Pause for one moment and think of just how much data your company is collecting on a daily basis. Between transactions, ecommerce, email, display, mobile, social, marketing automation, attribution, call-center data, offline data, cookies, and all other sources of data, there is a lot of information being provided by your customers. Upon collecting this information marketers have traditionally found commonalities among this data to create lists or segments to message out to their clients and prospects. While this can be an effective form of marketing based on the campaign objectives, marketers are gravitating towards highly-personalized messages tailored to the very specific data points they have managed to collect from their consumers.
While at DMA 2014 the Managing Director at FedEx, Mike Rude, spoke on this very topic to discuss how FedEx is using this “human data” as a way to drive engagement. As marketers, we are accustomed to looking at numbers and segments all day. Imagine in a perfect world if you had the capability to personally craft the e-mail to each member on your list instead of doing a blast e-mail. It would be engaging, highly-relevant, and extremely personalized, as you could reference the customer’s file and pull in the most important details as you were crafting their copy. While it might take ten years to finish each campaign, you would be using the data in a way that reminds you each number in your data base is actually a person with feelings, emotions, passions, fears, and families…something often forgot in the day-to-day hustle and bustle of getting your campaign out the door.
Although it may be impossible to personally craft each e-mail, we can use the data we have to provide a more humanized experience for the consumer. In fact, during this presentation, FedEx recommended the following three tips as a way to effectively begin your marketing efforts:
1. Know your customer – This is a phase we hear a lot in the ad tech space. As I’ve mentioned above there are many ways we can know our customer from the data that we can collect on them. However, this should be a two-way street. Just as we capture activity data, we should allow the customer to be able to personalize their preferences and needs. This data can be used to be customer-obsessed, only serving your customers the most relevant content at the right time.
2. Converse with the person – Instead of just pushing out your marketing efforts to your prospects and clients, make sure you are actually engaging in a conversation with them. Take a moment with your team to list out all of the types of people who come into contact with your brand, then list out all of the channels used. For example, FedEx has 16 million interactions on a daily basis with deliveries, often times leading to conversations with the end-users. Perhaps drivers could take the knowledge they learn about their customers and compile it into a single database for all drivers and employees to access when needed to add that “personal touch” during deliveries.
3. Don’t automate bad behavior – While technology has advanced and can help businesses achieve all types of goals, it cannot first be done without a sound strategy. Rude spoke on this topic by emphasizing the importance of optimizing people and process before implementing technology, as this should help to “enable experiences, not drive them.” Marketing automation is an easy thing to do, be it process or e-mail, but oftentimes complicates communications instead of adding an element of simplicity to the customer experience. Observe the paths of all of your processes, both internal and external, to help you determine how automation is negatively affecting your business and what can be done to improve it.
The most important idea to remember is that behind each piece of data is a living, breathing person with feelings, emotions, thoughts, opinions, beliefs and ideas. Remembering this will continue to help your brand build execute smarter, more effective campaigns leading to results as the recipients.