We have all learned by now that in order to run a successful business in the changing world of digital interaction we need to gather information about our customers – about their digital behavior, what they say about us, how they deal with our brand, product, company and what have you. And most companies have implemented various tracking and analytics systems from where they extract enormous amounts of data from their websites, direct email send outs, social media accounts, customer databases, surveys, etc. So far so good…
However, to most companies it is still a huge challenge to make valuable use of all this data. One thing is to understand the data at all and to get an overview of the most important key take outs. Another thing is to transform this knowledge into concrete actions that will attract customers, build relations and support sales.
The roadmap from knowledge to relevant content creation
From our work with medium as well as large sized companies, we have learned how to see the wood for the trees and to make the plan happen by using the following process:
Step 1: Define what kind of data should trigger what kind of action
The data can be customer behavior (eg download of brochure, post on FaceBook, sign up for news, chat, reading newsletter story, clicking on banner ad), expressed interests, purchase history (and age of previous purchases), personal data (demographic/socio-/economic). And the actions can be either automated communication or personal follow up.
Step 2: Design the various logics and communication programmes along the customer journey
The key thing here is to keep it simple. As stated in the introduction, most companies have access to ENORMOUS amounts of data, and it is very intriguing to end up with far too complex communication programmes.
They seem tempting on paper, byt the more complexity the more demand for content production and maintenance, which only a minority of companies can manage – at least to start with. But it is a fact that by using various automated communication tools such as intelligent triggermails (NOT spamming), netmining and retargeting, we can ensure progress in the decision making process (the customer journey) and make the move with the right offer, when the customer is ready.
Step 3: Implement the systems
Marketing automation software is now within reach of economical means using software as a service (SAAS) and cloud solutions where you don’t need 30 IT consultants working on the system for a year, before you are good to go!
Step 4: Produce the content bits and pieces for all the actions in the communication flow
This is designed in step 2. Some of it may be short messages as a simple “We’ve noticed you have shown interest in our new XX product. If you want to keep updated on XX, please sign up for news here” or it might be a small video guide on “how to maintain your brand new XX”, etc. The point is to be relevant at the right time. And this is exactly what big data is so splendid for.