Identifying behavioral changes in your customer base, and effectively leveraging these insights can lead to greater customer engagement and true customer-centricity.

Pointillist recently released a white paper titled, “Achieve True Customer-Centricity with Behavioral Marketing,” and Loyalty360 caught up with Richard Thomson, corporate communications, Pointillist, to find out more about this intriguing topic.
Why are so many marketing formulas that were successful in the past now failing?
Thomson: Instant gratification. Not designed for omnichannel customers.

Can you talk about behavioral marketing and what are the keys to doing it successfully?
Thomson: When you know the audience and the customer journey, you can predict how likely it is that a customer at one step in the journey will actually take the subsequent step. And if you do not like the odds, you can change the experience by engaging them with relevant, in-the-moment messages – to increase your odds of success. But to do this, you need analysis measured in hours or days so that you can catch the audience in the moment, as the behavior is happening.

What are the biggest problems connected to data analysis for loyalty marketers?
Thomson: Loyalty is so much more than data.

  • I’ve been buying the same make of car for 30 years. There’s zero online data on that other than my buying record, and since I only buy once every three to 10 years, that’s not a lot of data.
  • Mindshare—as a millennial my world is on my phone. Not only is there a limit to how many apps I can have on it (and I’ve reached my limit already) but if you are not on the front page you are probably not getting my attention. Plus, you really need to dislodge your competitor’s app which is already on my front page.
  • Loyalty teams are often siloed from the rest of the organization. This can create political, physical, and technological barriers to data access.

What is “near-miss” messaging and how does it impact customer engagement?
Thomson: What you believe is timely may not be what the customer thinks is timely. Sometimes this is timing/ opportunity. Well-timed, personalized offers and content are welcome and useful. Random offers and content from an email distribution list that just happened to trigger are less welcome: An email coupon to a customer’s local office supply store landing in her inbox an hour after she left the store is a worst-case scenario.

Even if the timing is aligned, you still have what Pointillist CEO Ron Rubbico calls “The millionaire problem.” Yesterday, Jack’s new app went viral, and he became a millionaire overnight. On the other hand, Jill’s company was doing great, and her net worth was estimated at around $10m—until yesterday when the company hit a roadblock and the stock crashed, losing 90 percent of its value. Today, both Jack and Jill are millionaires, so right now—in the moment—they look similar. But in fact, because of their different journeys and mindsets, they are in very different places.

What are the keys to maximizing customer lifetime value?
Thomson: Solve these three key challenges:
1.Proliferation of data and channels
2.The illusion that knowing your data means knowing your customers
3.Customer dissatisfaction with the “near-miss” messaging they receive

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