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Marketing receives a SMAC on its head… and it is loving it!

  • Vimal Pillai(AGM and Head of Marketing, Clover Infotech Pvt Ltd)

Case 1: A radio taxi service I hired recently came in half an hour late. Naturally upset, I called their customer care. They apologised and gave me Rs. 400 off on the next ride. A friend had a similar experience and got the same offer. Is that what they do with every customer whose taxi would arrive late? Was there a pattern to it? 

Case 2: On the other hand, is a bank. Even after having paid the credit card bill six days before due date, they sent me an SMS saying the payment was due. They sent the SMS four times even after I made the complete payment, well before time. The cost of an SMS is understandably miniscule but if I multiply the cost with number of customers, it would be a significant cost. 

What’s the difference? 

The first case is of an organization, intently listening to its customers at all times. Furthermore, they have created knowledge by grouping a customer scenario and offering same incentives to customers in the group, often called “cluster” of customers. 

The second is that of an organization following a set procedure. They could have taken a cue from the first, created a knowledge base based on customer’s paying patterns, and drastically cut down the number of such SMS’s, which irritate the good customers. 

Furthermore, the same knowledge can be used to understand behaviours and spends on the credit card, thereby creating a cluster of loyal and retainable customers. 

A lot of effort goes into pilot study and market research before launch of a product. The need to identify the right target audience and relevant price points is paramount. The popularity of SMAC (social, mobility, analytics and cloud), the new-age consumers (millennials) and their usage and buying behaviour has changed the way marketing is done. 

Marketing has been SMACed on its head. But, marketing is really happy about it.

Marketing is now empowered to understand customers better and hence engage, interact, and pamper them like never before. Customer segmentation is now done by analytical models. And, since it is not based on intuition and limited structured data, but a sea of data on various attributes of the customer, the models have a high likelihood of predicting the future behaviour of customers. 

The new-age segmentation 

Segmentation is much beyond two or three attributes anymore. I would call it “multi-dimensional” segmentation. This is made possible by leveraging the power of technology and analytics. 

Depending on data, customers can now be segmented on:

  • What products they will buy?
  • When they will buy it?
  • How frequently will they buy?
  • What would be the immediate next purchase?
  • Will they buy only when there’s an offer?
  • Will they buy only prestigious brands?
  • Will they buy certain colors of products only?
  • Are they averse to certain product types?
  • Are they brand loyal?
  • Do they fall for cross-sell, up-sell opportunities? … the list goes on…

Now, map this with the millions of customers and imagine the possibilities. 

The segments of customers thus created are a treasure trove for marketers. Suddenly, it gives a more realistic insight into mapping a certain product for a certain customer. 

Email marketing doesn’t work. … really?

Once the segmentation is clear, the basic marketing tenet is to target the customer and position the product. 

Email marketing, considered one of the cheapest ways to reach a customer, is often ridiculed because of low hit/click rates. However, like in case 2 earlier, does it even reach the right customer at the right time? With analytics and propensity models, marketers are able to understand whether the prospect will become a customer and if yes, what offer will ensure the conversion. The propensity models also give keen insights into whether the customer will make repeat purchases, unsubscribe, be easy or difficult to retain etc. 

Analytics powered Email Marketing matrix

Using propensity based models, Analytics can segment customers and sharpen the focus of Email marketing as explained below. 

(In the matrix, written in black is the behaviour/ psyche of the customer and in red is the corresponding email marketing strategy)

After applying Analytics powered email marketing model, the mind-set towards a simple email marketing activity can change drastically. With segmentation and targeting made easy, the marketer now has to solve the easiest (from a marketer’s point of view) part of the puzzle – positioning. If he can get it right, his emails will give him more conversions/ results. 

Imbibe this Analytics powered Email marketing matrix into your Email marketing strategy and check the difference. You will be positively surprised!

Shrey Kapoor is a Tech-Enthusiast, Harvard certified Cyber Security and Cyber Forensics Expert. He Founder, which is one of the India's Top Tech News Website. Even Forbes and many other renowned publishers took his articles reference. Shrey is a Technology analyst, strategic thinker and creative writer who is passionate to deliver the best, latest possible Tech-News to his followers and subscribers. He completed his masters in Artificial Intelligence & Robotics, certified in IPR, T.Q.M. & ISO 9001:2008 In Quality Management Systems.

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