Commentary

Marketing On Demand

Your customers want what they want when they want it. And more often than not, they don't want to hear from you. Our biggest challenge isn't reaching the superfans who follow us on Twitter, download our app or join our loyalty program. Our biggest challenge as marketers is scaling our programs for the unengaged.

How can we earn a place on their phone screens -- the most valuable, most personal real estate in the world? Put the customer in control. Give them marketing on demand.

Marketing on demand is simply offering deals, information and service for customers upon request.

I may not have subscribed to your email or SMS program or downloaded your app, but if I can text to get what I need, I am one step closer to becoming a loyal customer. Texting is the second most common use of a smartphone (neck and neck with email), and whether it’s via SMS or a messaging app, it’s ingrained in our behavior.

Many retailers seem focused on carving up the ecommerce slice, but that is a small sliver of the retail pie. How much simpler is it to enhance the in-store experience, where 90-95% of revenue happens?

Don't leave, don't dig through your email, don't try to log in or scan -- text to get a coupon. Would you like a text when the order is ready? When service is on the way?

advertisement

advertisement

That product will need replenishment next month or will be on sale. Would you like a reminder?

Businesses that interact with customers on the go are already doing marketing on demand well: airlines, quick-serve restaurants, banks. You may not get the reach you're used to, but you will not be annoying 99% of the audience that is not responding.

The investment in superior customer service is minimal. The biggest hurdle may be organizational: getting physical locations to provide the CTA via signage. Smart companies like Walgreens, GameStop and Macy's are breaking down barriers by aligning teams under one banner. Martine Reardon, CMO of Macy’s, speaking at the MCommerce Summit, said they think in terms of digital: the physical and digital merged.

Taking marketing on demand a step further, Warren Levitan of SupportKit presented the idea of Conversational Commerce. Using Natural Language Processing and Artificial Intelligence, you can have a true dialog with your customers. Unlike online chat, which ends when you close the browser window or leave the call center queue, a text conversation is a thread that the customer responds to at their convenience. Add in Call Center employees and you have service nirvana.

The customer is in control. Give them what they want when they want it. A program perfectly scaled for the unengaged.

Next story loading loading..