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Behavioral Marketing Automation Tips: How to Set Up Behavior-Driven Business Rules and Campaigns

by: Bryan Brown (@getvision)
12 September 2012

When I talk to marketers about why behavioral marketing is so exciting, they usually get fired up and have a bunch of questions about how they can configure their marketing automation platforms to tap into the power of behavioral marketing. So, to follow up on my recent post on the five steps to behavioral marketing success, I’d like to use this article to get into the weeds of how this works in real life.

Let’s say someone you know is back on your website or company Facebook page. (Don’t know who they are? No problem, just read this article.) Your scoring model has determined this prospect looks like a qualified buyer, but you’ve been waiting for the contact to take a more meaningful action on your website. Lucky for you, today’s the day. But is your marketing team ready to respond? I mean now, to that one individual? Probably not. But if only you had a behavioral marketing automation platform, here’s what you could do.

Capture Some Behaviors
You might start by building an automated program that takes your important business rules describing the people you want to interact with, and then adds a rule so your platform waits until one of those individuals takes a meaningful action on your site before pulling them into a campaign. This seemingly small tweak can be the difference between automating a bunch of unwanted emails and communicating to only the people who need your information now.

So let’s say there’s a guy on your site who works in the hi-tech industry and matches the profile you’re looking for — e.g. qualified buyer score, not a customer and not a sales opportunity —and just watched a video of one of your customers describing the benefit of your product.

You want your system to pull this person into your automated program so the work your marketing team did (establishing an automated campaign) months ago takes over and responds to this specific buyer. With Silverpop you’d have done the following:

  • Inserted Web tracking code to capture the user behavior (in this case, “watched a video”)
  • Established a rule set that says if a prospect meets certain criteria and takes a special action, the contact will be routed to “X” program
  • Created the marketing content and rules for this automated marketing program

Lose the Generic Language and Send Personalized Messages
Your automated program then picks up on the person’s behavior, brings him into the program and sends your response via email.

[caption id="attachment_5040" align="alignnone" width="302" caption="In the example above, you could send the message in real time, schedule it out a day (as indicated) or choose whatever other time frame you felt would best meet the prospect’s needs."][/caption]


The email can include dynamic content driven by demographics, preferences or behaviors so the email is highly relevant to each person.

Let Them Choose Their Own Adventure

Of course, you hope the prospect requests a demo, in which case he moves forward and you send a confirmation email and alert the sales rep (see graphic below). But what if he doesn’t? No problem, you can still talk to him. Configuring your program – this is done using a “decision diamond” in Silverpop Engage – makes it easy to move a prospect to another track, where you can continue learning about the prospect’s needs and provide helpful information that nurtures the contact toward a meeting with a sales rep.

In this example, if the prospect doesn’t respond to the demo invite, he or she is dropped into a three-piece nurture campaign:

  • Nurture 1: Needs-based email — Outlines hi-tech marketers’ problems, how your solution helps solve these issues and provide additional resources
  • Nurture 2: Industry-based tips email Tips to help the prospect be more effective
  • Nurture 3: Postcard from sales rep — Direct mail piece inviting the prospect to set up a call with a sales rep
    • In the case of Engage, you could configure your system to do an automated weekly pull of everyone that hits this point in the program, put the data needed for a personalized postcard in a CSV file (first name, address, etc.), and send to the print company.

Depending on your needs, you can mix and match email, phone, direct mail, SMS or whatever other channels resonate most strongly with your contacts. And when you’re ready to get even more sophisticated, you can add additional decision diamonds and tracks based on how contacts interact with each of the messages in your campaign.

Here’s how the entire program would look in this example:

While the above scenario is B2B-specific, the same behavioral marketing automation principals could apply to a B2C company, such as a sporting goods outlet. For example, if a customer watched your website video on baseball glove maintenance, that might drop him or her into a messaging track that included an email with links to an article on caring for your glove, an SMS invite to enter a Facebook contest to win tickets to the World Series, and a direct mail piece highlighting special offers on your glove treatment products.

So, the next time you’re about to send out a batch-and-blast message, why not consider adding a behavior-based rule set to the equation? Regardless of how you apply behavioral marketing automation, you’ll likely be amazed at how a little boost in content relevance can lead to exponentially greater levels of engagement and ROI.

For more marketing insights and tips, connect with Bryan Brown on Google+.

Related Resources:
1) White Paper: "Creating Real-Time Individualized Campaigns Around Every Imaginable Customer Behavior"
2) Blog: “Behavioral Marketing: What It Is and Why It’s So Exciting
3) Blog: “5 Steps to Behavioral Marketing Success


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