The first half of 2013 is over. Marketers everywhere are analyzing their results from the beginning of the year and modifying their strategies to make sure the next six months are even better. In the age of the customer, where even the slightest competitive edge sets your brand apart from the rest, it’s critical to not only leverage the data you already have on your buyers to deliver targeted and personalized communications, but also collect new behavioral data points to further enhance the customer experience. Fortunately, marketing technology can streamline this process and make it a little easier on the marketer. Whether you’re a full blown marketing automation user, or if you’re just getting started, behavioral marketing automation is something marketers everywhere need to be implementing.
Recently, Silverpop commissioned Forrester Consulting to research how marketers leverage automation in their customer engagement process, and the results validated that behavioral marketers are in fact getting better results. So, when you’re sitting down to strategize for the second half of 2013, keep these key points in mind:
- Behavioral marketing isn’t a mature practice just yet. Only 17 percent of survey respondents assessed themselves as mature practitioners of behavioral marketing. If you’re part of the 83 percent of marketers not using automated, behavioral-driven campaigns, consider implementing simple programs like transactional/triggered messages (registration confirmation or cart abandonment), lifecycle programs (welcome or onboarding messages) or promotional messages. Starting with a basic automated program is the best first step on a behavioral marketing automation journey.
Soon, you could be one of the marketers experiencing significant revenue growth and contribution to the sales pipeline. If you already are doing these types of programs, think about how you can take it up a notch. For example, if you’re a B2C marketer, consider implementing lead scoring. Or, if you’re primarily a B2B marketer, consider setting up a sophisticated nurture or re-engagement program that progressively discovers more information about the buyer and sends content based on it.
- You’ve got the behavioral data and you need to use it. The study revealed that marketers are increasingly capturing behavioral data, but rarely using it to shape campaign strategies. Only 45 percent of marketers surveyed are capturing and consolidating customer behavioral data from multiple channels in a single database. In such a cluttered marketplace, it’s more important than ever to act on these data points in real-time, keeping your business top-of-mind when that individual is ready to make a purchase decision. Remember, competitive advantage is derived from the knowledge you have on your customer-base. Leveraging targeted content and offers improves buyer engagement and, most importantly, increases conversion rates.
- Behavioral marketers are getting better results. In case you need more convincing, the survey respondents who identified themselves as “mature behavioral marketers” are contributing more to the sales pipeline and to revenue, for both B2B and B2C marketers (see figure below for B2B analysis). On average, behavioral marketers are contributing to 34 percent of the sales pipeline, compared to 26 percent for those marketers not incorporating behaviors. While this may not seem like much, those few percentage points can mean big revenue.
As always, it’s important to remember not to bite off more than you can chew. Thinking about the countless behavioral data points available can be a bit overwhelming. Once you’ve implemented a marketing automation solution, take a look at your business goals and then align your marketing strategy to those. Once you’ve tackled your first pass at incorporating behaviors into your marketing mix, think about how you can grow in your sophistication, and continue to improve your impact and your results.