The use of technology has been fundamental during the lockdown and customer engagement tools have become extremely important, especially because people are at the centre of the critical issues of these months.
Brands now know it, they have understood it: they need to approach and use tools to create and maintain longlasting and valuable relationships with their customers. They have to build different customer journeys than in the past: longer, more articulated, differentiated and sometimes not aimed at an immediate and direct creation of new business but simply to support the existing one. It is necessary to re-evaluate the loyalty theme, which also passes decisively through customer engagement.
4 things marketing engagement can’t do without
We were saying, brands have realized the enormous contribution that customer engagement solutions bring in a moment of social distancing. But what lesson does the health emergency teach us? What is no longer possible to ignore, need to re-evaluate or manage in a different way?
What is certain, and many analysts are convinced of this, is that the habits that consumers took during the forced quarantine will remain in the future.
1. Deeply customer knowledge
There is an incredible increase in data sources compared to the past. Consumers are reducing distances through many channels, many of them digital. We see many more people online who, according to recent studies, spend almost 10% more of their time online than just a few months ago, leaving different and often uncoordinated traces here and there on the web, and chasing brands’ proposals based on new variables.
Without a good data-driven strategy, brands can’t think to last long in an efficient way. A data-driven strategy must rely on data management solutions. At the heart of Contactlab Marketing Cloud is a Customer Data Platform, able of:
- Capture all the data left by consumers in their daily activities and collected by brands on different systems often distributed in the company as real silos.
- Integrate the information collected simply and practically in real time in a unique point, a unified profile that gives a 360° view of every single contact, thanks to API, SDK and plugins.
- Elaborate data and events to enrich the profile with KPIs, insights and future behavior predictions that allow brands to anticipate needs and communicate accordingly. Measuring metrics such as email engagement, Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) or RFM index, becomes increasingly important to fully understand each contact and fill the gap to achieve a superior customer journey and a perfect customer experience.
2. Target refinement
The consumer has different needs than in the past. The lockdown has changed habits and interests, actions and expectations and the gradual return to normal will be impacted by what happened. The Contactlab Marketing Cloud platform offer a segmentation functionality that allows you to explore the database and identify targets of contacts with similar characteristics in order to communicate with each of them as if they were the only one and ensure the necessary attention throughout the entire life cycle – not just the purchase one.
You can create audiences from:
- Demographic information: knowing for example where every single customer lives, you can build targets to suggest the nearest open store, with promotions or initiatives designed ad hoc to restart in-store purchases. Or since the lockdown has brought online many more users with purchasing power, you could decide to promote campaigns dedicated to them maybe on social networks.
- Digital Behavior: If your business is electronics and you find out that during the lockdown almost 50% of purchases were made from smartphones and 5.3% from tablets (source: Human Highway eCommerce Trends), you may want to address with ad hoc offers those who open your emails on mobile, make the reading and shopping experience even easier as well as further optimize your communications and ecommerce mobile use.
- Purchasing habits: the frequency of shopping has decreased but the average receipt and the number of products and services in the cart have increased (source: Osservatorio Multicanalità 2020). It could be time to put in place retention strategies – through communication – for those who have significantly changed their receipt, with the aim of continuing to keep its value high. Or discovering that in the #AgeOfQueues – as always defined in the Observatory – physical and virtual queues have led about 11% of total shoppers to give up their shopping at least once, you might decide to activate initiatives for those who have abandoned their cart and not concluded any purchase, for example, since the beginning of March.
Clusters can also be identified on the basis of KPIs resulting from the processing of expressed preferences and, perhaps more interesting in order to anticipate your customers’ wishes, segmented according to predictions of future actions deriving from standard or custom algorithms applied to the data collected on each profile.
Forced quarantine shows that it is necessary to refine engagement techniques and change segmentation priorities. We need to move from traditional audience segmentation – based on a balanced supply and demand match but often still driven by brand objectives – to a new segmentation that takes even more account of the emerging picture:
- Omni-channel customers, for purchases, information search, content fruition, etc..
- Multi-device customers, who move from one device to another with expectations of consistency in content.
- Multi-brand customers, the flood of many online initiatives have opened up new opportunities to new brands that had previously been neglected.
With reliable profiles and advanced audience segmentation features, you can rotate your marketing initiatives around the customer, reserving them a personalized relationship and 1-to-1 communication activities tailored to their specific needs.
3. Personalized experience
Content, timeliness, channel. During the lockdown time it has become perhaps even more important than in the past to communicate:
- The right message.
- At the right time.
- Through the right channel.
Marketing automation is one of the answers to new customer needs, now in post-lockdown, which allows you to save time and energy and a faster return on investment.
Combine segmentation with BI services and use the Contactlab Marketing Cloud to identify your ideal audience to create customer journeys that follow your contacts closely, triggering personalized content communications when conditions are satisfied. All in a simple and automatic way. Take advantage of the platform’s editors to create engaging messages for omni-channel experiences that you can take to the next level with the support of our team of experts.
You can automate more complex campaigns to manage manually, but also simpler tasks: think about welcome email, or birthday series or even tracking a shipment.
The resulting benefits go both in the direction of simplifying the brand’s business but also increasing the quality of the experience for customers who will receive the information they want when they expect it.
One of the keywords of tomorrow – if possible more than today – seems to be omnicanality (source: Nielsen). Omnicanality that means buying habits, favorite devices, info search methods, contact channels with brands, etc.
The platform offers a sending engine for multi-channel campaigns and customer journeys. In addition to email, which despite the years continues to maintain the primacy among the favorite channels of customers in the dialogue with brands, and SMS, during the lockdown the number of downloaded applications has increased, thus increasing the value of communication through push notifications and the use of social media that reevaluates the use of campaigns such as Facebook Lead Ads or Custom Audience.
Think about the possibility to generate new contacts through ads forms on Facebook and have them available on the platform in real time, and maybe immediately inserted in a welcome journey. Or you can reach your customers also on Facebook, refining the target of your social initiatives by using custom audience look alike.
What becomes important is the awareness that multi-channel customers require the presence of brands on all the channels of their interest. And brands must adapt to this new reality.
Contactlab’s Marketing Cloud platform offers all the features to meet the new post-lockdown dynamics and maintain high levels of customer engagement, always GDPR compliant.
The health emergency is having repercussions on everyone’s life. People’s needs and behaviors are changing and this implies new challenges for marketers. Contact us. Together we can see how the Contactlab Marketing Cloud platform and the competences of our Digital Marketing Services can help you to be up and running in a time of great change but full of enormous opportunities for your business.