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Rachel Illingworth

“This is the age of the all-digital customer and it is dramatically changing how we connect with them.”

– Mark Moebius, Dell’s VP of Marketing (EMEA)

Marketing executives have noticed a shift in buying habits. Customers want what they want when they want it. Now, consumers are waiting until further in their customer life cycle to step forward and purchase products and services. According to a CEB study, 60 percent of a customer’s purchasing decision is made before interacting with a brand — including examining solutions, ranking options, setting goals, and gauging costs.  

Paul Davies, Chief Marketing Officer at Microsoft UK, captured it beautifully when he said, “Nowadays, consumers are digitally savvy and platform agnostic — they are elusive shape-shifters who make today’s marketing certainty tomorrow’s fallacy, and there’s no such thing anymore as a predictable audience for anybody’s advertising campaign. However, we can use big data to create insights for precision marketing and a tailored customer experience.” What Davies didn’t mention was that there are wrong and right ways to use big data to capture a potential customer’s attention.

What NOT to do with big data

Not every interaction with a likely customer is a positive engagement. In fact, 95 percent of website visitors are simply touring (because they’re in the research phase). Eventually — and only if your branding is relevant to them — as much as 70 percent of those site visitors will become customers. But while you’re still nurturing those possible leads, make sure these big data marketing tactics are avoided:

● DON’T send out an e-newsletter on a semi-regular basis. Although it seems counter-intuitive, not every touch point with a customer is a good one.

● DON’T cold-call prospective customers every few weeks to see if their status in the customer journey has changed. Again, this tactic will annoy potential customers.

● DON’T blow up your customer email database with the latest company success.

● DON’T write generic content that is not relevant to potential customers.

These tactics only serve to blanket non-relevant marketing content across your entire potential customer database. Following any of the above generic approaches will only serve to turn your customers away.

What to DO with big data

The growing trend among marketing professionals is to provide a satisfying Customer Experience (CX) that includes custom content based on intelligent data. In fact, reports state that 53 percent of marketers see a demand for customer-centric, relevant content and consider that an important factor for investing in data-driven marketing. Here are some great guidelines for using big data to grow your CX:

● Utilize statistical and machine-learning algorithms, like Salesforce Marketing Cloud, to create modular content. Make it easier to make buildable content with a writing algorithm, which can be pushed into unique communications directly to the customer.

Adopt social listening skills to determine what your audience is talking about at any given time. This helps pinpoint possible services or products they may want or need in the near future.

● Now, all mobile phones are equipped with GPS, so location-based information can be directed straight to the customer. Location-based advertising is an easy way to engage customers when they walk through the doors of a store, or when a key event happens.

● Create personalized emails and landing pages for customers, based on where they are in the customer journey.

● Send emails directly to your customer that are triggered by an event, whether that be a specific point in the buying process or the fifth time into your store. Doing this sends a message to customers that you care.

● Make a welcome campaign that introduces prospects to your brand and product/service — it’s simple to automate, and (an almost) guaranteed opened email.

● Engage with those hesitant prospects by building a top-of-mind campaign. This simple touchpoint can be set at regular intervals, to remind your potential customer of how amazing your company is, and what sets you apart from the competition. Content that can be included in this type of communication includes blogs, videos, infographics, and press releases/news.

● What happens when you encounter a stale prospect? You set up a re-engagement campaign to send communication to them to encourage them to interact with your brand again.

The marketing professional’s job is to nurture customers through marketing content that provides a positive CX. Custom content sent to individual leads can create an intimate brand-consumer relationship, which engenders satisfaction, awareness, and amplification. Learn more about how you can create customer awareness through our ebook link below.

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