can be overwhelming - but if we have the right data and tech infrastructure to support this (a robust CRM & automation system like Eloqua, an intelligent data analytics tool like Google Analytics 360, and a powerful data warehouse hosted on Cloud like Google BigQuery etc.), the influx of data can be consolidated and made actionable.
Identifying Key Customer Segments
Every brand will have customers with different intent and behaviour. Understanding how these users navigate their way through the digital world to become a customer helps us identify certain traits and data points unique to particular groups of people, which helps us eventually stitch together a persona.
One reason why this is critical in most businesses, is you have your most valuable customers (repeat customers with high lifetime values) and not-so-valuable customers (customers with lower lifetime values). Even though your not-so-valuable customers could potentially make up 70% of the total number of customers you have, if the monetary value that they bring only makes up 30% of your total revenue, it makes more sense to identify your most valuable customers and nurture them to cross-sell and up-sell instead.
One way this can be done is through exporting raw data from an analytics tool like Google Analytics 360 into a data warehouse like Google BigQuery. It helps us zoom in on a single customer’s interaction with your website and app, which allows us to group similar users together. This allows us to create audience segments, which can be exported into our advertising tools for more personalised targeting. This brings me to my next point.
Automating Advertising To Drive Positive Action
On the most basic level, advertising is done through platforms such as Google AdWords, Google Display Network, and Facebook. Bidding is mostly done manually and the scale and reach at which ads are being shown is relatively limited.
On a larger scale, advertising can be automated - Programmatic Advertising. This is currently being done mostly by enterprise brands because they have very specific requirements in terms of selecting premium publishers and acquiring significant reach, and also there is a high threshold of media spends which need to be invested in.
The audience segments being built in Google BigQuery can be exported and fed into DSPs such as DoubleClick, Media Math, AppNexus etc. for brands to run personalised campaigns targeted at very specific groups of audiences to drive results. This can result in increased media efficiencies, reducing our costs and increasing our Return On Advertising Spend (ROAS).
Testing & Personalisation At Scale
Many brands which are relatively digitally mature are often hesitant to engage in testing. This is dangerous because what your brand perceives as relevant may not be relevant to their customers. Leveraging real-time A/B testing for offers, incentives, messaging, and creatives can significantly increase conversion rates.
Tools like Google Optimize 360 and Optimizely allows brands to test messaging & creatives on their website in real-time to identify the best performing version - this is crucial for brands in the Insurance, Banking, Aviation, Hospitality etc. industries where they rely heavily on their website to drive conversions (lead capture, purchase etc.). The best part? These tools don't require any changes to the Content Management Systems (CMS) - which is a huge advantage for insurance & banking brands where security is crucial - it can be a Chrome Add-On where new creatives / messaging can be tweaked as is.
In fact, Adobe Target takes A/B testing to a much larger level - Experience Targeting. A/B testing provides brands with data about which experiences resonate better with their users, and Experience Targeting allows us to switch to long-term targeting of content to the different user segments identified.
Operating In A Perpetual Beta
To conclude - the biggest mistake any marketer can make is to try to perfect their marketing initiatives before launching it. This takes time, and in this fast moving world of digital, initiatives which are relevant yesterday could become irrelevant today. Understanding this and pushing initiatives out quickly allows us to stay ahead of our competitors. Making changes as we go along based on extensive testing keeps us relevant.