Database Marketing: Timing Is Everything
Imagine being able to time a marketing campaign so it hits exactly when a customer needs the product or service promoted. Today’s trigger-based marketing programs seize the moment by capturing just-in-time data and then turning that data into executable campaigns before the window of opportunity with customers and prospects begins to close.
Companies that engage in trigger-based marketing programs are yielding as much as a 400 percent improvement in response rates. They are marrying their knowledge of customer behavior and preference with trigger-based campaigns that strike while the iron is hot, all without busting the marketing budget.
Triggers represent specific moments in time that offer a unique marketing and sales opportunity, with added relevance for the customer because of other events happening in tandem. They generally fall into four categories:
* External triggers—product development cycles, mergers and acquisitions, changes in market conditions, and competitive actions.
* Customer life triggers—birthdays, a new baby, a home relocation, changes in marital status.
* Behavioral triggers—customer opening a new account, changes in purchasing patterns, and changes in spending levels or account values.
* Communication triggers—when a company already needs to reach out to the customer at various points (whether it be a welcome packet or a notice about a change in service), opening up a new opportunity to educate and cross-sell.
Today’s Web-based solutions provide pre-defined triggers to automatically initiate marketing programs. Typically a customer action, such as one of the events outlined above, creates the mechanism for marketing materials to be sent out to the consumer. This is done by establishing a set of business rules that act on pre-assigned criteria and push out a desired piece of mail, e-mail or telesales call to the consumer. Trigger-based marketing programs take existing customer data and profiles and apply business rules against that data to systematically drive a communications piece through execution at reduced campaign cycle times—in many cases within days versus weeks or months—enabling companies to deliver “right-offer, right-time” communications.