Guest post from Scott Groenendal, Predictive Analytics Solution Marketing, IBM Business Analytics
Follow Scott on Twitter: @scottgroenendal
Ever get that feeling you are being watched… or worse yet, followed?
This past weekend, my wife and I traveled into the “big” city to see the Hobbit. After the movie, we walked around Chicago searching for place to eat.
If any of you have ever been to Chicago, you know there are a few “seedier” areas of the city. I found myself glancing behind me every few minutes just to make sure the coast was clear (I’m a suburbs guy).
Hold on to that feeling, and now apply it to your “travels” through the aisles of the interwebs. Ever get that same feeling you are being watched?
You’re browsing for a pair of shoes one moment and the next moment… BAM… a convenient ad that bombards displays in the corner of your yahoo.com page while you are checking your email. This process is called personalized retargeting, and it’s been around for years. The idea behind it is fairly simplistic, as is the execution.
Have you noticed what happens when you have added a product to your “shopping basket?” Next thing you know, you have a couple of ads telling what else you SHOULD be interested in, but often times, could care less.
Both of these methods are simplistic, and many people complain they border on the creepy, if not annoying.
In my opinion, these technologies fail by not taking into account the customer’s buying phase. They fail because they are ill-timed and not representative of what the consumer is looking for. For instance, the customer might not be ready to actually make a buying decision; instead, he/she may just be looking to gather information.
However, what if you could continue to target these customers, but do it in a more sophisticated and subtle way? What if you could actually deliver the appropriate ads to keep customers traveling down that all important funnel, without being creepy or intrusive?
The Customer Analytics Solution from IBM is intently focused on the experiential lifecycle of the customer. In this way, an organization’s actions that are associated with knowing when a customer is just researching versus when a customer is ready to make a purchase are considered, and a personalized interaction strategy is developed based on that phase as well as other communication preferences.
Just knowing “what” a customer is interested in only tells part of the story. Delivering timely information to help them on their purchase journey, listening to their concerns in social media, and engaging them in a meaningful, two-way dialogue shows that an organization cares why, when, and where they will make that purchase. In this way, it’s not creepy, but demonstrates how to be creative and predictive in the approach, effectively merging art and science for a unique, concierge-like experience.
I’ll be discussing this in more detail at the upcoming IBM Connect conference (January 27–31 in Orlando, Florida). IBM is helping organizations create better customer engagement experiences, and also help them transform into a social business, embracing social media, collaboration and analytics technologies to drive tangible business value and results.
For more information:
· Attend my session at IBM Connect (Tuesday, Jan. 29 from 10:00-11:00 am), “Creepy or Creative? Providing that Personalized Web Experience”
· Read more about IBM’s Customer Analytics solutions and download the whitepaper, “Customer Analytics Pays Off”