Reeling digital interactions to Customer Value in real-time
By : Nikhil Mittal
“Going forward, real-time marketing is going to be the holy grail of marketing.” – Jonathan Mildenhall,
Chief Marketing Office, Airbnb
Feb ‘2013, Oreo, the cookie brand, turned out to be the biggest advertiser during super bowl event, an extravaganza considered to be the biggest real estate for the advertisers, without spending even a single penny. They flashed a tweet “You can still dunk in the dark.” during an unexpected blackout during the game. It set a new norm in the act of real-time advertising in the industry till date. However, was it a mere coincidence to put up such a successful campaign within the fraction of a second? Perhaps not! The marketer planned their probable moves to capture the right probable event at the right time seizing the moment of truth to connect with customers.
Today’s customers are connected to enterprise more than ever on digital channels. They have shifted to purchasing and paying online for most of their lifestyle products including telecom services. They let the world know about their travel plans in advance to capture the attention of friends, opening up avenues for Telcos to upsell roaming packs. When they start searching for new handsets, perhaps it is the right time to offer them a new handset bundled plan.
Telecom industry being the custodians of most of these digital interactions is swarmed with humongous data about such customer events and actions as high as terabytes captured on a daily basis. For Telco marketers, these actions are not just data, they are potential opportunities to offer customers with a suitable value proposition to delight them and maximise customer value.
Essence of real-time marketing: Opportunity is now
Real-time marketing academically refers to tracking customer actions and events continuously and then triggering the right marketing action like extending the best fit offer based on his persona and intent for that context. It is one of the most binding tool for Marketers towards executing Customer Value Management (CVM) programs with success. With real-time context aware marketing actions, marketers can tap any opportunity to upsell, cross-sell, retain and enhancing digital experience across customer lifecycle journey. The agile actions on part of marketer can potentially influence the customer decision leading to more positive outcomes when it comes to new subscriptions, top-ups and so on.
However many times customer interactions are context driven and they present only a small window of opportunity for marketers to make use of it. Once the context changes, customer need and intent may also change with it. Hence marketer needs to preplan probable moves by a customer to capture right moment of truth. They need to identify possible customer actions and map marketing actions in advance to win those moments of truth. Today it is mostly mapped using heuristic rules, but tomorrow this will see machine learned mapping which can potentially do it more accurate and at larger scale, even on a one to one basis.
The predicted ‘sphere’ of customer actions and triggers
The secret lies in apt visualisation of customer actions and events and then making use of every possible window of engagement opportunity with a relevant proposition for the customer. Capturing the significant changes in customer behavior and actions, understanding the explicit and implicit needs and intent and then responding to them on time with a highly contextual proposal is bound to create a superior impact when compared with generic offers and one for all kind engagement.
Along with the traditional customer actions like service activation, making payments etc., today there is a huge surge in customer’s digital lifestyle events as well. The triggers such as browsing a site, using a mobile wallet, buying patterns, ecommerce triggers like cart abandonment, email triggers, bounce rates, interest based triggers, category based triggers, location based triggers are all up for the grabbing.
Responses on time to influence customer decisions and outcomes
Below is an attempt to capture a few scenarios which capitalise triggers generated for a customer:
Extending to Non-Telco world
The benefits of real-time marketing doesn’t get confined to Telco marketers alone. Envision targeting a customer landing in Disneyland between 3-5 PM on a weekday basis their prior interest on social media. The author can use the location trigger to capture the moment and set a rolling campaign in the time frame basis his past behavior. Taking an example, how fruitful will it will be for Mc Donald’s to accord such a customer with an offer with a history of purchase behavior at fast food chains to boost the off-peak sales? Certainly, the tract needs to be streamlined beforehand to make a mark on the field day.
Summing it up!
In profusion of overall competition and every marketer keeping their customer’s panoramic coverage, real-time marketing is no longer an option. Marketer needs to be on the ring side when it comes to capitalising customer affair and the blueprint of such a plot needs to be laced well in advance. The prosumer is persistently triggering data congenial to the marketer.
Take Note: “The consumer is not a moron; she is your wife.” – David Ogilvy
Cherish and create moments at the right time to foster your eternal bond.