How important is customer engagement? Seismic? Paramount? Whatever big words you use to describe it, it’s pretty much how we know if anyone is listening, short of buying something.
As most brand and direct marketers will tell you, we all want our customers’ undivided attention, and shame on us if we can’t tell the difference between an engaged customer and an unengaged customer.
And if you want to increase the ratio of engaged-to-unengaged customers in your database, the related question you’ll have to ask is, “What did we do that connected so strongly with these more engaged customers and helped nudge them from first-time browsers or buyers to loyal customers?”
So much time is spent on developing exciting promotions, stunning creative, responsive emails, engaging mobile apps and [insert expensive marketing initiative here]. But how much time is spent on trying to understand if that initiative contributed to more visits to the store, longer time spent on the website, more frequent app usage and higher loyalty rates?
In some cases, whole departments are focused on measuring effectiveness of a campaign. In other cases, the brunt of the effort is exhausted on the front end, with little left for post-campaign analysis. Either way, success if often measured by looking at clicks, impressions, opens and/or conversions for a single campaign or email.
What I’d like to suggest is that we also start looking at these measures in aggregate, across various customer types, stages and segments based on what marketing is shown to these customers over time.
So, where might be a good place for someone with limited budget and resources to start? I’ve got a few thoughts, and they start with listing the key behaviors and attributes that might determine when a customer is attentive and responding, and then applying a weight to each activity / category — also known as engagement scoring. These interactions and characteristics might include:
- Is in a particular campaign or part of an important campaign target
- Has demographic, psychographic or buyer-stage attributes that suggest an increased propensity to buy
- Often opens your emails (extra points for forwarding an email)
- Clicks once or twice regularly and/or often (this can be a multitier category)
- Provides more profile information than the average customer (e.g., their Twitter handle)
- Frequently visits your website, important Web pages or “direct loads” the site
- Comments on your blog or completes a product review (note: take “unsatisfied” into consideration as well)
- Is a self-serve customer and/or uses business-efficient services that are often supported
- Downloads your mobile app, opens it in-store and/or purchases from a mobile device.
- Signs up for green initiative, eBilling or similar programs
Scoring these activities, behaviors, data fields and demographics are just a few ways to see how potentially valuable your customer base is, based on data you know about the customer. A model like this can be very useful for identifying and segmenting loyal customers or even simply the most active customers. (Get tips for building a scoring model.)
Once you have an engagement scoring model in place, you can plot these scores against your marketing efforts. Did your advocates increase after the last promotion launch? Have you made a dent in your disengaged base?
Many Silverpop clients are finding an organic use of scoring such as the one outlined above to be increasingly useful. We’re seeing more and more clients creating scoring models, capturing new pieces of data to score, and generating a ton of value from the resulting insights.
For more on scoring, see these related resources:
1) White Paper: “The Ultimate Guide to Scoring Customers and Prospects”
2) Video: “How Scoring Helps You Connect on an Individual Level”
3) Blog: “5 Creative Ways to Use Scoring”