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Personal and predictive: Why brands need to work from the outside-in

Personal and predictive: Why brands need to work from the outside-in

This sponsored post is produced by SessionM. 


“The customer is always right…” It’s something we’ve all heard before, but now marketing teams are starting to see the truth behind it. Rather than building a marketing calendar that’s “inside-out” (promoting what the company wants to promote, when it wants to promote it), brands are being rewired to enable “outside-in” marketing, where customer behavior triggers actions, and those actions are served up individually rather than collectively.

And brands will be successful largely to the degree that those actions are highly personalized — and, more often than not, delivered through the customer’s mobile device.

However, it’s one thing to know what your customer has done in the past. It’s another thing to know what they should do next. And still another thing to motivate them to actually do it and dynamically calculate the impact. With deeper engagement, brands can more easily lead consumers to the next logical purchase in a specific and relevant timeframe, leveraging real-time and historical data to push intelligent, personalized messages to each customer at the right moment of impact. They can create breakthroughs in new products while improving overall service and customer experience.

In other words, brands can lead, not just follow — and help motivate purchases, maximize sales, and increase brand value. Great brands leverage as many data points as they can, attribute them to one person in a definitive singular profile and act on them by engaging at the moment of impact.

Led by mobile, brands now have the ability to capture customer behavior from all angles, whether it is point-of-sale data, social media interactions, survey information, or service tickets through customer support. Having data is one thing. Acting on it is another. Acting at the moment of impact elevates category leaders into rarified air. These brands leverage a 360-degree view of each and every customer, one that’s dynamically updated with each successive action they take — giving them the ability to engage and interact effectively — allowing them to, again, lead, and not follow.

Here’s the blueprint:

  1. Develop a clear vision for what the customer should do based on what they have done. That includes their purchase history, service interactions and notes, relevant social graph data, location-based insights, and even proprietary first-party survey data that’s been gathered.
  2. Lead them to that next action with personalized engagement—from compelling offers, to persuasive brand and product copy, in-app push messaging or rewards, or anything else that gets the individual from consideration to purchase.
  3. Understand when customers are moving into the ‘impact zone’ physically (via beacons and mobile location intel) and figuratively.
  4. Create a rules-based logic to move customers to the next high-value behavior on the personalized journey you’ve created for them.

Here’s the outcome:

It is not a trivial undertaking, but one that the best brands are well down the path to mastering. If done well, here is what can be expected:

  1. More net customers due to patching the leaky bucket created by indifferent engagement, coupled with the power of “earned media” when apps get it right and fans begin raving.
  2. Decreased costs due to more efficient engagement with less waste. There’s a time and place for message blasting, but both are increasingly rare. Knowing when someone’s open to engagement and what they’re likely to be interested in helps both the bottom and top lines.
  3. An improved offering. Through multivariate testing, in-app surveys, and other forms of data collection, brands will unquestionably develop a sharper picture of what the customer wants and what they don’t respond to. From there, brands can tailor their offering accordingly.

Lars Albright is Co-Founder and CEO at SessionM.

For more information on the keys to mobile engagement and strategy, check out SessionM’s Guide to Loyalty & Engagement in a Mobile-First World.


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