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Lifecycle Stages For Growth Marketers Part 2 – User Retention

Customer lifecycle is a term used to describe the progress of a customer as they go through consideration, engagement, purchasing, and maintaining loyalty to a product or service. It starts from the first time you get a user’s attention to your product and then keeping them as loyal customer. The customer lifecycle is often depicted by an ellipse because the goal of customer retention is to get them to move through the cycle again and again.

The second stage of the customer lifecycle is retaining users you already activated with targeted content in the form of reminders or recommendations to reduce churn. Retention is a more effective way of growing revenue because companies aren’t stuck attracting, educating, convincing, and converting potential customers. Retention is also a more sustainable business model for sustained growth because you are marketing to customer who have already expressed an interest in the product and engaged with the brand. In studies by Bain & Company, increasing customer retention by 5% can result in an increase in profits of 25% – 95%, and the likelihood of converting an existing customer into a repeat customer is 60% – 70%.

User retention gives growth marketers a lot of opportunity to deliver targeted content through many channels and in many forms. They can impact retention by creating delightful customer experiences through all their marketing channels on a 1:1 level using powerful reminders and recommendations. Lets dive deeper into what these reminders and recommendations can look like for growth marketers.

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Here is an example of 1:1 content recommendations in an email sent by a Blueshift customer

Reminders: 

  • Status in the Product: This type of reminder can be related to any incomplete activity in their account (e.g. “complete your profile” or “turn on push notifications”).
  • Weekly Activity Digests: Recurring personalized emails are a great way to keep active users engaged and staying on top of mind. For retailers this could mean sending a weekly email of new and trending items in their “Liked” categories or for media companies it can be trending content in the topics users are interested in.
  • Abandoner Re-Targeting: These reminders can be related to user activity such as browsed items or wish-listed products. For content businesses this can take the form of recommended content related to last viewed article or video.
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Here’s an example of a catalog update message sent as a rich mobile push. All messages MUST be personalized!

 

Recommendations:

  • Recommendations based on the customer’s Interaction Graph: The way users interact with your catalogue of products or content makes up their persona. This information is great for recommendations based on graphs created by users and other users. For example Twitter email notifications that give you suggestions on who to follow uses this same logic. The same idea can be used by retailers by leveraging data about people and products they have interacted with.
  • Recommendations based on affinity: Retail/E-commerce & media companies have large product catalogs or content. They have an even bigger data set of all the interactions users have with their catalog. This data can provide insights into preferences of users to certain categories, brands, authors, artists, price-points and more. The key to detecting user affinities is to not only look at individual user’s behavior, but also to normalize the behavior relative to other users. Growth marketers use these affinities to tailor marketing messages to every user on every channel, driving 3-10X higher response rates.
  • Recommendations based on change/updates in the catalog or app: Changes in your catalog of products or content, e.g. new arrivals in relevant categories, price drops on items that the user engaged with the website and app. These triggers are especially good for mobile push notifications since they are “newsworthy”.

Watch out for more posts about growth marketing, and check out our comprehensive guide here for everything you need to know about the subject.

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Lifecycle Stages for the Growth Marketer Part 1 – Activation

Customer lifecycle is a term used to describe the progress of a customer as they go through consideration, engagement, purchasing, and maintaining loyalty to a product or service. It starts from the first time you get a user’s attention to your product and then keeping them as loyal customer. The customer lifecycle is often depicted by an ellipse because the goal of customer retention is to get them to move through the cycle again and again.

A growth marketer’s prime objective is to drive user engagement with the product. The key to driving engagement is understanding the customer’s lifecycle stage and messaging them accordingly over time to keep them as an active customer. The first form of engagement is activating new customers. Activation is a stage when the user completes an action that indicates them getting value out of a product. This goal can be different for different business models e.g. an app like twitter might consider a user activated when they follow a certain number of other users within a given time-period; a retailer might consider a user to be active when they make their first purchase, or on a rolling basis.

Activation is the first step of the customer lifecycle when they fully experience the product or derived value from it. It is important to get users to activate faster because they can experience the product and see the value it provides. Users who don’t get activated quickly might never return since they never derive any value from the product in the time you have their attention. The core product experience is key to higher activation rates and growth marketers can help increase activation rates by extending the experience into marketing channels.

 

Below we go into some detail about the 2 ways in which growth marketers drive activation.

Welcome Series:

Welcome series from Flipboard

Welcome series from Flipboard

Almost every company or app has a welcome series of messages for activating and educating new customers. Such on-boarding emails have a 3X higher click thru rate than batch and blast emails. Growth marketers can take this strategy one step further by including the elements of product or merchandising in their emails or push notifications. A good example of this strategy is the app Flipboard. Their on-boarding process includes asking users about their interest in order to know what they like and personalize their experience in the app accordingly. This way they are able to onboard a new customer, educate them, and deliver a product that is personalized specifically for them. The welcome series is drawing the user deeper into the product and turning them into engaged users.

 

 

 

Abandoner re-targeting:

Guiding customers along their journey is very effective to activate them. This can also take the shape of re-targeting the user with a piece of the product or content if they do not activate the first time. Bringing a user back once they have abandoned is comparatively harder than connecting with first time visitors. For growth marketers to be successful at re-targeting they have to engage customers with very meaningful and compelling content to bring them back in the cycle. Abandoned cart items is an easy example of that or in the case of Flipboard it is the reminder of signing up with them to save your preferences in order to access it from the web or a different device.

Here retargeting is not only acting as a trigger to bring them back into the customer journey but also improving loyalty to the brand, stickiness of the product, and their overall lifetime value.

 


Watch out for more posts about growth marketing, and check out our comprehensive guide here for everything you need to know about the subject.

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Top Growth Marketing Trends for 2017

With the new year upon us, marketers scramble to put new plans into action while also identifying where we should place more of our efforts and resources. We ask ourselves where can I get the most “bang for the buck” for our organizations. We are looking to grow our current user base while also retaining more of our hard acquired customers.

Publications and journalists, including Forbes, MarketingLand, and others, have surveyed marketers about what they think the biggest needle movers in marketing are going to be in 2017. Of these surveys and conversations, here are the top 6 Growth Marketing Trends for 2017 backed by industry leading CMO’s who are betting big on them. For Growth Marketers, keeping users engaged will be a driving focus for 2017 as a stronger focus on retention becomes a guiding theme with unified, delightful customer experiences powered by powerful technologies.

1. Big Data (in real time and actionized)

Steve Fund, CMO of Intel said, “data is becoming the currency of marketing, and marketers will now have access to more data than ever…marketers will be able to use data to create more personalized and targeted products, messages, and customer engagements than ever before.”

Number 1 on the list = Big Data. (I know, Big data may seem like “yesterday’s news”, but bear with us) For this article we define big data to include real-time data, customer insight, and big data marketing applications. Big data tops our growth marketing trends because the volume of data coming in from consumers continues to increase year after year (be it from explicitly shared data to tracked behavior data), resulting in a rise in the importance of data scientists and data platforms. Data is the building block, the foundation, of customer identity and behavior that powers machine learning models and various marketing applications. As growth marketers, we’re looking to actionize this data faster and faster. Insights are great, however, we need ways to slice and dice the data manually and automatically to really affect our bottom line. In 2017, we’ll see more of the power of this data being wielded by marketers quickly and more easily than ever to create better experiences for every individual…and to build predictive models.

 

2. Artificial Intelligence & Predictive Analytics (for richer individual experiences)

Karen Walker, senior VP and CMO at Cisco elaborated “The key in 2017 will be transforming and analyzing data in order to derive contextual conclusions about our customers. What are they interested in? What needs can we anticipate? From consideration, to purchase, to renewal–it’s about delivering a richer, meaningful, individualized experience that helps our customers make faster, more educated decisions and deepens customer loyalty.”

AI has become incredibly powerful and accessible with the influx of more data over the years and the rise of more sophisticated technology. 2017 will see AI cement itself in the growth marketing space. The ability of machine learning to predict trends in customers and make complex recommendations across product/content categories has given many retailers the edge over the rest. For media companies, machines will curate the content to include in newsletters, onsite, and in app, transforming generic content feeds into timely, personalized content “magazines”.

To get this next level of understanding, growth marketers use predictive analytics to make sense of the scores of customer data to create actionable workflows and customer journeys that allow for the non-linear customer journeys that growth marketers are trying to tackle with legacy automation.

 

3. Marketing Automation (becomes smarter)

The CMO of Ally, Andrea Riley, said that their attention will be on “understanding, at a customer-level, personas, needs, wants and preferences and delivering them in a meaningful way through the channels they prefer to be communicated in.”

Marketing automation includes CRM, behavioral email marketing, web personalization, multi-channel messaging, triggers, and more. This encompasses a large portion of the marketing landscape and why it’s in our top 3. Seeing from this research on the State of Marketing Automation there is a lot of room for improvement in this area. Marketing automation isn’t going anywhere, instead, it is becoming smarter and flexible to incorporate real time triggers, catalog updates, and predictive analytics that drive users through funnels and increase user retention.

In the chart below, 2 out of 3 marketers state they aren’t even using their marketing automation platform to its potential (intermediate level and below). It’s time to review your use of your marketing automation technology to see if (1) there is any more juice you can get from it and (2) if it’s time to think about a change. A tool that isn’t being used has no value to the organization if it remains “rusting away” in the toolbox. (For the 18% who don’t use any marketing automation, it’s time to step up.)

Image from Scott Brinker as he talks about the changing roles of Marketing Automation

In all transparency, this is where Blueshift’s Programmatic CRM shines the brightest. Our technology enables growth marketers to become more customer-centric and leverage real-time behavioral data to reach every customer on an individual level throughout all marketing channels. Bringing Programmatic CRM into your marketing stack takes you to the highest level of sophistication with your “marketing automation” enabling you to automate the delivery of consistent and delightful user experiences on every channel with true scalability and greater results.

 

4. Content (becomes more personal)

The CMO of Grubhub said that moving forward companies will have to “establish a lasting and meaningful connection with consumers” to stay on top of mind and build loyalty among their customers.

Content has evolved from simple text on a website to richer, more visual content such as videos, slides, infographics, etc. Now we are witnessing the next form of content marketing that involves using personalized marketing technology to deliver the right content to the right person with interactive content on responsive web pages, emails, apps, and more. Often, marketers create mountains of content that quickly gets buried, even when it is still relevant or simply worth-the-read –  the problem has always been getting that content to the right consumer at the right time.

Image from Scott Brinker as he talks about the 4th Wave of Content Marketing

Personalization requires data about the prospect in order to make educated guesses about their interest and feed them relevant content. More and more companies are taking a strategic approach to their content creation and distribution along with closely measuring content marketing ROI to make sure they are moving in the right direction. As Growth marketers, we use content everywhere. Making it more personal through recommendations and affinities creates that delightful user experience that creates loyalty and trust that inhibits churn.

 

5. Mobile Marketing (driving greater engagement and retention)

The CMO of Keds, Emily Culp mentioned that she is “constantly evaluating our UI and ensuring that we are delivering not only a brand rich experience but also one that is streamlined enabling a clear path to purchase.”

Research from last year shows that conversion rates are significantly lower on smartphones. It’s no wonder that we see great potential still to make a big impact with mobile marketing by making the user experience less “SPAMMy” and more conversational, more relative, more personalized. When I say mobile, I mean more than just smartphones. Many devices can be involved in this process so treating it as part of a multi-platform or multichannel strategy is more appropriate. I see mobile as being a complementary channel to the overall marketing strategy. Part of the mantra of “being where your customer is” involves reaching out to customers where they are, rather than waiting for them to come back to you. That means being on their tablet, or phone, or laptop with a consistent message that adds value and delivers a personalized experience.

Bring consumers back to your branded properties (including apps and websites) with rich push notifications that include deep lining into your app, images, and even carousels of suggested products/articles from them to read. And don’t forget about SMS messages. The goal is to drive them to engagement and the desired action. Mobile will keep your users and customers engaged and drive higher retention rates when approached intelligently. Mobile optimized sites are now table-stakes. Designing for a mobile-first experience is now expected.

 

 

6. Social Media Marketing

Obviously, social media marketing still has significant weight when talking to marketers but be mindful of what platforms you choose to play in. Statistics show the reduced popularity of some social networks in some countries, i.e. Twitter and Facebook are in decline or plateauing in many western countries while Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest are still growing in usage. Being particular about your spend and the ROI you get is more important now than ever as many platforms now require a “pay to play” business model to get the reach needed to have an impact. Your customer experience extends across all channels and must drive greater adoption and retention.

 

Conclusion:

So, how does a Growth Marketer begin to make sense of these trends?

In short – stay customer focused. Remove channel barriers. Remove fragmented data sets. Leverage technology anywhere you can to drive results quicker and at scale.

References:
  1. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenniferrooney/2016/12/19/heres-what-will-command-cmos-attention-in-2017/#7d0470b59758
  2. http://www.smartinsights.com/managing-digital-marketing/marketing-innovation/digital-marketing-trends-2016-2017/
  3. http://marketingland.com/4th-wave-content-marketing-marketing-apps-84108
Blueshift helps you prevent personlization pitfalls personlization fails - avoid sending ugly emails

Avoid Personalization Pitfall # 5: Ugly Personalization!

In this series, we cover the common pitfalls all marketers face at some point when scaling personalization in their triggered marketing. From emails to mobile push notifications to SMS to display retargeting, the common platforms used today to market across channels begin to lose efficacy when organizations try to personalize their communications to an ever more complex and growing customer base.

Personalization Can Get Ugly



Watch this video to learn more about this subject from Brian Monahan, former CMO of Walmart.com 


Please, stop sending ugly emails…especially if you are going through the trouble of personlizing them. (Strike that, just don’t send ugly emails.)

Marketers using legacy systems often find that they are unable to combine “automation” with “creative” in these systems. As a result, some of the automated messages delivered by these legacy systems look ugly & “too automated” instead of personalized and delightful.

The inconsistency originates from using systems that are so complicated that the marketers have to pull in the IT and design team to execute a certain responsive ad or email and the creativity of the marketer is left behind. The customer should have a visually consistent experience as they move from one channel to another. Be it your website, app, push notification, or email, the same unique look should come across in every touch point.

Simple, Clean Designs Delight

In our experience with billions of emails and hundreds of email designs it is evident that the cleaner, simpler, and more seamless layouts get the highest CTRs and conversion rates. The goal of reaching out to customers is to delight them with a message that will bring them back to your site rather than drive them away with ugly looking emails or push notifications.

Here is an example of an email with a poor personalization design:

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This is a welcome email for signing up with Sheplers website. First thing you notice is that you cannot tell what they sell from this email. There is no mention of my name to make this personal. There are no images of products that catch your eye or a call to action. Overall this email does not provide much value to the customer.

Here is an example of a nicely designed, personalized email:

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This birthday email from LaserAway is a good way to bring back customers to your store or just staying on top of mind. There are exclusive offers and discounts to take advantage of specifically for the birthday week. There is an urgency and promotion that customers can act on.

When designing your emails, ask yourself if it is something YOU would like to receive. Or ask your team mates, friends, or your mom. Just please, don’t design ugly personalized emails.


Subscribe Now to this series
To learn more about all the common personalization pitfalls covered in this series, watch this VentureBeat Webinar that provides real world examples and fixes you can start using now.


  • Each update sent directly to you with extra tips NOT included in the blog posts
  • Access to the VentureBeat Webinar with former head of marketing at Walmart.com
  • Receive an audit of your current triggered activities with a marketing consultant

Urban Ladder Largest Home Furnishings Furnitire Home Decor Online Shopping uses Blueshift to Engage Online Furniture shoppers

4x Conversion Lift: Urban Ladder Finds The Secret Sauce to Reach Online Furniture Shoppers

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Urban Ladder is a leading online furniture and home decor company that provides a curated shopping destination for your home. Their modern designs and uniquely styled products attract millions of customers and has propelled them to be the #1 source for furniture in India. With millions of customers coming to their site via multiple channels and interacting with their catalogue of over 4,000 products across 50 different categories, they found it hard to market to all their customers while staying true to their promise of a personalized experience.


“With Blueshift, we have launched very personalized triggered campaigns on email & mobile app push notifications. We are seeing significant improvements in conversion rates on these marketing campaigns which are highly targeted and relevant for the users.”

Ashish Goel, CEO of Urban Ladder

 

Urban Ladder turns to Blueshift to help address its issues

Urban Ladder’s unique design at the heart of every marketing message

Urban Ladder’s unique design at the heart of every marketing message

Urban Ladder has a distinctive brand and look which had to come across in every channel they market across. With a web based store and a mobile app, they had a hard time tying in multiple data sources into a unified customer profile in real-time. They needed a robust recommendation engine for their 4,000+ product catalogue consistent with each person’s browsing and purchase behavior. Handle personalization to varied sales cycles, like furniture which tends to have long consideration cycles rather than home decor, which can be impulsive.

 


Blueshift’s Solution

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Blueshift provided the ability to unify each user’s behavior data across mobile and email for a complete 360-degree view of the customer. It enabled Urban Ladder to deliver a consistent user experience across all channels that represented their brand along with powerful recommendations and simplified paths to purchase.

After a quick integration Urban Ladder was able to launch cross-channel triggered campaigns for welcome series, abandonment, post purchase, complete-the-look cross sells, and product recommendations based on user behavior in just a few days.

 

 

 

Urban Ladder using the “back in stock” product alert in their newsletters powered by Blueshift.

Urban Ladder using the “back in stock” product alert in their newsletters powered by Blueshift.


 

Conclusion

Urban Ladder Realizes a 4x lift in conversions and a rapid time to value outperforming all other vendors
Urban Ladder now delivers a delightful user experience across mobile & email by combining their in-house creative team and Blueshift technology. Using the 360-degree customer profile powered by Blueshift as the foundation of their customer data and utilizing deep segmentation capabilities of Blueshift, Urban Ladder has seen 4x higher conversion rates over previous tactics.

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Personalization Pitfall #4: Poor Historical View of the Customer

In this series, we cover the common pitfalls all marketers face at some point when scaling personalization in their triggered marketing. From emails to mobile push notifications to SMS to display retargeting, the common platforms used today to market across channels begin to lose efficacy when organizations try to personalize their communications to an ever more complex and growing customer base.

Poor Historical View of the Customer



Watch this video to learn more about this subject from Brian Monahan, former CMO of Walmart.com 


Lifecycle marketing is a highly engaging way companies can re-activate or re-engage old customers. Using past interaction and transactions online, companies surface relevant products and promotions through different channels to influence a purchase. Sounds simple enough right? On the contrary having a 360 degree view of your customers over a long period of time and in real-time is very tricky for most businesses and our pitfall number 4.

Out with the old…

An old approach to this strategy has been to remarket to customers based on each item they browsed without taking their historical behavior into consideration. If a customer is browsing patio chairs, hammocks, and outdoor umbrellas, they are probably looking to furnish their backyard. Offering them 5 options of patio chairs might not be the best way to influence a sale.

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Overcome Amnesia of Your Customers

Your product recommendation engine has to be smart enough to suggest “next best products” or “complete-the-look products” or a product in the same category or brand. Only personalized, smart product placement and recommendations can work to win back customers in the highly competitive market of today.

The key to re-marketing the right way is to connect every piece of user behavior and past purchase in real-time with a deep knowledge of the company’s catalog. Using a holistic customer view, marketers can provide a hyper-personalized story relevant to each user’s context.


Subscribe Now to this series
To learn more about all the common personalization pitfalls covered in this series, watch this VentureBeat Webinar that provides real world examples and fixes you can start using now.


  • Each update sent directly to you with extra tips NOT included in the blog posts
  • Access to the VentureBeat Webinar with former head of marketing at Walmart.com
  • Receive an audit of your current triggered activities with a marketing consultant

BLueshift solves the message overload problem for marketers. Monitor the frequency of all of your messages across all channels to avoid annoying your customers

Personalization Pitfall 3: Customer Message Overload

In this series, we cover the common pitfalls all marketers face at some point when scaling personalization in their triggered marketing. From emails to mobile push notifications to SMS to display retargeting, the common platforms used today to market across channels begin to lose efficacy when organizations try to personalize their communications to an ever more complex and growing customer base.

Overcoming the Message Overload Pitfall


Watch this video to learn more about this subject from Brian Monahan, former CMO of Walmart.com 


When you build out your company’s personalized marketing landscape you soon find your volume of messages increasing exponentially. As you set up re-engagement campaigns along the customer journey, the volume of messages across all channels can quickly add up to 10 or 15 different messages. Of course, that doesn’t mean you send them all 10 of these messages in one day or even a week. Customers feel overwhelmed if their inbox is flooded with one particular company emailing them again and again. Message overload is a sure way of ending up in your customer’s spam folder or worse, unsubscribing from all your communications. This rapid deluge of communications to your customers is our pitfall #3.

Don’t Be Annoying…

Message Overload across all channels is a personalization pitfall

Finding the balance between quality and quantity will save marketers from those dreaded mistakes of sending a customer too many messages in a day. But how do you make sure you aren’t sending to many messages across all your channels?

The way to achieve message zen is by smart segmentation of customers who fit a certain criteria based on their attributes and behavior on site. Behavior-based marketing resonates better than single trigger marketing because it tends to be more accurate rather than an in-the-moment action or even sloppy demographic focused bucketing. Grouping together customers who have shown similar behavior and sending a set of targeted messages that are personalized to their persona is a controlled way of using triggers on your site.

Think Beyond the Inbox…

“don’t simply focus on the amount of messages you send per channel, look at the aggregate of ALL of your messages sent through all of your channels”

Another way of working around the message overload problem is to build and monitor multi channel campaigns. Marketers constantly compete for inbox space along with numerous other brands. When’s the last time you looked at your inbox and didn’t feel like you were being yelled at by dozens of brands? A quick reminder to complete your purchase and checkout can easily be done via text message or push notification – abandoned cart campaigns are not simply just an email tactic. Dividing your messages across different channels can keep your brand name top of mind and limit annoying your customers. And remember, don’t simply focus on the amount of messages you send per channel, look at the aggregate of ALL of your messages sent through all of your channels. Otherwise, you still run the likely risk of annoying your customers with message overload.


Subscribe Now to this series
To learn more about all the common personalization pitfalls covered in this series, watch this VentureBeat Webinar that provides real world examples and fixes you can start using now.


  • Each update sent directly to you with extra tips NOT included in the blog posts
  • Access to the VentureBeat Webinar with former head of marketing at Walmart.com
  • Receive an audit of your current triggered activities with a marketing consultant

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Personalization Pitfall #2: Old-School Linear Customer Journey

Marketers rely on customer journey mapping to optimize what customers see every step of the way. But with the rise of multiple devices and the perpetually connected customer (a.k.a “perpetuals”), it is becoming harder for marketers to define the different ways a customer interacts with content or products. In today’s increasingly complex environment, marketers must change the way they conceptualize a path to purchase and adopt a new paradigm — real-time context.

Perpetual’s can’t be pigeonholed into old-school linear journeys. They carve their own path to purchase and the number of possible paths to purchase increase exponentially due to multiple devices and different intents. Perpetuals too often turn to their phones in search of information, whether they’re at the gym, commuting to work, or shopping for groceries. Google refers to these spontaneous instances of discovery as micro-moments, and they’re opportunities for brands to meet their customers at moments of intent.

An example is that Jack could be leaving the gym and thinking about buying another pair of gym shorts which he searches for on his phone and places in his cart. A few hours later, he remembers he has to go to a friend’s birthday in a week and starts looking at gift options for them on his laptop. Tech savvy marketers have to be able to react to the changing needs of customers like Jack as his intent changes, in real-time, across different channels, and with the right content.

Watch this video to learn more about this subject from Brian Monahan, former CMO of Walmart.com:

Personalization Pitfall 1: Outdated messages

Common Problems Faced when Scaling Personalization – Part 1

In this series, we cover the common pitfalls all marketers face at some point when scaling personalization in their triggered marketing. From emails to mobile push notifications to SMS to display retargeting, the common platforms used today to market across channels begin to lose efficacy when organizations try to personalize their communications to an ever more complex and growing customer base. The problems stem from generic/ out-of-the-box triggers, poor segmentation, outdated information, lack of real-time processing, and disconnected channels, to name a few.

If these pitfalls aren’t addressed in your marketing strategy, you risk pushing customers away, often to your competition. By building a better personalized customer experience across all channels, you build more loyal returning customers. Customers today demand 1:1 communication and a high degree of relevancy in any marketing message.

Subscribe Now to this series


  • Each update sent directly to you with extra tips NOT included in the blog posts
  • Access to the VentureBeat Webinar with former head of marketing at Walmart.com
  • Receive an audit of your current triggered activities with a marketing consultant

Personalization Pitfall #1: Outdated messages

According to Forrester Research, “Trigger based email marketing campaigns can generate 4x more revenue and 18x greater profits”. Triggered messages are known to be 5 times more responsive than batch and blast campaigns, which makes triggered marketing communication very attractive to marketers. As simple as it is to send out triggered messages, it is also that much easier to get them wrong. Triggered messages are personalized based on a user’s engagement with your website or mobile app. The timing and content has to be precise because any delay in the data or message can lead to outdated messages being sent to your customers who then in-turn will unsubscribe because they feel spammed, and will often take to social media to voice their opinions:

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One of the most common pitfalls we hear about from marketers using triggers is their customers getting outdated messages through retargeting. It’s very common for customers to receive a display ad or email about a product they have already bought; or a recommendation for a product that has nothing to do with their purchase history or recent interaction with the brand. “54% of consumers would consider ending their relationship with a retailer if they are not given tailor-made, relevant content and offers.” Retailers can no longer afford to run outdated triggered marketing through their legacy systems. It pushes customers away and shows a lack of respect for your customer’s buying habits.

Here is a small recording on this very issue from our webinar with VentureBeat, “How to become a personalization ninja and delight every customer“:



become_a_personalization_ninja_with_blueshiftTo learn more about all the common personalization pitfalls covered in this series, watch this VentureBeat Webinar that provides real world examples and fixes you can start using now.

Subscribe to this series for instant access to the full video.>>


Focus on Real-Time Data

Most retargeting campaigns are based on customer actions, browsed products and abandoned cart being some very common triggers. But if the systems of record (CRM) and systems of action (ESP, DSP, Facebook retargeting, etc) are not synced in real-time when a customer makes a purchase, this faulty cycle will keep repeating itself. Unless customer data is updated in real-time, there will always be outdated information being presented in display ads or emails going out to customers.

Personalization Pro Tips:

Blueshift has worked with several marketing leaders that have scaled their personalized marketing programs to deliver engaging personalized user experiences. Here are our top tips to get the most out of your personalization efforts:

  • Don’t settle for Near Real-Time: For the best customer experience, use systems that enable you to personalize with true real-time information.
  • Remain goal oriented: Understand your key performance indicators and how they affect the entire campaign, not a single send.
  • Personalize across channels: Use multiple marketing channels to scale your marketing program, instead of limiting it to email.
Gift Present Celebrate Party Wrapped Simple Concept

Mobile E-commerce Done Right!

In 2014 the number of mobile users exceeded desktop users for the first time, accounting to 52.1% of all online traffic. (IBM report) This marked an important shift for marketers and how they communicate with their customers. The challenge facing them now is how they can deliver the best mobile experience to their customers.

Large "Add To Basket" button

Large “Add to Basket” button

Simple home page

Simple home page

Simplicity for mobile: When designing your app, less words and big buttons mean easy navigation. Keeping forms simple and short adds to a seamless mobile experience. A great example is the simple design of the Sephora mobile app. The main page only has 4 big buttons, and the item page has a big “Add To Basket” button that sits at the bottom of the screen as you navigate the page so you can press it any time you feel and not have to navigate back up to find the button.

Responsive content: A user can be browsing on a tablet, and use their desktop to make a purchase, and check the confirmation email on their phone. It is necessary to have responsively designed website and emails so it responds to any kind of device accessing it.

App benefits: The GPS in phones is a great feature to get creative with. Anything from store proximity offers, to digital loyalty cards showing up on your screen when you are near a store can be a great incentive for customers to make a purchase. Giving special discounts i.e. “Mobile Offers” in the Sephora app is a great incentive for customers to convert.

Personalized push notification

Personalized push notification

Meaningful Engagement: Sending your customers personal and relevant content in your text and push notifications makes a meaningful connection with your customers rather than the generic messaging they have grown immune to. Not only can you use their name, but also other attribution like items left in cart, geo targeted promotions or next best product based on their last purchase. Engaging your app audience outside of the shopping experience is also important to maintain customer relationship. A company that does a great job at this is Starbucks, which sends its app holders “song of the week” and “app of the week” every week and the occasional special offers from the store.

Rich push notification

Rich push notification

Express Line for Mobile: Quick checkout options from PayPal, Apple Pay, Visa, etc. can greatly reduce the checkout time with a mobile device. Including a fast payment method will become a norm in the near future as smartphone users grow year after year.

Social Connectivity: Prompt users to share out on social networks and drive customer engagement with campaigns that let users share content on your app or drive a conversation around a certain product or event. As you drive engagement you also create a loyal customer base that keeps coming back, similar to our example of Sephora.

The mobile market has marked a major shift in the commerce market and is worth paying attention to because this vertical is only going to increase in the coming years, as will the market share for mobile revenue.