Push Vs. Pull: Triggers Are What Will Drive It

Is marketing getting more creepy? If you ask the common person on the street, you might get varying responses from “Yes, I feel violated” to “No, it’s just how things roll with the Internet.”  Digital natives and Millennials who grew up on the Internet expect this and are more vigilant about how their data is shared and what they expect in terms of exchanges with brands they buy from.   

What we do know is, consumers want seamless access to information when making a purchase. Our world will be a push vs. pull world, and triggers will be the catalyst to this value exchange.

Shopping cart behavior is one of those critical interactions that can be valuable, but can also be handled very poorly by so many marketers.  The challenges with behavioral triggers and especially cart behaviors is not just owning that point in time when a consumer is in buying mode, but also personalizing in smart ways with a value-add.  

Triggers are great and can be some of the biggest wins for your company, yet there are some factors you should consider:  
1. Be configurable.  One size does not fit all with browse, cart and event trigger communications. 



2. You can’t upsell every interaction.   You may feel that’s the only context for your relationship, but don’t discount the effects of timing and entertainment value in lieu of discounts and free shipping.

3. Browsing abandonment doesn’t always mean buyer intent.   One session does NOT tell a story alone, but combined with customer loyalty information or post POS data, it has great value for the repeat customer.  

4. Cart abandonment is like search marketing, but optimized differently.  Use the data to help refine early funnel stages and intent by category, but be careful about retargeting.  Search is a user driven function, driven by intent, while retargeting is an interruption, and you have less control over where you are inserted on other’s sites.

5. “I left my wallet at home”: Cart abandonment is on average 68%,  yet a large percentage is attributed to mobile traffic. Trigger timing doesn’t necessarily have to be immediate for mobile traffic.  

A few questions you should write on your whiteboard up front:
-- Is mobile traffic the main reason you are looking at triggers? (e.g. less conversions, more traffic? Goal to increase engagement?)
-- Do you trigger off a browse? Cart abandonment?
-- Do you upsell off an online conversion or POS purchase?   
-- Do you trigger off “delivered” notification, when the consumer actually has the goods in hand?

If it’s a loyal customer who purchases frequently, then it is perfectly acceptable to expand the relationship with smart guesses and next logical product recommendations and be “in-the-moment.” If it’s a new customer and first purchase, the brand connection has not yet been paid off — so it can potentially be more valuable to make recommendations for next purchase AFTER fulfillment has occurred.  Just depends on your business risk tolerance for front-of the funnel testing.

The future will be push marketing, and you as a marketer will be in the driver’s seat. Are you remotely prepared to be the driver vs. the passenger on this bus?

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