Why Targeting Based on Customer Behaviour Just Works

Every time your customers interact with your brand they’re providing you with a wealth of information. It’s time to go beyond the basics of segmenting by demographics, to targeting based on customer behaviour.

By combining demographic with behavioural data (also known as transactional data), you’ll create more sophisticated marketing for a better customer journey.

When we refer this behavioural data as transactional data, the first type that springs to mind is purchasing data. It is actually wider than this. You could examine any sort of interaction your customer makes with your brand – visits to a web page, form, or use of an app – to improve your targeting.

What they tell us + What they do = Greater marketing ROI
Demographics & preference data Actions & behaviour a.k.a. transactional data
  • More relevant communication
  • Increased customer engagement
  • More timely communication
  • Increased revenue
Usually static or relevant for a long duration e.g.
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Subscription preferences
Usually time-based actions that describe an event e.g.
  • Visited a web page
  • Logged into an app
  • Purchased in-store

Identify and segment groups based on different customer behaviour.

Consider recency: when did your customer last interact with you? Or frequency: how often do they do so? Or monetary value: how much is your customer spending each time?

From there, use targeting to customise your messaging and offers to:

  • Continue to provide these groups with what they’re looking for and keep them as engaged customers.
  • Target prospects who are less engaged or don’t purchase as frequently
  • Nurture and target higher value high frequency customers with specific offers or products

You’ll build a stronger relationship with your customers through highly relevant marketing programmes.

Take this example:

Amy, 34, living in Auckland, makes a high value purchase every couple of months and spends more than $150 each time. Her last purchase was 3 weeks ago.

Laura, 34, living in Auckland, makes small purchases roughly every fortnight, each time spending about $30. Her last purchase was 3 weeks ago.

Nicole, 34, living in Auckland, has only made one purchase in your store in the past 6 months, spending $40.

On demographics alone these three customers appear similar. Yet their behaviour is vastly different. Marketing messages that take into account the recency, frequency and monetary value of their actions will have a greater impact on sales.

Adjust your content for each segment.

Create communications that are triggered by specific customer interactions, so they arrive when your customer will find the message most relevant. What message would most resonate based on each customer’s behaviour in the current example?

Create communications that are triggered by specific customer interactions, so they arrive when your customer will find the message most relevant. What message would most resonate based on each customer’s behaviour in the current example?

Amy: consider a VIP programme. Trigger = high value purchase per transaction.

Laura: consider a loyalty offer. Trigger = multiple purchases in a set time period.

Nicole: consider a purchase incentive. Trigger = long gap since last purchase.

Customer Behaviour Influences Your Marketing Message

Adjust your timing for the customer lifecycle.

Carefully consider the timing for each segment so that your message lands at the right point in your customer’s purchasing cycle. In the example, how would they react to an email sent this week? Let’s assume that Amy, Laura and Nicole all represent the typical actions of three different segments.

One email to all segments at the same time will result in lower conversions as they’re all at different stages of the purchase cycle.

Adjust your marketing programme timings based on customer behaviour

Amy: based on her past purchase behaviour she’s not considering shopping with you for another month. Consider scheduling your next marketing communication to less frequent shoppers (in the chart, Segment B, 45 days).

Laura: she may be receptive to an email now, though contacting her a week earlier may have been more effective. Consider scheduling this communication sooner after the last purchase (Segment A, 15 days).

Nicole: she doesn’t appear to have a strong relationship with your brand. The timing of the message may have less significance than the message itself. What offer would encourage her to shop with you again?

Base your communication timings on customer behaviour, or transactions, and you’ll be well on the way to optimising your data-driven marketing for better results.

Mobile-First Design: How Updating Your Design Can Double Your Click-Through Rate

One of our clients simplified the design of their newsletter, using a mobile-first approach - resulting in twice the click-throughs on mobile.

Brief: Create a Mobile-First Design

The original brief was to improve the email design to gain better results on mobile.

The mobile experience is certainly an area worth dedicating some time to – last year nearly 2 in 5 emails sent by Ubiquity were opened first on a mobile device. In fact, the Apple iPhone and iPad accounted for one third of all first opens.

What is Mobile-First Email Design?

Mobile-first design considers the simplifying the layout, individual design elements and the amount of content:

  1. Simplify

    First of all, examine and eliminate superfluous design elements and content. Focus on content and remove the clutter. Consider this from the top down, as changes to the first content your readers see will have the greatest impact.

    Mobile First Design

    What is it that your readers want to know about? Do you have one or two key messages or actions that you want to get across? The better focus will mean you’ll be more likely to increase conversions for the actions that really matter.

  2. Size matters

    With a reduced screen size to work with, each element needs to be carefully considered. Ironically, this often means increasing size rather than decreasing. Use space to guide the eye and make your content easier to read.

    Font, leading and button size all increase proportionately. This can be done using fixed or proportional sizes in the style sheets.

    • Fixed size fonts (e.g. font size 12px) are least likely to break in different email clients. This is easiest to control from a design point of view but means your developer needs to specify fonts for each desktop and mobile.
    • Responsive fonts (e.g. font size 110%) mean that as the screen display width changes, the fonts automatically adjust to accommodate. This means one style can work for multiple devices, but requires additional testing as headings and copy may re-flow in unexpected ways.
    Responsive Font Size
  3. Stack or hide content

    On larger screens side-by-side content works well for the typical landscape orientation. If left alone this would make the font too small. Establish a content hierarchy that influences whether the design is multi-column, stacks up in a single column, or remains full width. These are all controllable in the email design.

    Stack articles Replace articles Hide articles

Our client didn’t notice a difference in open rate: the same proportion of readers opened their email on mobile as with the previous design.

The real difference was in final click-throughs: cutting down the content meant that the desired action gained more prominence and attracted more interest.

TL;DR: You can improve click-throughs on mobile devices by using responsive email template design principles. Remove cluttered design elements, design for the screen and focus on content that converts.

Where’s Your Data-Driven Maturity At? 3 Pointers for Driving Customer Engagement.

Digital marketers who harness the expanding universe of data will succeed. Yet it’s an ongoing challenge to drive customer engagement in a way that is meaningful for both the customer and the brand being marketed. So how can you reach that marketing nirvana?

The challenge is reaching that space. And using data to get closer to your target audience.

At the recent Brainy Breakfast Gill Whitehead, Director of Audience Technologies and Insight at Channel 4 UK shared her experience on driving customer engagement. She provides three key pointers for going about data-driven marketing in the right way.

  1. The value exchange must stack up.
    The key to a good relationship is feeling valued by the other person. That works for brands too: show your audience the value you’re offering so that they will voluntarily opt in to your marketing programmes. 80% of Channel 4 viewers voluntarily provide more data – they see the value in receiving content that is better suited to their interests.

    Takeout for NZ marketers: Consider each individual’s experience. Segment to reach people with content that resonates with them, and that they want to engage with.

  2. Maintain trust and transparency.
    If you can’t explain something to your audience, don’t do it. Your customers should be aware of what you’re doing with their data, and be giving their consent before it happens. Explain what you’re doing with their data in a way they can understand and act upon. Channel 4 has been transparent about its targeted advertising, and has had less than 0.01% opt out.

    Takeout for NZ marketers: Be authentic. Ask your audience to voluntarily add data and be very transparent about how you intend to use it.

  3. Trial and iterate.
    There’s no golden egg for data-driven marketing. Experiment and get feedback as you go along from the people you’re trying to reach.

    While good content and well thought through timing are the foundation for your marketing programmes, the key to building customer engagement is accurate targeting. Personalisation can be used to move the audience, to create something fresh and energetic. With so much disruption in the digital environment there are multiple factors to manipulate. Be agile and embrace the change, and continuously listen and talk to your audience to understand how they want to interact with your brand.

    Takeout for NZ marketers: Speak with your customers. It’s an on-going test and learn process and risk-taking is part of the digital marketing experience.

Customer engagement allows you to create a richly textured audience portrait and better satisfy customer needs. Send targeted communications – with targeted content in the communication – and you’ll be rewarded with the greatest results for your marketing efforts.

The data-driven marketing challenge is in improving relevancy to drive customer engagement.

During Gill’s talk the audience was polled on their organisation’s position on the data-driven marketing maturity curve. Over half of respondents placed themselves as basic or tactical, sending campaigns with some targeting and personalisation.

Many NZ marketers consider that their organisations are still at the earlier stages in the maturity model. (N = Not applicable)

EcoFest Tickets Up for Grabs

Coming up over the next month is EcoFest – a series of activities to inspire Aucklanders on their journey to living more sustainably.

Ecofest kicks off with a Family Fun Day on Saturday 14 March and runs until 12 April. There are plenty of fun and practical events on the calendar, as well as the Sustainable Whanau Challenge with plenty of prizes to win.

Ubiquity is Ecofesthelps deliver the event evaluation surveys. As a thank you for helping out, we’ve got five free tickets for Totally Sustainable Talk: Kai in the Community to give away.

  • What Totally Sustainable Talk: Kai in the Community (more info here)
  • When Sun, 22 March from 6.30pm
  • Where Pumphouse Theatre, Takapuna
  • Tickets Value $30. Wine and nibbles included.

Would you like a ticket? Email your request to marketing@ubiquity.co.nz before wed 18 march to be in the draw.