The Tale of True Targeting

Patti RennerMeet Polly. She’s been a customer of yours since 2009. She’s on your email list. She gets text messages for holiday promotions. She loves to kill time at work by shopping your site. When she’s at home curled up on the couch with her iPad, she’ll sometimes search the reviews of things she’s already bought from you to see if she agrees with them. So far this year, she’s purchased $837.59 in merchandise. As far as you know, Polly is a happy customer.
Meet Jane. Jane is Polly’s BFF. She tells Polly she should check out the stuff from your most hated competitor. “I love them. They totally get me,” said Jane. Before you know it, Polly starts to get emails from the enemy. She clicks on their email link to learn more about the pretty blue thing she saw, later at work when she’s killing time on their website, the image for the pretty blue thing is right there on the home page. And when she goes to check the weather on AOL, an ad for more pretty blue things comes up to greet her. “Jane was right,” Polly thinks to herself. She clicks through to purchase.

While you’re focused on getting your next campaign out the door, Polly has been the recipient of a powerful marketing approach centered on her preferences, her likes, and her needs. While your marketing approach is being built off of campaign calendars for each separate channel, your evil competitor is stealing Polly’s heart (and more business) by focusing on the customer.

What’s a brand to do?

Polly was influenced by an automated series of messages presented across several digital channels and touchpoints. The cadence of messages was not so much that it felt “creepy” in any way. Instead, she felt that karmic coincidence of right message at right moment in the right location – highly targeted to what interests her most today (even this hour). What she saw on the website was in response to what she clicked in an email coordinated with her exposure to display advertising. And the email content could have even been triggered by a web search Polly did last Thursday.

Because the evil competitor includes a team of clever marketers, they had Polly’s information stored in a Universal Data Management system instead of trapped in separate channel-based systems. Polly’s behaviors, history, and online activity are now useable data points to leverage for dynamic campaign content including triggered messaging.

That means Polly’s interests in pretty blue things was captured and used to swiftly increase her conversion from browser to buyer.

The moral of the story: Your evil competitor really isn’t wicked; they just have wicked cool technology to support their approach. So should you.

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