Marketing Automation : Right message, Right audience, Right time

How to win the moments that matter? Why is it important to send the Right Message to the Right Person at the Right Time, Every Time?

A few months ago, I went shopping for shoes, after I made my purchase the store manager asked me to give feedback on the service and products along with my personal details. A few months later, on my birthday I received a birthday card along with a gift voucher which can be redeemed at the store. It makes you happy to receive personalized messages like this, your trust in the brand increases because you feel like a valued customer. Have you ever received emails or messages on your birthday from brands you frequent, offering you discounts or gift vouchers on your big day? It makes a whole lot of difference, right?

But do you think the brand has the time to remember these special moments from every single one of their customers’ lives? Nope, this is where the wonderful software of Marketing Automation comes in. A business’s marketing team has to deal with millions of other jobs, like social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing etc; and it is human nature to err which might make the team forget a moment that matters in the customers’ life and not send any personalized messages or gifts, but machines on the other hand cannot forget to do what they’re programmed to do, so your clients will get their messages and build relationships automatically. For marketers this is a Holy Grail, reaching the right person with the right message at the right time, every single time forges good relationships with their customers as well as gain more new customers.

Today’s generation is no longer like the old, they don’t have anything called an online session where they “go online”for a period of time, thanks to mobile devices we’re always online and always connected. So finding information, doing something like playing games, watching movies and shows and even buying whatever we desire is infinitely easier now and can be done at any time.  An intelligent campaign is sure to catch the attention of the reader and hold it; if the message is intriguing and compelling enough, then you’ve gained a customer which is why our email marketing goal should be to “Send the right message to the right person at the right time!” But not a lot of companies are actually sending out intelligent campaigns; most of them end up in the trash bin without ever being opened or read. What this tells us is that it just isn’t enough to send regular personalized emails anymore, the customer has become very smart and can see through such tactics and it’ll get you pushed to the spam folder sooner or later!

Take multi-screen media for example, it’s consumption has seen a drastic rise of up to 500% in the last 3 years alone, and 90% of the users move between devices to complete a task, whether it’s shopping, planning a trip or just browsing content. When they’re using more devices they’re spending more time online. The more they spend time online, the more consumer moments you’ll get. Consumer moments are moments that are driven by intent and passion where consumers are looking to get inspirited, find information, discover new things, or decision making – these are referred to as ‘moments that matter’.

These maybe moments when the customer wants to watch something, do something, find something or buy something. Brands should learn to swoop in and capitalize on these moments because it’s when the customer’s preferences are being shaped and they’re making decisions – expecting their needs and wants to be fulfilled instantly; when a brand recognizes this and caters to the customer, you will be seen as a brand that is useful.

How do you make sense of these “moments that matter”?

All over the world, millions of people will have dozens of moments that matter to them and their lives every day. These moments cause billions of ‘signals’ to be created, with both context (the person’s location and the kind of device they are using or the time of day), and intent (the needs or wants of that person in that moment).

For marketers, these signals that are a driven by a combination of context and intent is a goldmine, it gives them an opening to improve the relevance of their message when they connect with their consumers, making their communication more meaningful than before.

For example, two people are searching for croissants.’ The first person is searching from a desktop at 5 pm on a weekday; it could be that this person is still at work and looking for a recipe to cook later. The second person is searching on a phone at 9 am on a Saturday morning; he is in the centre of town and within walking distance from local restaurants. He may be just browsing for information, but the context suggests that he is hungry now.

In the past, distinguishing between these two consumers or their individual needs would have been impossible for marketers. But at present, these signals ensure that marketers can be relevant in that moment itself; meaning for the exact same query, two different ads can be potentially triggered to the users. One with a clickable phone number or directions to guide the hungry, on-the-go user to nearest patisserie selling croissants and another with recipes and a ‘how-to’ guide to make croissants for the desktop user planning to bake croissants.

When your level of relevance is high, it makes a real difference; because it leads your online customers to take an action when the message is relevant to them.

The scenario we’ve outlined in the example above is just two among the countless consumer moments which brands can leverage to deliver relevant and timely ads that will resonate with the audience.

Still confused, let’s have a detailed look at some more of these “moments that matter”.

Are you looking at videos and images to get inspiration for your next vacation? Or are checking in with your favourite creators for their content on YouTube? Or, are you looking at some recipes and videos of recipes that you’d like to cook? If you’ve done similar things, then all these are moments where you’re leaning in and engaged with content that you love. Viewers are becoming increasingly more engaged, and that’s not us saying it’s the data which says that yearly there’s a 60% increase in watch time on YouTube! As a business you should drive awareness of your products or services by tapping into a community that has shared passions on YouTube, because a lot of people discover new products or brands while watching online video.

People always rely on online videos to figure out how to do something. And YouTube has more of those videos than you can count, leverage this and connect with potential customers who are looking for something similar and sell your product to them by sending them a message they can’t ignore.

Consumers now have constant connectivity making it easier for them to make purchase decisions from the infinite choice that is available immediately, at their fingertips.

Relevant information about products are readily available online along with reviews from previous customers, people will look into all of this before considering purchasing the product. And this is not the case in just online shopping, even when they’re in a store they’ll look up a product online before purchasing it. With this influencing the consumer it is more imperative that you have the right information out there for them to read.

Signals: The secret element for success

With today’s users it’s not enough to just target a particular demographic based on their age, gender and claimed interests; when brands dig deeper, understand the signals and start leveraging them their focus is on real and recent online user behaviour based on which they can cater to their particular needs.

Consider this example of how the brand BMW increased their audience in the span of a few weeks. When they were promoting the BMW brand, the strategy they employed used signals driven mostly by intent like what people were searching for, and previous interactions of the customers’ with their website, and created a unique and relevant message that would reach a truly qualified audience and because of this they gained nearly 750,000 views of their TrueView ad in 6 weeks.

Never underestimate the importance of relevance, greater relevance is always much appreciated. Any message you put across on your company’s website influences the people’s opinion of a brand. The more relevant your message, the more they’ll see you as a decent company to do business with.

Using these moments that matter to your advantage

Right when the audience is leaning in, brands can now reach them with relevant content when they’re having a moment. And this is all thanks to the opportunities created by digitization. But, how will you know if you are making the most of these moments?

1. Identify the winning moments

When you’re observing your customer, you’d find out which of their moments are important enough to warrant attention and others you want to win. To identify these moments, study all phases of the consumer journey and map the moments when people are looking for inspiration, information, to learn something or make a purchase. Use these moments in your marketing strategy to ensure that you are there for your customer in all of the moments that matter most to them, and to your business.

2. Delivering the consumers’ needs at the precise moment

Your audience should be reading relevant messages, to create this message you need to understand context-rich signals (time of day, device used and location) and intent-rich signals (search queries, the content they are viewing and previous interactions with your brand) along with information they have declared like age and gender. Put yourself in the consumer’s shoes and think how you’d want to win that moment and ask yourself, “what information would they find most useful or what information can help them right now?” The answers you get will go a long way in delivering your consumers’ needs and wants at the correct moment.

3. Measuring each moment that matters

Each person will have several moments that are different so we know that these moments are not equal; each of the plethoras of diverse moments that matters, presents different opportunities for your brand.

Whenever you’ve won a moment, you need to ensure that your goals are defined by the best success metrics across the entire purchase funnel to measure the impact effectively – i.e. from driving brand awareness to driving sales.

Conclusion

Make sure your customer database is filled with data collected from the customers, enrich your database and use this to send out personalized emails to your customers to keep them engaged.  Segment your audience and send out those messages for a better effect.

“Sending the right message at the right times” is not only a great idea but is a necessity for companies that are still growing their customer base. But it doesn’t mean that we need huge CRM teams with complex Big Data solutions to send the messages. Marketing Automation is quite simple, it’s about encouraging repeat buys from previous customers. For example, say Person A purchased Product B, C days ago. You can send this customer an email about Product B after a few days (depending on the lifecycle of the product) and see if they would like to make another purchase? Sending the same generic email to ever customer is easy, but if you want to be a sheep in a herd it your choice, but change your tactic slightly to sending out personalized emails or messages, one day you might catch the customers’ eye and get it right. So moral of the story is to use Marketing Automation intelligently; read the signals your audience is giving out accurately, use it to further your business, make sure the audience reading the message on your website is reading the right one and at the right time!