For marketers, warm weather presents an opportunity: the chance to connect with their audiences in a highly relevant way. Timo Kohlberg, Product Marketing Manager, Adobe explore how marketers can use data analytics to enable a reactive approach to customer experience.
Europe has been experiencing some of the most extreme summer weather of late. While many people are concerned about the unprecedented hot spell, some are just enjoying the heat! For marketers however, events like warm weather present an entirely different type of opportunity: the chance to connect with their audiences in a highly relevant way, through personalised engagement at an individual level.
The next wave of personalisation
Brands today understand that delivering a best-in-class customer experience and a highly personalised customer journey is indispensable. Achieving this is critical to Customer Experience Management (CXM), with research showing that organisations that are “very advanced” in CX are more than 3.5x more likely to have exceeded their top business goal than their peers.
However, tools such as AI, analytics and automation are needed for brands to deliver consumers with more relevant and personalised communications. And now, thanks to advances in these technologies, brands are now able to take their customers on an individual journey composed of a series of touchpoints following a particular action or event. Marketers can then set up messaging that’s initiated when these ‘trigger’ events take place – a customer’s change in loyalty status, engagement with customer support, and weather or location changes for example. With a rich pool of centralised data – such as demographics, transactions and online and physical behaviors – marketers will be able to granularly tailor the message for each recipient as insights accumulate.
A hotel for example can create a geofence around its city that triggers customised engagement when a guest crosses that geofence upon landing at the airport. Depending on when the geofence is crossed and the availability of clean rooms, brands can recognise she has arrived before her room is ready. The journey that’s orchestrated invites the guest to store her luggage at the front desk, offers recommendations and details for activities to pass the time until check-in based on the weather forecast and her preferences – all via push notifications. Arriving at the hotel can trigger another real-time interaction, sending her a map of the property, including the locations of the earlier recommended activities on-site.
Taking advantage of the warm weather
When the weather heats up, people’s interests and preferences change – they are obviously more excited about outdoor activities, like BBQing or trips to the beach; but they might also be interested in protecting their skin from the sun, or just keeping cool in the heat.
Retail brands, for example, could leverage weather data to determine product offers that are especially relevant in hot weather – barbecue paraphernalia, refreshing drinks, sunscreen, cooling or anti-allergy remedies – and cue up triggered campaigns promoting these products to quickly capitalise on the soaring temperatures.
However, you don’t need summer-specific products to benefit from weather-triggered marketing. Merely considering how interest in your product or service might change in different types of weather conditions is enough to tap into the higher relevancy that the real-time approach offers. Travel brands are often great at this. For example, a company offering packaged holidays might cue up a campaign for a beach getaway to be released once the weather exceeds 30 degrees, promising their audience a reprieve from the sticky city heat. But this could also work in winter, with advertising offering the chance to escape from the cold.
When data is combined with audience intelligence
Marketers need to be able to tap into events as they change. Real-time, third party data provides insight into what’s going on in the outside world, but this will only take marketers so far. Here, analytics comes in to help marketers leverage the things that stay the same, like a user’s interests, buying habits and browsing history. Brands also need the ability to powerfully segment their audience to understand who will be interested in their event-specific messaging. This will help them target their campaigns with greater impact.
For example, a ride-sharing service might wish to specifically target commuters during a tube strike with a real-time push message. The ability to do so doesn’t just rely on awareness of public transport disruptions, it also requires a detailed understanding of a target audience and their travel habits. Marketers can use customer intelligence and data analytics to pinpoint who would be most likely to opt for a ride-sharing service, and target their advertising towards these people for greater effectiveness.
Weather and event-triggered customer journeys are part of a bigger trend in marketing to take advantage of the micro-moments that are driving customers’ decisions and behavior. This involves connecting your marketing technology stack with third party systems and data sources, through incoming, real-time events. With the multitude of data that is available to them, marketers using Adobe Campaign can take advantage of what they know about the customer and their individual context. Each individual interaction is informed by and connected with every other experience before it.
Europe’s heatwave shows no signs of abating, and neither will the personalisation wave. It’s time brands tapped into both so that they’re offering consumers the most relevant interactions possible, elevating each one into an unforgettable experience.