Activating the client journey thanks to Marketing Automation
For several years, marketers’ jobs have gotten more complex. Consumers who were once loyal to a brand are now volatile. The main causes are tougher competition, globalization, digital boom, and major crises such as the one we’re currently going through. How to perfectly identify client journeys today? How to attract them, engage them, convert them and especially retain them? What actions should you implement and what tools should you use?
Historically, Actito has already emphasized the client relationship by allowing marketers to create a link between brand and consumers. An old Actito baseline claimed this fundamental vision with the expression ‘return on relationships’.
Five years ago, Actito specified its market positioning by defining itself as a key player of agile marketing automation. Marketing automation includes using a dedicated solution to automate repetitive and routine tasks, keep a history of marketing actions and follow their results in order to optimize their performance. Nowadays, these marketing automation terms seems much broader and can sometimes be confusing. Some say it’s sales automation or data acquisition, or even believe its uniquely reserved for B2B.
To specify its field of expertise and remove any doubt, Actito is now defined as a spearhead of activation marketing. In fact, it can also be considered a real hub. With its integrated customer data activation platform (CDAP), Actito allows a CMO to integrate all their tools, centralize data and orchestrate their stack marketing in one central place. Using Actito, a marketer can activate their data and carry out multichannel operational marketing actions that engage the consumer/potential client toward a client relationship/sales. Using marketing activation, a marketer is able to go looking for their target and play a decisive role during key moments of the client journey. Actito lets you activate your data, clients and brand.
Start off right by filling up on qualified and activatable data
Exponential digitization and multiplication of offline and online contact points make the client journey more complex, but it also provides an abundance of data. Data are key in personalized marketing strategies and real challenges to reliable knowledge, often difficult to consolidate and reconcile. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for the data to be siloed, whether by business unit or tool. For example, the history of client orders can sometimes be found in an ERP tool, while the interactions are housed in a CRM.
However, it’s only by cross-checking your data that they will finally become interesting. A sole transaction line is not enough to tell us about how receptive a consumer is to promotions, their loyalty or their engagement. To be more pertinent, we need to bring the transaction closer to matters like purchase history, frequency indicators and amounts. This enrichment can be done by implementing a single customer view (SCV) in order to provide a 360° view of clients (and is able to power a marketing automation solution). Altogether, this means implementing more targeted and relevant marketing actions.
To avoid accumulating low quality heterogeneous data, start by aligning your data collection with the business/marketing objectives pursued. In our Boostcamp#2, we suggested a winning method to make your data talk.
What target do you want to contact? To what end? On what channel?
What specific data will you actually need to contact your audience, target your content and personalize your communications?
At Actito, the rich ecosystem of partners helps carry out qualitative collection campaigns. Our technological partners provide data capture and aggregation to make them easily activatable in Actito. For example, our partner Qualifio uses gamification to carry out GPDR-compliant interactive collection campaigns of first party data and opt-ins. Our partner WisePops uses popup windows on websites to improve client knowledge (collecting information using popup exit windows, e-mails, videos, etc.). The declarative/behavioral data collected then enrich the prospects/clients files of your customer data activation platform.
This preliminary reflection will help you perform data analysis and qualification. According to the completion and veracity of available data, you’ll be able to structure them into tables. In relational databases, tables are sets of organized data where columns correspond to information categories (e.g. phone number, address) and records/entries lines. The tables are linked together by associations that ultimately enrich the database and therefore client knowledge. In this respect, rich data models have proven to be particularly useful. In fact, differently that a flat data model (that doesn’t consider the links between tables and data upgradability), the rich data model helps keep a history of client interactions, which refines your segmentation marketing.
Marketers can then grasp client behavior, which will help them find an adequate channel mix to interact appropriately in real time and in a personalized way with a target that is better understood.
Take the road to engagement marketing
It’s clear that marketing automation helps you engage potential clients and maintain a personalized relationship, but it can sometimes be difficult to convince the rest of your team of the benefits of engagement marketing strategies and personalization that were developed thanks to a marketing automation tool. However, satisfied by the brand’s efforts to engage them, chances are clients will become brand ambassadors more easily, and in turn help convert new potential clients. And the client journey will continue.
Taking into account engagement marketing in a strategy make sense in order to be able to merge consumer satisfaction and client knowledge. Concretely though, how can you efficiently implement this marketing strategy to engage and convert potential clients during the considerationphase and how can you convert them into loyal clients and make them brand ambassadors?
Client knowledge requires collecting actionable and pertinent data, and this collection is done using various methods. For example, forms and satisfaction surveys show to what extent the brand is ready to hear the feedback and advice of clients and consider the feedback in order to improve. Showing that this feedback has been applied creates a strong connection between clients and the brand. From an essentially commercial relationship we can move to a human relationship, based on listening, emotions and audience knowledge. Thanks to the quality of these exchanges of views, you can get recommendations from consumers. Of course, a recommendation system needs to offer a reward for client loyalty and engagement towards the brand. This reward can take on different forms such as gifts or invitations to exclusive events. It’s thanks to a proper use of the data collected and implementing efficient and relevant activation scenarios that a recommendation system makes complete sense.
Since consumer engagement is measured by levels of implication, interaction, intimacy and influence, it’s necessary to take care of these engagement strategies at different levels: content production, social networks presence, events, etc. Tip: analyze strategies according to their relevance and listen to consumers in order to maintain the best possible relationship.
Stay on course and shift the gears of the client relationship
According to our Baromètre 2019 du Marketing Personalized, 84% of marketers want to personalize their marketing, but only 20% of them personalize more than half of their communication. Personalized marketing is an efficient way to listen to client needs and favor contact engagement. According to an EConsultancy study, adopting personalization technology also means an average sales increase of 19%!
Traditionally, marketing is about sending a global message to a mass audience in order to quickly generate sales. However, the digital revolution and hyper-competitiveness have made consumers more demanding. They expect to be considered as actual individuals, with their own unique needs and preferences. To differentiate themselves from each other and retain their clients, brands now want to build rich, long-lasting relationships with their targets. The current health crisis has also increased the importance of the client relationship. Marketers have turned to customer care management rather than transactional interactions. By adopting a reassuring contextualized tone and carrying out campaigns revolving around supportive/responsible values of their brand, marketers have in fact helped strengthen client relationships.
But where to start activating the levers of the client relationship? The first step is to implement a SCV to unify the client relationship by taking into account its omnichannel quality and centralizing all interactions in the same tool. Refocused at the heart of a strategy marketing, the client can have a seamless, global and personalized experience. Marketing automation helps you script the client relationship and make use of micro-moments as key moments.
Once you’ve identified the right moments, you can send the right messages on all channels. With Actito, you can take into account the channel preferences of your targets and communicate according to those preferences: e-mail, text message, push notification, paper, call center, and so on. Also consider mixing channels in order to optimize the impact of your actions: welcome e-mail, then transactional text message, push notification to maximize client engagement, print to stay in contact, etc. Actito gives you access to very precise reports allowing you to analyze the impact of your multichannel campaigns. Each channel has its reporting interface: open rate, click rate, unsubscribe rate, deliverability, etc. You can refine your channel mix according to your objectives.
In fact, each program or message corresponds to a marketing objective:
Attract the potential client => Lead generation
Engage the contact => Welcome program and lead management
Make it grow => Cross-selling program
Enrich your relationship => Loyalty program and lead nurturing
Retain the client => Churn management
By automating client marketing programs, you can grasp the interactions and behaviors of your targets to interact with personalized communications (message, channel, timing) according to the client actions and a refined segmentation thanks to the activation of their data. The more pertinent your interactions, the more you’ll be able to improve acquisition and retention. Much more than a trend, building a rich and personalized client relationship is a long-term profitable investment.
No standing still: take control of your marketing reactivation programs
You’ve attracted your clients, converted them to your cause, but some of them no longer respond to your messages. It could just be inactive clients simply waiting to be woken up by your good care. Your inactive clients aren’t actually lost clients – quite the contrary!
It’s about contacts who no longer respond to your mailings, who have not yet purchased/made a repeat purchase in a defined time period, or who have not engaged with your company. Unfortunately, this indifference reduces campaign efficiency (decrease in open rate and clicks) and could therefore tarnish your reputation with ISPs.
Far from being marginal, this inactivity today affects between 20 and 50% of database contacts. Digitalization facilitates consumer volatility in a highly competitive environment. The health crisis has also been able to create a kind of natural inactivity. For example, some marketers were forced to stop sending newsletters when businesses shut down. At the end of the lockdown, the challenge to wake up this e-mail base after the crisis will be even greater, especially knowing that the transformation rate of an inactive contact is up to 10 times higher than that of a potential client.
What strategy should you then adopt to reactivate your inactive contacts? First of all, define your inactivity criteria (e.g. last date of purchase, lack of responsiveness to your campaigns, stagnant loyalty points balance). This will allow you to figure out which inactive contacts you should reactivate according to their potential ROI. The more your inactive contacts will be recent or resemble your active contacts, the more they can be woken up successfully.
Then you can put your inactive contacts into segments according to their seniority, the recency of their purchases or their last behaviors observed in order to send them the right messages.
For example, you can differentiate buyers from non-buyers, and among them, clickers from non-clickers. If you have clicks without purchases, you might need to rethink your landing pages. If you don’t have clicks but your non-openers are active contacts on other channels, you might need to rethink your channel mix or your newsletter content.
The idea is to bet on client knowledge to be able to send personalized campaigns at the right time and on the right channel according to client expectations and preferences. To this end, feel free to start your contact renewal by asking your inactive contacts to fill out a preference form: when do they want to receive your content? At what frequency? To which address e-mail or phone number?
Marketing automation scenarios are the perfect solution to facilitate contact renewal. Progressive, iterative and conditioned, they help reactivate your contacts gradually and adapt to the responses of your recipients. According to their purchase history and preferences, you can send a more relationship-oriented message before pushing a new product/offer/service that encourages repeat purchasing. If in the end, despite all your renewal efforts your inactive clients remain dormant, isolate them in order to stop contacting them. This will help you clean up your database and maintain your deliverability.
Pull the levers of a successful retention strategy
According to our Baromètre 2019 du Marketing Personnalisé, acquiring new clients is at the heart of the concerns of 78% of marketers questioned, but only 29% of companies questioned that have implemented a loyalty program.
Besides the budgetary aspect, client retention also has other benefits:
A loyal client spends more than a new one. The average cart is often doubled.
A loyal client will also become a prescriber and will convince new potential clients for you.
A loyal client is less volatile since they’re attached to your brand. Creating an emotional connection and a client-focused approach is therefore essential.
A loyal client helps you improve your offer/product.
Once a client has placed their first order, it’s important to create a relationship oftrust and intelligently incite them to make a repeat purchase. It’s there that marketing automation has its role to play. Confirming their order, thanking them, asking them to rate their satisfaction and suggesting similar or complementary products to them are several actions you can implement with a marketing automation solution. Of course, it mustn’t stop there. It’s important to maintain a connection after this first experience so that your client remembers you. Send contextualized messages like a birthday wish, New Year wish or invitations to events, all small signs of appreciation that often hit their mark.
Lastly, emphasizing loyalty is also a good tactic. However, classic aka transactional loyalty programs with points and loyalty card are no longer enough for consumers who want emotions, experiences and a connection. Other levers today are on the rise.
Service level: facilitates the client experience by offering quality service (e.g. free premium delivery in 24 hours, one-click buying)
Relationship lever: aims to maintain the client relationship through content and sharing that goes beyond simple transactions. It could materialize in an Instagram account, a community on social networks, etc.
Engagement lever: used to create an emotional connection with the brand. This lever provides brand with visibility and allows them to show their values, their raison d’être, and so on.
If you already have a loyalty program with a card and points, move to a wallet with our partner Captain Wallet to dematerialize it. Clients no longer need to show their card, they just need to place their smartphone next to the mobile payment terminal to top up or cash in. Like a payment, loyalty also takes place in a completely contactless way, quite in tune with the times. And more than just a bunch of cards, it’s a whole new mobile channel that awaits you thanks to push notifications.
Building an efficient loyalty strategy adapted to your sector and consistent on all channels means asking yourself the right questions beforehand in order to turn it into a real growth lever.