Newsflash: Your customers are tired of the cacophony of noises, ads, and businesses ‘pushing’ their agenda on them. According to a study by Nielsen, “Global Trust in Advertising,” consumers are instead basing their decisions on multiple points of access.
In fact, there is an distinct trend towards ‘self-service,’ since consumers will seek out recommendations, branded websites, and consumer opinion.
This means that it’s up to businesses to meet them halfway with intelligent interaction and information ready to go.
A new kind of ‘customer-centric’ strategy is emerging that makes use of this trend. It’s called ‘next-best-action (NBA) marketing,’ and is based on building trust and relationships through engagement.
Like it or not, says Gary Vaynerchuk, the poster-child of social media marketing for insane brand growth, every person is a media company.
Why is this so effective? Because, in this day and age, being customer-centric includes distilling your actions and conversations down to the single individual. Every single individual needs to be nurtured to a state of brand loyalty and be engaged, based on their specific level of experience with the brand so far.
Not all audience members are created alike, nor will they respond in the same way. They demand tailored experiences and interaction, far beyond just being segmented in an email campaign.
Influencers, for example, market effectively because they’re a singular brand, interacting and engaging, in real time, with audiences, giving them more of what they want.
This is the way the market is moving. Everyone has the chance to build their ‘personal brand,’ which means that every customer expects to be treated as an individual.
Enter: ‘next-best-action’ marketing, an effective tool for brands and businesses that want to encourage a more proactive and engaged customer response.
This strategic method relies on broadening the scope of marketing and building a collaboration between marketing and sales. In essence, every marketing ‘action’ and ‘offer’ has sales driven behind it. And selling opportunities don’t always come in the form of a direct push or call-to-action.
The proof is in the pudding: A study by Annalect about Twitter showed that ‘a tweet from a brand increased the purchase intent by 2.7x’.
Clearly, the next-best-action here, based on a targeted customer’s behaviour and interaction, was for the brand to simply tweet. That tweet made it more likely for the customer to feel engaged with and buy. But, if they hadn’t, the ‘next best action’ might have been even more engagement.
In this context, ‘next-best-action’ marketing is about meeting the consumer where they are. It’s all about crafting the best proposition and positioning, language, interaction and engagement. Sending the right message, from the right channel, at the right time.
Says Umporn Tantipech, ‘an organisation can get ten times performance uplift in terms of response rate [out of next-best-action marketing] compared to the traditional standard mass market push approach’.
If a completely tailored approach is the baseline for engagement, a surefire method to build loyalty and, eventually, convert an individual audience member into a purchaser (perhaps even a return purchaser), should consider:
Content delivery now relies on next-best-action marketing working behind the scenes. NBA, then, is a framework for marketing as well as decision-making matrix. With the confluence of AI and Big Data into marketing software, this shift comes as no surprise.
Here’s how it works.
Begin by asking three relevant groups of questions:
Customers don’t want to be told anymore. They don’t even necessarily want to be shown anymore, either. They want to be met halfway. They want to be asked, ‘How can we serve you?’
Brands and businesses that allow this question to drive their engagement are going to, with the least amount of resistance, make the greatest profit in the most reliable way.
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