What if you could operate with no limits? What would you do? In Marketing, you’d likely automate all interactions, build machine learning so these interactions are timely, contextual to what’s happening today and where your customer is and test automatically. Is that unrealistic to expect or is your approach limiting your perspective? Most of what I hear marketers say first is, “I don’t have the resources to do that.” So, when I hear XYZ vendor has packaged things like “shopping triggers,” I still think most are making a decision and settling based on their limits, not striving to really do things better than everyone else. Which are you?
Let’s start with what the term Trigger means to you? Does it conjure up visions of gaps in your shopping experience? How do I trigger off of a purchase and cart abandonment, a registration? Or does it inspire new thinking behind any digital “event” could be a trigger and how you would operationalize a program like that? Great customer communication programs are adaptive and agile, not pre-canned things everyone does.
Progressive marketers are pushing past simple triggers to customized event based messaging so they can observe customers interactions and adapt with messaging strategies as their customer and business evolves.
To be clear, we see events as interactions with your brand whereby some value exchange is made or the customer is showing some form of intent across any channel. Abandoned cart or browse abandon triggers are usually treated as a single track interaction in time. To be able to unlock the potential for event messaging, marketers need to think about their possible world as literally LIMITLESS. Imagine if you could build automation around these unique interactions, test on the fly whenever you want, and every interaction simply requires the same steps, vs re-engineering new processes.
Imagine if you could create refined messaging to reach any customer that has viewed 5 more videos over the last 30 days, has a LTV of over $300, lives in California, is a millennial, has just browsed Adidas, engaged in the mobile app more than 10 times in the last 5 days, shared a product with a friend through the website. Assuming you could leverage this data and automate the message, what would you send? Who would do the work on your side, IT or marketing?
The gap for most, is that while most solutions will say they can automate triggers, the the level of effort to wire in the audience and automation logic and the personalized content logic (what the content is for each user and where the content lives) requires a heavy dependency on IT to program the trigger just right and high degrees of customization often requires an API only approach. We’ve found this process can take days to weeks to build or modify one trigger and thus most automation programs are set and forgotten and pretty soon, you are operating in the world of accepting status quo.
Not all customer moments follow a typical sales funnel. All of these interactions have implications on Lifetime value and in a perfect world would have a connected digital experience, where at any given point you understand what’s happening, what content you need to deliver that experience and have some means of continuously optimizating messaging surrounding the interaction.
Sounds great on paper, but what does that really mean? Our team at Cordial has implemented communication strategies for well over 1,000 customers, for the better part of 20 years and have found that the best way to think about this short-term and long-term is have flexibility with the tools that can first enable access and visibility into the granular interactions consumers are having with your brand, help implement and modify programs without having to code, and help you constantly optimize with new variants to drive continuous performance improvement without having to be a data scientist. Implementing a shopping cart abandonment program is not difficult, it’s all the interactions before and after that event that add incremental value to growth, think outside of the present pain.
Before we get into the building blocks you need to make this happen, it’s important to understand that many of your customers begin their relationship with your brand well before you identify them as a known customer and can map unique interactions back to them. Imagine a customer browsing anonymously on your site building a mature history, yet when they register or buy, you don’t leverage all that history? We built in the ability to ensure every touchpoint allows you to associate this first party anonymous behavior with the customer when they opt in for the first time, make a purchase or associate their email address with a unique behavior so you start that relationship off with the most relevant communications possible.
We believe in enabling marketers to operate uncapped. Sure you can knock out the low hanging fruit, reach parity with your competing brands but we want marketers to be able to dream, implement, and adapt quickly. At Cordial, we help you think strategically and tactically.
We did this with 5 key capabilities:
Audience and Event Layer that allows us to help you make sense of the data, view standard lifecycle behaviors and custom events. What someone did, grouping of customers that have done similar things and the ability to take action on this
Intelligent Content Layer that allows us to manage content in the platform or pull content from your website, curate and personalize content for each customer at send time based on their real-time interactions with your brand.
Engagement Testing Layer that allows you to run autonomous multivariate experiments on all automations as often as you want. This capability is an algorithm that self-optimizes as the program runs, based on the goals you set (clicks, opens, conversions).
Automation Layer that allows you to build an audience based on a complex series of interactions, choose your template, choose what you want to test, select the audience rules and let it go.
The combined approach provides great flexibility across an entire portfolio of communications for what you do today and what you might want to do tomorrow, yet I don’t want to minimize the importance of the ability to modify and optimize the programs as you go along, this is where the real opportunity costs lie.