It is increasingly vital to target, personalize and humanize your communications in today's digital world. As marketers we must focus on how these types of “human touches” interact. In “Customers Need a Human Touch in Digital Marketing”, agencyQ’s partner, Kentico, looks at the concept of human touch across the core elements of a digital marketing campaign for a hardware store client to illustrate the importance and the interplay between each of the elements.
Analytics Start the Process
The first step is capturing data. Our hardware store needs to know who comes to the website and where they come from, be it from a Google search, an email ad, referral site, social media campaign, or an organic visit. How much time are they spending on the site? What are they looking at? Are these visits converting? What is the customer’s journey?
With Kentico, our partner can understand the type and behavior of their visitors. By using Kentico’s Web Analytics tools, you can capture data on visitors (countries, registered users, visitors, mobile devices, etc.), traffic sources (referrals, search engines, search keywords, etc.), content views (file downloads, landing pages, exit pages, page views, etc.), and browser capabilities (browser types, operating system, screen resolution, etc.) to manage campaigns clearly and easily. This information is captured in “real time”, and our store can track each of these individual statistics (and more) on an hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. With this data, the partner knows that certain visitors have come from certain campaigns, are following a particular customer journey, and can drill-down into the data to track them.
Segmentation Breaks Data Into Manageable Pieces
This data (and there will be plenty of it) must now be narrowed down and organized into useful segments. The store knows which criteria matter to its sales structure, so they will need to set different values for each piece of data collected. Using Kentico’s Segmentation module, our store can efficiently break down this contact data into multiple groups that share the same value criteria based on several different factors. Let’s say, for example, that our store has two contact segments. One is spending less time on the site and puts more things in their e-shopping baskets (and either buys a few small items like paint brushes or pliers, or they leave the site and never complete the purchase). The other contact segment makes many trips to the site and spends several minutes each visit reading product descriptions and reviews. They don’t often put products into their basket, but when they do, these products are larger, like a vertical band saw, and they tend to complete the purchase.
Personas Put a Human Face on Those Data Segments
Even with clearly defined contact segments, it is still important to reach those different customers as people rather than give every visitor the same generic content. Included in Kentico’s Online Marketing solution, the Personas module allows our hardware store to take that information and develop a persona about who the customer is, asking and answering what drives them, how they got to where they are, and how we can reach them effectively. Through personas, the store can assign new and returning visitors to each persona based on criteria the store feels are key to that persona’s customer journey. Then they can offer effectively targeted content to those different personas. The store, both today and 70 years ago, is in similar situations.
70 years ago, it was clear what drove the customer because their journey was obvious—it had feet and walked in the front door. Today, using Kentico's Personas module, our store can build a persona about the customer based on how they’ve reached the site, where they’ve been on the site, and then show them the content that’s most useful to them. It’s as if pixels had feet.
Our store might, for example, create a persona (call it “Steve”, the small-project persona) based on factors like what they click on (products in value under $100) and how much time they spend on each product page (less than one minute), whether or not they view the discount section, and whether they put items in their shopping cart but do not complete the sale. Our store knows Steves want products at a good price with simple, inexpensive shipping options. Based on customer behavior, the store knows how many Steves there are and is ready to reach them all.
For our “large customer” (“Ron”, maybe), our store can create a persona that reflects a customer that reads more technical information. They look at more expensive and larger tools (over $500 and requiring oversize shipping rates), they spend more time on the site (over 10 minutes per visit), and may make one large purchase at a time. Our store knows Rons want information, not a cashier, before they make their purchase.
Marketing Automation Reaches the Right Personas the Right Way
Marketing Automation allows the store to define and execute easily automated marketing campaigns to engage new customers, nurture leads, and maintain an ongoing conversation with the customer. Marketing Automation takes the best of Kentico’s Online Marketing tools, including Contact Management, Email Marketing, Segmentation, Personalization, Campaign Management, and Lead Scoring, and orchestrates them into a manageable process to automate lead nurturing and drip marketing while also cultivating relationships with clients and prospects, converting them into customers. It’s a powerful tool that turns the simple hardware store owner into an orchestral conductor. For our store owner, it’s like pulling together lumber, masonry, wiring, plumbing, and roofing materials to create the custom house that a customer wants. In our examples, the Steves can now be targeted with automated emails about sale pricing, better shipping offers, or smaller items the store owner knows that Steves might want. For the Rons in the data pool, the store can use Marketing Automation to feature information. For example, communication to a Ron might include eight new ways to make hidden joints in Ron’s next furniture project, or where a Ron can find the best reclaimed lumber.
A/B Testing Makes the Messaging Right
Messaging, even if the store has a 100% accurate customer persona and a carefully orchestrated automated marketing campaign based on accurately defined customer data, is still important. The store can have the best data and the best content, but if they’re not messaging it in the right way, they’re not going to make the sale. With A/B testing, the store can use a small sampling of members of a particular persona to test two different versions of the message they’re trying to get across and make sure that the message that gets to the customers is not only the right one but is delivered the right way. Using Kentico’s A/B Testing module, the store can develop several different versions of the same content, then set up a series of tests to determine which of them reaches out and welcomes the customer in the most successful way. The store can evaluate an email campaign based on delivering information on plunge routers to Rons according to a number of factors, including open and conversion rates, and evaluate the results, all without having to know any technical knowledge to make the test happen. They can create multiple different phrasings and test on a small group of Rons, and then reach the full group with a message they know works.
Contact Management and Social Marketing Helps the Cycle Begin Again
Now that our store has created a hard-hitting campaign that produces strong sales and a healthy ROI, the store owner can put their feet up and relax. Or, in the real world, they can take that data and, using Kentico’s Contact Management module, combined with their existing CRM system, keep track of each customer as they come back to the site. If the customer hasn’t been back in a while, our store knows what type of content might bring them back. Instead of sending out a generic email blast to the whole contact list, our store owner can send out targeted content or offers that speak to that customer. When the Internet appeared, the personal touch that so many got used to at their local store went by the wayside. Marketing was impersonal, unappealing, and uncomfortable. Luckily, what was once a process of shaking several hundred hands and knowing the name behind each is back. With the right tools, marketing to customers on a human level becomes as easy as it was 70 years ago. Think of it as reaching out and shaking a hundred thousand hands, being able to give a name to each and knowing what each needs and wants just as if they had walked through the door. It’s human to human marketing, and it’s here.
You can read Kentico’s entire white paper here.