Right message, right channel, right time in the buying cycle
More than 70% of today’s customers make their buying decision before speaking with anyone from sales or customer service. To secure the sale, you need to serve up ‘contextually relevant’ information through the right channel at the right time in the buying cycle – their way, not yours – during their buying window. This is no easy task in our increasingly digital world, where a customer’s attention span is minimal and competition is but a click away.
This requires you to pass contextually relevant information at each customer touchpoint in their buying process. This could be while they are researching your products/services and those of your competition on your website; on your or other social media communities; while conducting a Google search; when talking with consultants or key opinion leaders; when connecting with your Contact Center; during their visit to your physical store, etc.
How do you deliver contextual relevance to your customers?
- Step #1: Study Buyer Behavior: Understand your customers’ buying process – where, what, who, how and when they buy, and then create buying behavioral models that mimic this behavior.
- Step #2: Perform Relevant Data Analytics: Analyze your customer behavioral models to determine which customer segments are buying which products, via which channels.
- Step #3: Create and Implement Relevant Messaging: Leverage a commercially available message delivery system to send contextually relevant messages to your customers via their desired channel as they move through their buying cycle. This includes real-time next best offers on the web, emails that get modified on the fly as the customer interacts with your company in real-time, etc.
Each of these steps presents its own sets of challenges, but technology tools and techniques now exist to help your company master every one. For example, a new technology called Identity Resolution enables the integration of off-line and online data to create seamless holistic customer profiles. Emerging technologies can tie together marketing channels with analytics so as to understand customers’ most recent interactions based on behavioral models. Marketing automation platforms now facilitate automated cross-channel campaigns to target customers with channel- and behavior-specific content in near real-time.
Most companies have some of these capabilities but few if any have all of them. Those that commit to leading their competition in the race to meet the customer with the right information in the right channel at exactly the right time will win the day and thrive over the coming decades.
To secure the sale, you need to serve up ‘contextually relevant’ information to the right person at the right time – their way, not yours – during their buying window. “Find me, know me, delight me,” is the key to enhancing customer engagement and increasing customer satisfaction. Barton Goldenberg explains in his Keynote at CRM Evolution 2017.