Realtime relevance - turning interactions into conversations

Realtime relevance - turning interactions into conversations

With brands bombarding consumers with content, the smart marketer who wants to continue to engage customers should focus on creating a personal experience with truly relevant content, products and services.

Records are set to tumble this year. Again. And the record-breaking numbers of photos, videos and social media posts that will be added over the course of the year will include even more commercial content. Seventy percent of marketers expect to produce more content in 2018 than in 2017 [1], with Facebook being a primary driver of this commercial content shock. The social network has around 70 million business pages, all of which are trying to grab the eyes of more than two

billion users. But their success rate is falling. In the first half of 2017, the engagement generated by brands and publishers from their commercial posts fell by 20 percent. The number of likes and comments fell by almost 25 percent in the same period [2]. While Facebook again gained more advertising revenue, companies saw their reach further decrease. Experts estimate that brands with less than five million followers have a reach of, at most, six percent.

Fragmented attention

Brands complain about Facebook's algorithms, but that is only part of the story. Every time an average Facebook user logs in, the network has around 1,500 potentially interesting updates available. For heavy users, this number climbs by a factor of 10. Moral of the story: the fight for consumer attention is heating up; attention that, according to a widely quoted Microsoft survey in 2016, had already dropped to the level of a goldfish.

This is why marketers are increasingly focusing on developing more relevant communication with consumers currently within their reach. A good example is personalising and optimising the content on your website. Website visitors rarely stay long. But with real-time technology and dynamic content, you can offer them the most relevant information, immediately. Algorithms link visitor characteristics to a database of information about earlier visitors.

These visitor profiles include search history, previously visited websites and likely interests. They can also include behaviour during previous visits. Did the user explore the homepage or leave it quickly? Have they previously explored particular information? Knowing these specific customer profiles and interactions, it becomes possible to populate selected parts of the site with the content most relevant to that visitor.

Essential interaction moments

This is leading to conversion ratio optimisation (CRO) attracting more and more attention. CRO enables smart marketers to continuously improve essential interaction moments in the user flow. Even small improvements often lead to a big increase in engagement or number of conversions. Growth hacking - low-budget experimentation with new channels in pursuit of measurable rapid growth - may provide new ways to interact with your current and potential customers.

When interaction increases, so too does data. And with enough data, you can start to focus on improving the customer interaction throughout the lifecycle of that interaction.

Customer Lifecycle Marketing (or Management) goes a step beyond optimising individual touch points. It is an integrated, data-driven approach to improve the effectiveness of your customer interactions across different channels and devices. In this way, a series of successive touch points can quickly build into a seamless user experience.

360-degree picture

To begin, try to identify the moments in the customer journey at which your organisation can increase its relevance further. Then use the resulting data to continually improve the quality of your products and services. In this way, you gradually build a customer profile around which you can begin to personalise not only content, but products and services, too. This makes customer experiences more consistent, turns interactions into conversations, and greatly increases engagement and conversion.