Silverpop - 4 Marketing Mishaps That Behavioral Marketing Can Help You Avoid, and One Company That Ain't Misbehavin’
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4 Marketing Mishaps That Behavioral Marketing Can Help You Avoid, and One Company That Ain't Misbehavin’

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by: Todd McCormick (@TMcCormick2011)
12 August 2013

Imagine that you walk into your local hardware store, looking to buy a new backyard grill. While browsing your options, you spot a salesperson headed your way.

Oh, good, you think. I could use a professional opinion.

But the first words out of the salesperson’s mouth are, “Have you seen our new bathtubs?”

Confused, you shake your head and go in search of a sharper salesperson or, perhaps, another store.

Digital marketers make this kind of mistake all the time, usually because their marketing automation solutions don’t enable them to track buyers’ behaviors and later communicate accordingly. In fact, according to a recent Forrester report, less than half of companies aren’t yet leveraging the power of behavioral marketing and are missing out on lucrative opportunities to secure new customers and repeat sales.

Here are four marketing mishaps that behavioral marketing can help you avoid:

1) Talking Down Your Own Products: A buddy of mine here at Silverpop recently purchased a steel refrigerator from a well-known retailer. A few weeks later, he received an email from that retailer with the subject line, “Getting tired of steel refrigerators?” Not exactly the right message. If that retailer had a robust digital marketing platform — one that incorporated data from its ecommerce solution into its email marketing platform — this could have been avoided.

2) Not Paying Attention: While courting a prospect that makes bicycles, one of Silverpop’s sales reps visited the company’s website every day. He wanted to see if his active, repeated interest in one particular bike would trigger relevant communications to him. It didn’t. Instead,the communication stream he received was generic, promoting different bikes than the one he’d shown interest in.

Delivering relevant content in the right context is no brain teaser. When a prospect shows repeated interest in a product, there’s an opportunity for the manufacturer to communicate in precise, relevant ways with that consumer. For example, try sending an email that reads, “You’ve got your eyes on a great product. Purchase it in the next 24 hours, and we’ll give you 10 percent off!” That might prompt the shopper to finally buy.

3) Not Thinking Ahead: Another of my colleagues recently bought a set of women’s golf clubs, which did not include a putter. The next day she received an email promoting soccer balls from the company. While I’m sure some people enjoy both sports, the smarter move would have been to offer her a deal on putters, golf balls or a golf bag — something more relevant to her earlier purchase. When it comes to the strategic upsell, how effective is your email marketing solution? 

4) Talking to Just Anyone, Instead of Individuals: At a recent technology conference I attended, participants were offered a popular software product for $99 — a fraction of the retail cost. Shortly after I purchased a few copies, I received an email offering me the same product for “just” $349. While that price was also a great deal, it certainly wasn’t as good as the one I’d just gotten. By not integrating purchase data into its email marketing, that software company missed out on a terrific opportunity to treat me as an individual by thanking me for buying at the conference and offering me similar products.

While these businesses missed their chances to rock at behavioral marketing, another company has proven the incredible value of tracking and responding to buyers’ behaviors. PaperStyle, an online stationery retailer, recently implemented a wedding campaign that captures customer clicks and purchases and sends only relevant content, based on the typical wedding timeline (among other factors). For example, shoppers who’ve already bought invitations don’t receive offers for save-the-date cards, which are sent to guests before invitations. Instead, they get promos for wedding favors or thank-you cards. The result: A 330 percent increase in revenue per email campaign. (Read the full PaperStyle story.)

That’s the beauty of content-driven behavioral marketing. It enables you to promote products individuals are most likely to buy when they’re most likely to buy. And for marketers, that’s a powerful combination.

Related Resources:
1) White Paper: “20 Ways to Personalize Content and Enhance the Customer Experience
2) Blog: “The Future of Marketing: Return on Relationship
3) Blog: “5 Ways to Enhance Your Preference Center


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