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 must find them before they find you with timely messaging that’s relevant to wherever they happen to be in the buying cycle. This isn’t easy in today’s digital world, where customer journeys are non-linear and cross multiple touchpoints, communication channels and devices.
What are the keys to being able to do this?
- Study Buyer Behavior: Understand your customers’ buying process – where, what, who, how and when they buy, and create behavioral models that mimic these patterns.
- Segment Carefully: Know the difference between prospects, first-time buyers and loyal repeat customers. Develop analytical capabilities to identify customers by product(s) purchased, to better identify next best offers and demonstrate that you know who they are and the value of the business they do with your company.
- Perform Relevant Data Analytics: Combine your behavioral models with customer data from your CRM system to determine which customer segments are buying which products, via which channels.
- Create and Implement Relevant Messaging: Leverage automated emails, social media and other online platforms to send contextually relevant messages via whatever channels your customers frequent as they move through their buying cycle.
Each of these steps presents its own sets of challenges, but tools and techniques now exist to help your company master every one. For example, Customer Journey Mapping helps companies understand the journey(s) customers and prospects take en route to purchasing decisions. With this knowledge, companies can be more contextually relevant in the messages they send to customers and prospects as they move through each stage of the journey.
Additional examples abound. 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 diverse marketing channels with robust analytics to help understand customer 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. In the short term, they can provide a competitive advantage. In the long run, they will be a necessity. At ISM, we can help evaluate your current capabilities, identify gaps and opportunities, and implement solutions specifically tailored to your organization’s unique requirements. Give us a call to learn more.
ISM would be happy to discuss contextual relevance developments impacting your business in more detail with you over a call. You can also choose a good time here: https://calendly.com/