Leveraging the power of timeliness in marketing

Leveraging the power of timeliness in marketing

Jun 10, 2020
Director, Content and Channel Marketing
Leveraging the power of timeliness in marketing

When it comes to engaging our customers, we’re all well aware that relevance is paramount. That’s why we place such focus on learning as much as we can about who we’re talking to so we can provide content that speaks to them, puts them at ease with our brand, and gets them curious about how our offering could add value to their lives. But how can we better engage with customers through timeliness?

We’re mindful of where our customers are, so we’re obsessively preparing content for all devices and pushing it through all our various channels.

Which is why omnichannel relevance is key. We all know it. And we’re all doing it.

But the thing that will stand your brand out from the crowd is knowing when your customer is most receptive to your content and seizing that moment to capture their attention and make that personal connection.

One moment in time

To ensure your content is reaching your customer when they’re ready to engage, you need to consider the wider context of their lives and then focus on the moment they’re living now.

What are their current needs, wants, and opinions? What do they wish for? What are they lacking? What is most important to them now?

Only when you have a really clear holistic view of who your customer is can you strike while the iron is hot and leverage that priceless element of timeliness. 

Engagement strategies built around time

Timeliness in marketing is all about responding appropriately to event triggers—by identifying events in your customer’s life and offering appropriate content to match.

Triggers can be marketing signals (where customers pass a threshold), like subscribing to emails, sharing a post, installing an app, requesting a demo, liking a page, or abandoning a cart.

Your brand’s specific triggers will vary depending on your customer base, your offering, and your channels. Still, they’re basically your audience saying that they’re either open to communication or need attention. Time to swoop in with the encouragement or support they need.

Triggers can also be one-off events (a royal wedding, an unseasonably hot summer, stay-at-home Eurovision contest), erratically spaced events (new version release, football matches), or fixed regular events (Black Friday, Ramadan, elections) which can you leverage to be highly relevant in your communication with customers.

Chances are you’re already adjusting your content to reflect big occasions like these, nurturing new subscribers with first-time-customer discounts, offering New Year’s discounts, and tailoring messages to acknowledge the impact of COVID-19 on your customer’s life, etc.

But where you’re likely missing a trick is with those many personal life moments that mean so much to us all: starting university, buying a house, adopting a puppy, getting married… These kinds of events have a huge impact on our mood, likelihood to engage, buying behavior, and willingness to buy.

And each of these moments can be broken down into micro-moments (first date, third date, meet the parents, first holiday, moving in, getting engaged…)

With a clear plan for each event (and micro-event), you’ll deliver on-point communication that not only offers what your customer is looking for but when they’re looking for it.

Do you have the kind of data that would bring such valuable insights? Do you know what truly matters to your customer now

The technology of timeliness

To achieve the kind of timeliness that wins customers’ hearts, you need technology that provides a coherent view of who they are so you can create the right message for the right customer and deliver it at the right moment in their lives.  

1. Customer data platform for customer profiles

Your website, mobile app, and email campaigns are all busy gathering data. But is it all linked? Do your various applications speak to one another? Or is all that valuable data locked in disparate software, each with its own login, interface, and even team?

Can you tell that your recent new subscriber is the same one who visited your website? Do you have any real idea of the customer journey when it’s spread across so many touchpoints?

To get the kind of customer view that enables engagement-boosting timeliness in your communication, you absolutely need all customer data from across all touchpoints stored under one contact in one central hub. You need one place that your entire marketing team can access through one interface to get one holistic view of the customer, warts and all. 

2. Essential omnichannel analytics

Now you have your central customer data platform; you want your technology to populate it with insightful and actionable data.

Your technology should offer in-depth analytics; gathering background data about your visitors (visits, page views, conversions, downloads, events), and your online campaigns (leads, conversions, A/B test results).

Data from all touchpoints must be stored and accessible from one place, and you should be able to create custom reports to suit your specific needs. (75% of marketers use reports to prove how campaigns are affecting revenue.)

Only then will you be able to gauge when your customer is most likely to buy, when they’re in need of some support or a friendly reminder, what events precede a purchase, and how best to deliver any upselling or cross-selling offers.

It’s only this level of holistic understanding of who our customer is that enables us to work out when matters to them most.

3. Segmentation and personas

Of course, once you’ve started to work out who your customer is, you’ll want to be able to segment your customer base into groups of customers with similar attributes (location, gender, age, job title, interests, and events).

And you’ll want to create clearly defined personas and assign them to customers, so you know what content will most likely pique their interest and bring value to their daily lives.

With all data of all contacts in one place, you can easily group customers and assign personas, setting yourself up for unprecedented relevance and timeliness. 

4. Automated event-based marketing

Once your event-triggered strategy is in place, you’ll want to be watching closely, analyzing the results, marveling at its effectiveness, and optimizing your timeliness.

As you drill down into the data, you’ll find deeper hidden meaningful customer events and you’ll be able to further enrich your customer’s experience of your brand as you nurture them towards life-long advocacy.

With the right technology and a clear idea of what should be triggered, by which event, and for whom, you can automate your event-triggered strategy, meaning you’ll never miss an event, and you can spend your precious time delving into the insights.

70% of the companies say that the biggest benefit of automation technology is better-targeted customer communication.

By automating your cross-channel event-driven campaigns, you can boost relevance, optimize the customer journey, and drive revenue… automatically. 

Invite yourself to your customer’s big life events with a digital experience platform

Applying outside-the-box-thinking to your customers’ lives can dramatically improve relationships with your customers, encourage engagement, build trust, and boost ROI.

By listening to what your customers are saying in their actions, you can start to build a crystal-clear 3D view of the person behind the profile and you’ll be in a much more powerful position to be sending the right messages to them at the right time for them.

With a digital experience platform that combines in-depth omnichannel analytics, a customer data platform for contacts, clear customer segments and personas, and automated execution of campaigns, you can leverage event-triggered timeliness to set yourself up for closer relationships with your customers than ever before.

If you’re interested to learn more about how omnichannel and a digital experience platform can help you connect better with your customers in a timely fashion, check out the free whitepaper: Omnichannel marketing for customer-driven interactions.

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