Thursday, April 19, 2018

Linking Customer Intent with Communications

It sounds like the Holy Grail of marketing - the ability to understand when a customer's intent to purchase is high and market to them right then to dramatically increase the probability of conversion. Marketing Tech News writes that this is the one piece digital marketers are missing, and it results in dissatisfied customers and misused budget.

Currently, there is a, "personalization gap," between marketers and consumers, and the timing of ads and communications is the main source of this gap. The proposed way to close this gap is to understand the consumers behavior across all internet use over time, not just the data that comes from one interaction on the company website. Following a customer over time, what blogs/reviews they read, what company websites they visit, can help marketers pinpoint intent to purchase much more effectively than a lookalike audience on Facebook and Instagram can.

While this does seem optimal from both the marketer's and consumer's perspective, given the current climate in the digital space, and the issue of privacy that has yet to shake out, this opportunity may be short-lived. The idea of a company following my internet browsing habits after just one visit seem slightly egregious. That said, at least I will be getting marketing from a website I actually visited, instead of a company or website I am unaware of and had no conscientious interaction with in the past.

Restrictions on the length of time a company can follow a customer are unlikely, as there is no guarantee that the data gets discarded after the allowed period has ended. A customer opt-in is also tricky, as with Facebook and many others, the terms and conditions were so long and arduous that most of their members never read them, and as a result, consumer trust is at a low point.

While marketing to a customer in the most targeted way possible does make a whole lot of sense, the way companies use the information they are allowed to collect remains the issue, because while some companies may have the best of intentions, others do not, and it's not always obvious from the start who is who. We will see how this unfolds.

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