Kresten Bergsøe
Kresten Bergsøe 14 May 2020

Marketing: Be Relevant or Be Forgotten

When exposed to advertising, visiting sites or receiving emails the experience is static, lacks context and is mostly irrelevant. However there is a different way.

Most marketers work and budget is now spent on online advertising, web and email.

But, at large, the experience when exposed to advertising, visiting sites or receiving emails is static, lacks context and is mostly irrelevant. This erodes the attention of the audience - the most important asset of any organization. If you are perceived irrelevant - you are forced to spend an increasing amount of your resources on generating more traffic to achieve your short term financial goals and your profitability will suffer.

However there is a different way.

Conversion vs conversation

The modern web channel is a living paradox. No other channel can generate more information about its users and deliver better real time personalised experiences.

However, most websites are still dumb – they treat all visitors the same. First time visitors get the same experience as loyal visitors with hundreds of prior visits. High value visitors get the same as low value visitors. Websites are mostly static, optimized for conversion and focused on transactions, they presume visitors are ready to purchase/convert. Fact is that the vast majority of site visitors are in earlier stages of the purchase decision. They are collecting information, building their consideration set and short listing purchase candidates.

When most of the customer journey is exploratory and site conversion rates are small single digit numbers while bounce rates are large two digits - it shows exactly how irrelevant our site experiences are considered by visitors. Still sites are focused on conversion rather than conversation. No matter how much you optimize your site - you don’t change this barrier.

If you want to fundamentally increase the relevance of your content to the people who consume it – you need to adapt it to the individual visitor – one individual at a time. 

It has never been easier to differentiate the web experience to the individual site visitor. Aligning content and call to action to the visitors stage in the customer lifecycle and nudging visitors toward sharing information and entering conversations rather than focusing on product messaging and conversion.

Web personalisation is the engine behind this opportunity and it has a huge untapped potential. Designing personalised websites and experiences is still new to most marketers - but its a skillset that is required in the years to come and it is the key to radically deliver on the commercial goals and KPIs of any business with an online presence.

The email channel - automated irrelevance

The email we send our subscribers are also typically generic. The newsletter is still the format that represents the vast majority of commercial emails. Typically it's one size fits all. The problem is individual subscriber interests change, engagement change and as we dictate timing when sending it is almost impossible to reach subscribers at the right moment.

On average more than 60% of email list subscribers are dead - subscribers have not opened or clicked an email in the last 6 month. But mostly they will receive the same frequency and content in their messages as everybody else - typically spammy promotional content presuming that the subscriber is interested and ready to do a purchase.

You may already have an onboarding flow - but:

  • Have you ever considered a re-engagement flow targeting subscribers who show signs of lost interest? - and reduce frequency or remove subscribers who consistently do not respond to your messages?
  • Have you considered personalizing email content based on subscribers' individual category/product interests?
  • Have you considered to differentiate your content and objectives based on the subscribers stage in the customer lifecycle?
  • Have you considered migrating your newsletter efforts toward triggered mails that are fired based on subscribers behavior?

Most email marketing platforms support personalisation. But most subscriber lists only contain the most rudimentary information about the subscriber. The vast majority of lists only contain name, email and very very basic information. The subscriber data structure of most platforms are typically very rigid and not easily changed. Combining email subscribers with deep profile information that combine behavioral as well as information from other internal systems like purchase history, previous interactions, preferences etc is a huge task for most marketers. And for most it results in the well known standard newsletter - that systematically drains engagement from the subscriber list.

The good news is that it is not that difficult to change. Migrate away from campaigns towards event triggered emails to solve timing. Move away from static content to personalized content to solve context and relevance.

People are different – but consistent

People are different, but they are very consistent in their behavior. If you are persuaded by low price or high priced solutions. If you prefer specific colors, sizes or brands - these behavioral patterns are unlikely to change. And with any site with multiple categories of content or products – you tend to be more interested in certain categories or products than others.

Past behavior is the strongest predictor of future behavior. That is why it makes sense to score your visitors to predict their future behavior and use their profile to customise your content to match the individual visitor’s behavioral pattern.

To create relevant content or messages - you need information about the individual consuming your content. Stuff like recency, category interests, product interests, location and engagement.

With Monoloop, you get a simple way to capture this information, build profiles and use it to inject customised content into any existing website or application. Monoloop helps you build content that adapts and customises depending on who is consuming it. Being a tag based cloud solution, you are no longer limited by your existing systems capabilities or internal IT resources.

Rule based personalisation enables you to apply different strategies to different audiences. Show visitors different content that is selected individually based on their prior behaviour. 

Most of your audience are not ready

At any given time the vast majority of your target audience is not ready to purchase your product - so why is most advertising trying to convert rather than engage in a conversation about a shared interest?

In order to generate more revenue we need to engage in more conversations with more individuals who share our interests - and we need to keep that conversation going as long as we still share that interest. When the shared interest is no longer there - we should reduce or stop the interaction.

The marketing we do should reflect this simple logic - but it doesn't.

To create relevant content or messages - you need information about the individual consuming your content. Stuff like stage in customer lifecycle, recency, category interests, product interests, location, engagement, prior purchases, audience memberships etc. This stuff is what enables you to deliver a relevant message but also guides you toward timing it right.

What's next?

Let’s start a conversation. We built Monoloop to enable businesses to become more relevant in their interactions with customers and potential customers. But we have years of experience consulting businesses in all stages of their journey toward more relevant customer engagement - and we are positive we can add value to your business and organisation. Let’s meet - reach out and let's have a short chat to map out your current customer experience and where you want it to be. 

This article was originally posted on LinkedIn

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