When was the last time you decided that you needed a product or service but really had no idea from where to get it?
Even if this required that you carry out some research the internet stops this being an onerous task. What you almost certainly did not do was wait for a vendor or supplier to interrupt you to plant that seed of need in your head.
That certainly was the approach with traditional outbound marketing. Marketers would look for patterns and similarities in data, devise segments that, hopefully, contained like-minded individuals and would then send them offers that appeared to work for others whose data defined the group. The next, logical progression was to push these segmented offers to inbound channels where they could be delivered if and when the customer appeared.
In fact, the days of the outbound, interrupt, marketing message should be predominantly behind us now as the digital age enables us to easily move to an “always on” paradigm where we, as marketers, are constantly picking up signals, markers, context and events that our customers and prospects leave behind them in the channels and ecosystem and, thereby, enable us to be able to react to their current needs and desires and present them with communications and help that they perceive to be of real value; truly marketing as a service.
Let’s look at some examples. The outbound call centre agent waits for the dialer to connect him with the customer which the marketing team has determined would have a high propensity for a Platinum credit card. They start to present the offer to the customer but it becomes apparent that the customer has recently written off their car and now needs a car loan as the insurance did not cover the full costs of replacement. Always-on marketing enables the agent to react to this new need but making a real time next best action that enables the best personal loan to be determined and presented to the customer.
Then there is the mobile phone user out driving and making hands-free conversations with their business associates and experiences three dropped calls in fifteen minutes. Always-on marketing identifies these patterns in call records and determines that the next best action is to send an SMS to the customer apologising for the drop in service and informing them that the engineers are looking into their service quality. No sales opportunity here but, hopefully, an increase in NPS as the customer feels their needs are being recognised and addressed.
Being able to react to what the customer is doing and what is happening to the customer within the eco-system enables us to truly deliver an omni-channel, always-on experience which the customers will perceive to be a service that is reacting to their needs as opposed to yet another interrupt to try and sell them something they do not want.
Talk to us to find out how we can help you provide always-on, Marketing-as-a-Service.
Senior Sales Director
HCL Marketing Suite