Mining your own data for marketing insights that will increase sales is essential if you want to stay competitive. Do it right and you have an almost-unfair advantage over your rivals.
The essence of marketing nirvana is being able to identify what messages should go to which customers at what time, and then making it happen quickly. Here’s an example of a best-practice communication chain that’s timely and personalised.
Digital marketing nirvana
Rachel is a fitness-mad young woman. She almost lives at the gym, so regularly tops up her active wear wardrobe with a specific brand. When she visits her favourite website to buy a new workout outfit, she finds style choices that reflect her previous purchases. She also sees the purchases of other customers who like the same sorts of things as her. This means she quickly finds what she needs and checks out. Rachel gets a follow-up email to confirm that her purchase is on the way.
If the marketer is really smart, three days after her online purchase Rachel will get a fitness-themed email. This grabs her attention and she watches a video of circuit-training tips and how to avoid injuries. Then a week later, she gets a message on her phone offering her a 15% one-day discount on weekend casual wear. Though she’s never bought this sort of clothing from this online retailer before, Rachel takes advantage of the offer and buys a casual jacket and pants for weekend wear.
What began as a simple top-up for her fitness wardrobe expanded into another valuable area of her wardrobe – casual clothing.
Can this nirvana be achieved with the ‘contact framework’ approach to marketing decisioning?
Some organisations take a simplistic approach to digital marketing strategies by using a single platform to inform their marketing decisions – this is known as a ‘contact framework’ approach.
Their single platform pushes data to a delivery tool (or tools) for message generation and presentation. While this approach can work well for small organisations and businesses that run simple newsletter and special offer campaigns, it won’t support the more complex and personalised chain of events described above.
What about the ‘decentralised’ decisioning approach?
For medium and large enterprises who want to leverage their customer data in a way that stimulates additional sales, the best solution is ‘decentralised’ decisioning – a fit-for-purpose approach that isn’t constrained by a single platform. Instead, it’s divided between platforms that have capabilities suited to each type of decisioning. This is what we mean:
- Campaign decisioning using a Customer Data Platform (CDP) or dedicated decisioning platform that delivers a set of campaign independent records per contact with targeting flags and personalisation. Campaign decisioning determines which contacts should be targeted by a given campaign and generates personalised data to populate that campaign.
- Message decisioning using a marketing platform that includes journey building capability. This is where the actual message or offer that a customer should receive is determined. It’s particularly important for multi-step campaigns, where a contact may receive several different messages based on custom logic and data.
- Contact decisioning using a marketing platform with contact framework capability that allows the delivery of prioritised and personalised massages to contacts. When a contact is a candidate to receive multiple messages or offers in the same time window, this is the process that determines how many of these messages the contact will actually be presented, based upon a prioritisation and/or suppression framework.
The benefits of decentralised decisioning
A key advantage of the decentralised, multi-platform approach is that it allows marketers to create complex and rich customer experiences. What’s more, having the contact framework closer to the point of delivery allows alternative models to be generated and evaluated, as all of the potential messages are available for review. In short, you get:
- Fast campaign turnaround times to meet changing customer needs and neutralise competitor activity,
- No need to engage specialised IT resources to deploy marketing campaigns.
- An environment where the ‘test and learn’ approach can be adopted, enabling marketers to optimise campaigns based on performance.
- Better utilisation of existing resources and technology without impacting the integrity of the enterprise data framework.
Are you a big organization using a small business approach?
Although state-of-art digital marketing hinges on three types of decision – campaign, message and contact – many large enterprises don’t split their decisioning into these distinct stages. Instead they use centralised processing, because it generates a sense of control and makes it easier to trace what processing has occurred. The result is:
- Long campaign turnaround times, due to complex campaign setup and the significant operator expertise required.
- Under-utilised capability of marketing delivery platforms, resulting in a campaign experience that’s not as rich and engaging as it could be. The maximum level of experience that can be delivered is limited by what the decisioning platform can do, not by what the delivery platforms can achieve.
- High cost of change, as all contact rules and decisioning logic are centralised in a single enterprise-wide platform.
- Confusion and complexity as decisioning is merged into a single process without distinct stages and separation of concerns. Complex decisioning configuration in a single platform leads to a lack of clarity within the enterprise as to what the contact rules are and what impacts they have.
Embracing n3 Hub makes marketing nirvana easier to achieve
While the decentralised approach to marketing decisioning can involve more resources, more people and more expense, it doesn’t have to. The arrival of n3 Hub means you can conduct best-practice digital marketing without added expense and complication.
Easy to deploy with minimal impacts upon existing IT infrastructure, n3 Hub is a CDP that enables marketers to automate the decisioning process across the three key types of decisioning. You get the simplicity of centralisation, but with all the marketing precision of the ideal decentralised approach. Nirvana.