Ad blocker usage surged 30% in 2016, says Business Insider. The problem? You need to earn the right to know someone over a vast landscape, in a huge crowd.
This means intelligently orchestrating customer journeys across channels in real-time, using smart, flexible marketing technology to unify and activate all your customer data. And then, creating a series of consistent nudges your customer will appreciate, without spamming them or disrupting their day.
We all know this in principle, but it still frequently fails in the world of marketing. When it comes to building customer engagement, channel-first has taken precedence over customer-first – and it’s messy. In business terms? This is the difference between being a company worth buying from, and a company worth downloading an Adblocker for. So, let’s put digital marketing into your customer's context.
In the words of Rob van den Berg, Senior Online Marketer at multinational Utility company Nuon:
‘If someone doesn’t click after you’ve shown a banner for the 3rd time, it’s pretty clear that he doesn’t find this relevant, so you’d better stop right there.’
Just because someone has visited your website twice, doesn’t mean they want to see your ad across every platform. Too much too soon can quickly decrease marketing performance, and lead to banner blindness – meaning your prospect will ignore your advances completely. Frequency capping is useful to limit the number of times a tagged user sees your ads on Display channels, but maybe your ambitions extend further than that.
Why not space out the conversation between different channels to determine and automate the right content on your customer’s next-best-channel: if they prefer Email to Display ads, why not create a win-win situation by personalizing your outreach and saving on media spend?
How do you tell where they want to hear from you next? Actually, they will tell you. By using engagement and interaction data from past experiences, you can determine what each individual customer is more likely to interact with next - and extrapolate to new ones as well. This is the power of customer data (that, bonus, you already have)!
What is the ‘average customer journey’, and why should we reduce consumers to the average when they have their own preference of channels, products and frequencies of interaction?
By combining first, second, and third party data, using a next-generation data management solution, you can start with the basics by creating simple rules for different segments, such as differentiating between customers and prospects across channels. Then you can apply intelligent journey orchestration principles to these interactions to create individually personalized interactions regardless of channel, using predictive technology to automatically go where your customer will want to hear from you next.
Adopting a test-and-learn attitude is key here: by constantly optimizing, tweaking and measuring new messages and platforms – and having the flexibility to do so across whichever channel or whichever database you choose – will both make your customers feel personally valued, and generate real marketing results.
So what do great customer journeys look like?
What does great personalized marketing look like to you? Think about how your message is helpful to this specific type of customer, at this moment.
Omnichannel marketing managed well always involves a hybrid of marketing and service: it needs to add value. And again, this all starts with making use of data that you already have about your customers.
For example, based on their mobile check-in and activity history, companies can use their data management solution to digest real-time location data and trigger a push message at the right moment.
A bank might suggest a list of nearby ATMs to assist cash withdrawal abroad, following a customer’s Search query. Because they know she’s abroad and withdrawing money at an inflated transaction rate, they can recommend a credit card via an exclusive email offer, specifically designed to manage spending overseas.
A surprising number of companies are unable to stop targeting prospects once they’ve purchased from them, beyond one or a couple of channels.
Serving the same ad for a product someone has recently bought only serves to annoy people – so use burn tags to remove individuals from a selection once they reach a booking confirmation page.
This necessary silent treatment can even be activated through old-fashioned in-store transactions via a data management solution to orchestrate digital and offline systems: think using email receipts to match CRM or Loyalty Card data to online channels within a single customer profile.
Then next time, you can add them to an upsell campaign.
Having a human conversation with your customers is not a futuristic dream. Data management technology to make relevant, cross-channel customer journeys happen across Facebook, CRM, Email, Mobile App, Beacon technology, and beyond, is here and ready to use.
It’s up to the marketers to determine which technology is best for their business, learn how to use it, and start to experiment to orchestrate this omnichannel dialogue well: to keep their prospects front-of-mind with people-based marketing. Your customers won’t wait for you to overhaul your marketing platforms – and neither should you.
Instead, let’s start today to create customer journeys which mean it’s a pleasure to remove Adblockers. Let's take marketing to the next level by building on your existing technology, adding what's needed, and keeping your customers around for longer.