Customer Activation. Marketing with a Measurable Purpose

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1 Customer Activation Marketing with a Measurable Purpose

2 INTRODUCTION As a marketing leader, you need to think about the lifecycle that each of your customers progresses through from potential customer to eventual advocacy. Cultivating relationships with your customers throughout this lifecycle is key to extracting maximum value from them. According to Marketing Metrics, the probability of selling to a new prospective customer is less than 20%, while the probability of selling to an existing customer is greater than 60%. And it s no wonder that 93% of respondents to StrongView s 2014 Marketing Trends Survey say they plan to increase or maintain spending on activities focused on customer engagement. Each customer experiences numerous touch points with your company throughout their lifecycle. And it s the job of marketing to ensure that each interaction has a positive impact and moves the customer on to the next stage. But how can you measure the success of your combined efforts and their impact on your customer s lifecycle? After all, you re doing more than generating awareness. Now, you re focused on Customer Activation. Customer relationships 02

3 WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ACTIVATE YOUR CUSTOMERS? Customer Activation means motivating customers to move to the next stage of their lifecycle faster than they would on their own. That could mean someone becoming a first-time customer, a dormant customer re-engaging, a one-time customer becoming a repeat customer, or a customer becoming an advocate. Sometimes, customers move through these stages naturally. But as marketers, we know that the right series of actions can move customers through these stages faster. Customer Activation assumes that you as a marketer can materially impact the movement of customers through their lifecycle. In the digital world, the basic approach to Customer Activation relies on knowing when to nudge a customer toward the next stage, when to push a customer toward the next stage, and when to leave a customer alone. While this sounds simple in theory, Customer Activation can be challenging to pull off when you re interacting with millions of potential or existing customers. This ebook will walk you through a strategic framework to help you determine whether your current marketing strategy is on target, or whether you need to realign your budget and team s efforts to ensure your marketing is constantly driving customers towards your goal. When to nudge and when to push. A nudge is used to drive engagement. A push is intended to drive conversion, where conversion is an overt action, such as making a purchase, registering for an event, signing up for a new offering, or referring a friend. 03

4 GET TO KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS Engagement throughout the lifecycle isn t just about the value you can cultivate from your relationship with the customer it s also about the value you can deliver to your customer. A recent McKinsey & Company global survey found that the ability to create sustainable and engaging customer relationships is the top priority for CMOs, even taking precedence over demonstrating bottom-line results. But how exactly do you deliver value throughout the lifecycle? It starts with a deep understanding of your customers. Like most marketers, you probably have a good idea who your customers are, but you and your team can t act on knowledge trapped in your head. Make your insights actionable create and maintain buyer personas. Buyer Persona Creation Buyer personas represent your target customers. Based on what you know about your customers demographics, behavior, transactions, needs and motivations, each persona should capture something unique about that type of customer that can be used to better engage them. To create your buyer personas, interview your current customers, potential customers, and members of your organization that interact with customers. The idea is to conduct enough interviews to start seeing trends and supplement them with additional research. 04

5 GET TO KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS Like many marketers, you may wonder how many personas to develop. Keep the number manageable. After all, you ll need to create relevant content for each persona. You ll also need the means to detect and understand what persona each customer most closely resembles, and then deliver the most relevant content. Visited the website less frequently Unfortunately, 98% of consumers surveyed in a recent Janrain study on solving the engagement gap, said the information they receive from marketers is off target. And 94% of survey respondents reported taking one or more of the following actions after consistently being mis-targeted: Never visited the website again A good rule of thumb: only create the number of personas you can build out deeply and create enough content to support. 13% 10% Became less likely to buy products Automatically deleted the s 29% 68% 45% 54% Categorized s as junk or spam Unsubscribed from s 05

6 GET TO KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS Customer Interaction Digital Behaviors Questions to consider: Building personas based on demographic 1. Do I truly understand all the ways my information isn t new. Taking into account customers interact with our brand? a customer s behavior is now possible in our digital world, even with millions and millions of customers. Knowing your customers in terms of their demographics 2. Can I effectively collect the relevant information about each customer to determine their persona? tells you who they are, but knowing how they behave tells you what they re interested in. Modern personas require that you take into account their behavior. Behavioral data can give you a strong sense of someone s next action in the customer lifecycle. A person s browsing, search, and social activity have a direct 3. Do I understand my primary customer personas, including their motivations to engage with our brand? 4. Do I have the necessary platforms to collect and understand my customers behaviors? Collect relevant information Understand primary customer personas relationship to his intentions and can signal interest. Plus, the ways he accesses your content can give you insight into his channel preferences and content needs. Platforms to collect and understand customer behavior For example, does he prefer your desktop website, mobile website or mobile app? 06

7 GET TO KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS Customer Journeys Once you ve defined your personas, you need to outline the stages of the customer lifecycle. That way you can develop a strategy that speaks directly to customers based on where they are in the lifecycle. Start by mapping out these stages based on the customer behaviors you note as customers move through the lifecycle. Pay attention to the channels your customers turn to and the types of information they want at each stage. Don t forget to include information about your customer s initial engagement with your company. How did the customer find you? What message resonated with her? What motivated her to provide her contact information? That insight will help you ensure a seamless experience as you continue to nurture the relationship. It will also give you a sense of how that person likes to be engaged with. Some customers will tell you their preferred communication method, including their preferred channels and frequency, but most won t! Make sure that in addition to having a place where your customers can tell you what they prefer, you also have ways to infer their preferences. For example, if you observe that customers aren t opening s, consider minimizing communication or using a different channel for that customer, like SMS or Mobile Push. 07

8 TAKE THE REINS: MOVE CONSUMERS THROUGH THEIR LIFECYCLE FASTER With your customer lifecycle and personas defined, you re now in a position to deliver relevant, personalized information and content that addresses your customers interests and lifecycle stage. Specifically, you ll be able to offer information and content that can trigger the customer to take action. But before you do that, you need to determine how well you re moving customers through their lifecycle today. Essentially you can impact two key elements of each customer s lifecycle: the stage and the speed. Customer Stage and Speed Decide which stages you want to drive customers to, and which stages you want to ensure customers avoid. In other words, are customers getting stuck in stages you want to move them out of quickly? For example, do customers become dormant for a year after their first purchase? How can you keep customers engaged even if they re not making a purchase? In addition to the stages, you can impact the speed at which consumers move through the lifecycle. For many marketers, the final stage of the lifecycle will involve some form of advocacy where a repeat customer is now sharing their positive experience with your brand with all their friends. Wouldn t it be great to get more customers to that stage faster? 08

9 TAKE THE REINS: MOVE CONSUMERS THROUGH THEIR LIFECYCLE FASTER Once you understand the lifecycle and the stages that matter to your business, you need to figure out how you can get customers to the positive stages faster and keep them there longer. Having a goal makes it easier to control how people move through the lifecycle. Ideally, you want to develop content and campaigns for every touch point that influences movement through the lifecycle. In the context of how your customers currently move through the lifecycle, think about changes you may need to make to achieve the ideal lifecycle. Questions to consider: 1. What stages comprise my customers lifecycle? 2. Is this the ideal lifecycle? 3. What indicators tell me which stage they re in? 4. Can I automatically measure those indicators today? 5. How will I know when someone moves forward or backward in their lifecycle? 6. Am I effectively re-activating dormant customers today?? Customer Lifecycle 09

10 CUSTOMER ACTIVATION IN ACTION When it comes right down to it, every one of your marketing activities should be tied to activating your customers. The ultimate goal of this framework is to help you understand which marketing activities have the greatest influence so that you can expand their impact. At this point, you need to define the mechanics of activating a customer. In other words, decide which interactions at various touch points have the highest likelihood of moving customers from one stage to the next. Drive Customer Engagement Start by breaking your existing marketing activities into those that drive engagement the nudges and those that drive conversion the pushes. The idea is to document your existing activities and then run campaigns built around those to see the precise results these activities yield. Keep in mind the rule as you design your campaigns 4 nudges (fun or engaging content assets), for every soft push (such as a valued customer coupon), and every hard push (any direct promotion that screams buy now! ). These touch points are at the core of Customer Activation, and you should test combinations of them over time to determine what moves customers more quickly through the lifecycle. Let s look at an example where a customer purchases from you infrequently. An ideal combination of activities might be to nudge with a fun piece of content, nudge with an educational content piece and then soft push with a discount offer if they purchase now. If that fails to motivate action, follow up with two more nudges in the form of interesting content, and then a hard push with a clear call to action. Once you can test and measure your tactics, you ll better understand what truly works to engage customers, what drives purchases, and what should be scrapped. Start by breaking your existing marketing activities into those that drive engagement the nudges and those that drive conversion the pushes. 10

11 CUSTOMER ACTIVATION IN ACTION Engagement Marketing Platforms Like a CRM for sales, the right marketing platform will not only help you automate your marketing processes, but it will help you create meaningful interactions with your customers. An engagement marketing platform facilitates these interactions based on who your buyers are and what they do, continuously over time. It s marketing that moves your customers through their buying journey. An engagement marketing platform should help you manage all your communications across different personas and stages, and automate these interactions. In other words, there s no need to manually manage the entry and exit of each persona from each lifecycle stage. Instead, you can automate how you engage each person as they enter and exit each stage. Marketing platform 11

12 CUSTOMER ACTIVATION IN ACTION The metrics and insights from the activities you run on your engagement marketing platform will help you understand when to nudge versus when to push; allowing you to deliver the right message, to the right person, on the right channel, at the right time. For example, let s say a consumer visits your website frequently. Though she hasn t yet purchased, you re continually gathering information about her navigation habits and areas of the site she visits. Based on this data, your engagement marketing platform can start personalizing your site content and offers. Questions to consider: 1. How do we want the optimal journey to change? 2. Where do we need to speed up the journey to the next lifecycle stage? 3. Which marketing activities are most effectively engaging people today? 4. Which marketing activities are most effectively converting people today? 5. Can we better direct the activities that drive conversion to people who are ready to convert? If you have that person s address, those same messages can be delivered when she s not visiting your site. When she finally does make a purchase, you can instantly start nudging her towards the next lifecycle stage become a repeat customer. 12

13 CUSTOMER ACTIVATION IN ACTION Every Journey Has a Destination While your goal for customer activation is to move people through the customer lifecycle, remember: it s not always about the journey, it s about often the destination. In this case, the destination is achieving your ultimate marketing goal, which is to make every customer an advocate. To measure how well you are moving customers through the lifecycle, you need to define clear entry and exit criteria for each lifecycle stage. Let s go back to the customer example in the previous pages, when the shopper made her first-time purchase and became a customer. Assuming your marketing motivated her to become a repeat customer, you should ask yourself two questions: How can we keep her coming back? And, how can we turn her into an advocate? Since you ve successfully brought her back already, and you re continually learning more about her, you re already off on the right foot. But when you see that she s talking about her purchases from you on social channels such as Facebook, she has officially entered the advocate stage. This is just one example of how a customer might move through the lifecycle stages your customers lifecycle stages should reflect the actual path they take as they engage with your organization, as well as the path you want them to take. 13

14 CUSTOMER ACTIVATION IN ACTION Whatever the lifecycle looks like, you want to define metrics based on how you expect people to move through their journey. The key is to define customer behaviors that you can easily measure, such as a customer making her first purchase, or sharing details about that purchase on a social channel. Questions to consider: 1. How can I determine when a customer moves to a new lifecycle stage? 2. What behaviors do my customers exhibit when they change stages? 3. Can I detect and act on these changes automatically? Measure behaviors Customer Behaviors Define customer behaviors Purchase Details First Purchase 14

15 SHAPE YOUR MARKETING PLAN FOR MAXIMUM ROI The next step is to cross-reference entry and exit criteria and patterns with the number of people you need at the top of the lifecycle and at each subsequent stage to achieve your business goals. Then you can assess whether your marketing dollars are allocated correctly. If your efforts aren t sufficiently supporting your goals at each stage, you should modify your budget. Once you put this framework in place and understand the results, evaluate all your marketing efforts through this lens. Remember, every marketing program and initiative should map to the goal of moving customers through the lifecycle. That s the core of customer activation and it means you should scrap any efforts that don t directly impact your efforts. Questions to consider: 1. How many people are in each lifecycle stage today? 2. How many people do we need in each stage to hit our business goals? 3. Where can we make improvements today that will impact the speed at which people move through their lifecycle? Tip Clearly define the customer lifecycle and associated stages. Then make sure that every marketing effort is aligned with moving customers through these stages. 4. Where do we need to invest to ensure we re moving enough people into our desired lifecycle stages? 15

16 BECOME A CUSTOMER-CENTRIC ORGANIZATION If your organization is like many, it has traditionally organized around a single channel, product, or geography. But customers today span channels; many span products; and some even span geographies. Customers cut across the silos most companies define, and this has traditionally made it impossible to achieve a customer-centric view. Core to effective customer activation is organizing your teams around the customer. If you are organized around channels today, at least ensure that you have the processes in place to coordinate the customer s journey across those channels. You should organize around personas and lifecycle stages. The goal should be to provide a cohesive experience across channels and lifecycle stages. This improves the overall effectiveness of every marketing touch point. Questions to consider: 1. Do our potential customers see a unified experience when they engage with our brand? Does it start the moment they first convert? 2. Do our marketing teams coordinate experiences today to ensure a unified customer experience that cuts across silos? 3. Can we re-organize our marketing team to provide a more cohesive experience to our customers? According to research by The Economist Intelligence Unit, only six in ten senior executives view their companies as customer-centric. 16

17 ENSURE YOUR PLATFORM SUPPORTS YOUR APPROACH In today s digital age, you can access, view and analyze all types of data about your customers, including behavioral, demographic and transactional information. As a result, you can get a full picture of your customers. [???? Marketing leaders who don t know how much their customers are worth. [ 66% But developing that 360-degree view of your customers requires alignment between your data, technology, processes and people. With such alignment in place, you can track and measure the customer s engagement with you throughout the customer lifecycle. These changes and capabilities mean you can adopt a customer-centric view to fuel your marketing strategy and tactics. After all, these insights make it possible for you to more personally and better engage your customers at every stage of the lifecycle. To support this framework, you need a platform that enables a single view of your customers across channels, and allows you to measure how people move through the lifecycle.? 17%? [ Potential increase in sales from identifying and maximizing top value customers. [ 17

18 CONCLUSION: A SOLID FOUNDATION FOR CUSTOMER LIFECYCLE MARKETING Product Centric Just as important, your platform needs to automate engagement because you can t manually interact with thousands or millions of consumers as they enter and exit each lifecycle stage. If you re like most marketers, you grasp the importance of moving away from a channel-or product-focused perspective to a customer-centric model. We understand that it can be daunting to think about making that shift. The steps we ve outlined in this ebook provide you with a solid framework to start aligning your efforts with the customer lifecycle. With the right platform and processes in place, you can: 1. Develop a single view of the customer across channels. 2. Move customers through their lifecycle faster. 3. Measure how well each marketing effort moves people through their lifecycle. Customer Centric 18

19 CUSTOMER ACTIVATION WORKSHEET: 25 QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER 1. Do I truly understand all the ways my customers interact with our brand? 4. Do I have the necessary platforms to collect and understand my customers behaviors? Yes No Yes No 2. Can I effectively collect the relevant information about each customer to determine their persona? 5. What stages comprise my customers lifecycle? Yes No 3. Do I understand my primary customer personas, including their motivations to engage with our brand? 6. Is this the ideal lifecycle? Yes No Yes No 19 19

20 CUSTOMER ACTIVATION WORKSHEET: 25 QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER 7. What indicators tell me which stage they re in? 10. Am I effectively re-activating dormant customers today? Yes No 8. Can I automatically measure those indicators today? 11. How do we want the optimal journey to change? Yes No 9. How will I know when someone moves forward or backward in their lifecycle? 12. Where do we need to speed up the journey to the next lifecycle stage? 20

21 CUSTOMER ACTIVATION WORKSHEET: 25 QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER 13. Which marketing activities are most effectively engaging people today? 16. How can I determine when a customer moves to a new lifecycle stage? 14. Which marketing activities are most effectively converting people today? 17. What behaviors do my customers exhibit when they change stages? 15. Can we better direct the activities that drive conversion to people who are ready to convert? 18. Can I detect and act on these changes automatically? Yes No Yes No 21

22 CUSTOMER ACTIVATION WORKSHEET: 25 QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER 19. How many people are in each lifecycle stage today? 22. Where do we need to invest to ensure we re moving enough people into our desired lifecycle stages? 20. How many people do we need in each stage to hit our business goals? 23. Do our potential customers see a unified experience when they engage with our brand? Does it start the moment they first convert? Yes No 21. Where can we make improvements today that will impact the speed at which people move through their lifecycle? 22

23 CUSTOMER ACTIVATION WORKSHEET: 25 QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER 24. Do our marketing teams coordinate experiences today to ensure a unified customer experience that cuts across silos? Yes No 25. Can we re-organize our marketing team to provide a more cohesive experience to our customers? Yes No

24 Marketo (NASDAQ: MKTO) provides the leading marketing software and solutions designed to help marketers master the art and science of digital marketing. Through a unique combination of innovation and expertise, Marketo is focused solely on helping marketers keep pace in an ever-changing digital world. Spanning today s digital, social, mobile and offline channels, Marketo s Engagement Marketing Platform powers a set of breakthrough applications to help marketers tackle all aspects of digital marketing from the planning and orchestration of marketing activities to the delivery of personalized interactions that can be optimized in realtime. Marketo s applications are known for their ease-of-use, and are complemented by the Marketing Nation, a thriving network of 400 third-party solutions through our LaunchPoint ecosystem and over 50,000 marketers who share and learn from each other to grow their collective marketing expertise. The result for modern marketers is unprecedented agility and superior results. Headquartered in San Mateo, CA with offices in Europe, Australia and Japan, Marketo serves as a strategic marketing partner to more than 3,400 large enterprises and fastgrowing small companies across a wide variety of industries. For more information, visit marketo.com Marketo, Inc. All Rights Reserved Designed by SCORCH

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