What does the modern marketer look like in a multichannel world?

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In today’s multichannel world how can marketers use data to ensure the experience a customer receives is relevant to them?

At ClickZ Live Shanghai, Kenneth Ning, business development director, Emarsys, explores the challenges marketers face in today’s data-swamped environment and how to use it to enhance multichannel personalized customer experiences.

Emarsys works with more than 250 clients in the Asia Pacific region, across retail, ecommerce, fashion to publishing. But regardless of the business or the channel, all of these clients have the same objectives: how can you understand the customer and how can you make sure that the experience a customer receives is relevant?

To build a complete strategy for the digital world, Emarsys matches consumer data from offline transactions, online transactions, display, SMS, push, applications, in-app recommendations and social channels.

All of these channels should be used as data sources and for communication.

By consolidating the data, retailers can form a single view of a consumer. The aim is to ensure each consumer receives the same experience regardless of the channels or devices they are using.

Case study: Can too many customers be a bad thing?

For many ecommerce companies, especially marketplaces, if the product isn’t unique, it can be challenging to drive loyalty for the customer. The user might go online to search for products, they will be driven to a website, they may buy a product and then they will leave. It can result in ecommerce companies paying a lot of money to acquire a single customer.

Emarsys worked with a start-up ecommerce company which was experiencing huge growth and had funding from a venture capital firm. But after looking at data around cost per acquisition, profit margins and what happens after a customer made their first purchase, Emarsys was able to establish that the business was losing money on the first time purchaser.

The business was not aware of how many of its first time customers became a repeat, or how many first time customers it ended up losing, or the customer lifetime value (CLV).

Here’s a breakdown of how Emarsys worked with the company.

  1. First, it looked at the business’s data from the previous two to three years.
  2. Emarsys then defined what was an active customer, what was a defecting customer and what was an inactive one. (Defecting customers were those starting to show signs of calling off a purchase and not being very engaged.)

When the data was broken down, Emarsys could establish that 11% of the business’s customers were contributing to 18% of its revenue. Or, in other words, 81% of their revenue was coming from inactive and defecting customers.

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The data also showed that customers generating revenue for the business were buying more than once, and in fact they were buying five times more on average. This suggested the business did have the ability to drive loyalty and to get recurring purchases, but something was missing.

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The mistake this business was making was thinking it needed more customers and that its database wasn’t big enough, when actually, it had a lot of customers that weren’t making it any money. The marketing strategy therefore needed to focus on how to drive repeat purchases.

How to drive customers back for a repeat purchase

For customers only engaging once, there are a number of things a business can do.

  • Send them a survey
  • Send them a discount
  • Find out what works best to drive that repeat purchase

Discounts can prove problematic – especially for premium brands wanting to maintain their prestige. Another obstacle with offering discounts is that consumers can get used to it.

Surveys on the other hand, can be quite effective. Something as simple as asking the customer: “Did you like your order?” can have results. Whether the customer replies yes or no, they are engaging with the brand, and are likely to come back if they can see their opinion matters.

It gives the brand a chance to go back to the consumer to find out what the problem is, and an opportunity to improve or solve it.

Using consumer data can also help with targeted email marketing. For example: a high spending customer might be sent an email with a special offer as a reward or acknowledgement of their loyalty.

  • If it is the customer’s birthday send them an email.
  • If it is a high spending customer, send them a gift.
  • For a first-time purchaser, emails can be tailored to say thank you, and ask, what did you think?

From all that analysis, businesses should focus on these three areas:

  1. How can we increase the number of customers who buy once to buying again – first time to recurring?
  2. When customers start to show signs of deferring, how can we win them back?
  3. How can we be aware that some customers spend more money than others and how can there be a treatment layer that reflects that?

Using data for different objectives and outcomes

From the data that is analyzed, a business can have different outcomes for different objectives.

Using consumer data to understand how customers usually perform in a certain way and what their behaviors are. For example, understanding which customers want to be reached on push, who needs SMS or email, or whether is should be in the form of an ad on Facebook or Google.

A different campaign can be designed for each group.

For example, here are two possible scenarios that can be initiated depending on whether the consumer is a first time buyer or a repeat customer.

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This is where technology (and automation) give marketers the ability to make every customer feel uniquely special.

Minority Report: The Gap

In this clip from Minority Report, a number of different types of advertising are touched on. Lexus and Guinness are examples of business-driven marketing – brands pushing out their messaging. Gap on the other hand can recognize the consumer as a single person and has a customer-driven strategy. “Hello Mr. Yakomoto did you like the tank tops…” says the voice over.

This style of marketing identifies the customer based on their previous behavior, and the content delivered to them is tailored accordingly.

For customer driven marketing:

  • Identify the customer
  • Identify where they are in the customer lifecycle
  • Focus on your objectives and concentrate on retention

Key questions to ask yourself as a marketer:

  • Are you aware of what the most important touchpoints are?
  • What challenges might a customer have?
  • How much do you understand where your customers are in this journey and what campaigns are you sending to them at this stage?

The Emarsys approach

  1. Capture the right data
  2. Unified profiles (create a single view of the customer)
  3. Analyze the data to define clear actions and outcomes
  4. Automate
  5. Personalize the layout
  6. Be across channels

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It is important to remember that no channel, even one as ubiquitous as WeChat, can substitute for a holistic approach to multichannel marketing.

Being able to recognize the single consumer across devices and channels gives marketers an even greater opportunity to drive loyalty and repeat purchases through customized and personal marketing campaigns.

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