As I mentioned in my recent post, “Behavioral Marketing: What It Is and Why It’s So Exciting,” many marketers have taken note of behavioral marketing and its power to connect with customers and prospects on an individual level, yielding unprecedented “return on relationship.”
Still, the concept of building out a fluid communication system that twists and turns with each contact action can seem daunting to marketers just trying to get the next email out the door.
My advice? Don’t worry about building the world’s most comprehensive behavioral marketing system right off the bat. Instead, break the process up into the five steps outlined below, and you’ll be able to gradually achieve your goal of leveraging technology to deliver campaigns that interact with segments of one:
1) Build a centralized marketing database. Effective behavioral marketing begins with moving beyond siloed marketing technology to a unified digital marketing database that captures the interactions of each person with your company across multiple channels – site visits, email, social, mobile, offline, CRM, location, Web forms and more.
So, start by tapping the power of marketing automation platforms to extend your marketing beyond email to multichannel and cross-channel data capture. Make sure you’ve configured your system to capture data from Web tracking, CRM, progressive forms, email analytics and more and feed it into your central database, connecting the dots between a “named person” and all their behaviors/interests.
With a database that pulls profile data, relational data and behavioral data from multiple online and offline channels to build a comprehensive complete identity, you’ll be ready for behavioral marketing.
2) Segment and send messages based on behaviors. Begin tapping the power of combining marketing automation and behavior by grouping contacts together based on a few key characteristics and sending relevant content based on those characteristics. By using both recipient actions and the timeframe they were committed within to segment, you’ll boost relevance.
For example, you might run a query for those contacts who have visited a website or landing page and watched a product video within the last 30 days but didn’t request a sales call, and send them a message geared toward incenting them to set up a call.
3) Automate sends triggered by behaviors. Once you’ve successfully graduated from batching and blasting to segmenting based on a sophisticated set of behavioral criteria, you’re ready to bump it up to the next level and start letting contact behaviors drive immediate responses. Rather than performing a periodic query searching for contacts that fit certain criteria, you’ll set up a program so that as soon as a contact performs a certain action – or fails to perform an action – your marketing platform will automatically send that contact a message.
It’s a subtle but important difference that helps you optimize the timing aspect of delivering the right message at the right time. By having the customer or prospect’s behavior drive the timing of each message, you’re communicating on their terms rather than yours, boosting relevance and moving you closer to true 1:1 communication.