In this era of digital marketing, the growth of your business begins with not only understanding what people want but predicting what they want next.

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The other day while I was making a purchase on Amazon, the site prompted me to browse through some more products that they felt I would like as well and I did! I wonder how they did that? A little later, I was bewildered as to how You Tube knew what I would have preferred to watch next! Were they spying on me or were they simply and cleverly predicting what I wanted?

If traditional digital marketing has been your modus operandi, you have probably been doing this. You have used consumer intent signs to get insights into what your customers want, have run marketing campaigns based on that research, tracked their activities and consequently made the relevant changes in the customer experience module. But the reality of a customer journey is very different today. Customers have technology at their disposal and although this keeps them connected across devices all the time, it also fragments their purchase path due to multiple touch-points and micro-moments. As a result, there is a sense of urgency, personalisation and engagement at every step, boggling you with the distorted data and leaving you clueless about what your customer is thinking.

If you want your business to grow, you will have to make a paradigm shift in digital marketing and move beyond the usual demographics & strategizing to be a step ahead of your customers. The good news here is that it’s not an impossible task. During their fragmented digital journey, the customers are constantly dropping hints as to how they want to be served and by building an engine, you can predict their intent throughout their customer journey.

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How do you build this engine to predict intent of your customers to enhance their customer experience?

  • Align your marketing efforts with your business goals- You need to concentrate more on the bigger picture and the overall results rather than the ‘last click’ and ‘same device conversions’. You must optimize your media channels for profits and data-driven attribution to help your team gauge the signs and intent in your customer’s journey for long term benefits.
  • Tap into the customer lifetime value (CLV)- Understand the value each customer brings to your business over a period rather than focusing only on a single transaction. Market segmentation based on value, increases engagement and retainment of your important customers and improves customer experience.
  • Automation- This is the way the wind is blowing. Automation and machine learning increase your KPIs and some of the most experienced marketers are set on prioritising this technology for bidding, data attribution, segmenting and budgeting.
  • Set up a cross functional data team- Merge users’ customer journey data with their unique identity and insights from their interaction histories across channels. This raises the accuracy of intent prediction. Factor in location data for a stronger shot at success.

Predicting intent can be a turning point in any customer journey and you stand to win if you boost customer experience by giving your users what they want and how they want it before they even ask for it. Evolve your digital marketing strategy around your consumers’ wants and you will be the one that stays in the game with your business growing exponentially.

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