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The Winning Secret for Getting Customers to Market to Themselves

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by: Todd McCormick (@TMcCormick2011)
14 January 2013

It’s a new year and the perfect time to revise your marketing plan to increase your sales and visibility in 2013. If yours is like most businesses, you’re likely sitting on a goldmine of customer data that you collected from holiday shoppers and clients. The worst thing you can do with that information is to let it gather dust in a database, but that’s exactly what many companies do.

Here’s the one little secret you need to know to boost your sales and marketing efforts this year — it’s not enough to simply collect customer data. Even insight isn’t enough. The secret is to look at all this data in the context of behavioral marketing, combining an individual’s behaviors with marketing automation to leverage that data and create a behavior-based, highly personalized experience for each buyer online.

Even the best marketers are missing sales by not fully utilizing all their customer data to create behavioral marketing campaigns in which customers essentially market to themselves since their actions are driving the content you send to them. That’s what I’m going to share in this blog — how, in three simple steps, you can use the right system to harness the power of targeted behavioral marketing and the data you’re collecting:

Step #1: Configure your marketing technology platform to track Web visitor behavior.
Web browsing histories are like data treasure troves for today’s marketer. The more you know about what a customer is looking for online, the better you can market to him or her. Say, for example, that a customer frequently visits your website and views a pair of red UGG boots on the site. By adding Web tracking code to your website (similar to Google analytics code) you can capture that browsing information and record it in the customer’s profile in a way that makes it easy to act on.

Step #2: Capture and integrate your demographic, purchasing and social sign-in data.
Making sure your data feeds into a centralized marketing database is key to successful behavioral marketing. By building out integrations and connecting your central marketing database with your CRM, e-commerce, Web analytics platforms and more, you can leverage this data more effectively and deliver more individualized content.

In addition, consider offering social login as an alternative to filling out long registration forms, as this can improve the user experience while giving you access to valuable data.

For example, when a person creates a Facebook profile, the social network asks for a name, email address, password, birthday, and gender to get started. Subsequently, if the UGG boots browser registers on your site using his or her Facebook ID, your business automatically gets two key customer attributes it cares about: the customer’s birthday and gender.

Step #3: Schedule personalized, targeted campaigns based on all of your data.
Take the idea of a birthday message. Using the UGG customer’s email, birthday and browsing information, you could configure a birthday email campaign with a greeting and product suggestion, based on the information you have from the holidays. Your birthday message could include a hyperlink to the boots and a special discount code:

“Happy Birthday, [Name]! How about treating yourself to a pair of red UGG boots for your special day? Enjoy 15% off your next order.”

This birthday email is the result of integrating your Web tracking and social sign-in data to market to the customer with more relevant, personalized content, which greatly increases your chance of getting the sale.

Conclusion
At the end of the day, winning boils down to one question: "How are you leveraging all your properties to communicate to your customers?"

As marketers increasingly move into a mobile, multichannel arena, the No. 1 challenge will be to dynamically change the look and feel of your content for all your contacts. The few who figure out how to do this first? That's who will win.

Want more winning secrets to getting customers to market to themselves? Shoot me a tweet@TMcCormick2011.

Related Resources:
1) White Paper: “Birthday Blueprint: How to Build a Top-Tier Birthday Email Program
2) Blog: “Social Login: A Data Capture Game Changer
3) Video: “Behavioral Marketing Defined

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