Marketing in today’s digital era has gotten chaotic. Consumers are creating their own buying journey, proactively leveraging technology to learn about your brand, your products or your services. They are engaging with you by interacting with your digital ads, visiting your website in anonymous ways, and consuming your content, before you even know who they are.
What’s more, they certainly don’t all follow the same patterns of engagement, and no matter how well you think you’ve planned your marketing to suit a certain persona, something unforeseen—you know, something from the real world—can crop up and change that consumer’s journey.
Let’s look at an example. Meet Elizabeth!
Elizabeth is a New York City millennial, a young professional who enjoys an active and healthy lifestyle. During the week she wakes up every morning at 6:30 a.m., puts on Pandora and goes for a run across the West Side Highway. It’s a sunny fall day so she decides to walk to work, and on her way, starts a text conversation with her best friend. This morning her friend sends over a link to one of yesterday’s Tonight Show segments, and she stops to grab a cup of coffee while she watches the video. After a busy morning of meetings and emails Elizabeth goes out to grab lunch with a colleague and swap running tips—Elizabeth is training for a ½ marathon and is looking for ways to improve her performance, new shoes, a fitness tracker—you name it. Just before heading out of work at the end of the day, Elizabeth remembers that today is her friend’s birthday, so she quickly hops onto Facebook and writes a message on her wall. Finally, it’s time to shut down the computer and head home for the night.
How can a marketer succeed in this context? It’s all about leveraging data and reacting in real-time, creating a responsive journey that delivers consistent and valuable messages throughout the consumer’s entire experience with a brand.
Let’s imagine that same day through the eyes of a marketer. There are so many opportunities to connect with and engage Elizabeth—and these moments are scattered across devices and channels, some make sense for branding, some for direct response. But regardless, you can create stories that resonate with her and reach her at the moments that matter: an online radio ad while she is running, a video ad before the TV show clip, a billboard on the street back from lunch, a re-targeting ad on Facebook… and so on.
A recent Harvard Business Review article by David Edelman and Marc Singer of McKinsey highlighted “proactive personalization” and “contextual interaction” as two of the cornerstone capabilities required for marketers to deliver value both to the consumer and the brand. Both require “blending data from multiple sources (such as transaction and browsing histories, customer service interactions, and product usage) to create a single view of what customers are doing and what happens as a result. This allows real-time insights about their behavior—in effect, isolating moments when the company can influence the journey – and permits customized messaging or functionality.”
With that insight into behavior across every channel of interaction, marketers then need to adjust accordingly. This is where the contextual interaction comes in, “using knowledge about where a customer is in a journey physically (entering a hotel) or virtually (reading product reviews) to draw [her] forward into the next interactions the company wants [her] to pursue. This may mean changing the look of a screen that follows a key step, or serving up a relevant message triggered by the customer’s current context.”
Many marketers try to plan their campaigns ahead of time using insights about their audiences, but life is not predictable. Back to our Elizabeth example. What if it was a rainy day? Her entire “brand journey” —radio ad, video ad, offline ads, Facebook re-targeting – could be radically different. Thinking about Elizabeth’s day also shows just how non-linear the buying journey is; people don’t just switch from awareness and consideration to action, they transition back and forth. And marketers need a solution that can analyze every interesting moment of interaction, react in real-time and leverage sequencing and dynamic content to show the right message at the right time.
Founded in 2005, Amobee is an advertising platform that understands how people consume content. Our goal is to optimize outcomes for advertisers and media companies, while providing a better consumer experience. Through our platform, we help customers further their audience development, optimize their cross channel performance across all TV, connected TV, and digital media, and drive new customer growth through detailed analytics and reporting. Amobee is a wholly owned subsidiary of Singtel, one of the largest communications technology companies in the world.
If you’re curious to learn more, watch the on-demand demo or take a deep dive into our Research & Insights section where you can find recent webinars on-demand, media plan insights & activation templates, and more data-driven content. If you’re ready to take the next step into a sustainable, consumer-first advertising future, contact us today.
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