Last Sunday, I booked an Uber to visit my friend, who lives 8 km away. As soon as I got down from the cab, I received a message from Uber thanking me for the ride and offering me a discount coupon for a beer pub which was fairly near to my drop location. I was surprised since that was my intention for the evening anyway. So, I grabbed my friend, checked into the pub and enjoyed the evening beer-y well (sorry for the pun).
When I retrospect, I wonder how did Uber hit the bulls-eye with a pub coupon? How come they offer me discount at one of my favorite pubs? How are they able to do such an efficient marketing where they got a customer with just one SMS?
Well, the fact is, they are studying my behavior and predicting my actions. Pardon my jargons, but they are enhancing ‘customer experience’ by doing a good job at ‘customer analysis’.
Okay, to be honest, I made the whole Uber story up. Nothing like that happened. You may take a moment here to curse the crap out of me!! 😛
But, seriously, imagine that that did happen, which is not at all surprising, is it? For a moment, you sat there and thought – “Why didn’t I ever got such message from Uber!” LOL. Such marketing strategies are very practical today and this is the kind of customer experience businesses are working towards. It is no more about how many customer you reach out to, or how many customers engaged with your message. Today all that matter is how well your customer has enjoyed the experience of interacting with your brand. Because a great customer experience brings great advocacy and thus, greater sales.
Let’s dig deeper in today’s marketers mind-map: They have a customer who is active on almost all the digital channels like email, facebook, twitter etc. They need to collect customer behavior data from across all these channels to understand her better. With such intelligent consolidated data, marketers can come up with a personalized message for her that increases the chances of customer interaction by at least 14%.
According to Aberdeen group, personalized emails improve click-through rates (CTR) by 14% and conversion rates by 10%.
Allow me to get back to my Uber (made up) story again, for a moment. What will it take for the Uber marketer to pull such a stunt on me? Well, there’s a twist in the tale. Uber did nothing. It was the pub’s marketer the whole time. He has a record of my feedback from my last visit. Since then, I’ve been on their subscriber’s list and they are tracking me on social media. Now, through integrated data from across channels, they find out that I visit my friends neighborhood quite often but visited their pub just once. Like me, they do have more one-time customers who check-in to nearby pubs. What they will do is to get into a partnership with Uber, where Uber triggers a discount coupon for the pub and pub pays Uber for that. This is modern-day marketing. A joint business effort to enhance customer experience.
More and more small-medium businesses like that pub, are adapting cross-channel marketing, starting with email and social media. And since they see a very high rate of conversions, they are ready to pump up their digital marketing budget. As per Entrepreneur Inc. study, companies are expected to spend $10 billion more on digital marketing in 2016 than they did in 2015.
So, if you are a marketer working towards improving your customer’s experience with your brand, you need a better understanding of your customer through integrated data from across different channels. This is a challenge, though. You are not expected to spend hours on filtering out critical customer insights from big data. You are a marketer, not a data scientist. You need the most important data to be served to you instantly, and in simple and comprehensive form, so you do what you do best – take better marketing decisions. To address this pain point, we have applications like FirstHive that works as your marketing sidekick as well as your data scientist. With FirstHive, you can create and trigger multi-channel marketing campaigns and track integrated customer data in real-time.
In 2016, whether you are spending more on marketing, or adding more channels for your campaigns, or adapting cross-channel marketing, just keep a note that whatever you do, everything boils down to the customer experience.