Thursday, March 6, 2014

Learn to give customers what they want (even if they don't know they want it).

It happens to all of us. Every month we get random credit card offers or "discounts" for new cars even though you haven't applied for a new card in over a decade and just purchased a new car. At SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting company, we get dozens of unsolicited cold-calls every week. Bottom line is if you're sick of it then your potential clients and customers are sick of receiving blanket messages from your company, too. And that's not a good thing. 

Customers, regardless of whether they're B2C or B2B, are looking to be hit with only relevant messages customized based on their unique needs and desires. That is, customers are looking for what is known as "next best offers" (or NBOs), even if they don't know they want them. Unfortunately, many companies fail to tailor their messages to create NBOs customers can't refuse. And that will lead to those customers leaving to other companies because they're bombarded by dozens (if not hundreds) of promotions and "special" offers daily, and will only heed those that are relevant to their needs and desires.

So how does a company create NBOs that will catch the eye of potential customers? New technology, such
as SoMoLo (social, mobile, and locational), can be leveraged to store and analyze customer preferences, purchase history, and purchasing context among many other factors. Having information like that readily available makes it easier for successful NBOs that can provide a competitive advantage and increased sales opportunities. Conversely, neglecting this kind of information in favor of generic messages could lead to the reverse effect of driving customers away.

Through our research on NBOs, SkyPlanner has learned that four simple steps can be taken to assure that your company's marketing messages are going to penetrate their targets effectively.

  • Establish the objectives and map out the plan to reach them. Does you company want to gain a certain amount of new customers and increased revenue in a year, or maybe improve retention of existing customers?
  • Collect pertinent information. Data can come from many sources. Internal sources such as your existing customer demographics and purchase histories; and external sources such as the previously mentioned SoMoLo data.
  • Analysis and execution of the NBO. Accomplished through thorough analytics of the best ways to reach the intended target audience, this involves getting different offers using different methods. 
  • Learning from successes and mistakes. Things change. Even after all the diligent work and careful execution, something that worked once, twice or a hundred times might stop working. Thus companies have to continue to experiment with their tactics and evolve the NBOs they offer.  

The good thing about perfecting effective NBOs strategies is that they are effective for both B2B and B2C marketing. All you need to worry about is how your company is going to be able to handle all the new business it'll receive with effective NBOs. Luckily, SkyPlanner will be right here to provide you with all the help you need.