Trigger-based marketing uses individual customer behaviors and profile data to better time communications via the most appropriate channel, all within an automated system that reduces the need for marketing to manually coordinate the contact process.
In their NCDM 2009 session, "Mining Data to Build Successful Automated Marketing Programs," held this past December, Jay Henderson, director of product marketing at Unica, and Mike Register, group vice president/database marketing manager at SunTrust, shared the following pointers on how to develop and manage a successful automated marketing program.
1. The crux of an automated program is defining the triggers and the corresponding responses. According to Henderson, some of the common types of triggers used by marketers are:
- at-risk behavior
- significant transactions
- patterns outside the norms
- missing expected behaviors
For SunTrust, says Register, such triggers often play out as a customer:
- stopping automatic paycheck deposits
- making a loan payoff
- making a large withdrawal or deposit
- missing a loan payment
In these instances, SunTrust's home-grown lead system coupled with Unica's automated marketing technology flags the activities and forwards the customers as leads for follow-up by the sales team, which includes both branch staff and contact center representatives
2. The sales team must be trained on how to follow up appropriately, Register says, because some triggers can be of a sensitive nature (i.e., missing a loan payment due to a job layoff). No matter what the business vertical, contacting event-triggered leads requires more skill than that used for upselling and cross-selling, Henderson concurs.
3. In the same vein, Register adds, sales representatives also should be advised on how to approach trigger-based conversations without bringing up every piece of data the bank has on its customers. The goal is to be of service and drive profitability for both parties, not make customers feel like they're being stalked.
4. Put contact frequency logic into the rules engine to avoid the typical pattern of the best leads rising to the top again and again; not only can you irritate these good customers, but you wear down your sales team, Register explains. That said, also build into the logic any triggers that are so significant they should override any contact rules and prompt quick follow-up.
5. Solicit feedback on the program from the top echelon of your sales force; these performers want to improve and tend to leverage any sales tools fully, Register emphasizes, so their likes and dislikes go a long way in the fine-tuning process.