Business dad becomes soccer mom

Marketers understand the importance of knowing their customers. Many spend vast amounts of money creating customer segments based on demographic data and purchase history, and that is exactly why so many of today’s marketing messages are completely missing the mark. A good place to start? Behavioral data.  

Take Dave as an example...

Dave's a valued customer at a well-known chain of grocery stores with a shop near his office. He uses the store's mobile loyalty card and they regularly send him emails containing offers based on his previous purchases. He frequently buys sandwiches there and as a result he gets emails containing lunchtime specials. Some marketers might consider this to be an effective engagement program that drives people back in store. At Plexure we think there are several problems with this kind of approach.

How can we improve?

For a start lots of the offers arrive in Dave's inbox when he isn't in the office and nowhere near the grocery store. He frequently works from home and any messages he gets when he is there unsurprisingly don’t result in a sale.

By day a business dad buying lunch

In addition to wasting a lot of engagements the grocery store is giving away margin unnecessarily. It seems like the only thing they know is that Dave buys sandwiches at lunchtime. Discounting this behavior, which is likely to occur anyway, doesn't make good business sense. Marketers need to reward behavior that makes customers more valuable to them over time. In this case they should be trying to get him in for breakfast or to pick up dinner on the way home.

A valuable behavior change: Get him in for breakfast or dinner on the way home

To successfully influence consumer behavior, marketers need more relevant data about their customers. Profile information and purchase history might be useful but what brands really need, to do it effectively, is real time - contextual and behavioral data. If your organization isn't using real time mobile data to manage customer experiences and improve the lifetime value of customers, you are not alone. A study by Razorfish in late 2013 found that less than five percent of C-suite executives believe they are managing experiences using real time data and analytics.

A 700% conversion rate increase through live data

Personalized marketing leverages real-time data from a store's mobile app - data like current location, in-app content browsing, local weather, nearby events and recent social activity. When a global brand that we work with started creating marketing messages based on this kind of live data, they saw conversion rates increase by more than 700% when compared to messages that were created using just purchase history and demographic data.

What you know vs what you should know

The grocery chain in our example already has a mobile app. But they aren’t getting any live data from it.  They should know when Dave is near a store or when he visits their competitors. They should know social profile data including things that Dave has recently liked. They should know how different weather influences what he buys and what events might trigger him to come in and purchase something. Then they should make sure all that data is used to inform how they communicate with him.

By night a soccer mom picking up the kids

During the day Dave is a business dad buying lunch on the go near his office but after work he is more like a soccer mom picking up the kids from sports practice and stopping in at the grocery store on the way home. He is the same person but he should be targeted with different messages. With the advent of mobile marketing, retailers have the ability to distinguish between these two 'Daves' using real time behavioral data from their mobile apps. The problem is that few retailers actually do.