Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Behavioral Marketing

Behavioral Marketing

There’s a relatively simple concept behind all this improvement: what someone does is critically important in deciding how to reach (and convince) him or her most effectively. Their behavior—whether captured during a sales call, or measured at-scale by an activity like a website page visit—represents an incredible moment of insight for the marketer savvy enough to listen closely and act on that information.

Is behavioral marketing the latest fad to wash over the marketing landscape for the next three to four years? The answer is a definite maybe. The customer focus it encourages—and the revenue increase it creates—are the basic underpinnings of epic improvement. So this might be the first title of 1,000 you’ll read on the topic.

If it doesn’t elevate to fad status, the best outcome ever might be that behavioral marketing simply pervades every corner of traditional marketing. Instead of some overused buzzword that enters the realm of synergy, it may well become the lens through which we look at everything. If everyone who reads this Article upped their own conversion rates by 10 percentage points, we would push an entire industry ever closer to their customers—which is always a good thing.

I know exactly how crushed you are at work, and that you have eight cross-channel campaigns in production right now, and more than half have outstanding issues that could kill them before they’re ever ready to deploy. If you’re an email marketer, you’ve got a template that you’ve needed to update to mobile for six months but you can’t get a designer to stop working on website enhancements long enough. If you’re a CRM professional, your sales and marketing colleagues are probably still bickering about what exactly a sales qualified lead (SQL) is, even though they agreed to a definition six months ago. Regardless of what channel you manage—or if you’re the chief marketing officer (CMO) or VP orchestrating the entire effort—you work in a warpspeed, high-wire environment in which the difference between a better subject line or tighter audience segmentation could mean the difference between hitting your revenue goals this quarter—or missing them by 20 percent.

I know so much about the marketing drama because I’ve spent more than 20 years as a digital marketer. It is literally all I’ve ever done. Oscillating between the agency and corporate worlds has afforded me a view of the first 25 chapters of the story well enough to know there are at least 25 more. I’ve had marketing performance and staffing pinned to my shirt long enough for year-over-year metrics to be the true success criteria, and I’ve had to build new functions and groups out of thin air into productive existence in less than three months.

I’ve walked the walk inside the halls of huge companies. I was at UPS early in my career as a digital native brought in to scale the competency internally. Most recently, I joined IBM as one of the thought leaders and experts within Silverpop that IBM bought in 2014 to further expand the digital marketing offerings in the IBM Commerce group. I’ve also consulted with the biggest brands on the planet while working with leading digital agencies like Tribal DDB and Digitas in all areas of marketing including loyalty and retention marketing.

But much of the experience on which I’ll base this Article is Write up for perhaps the coolest aspect of my current job at IBM. I’mwhat’s called an evangelist, and my job is to help digital marketers be more successful every single day. I meet with more than 100 marketing groups every year and help solve their biggest challenges. Some days we’re very focused on pure marketing tactics that we can accomplish using our technology; but more often it’s a larger optimization and orchestration challenge that requires improvement across multiple groups.

I’ve seen firsthand how the most progressive marketing teams continually reorient themselves around their customers. And the solution that works most often is simply to begin listening more closely to individuals—but also at scale. They pay attention to specific behaviors—sometimes as a stand-alone event, or in combination with other behaviors—and use the information they gather to segment their audiences into smaller and smaller groups. Once those groups are small enough to share major traits like buying propensity, they architect massively relevant communications and offers based on driving the desired outcome.

It’s a beautiful thing to watch as a trusted advisor—and this book’s goal is to give you the insight necessary to integrate the exact same types of improvement into your own marketing effort. We’re going to cover topics far and wide on behavioral marketing—from how to refactor each of your channels to be more behavioral driven down to how to become a Top 5 brand for your customers. We’ll go deep on data capture, hygiene, and critical technology pieces needed to win in this emerging world. And we’ll spend lots of time talking about staffing, retaining, and motivating a behavioral-marketing-optimized team.

Why Behavioral Marketing?

The basic reasons for thinking deeply about behavioral marketing are pretty straightforward: 
(1) it increases your orientation toward the customer; and 
(2) it requires you to think critically about the relevance and trust that each marketing interaction conveys.
When we put ourselves in our customer’s shoes through exercises like customer journey mapping and user-centered design, we are able to deliver personalized and relevant experiences. And when we orchestrate a great content strategy during the pre purchase process, we’re building the trust necessary to close that big deal.

Furthermore, because there’s an entire spectrum of how deeply you can accept behavioral marketing into your marketing practice, you can spread your improvements over time and make measured, positive change. I talk all the time with our customers about scaling change into their marketing group. Being more behavioral driven doesn’t mean you have to re-engineer every marketing practice on one random Tuesday.

If you’re an ecommerce operation, then figure out how to improve your cart abandon offer strategy while building new browse abandon automated programs. Improve your welcome campaign, but also do some heavy-duty testing of subject lines in the sale messages that go out to your largest audiences. Dialing improvements across all your campaigns will drive very real increases in your top-line revenue numbers.

If you sell products or services directly to businesses, take an honest look at how well you work with sales. Do your nurture programs improve the recipient’s understanding of the offering well enough to close more sales? Are you scoring interactions across the behavioral spectrum so you can inform a true funnel, from initial lead source all the way to conversion?

If you’re like many marketing groups and have both B2C and B2B in play, then think critically about the best-of-breed tactics you could deploy across all your audiences. Some of the most successful B2B programs I’ve seen have the personalization and strong visuals that are a hallmark of great consumer campaigns. And one of the most important tactics for building a trusted relationship with a consumer is a prepurchase content strategy that scores and ranks recipients throughout the process—exactly like a B2B marketer executes a traditional nurture program.

The best reason to tackle behavioral marketing is that it’s an incredibly scalable way to drive more revenue from your marketing efforts. You only have to make minimal changes to show strong revenue- growth potential that pays off even more as you add additional segmentation strategies and automated programs. You can bite off the concepts at almost any level and drive more sales. I’d encourage every marketer to think of behaviors as the new lens for how you look at your entire marketing effort.

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