Predictive Data: What’s in the Spike Before Purchasing?
The Customer Experience
The thing that every company is focused on improving right now is the customer experience; I’ve been reading a lot about it. But one thing I’ve realized is that MRP doesn’t think of the customer experience the same way that everyone else does.
While most organizations treat the buyer journey and the customer experience as two totally different things – they even have, in many cases, two separate departments dealing with each – we treat them as one in the same. We know that what we need to be doing is building predictive models that enhance the customer experience fluidly from the pre-purchase research stage through the post-purchase experience.
When you think about the percentage of marketing materials you see on a daily basis, how many of them are in line with what you’re really looking for – the questions you really want answered? It’s probably a very small amount. That’s because too many marketing strategies are based on such a small amount of data, and that data’s probably very old. You clicked on an e-mail from a company three months ago, and now you’re being delivered the pre-packaged content that’s on their content calendar for this month. That’s not agile.
With our predictive software, we track people’s pre-purchase research activity to identify purchase intention. We know what keywords they’re searching, what questions they’re asking, what sites they’re visiting, what content they’re viewing, and on the graph of their activity, there’s a big spike right before they’re about to make a purchase decision. That spike is the line between where pre-purchase research ends and our old idea of the “customer experience” begins – that’s them getting ready to make a decision — and the spike contains tons of data that we could be using to inform the buyer journey from beginning to end. We can use that to craft content that answers our prospects questions, account by account, before they even ask them. Their first experience with you can be one of surprise, in a good way.
What we want is for our customers to have a positive experience as early as possible. That doesn’t mean as soon as they’ve purchased, because their experience prior to that spike point can determine whether they even purchase at all. That’s why we need to analyze the spike – to understand what people are looking for when they’re in their decision-making process and use that to hone and perfect our marketing process.
Market of One
All of this comes back to the original principal of ABM: the market of one. On the surface, understanding how to delight a specific customer at an early point takes a lot of work, a lot of data analysis and manpower. But because we have a powerful predictive platform that can get smarter and smarter each time it sees a spike, there’s no limit to how fine-tuned it can get. The process is automated. And this means there’s no limit to how many “markets of one” we can have.
For every account, you’re automatically collecting and analyzing data, and you have an idea of how to answer their questions. You can now drive all your marketing efforts, using what you’ve learned from analyzing this spike, to give them the customer experience they want.
Getting to Work
Crafting a unique experience for each account based on their pre-purchase research activity is virtually impossible if you don’t have the right tools – you need predictive analytics, and you need a marketing team that’s ready to take the patterns identified by predictive and build their strategy off of that. At the end of the day, the result is a much better chance of engaging your prospects and giving them a good customer experience when it really counts.