Shweiki Media teams up with marketing automation expert Matthew Sweezey, the Principal of Marketing Insights at Salesforce.com, to explain how automating dynamic experiences efficiently and effectively delivers content to the consumer.
Take Advantage of Preexisting Content
Automating dynamic experiences should be a sustainable advantage because content marketing is a sustainable advantage. Many times there is way too much content, and one feels the need to constantly create more. There is a different way to solve that problem. Rather than creating more content, one should have a better way of accurately serving the content that is currently created. That would, essentially, be dynamic content.
There is this idea of digital discovery. What a person needs to understand regarding this is the power that everyone has in the palm of their hands by using the internet. Because everyone has so much power, it changes the way consumers want things and view things. People are actually in front of a screen 12 hours a day, according to The National Institute of Health (UK). However, one is no longer just in front of the screen. Consumers are constantly engaging, and all these experiences are happening and people are remembering them. No longer are companies solely judged against their competitors, but judged against a whole host of things.
Competing Against Other Content
Looking at ad impressions, the level of ad noise in the modern digital world used to be about 5,000 ad impressions per day. The advertising noise is not the noise that is competition, though.
Every time someone logs onto Facebook, there are somewhere between 1,500 and 15,000 posts waiting in the Facebook queue. One might say, “As a business, how can I then break through that noise which is now ubiquitous?” For the first time in history, anybody has the ability to create, distribute and consume content. Because of this, a lot of the noise that one has to overcome does not even come from other businesses. It is just content from other people, which creates a wide range of different experiences.
One thing that has popped up on Facebook and repeatedly being shared is a nice little short cute video of a little pug mix licking an ice cream cone. It is super cute and that is why it has about 10 million views, but this is now content that every business has to compete against.
Before understanding the idea of content marketing and distributing content, one needs to first understand what the actual competition is in content: all the experiences.
The Halo Effect
In super basic terms, if a person was split in half (not physically; that would be a bad thing), there are the things that one can see, and the things that one cannot see. So every time a campaign is run, the things one can see are clicks, downloads and impressions. The things one cannot see is how that experience was.
That experiences is going to be one of three things:
- A positive experience
- Null (has no effect)
- A negative experience
This is important because when someone has that positive experience, the Halo Effect kicks in.
The Halo Effect (the positive or negative bias created by a content experience, which directs future perception of all interactions with a brand) is the basis for the colloquialism of why first impressions are so critical. The “halo” is actually a psychological term that will precondition someone to then have all of their future engagements clouded by that initial engagement.
- If one has a positive first impression, their mind will then focus all future impressions in a positive light.
- If one has a negative first impression, their mind will then focus all future impressions in a negative light.
This also gets really important in different types of online engagement, specifically the online digital e-commerce world.
The key to automating experiences is to put the correct content in front the correct people for the right kind of conversion at the right time.
Creating a Single Customer View
There are a lot of moving parts and pieces behind the scenes. Information is the critical piece here, but it is not just the information that an individual may know; it also may be information that other people know about people. This would be third-party, and the individual’s information would be first-party.
It all needs to be together in a single place for a single point of view so that things can get derived from that information and added to that information very easily. This will provide a single point of view or a single customer view in an organization.
Single Customer View:
- External View: Marketing now knows every interaction the company has had with the person across external sources. Other data sources can be added in so one can know what is relevant to a person based on their digital fingerprints.
- Internal View: Every channel has the ability to read and write to this record so in the future every conversation in enabled to be relevance. These conversations are also used to trigger automated content based on rules sets set up by the business.
When available, it is the record to use for automating these dynamic experiences. When all of this information is pulled into one place, it gives this certain level of intelligence, but not just the average definition. With that single point of view, there is the level of marketing intelligence.
- Marketing Intelligence: ability to execute relevant marketing campaigns to a single person in real time.
Understanding What Dynamic Means
This is where the dynamic aspect comes in. Dunbar’s Number is a mathematical equation that will essentially determine how many relationships a human can maintain on their own. The average is somewhere around 200-250. If one looks at a marketing team of 10 people, 10 times 250 only equals 2,500, meaning that a team could effectively manage a relationship with 2,500 people. Considering this, Dunbar’s number puts a limit as to scaling human relationships.
If one has the ability to take that single customer view that is created and dynamically know exactly what should happen to that person at a specific point in time, then that allows that number to then scale. This is understanding of the dynamic, which is truly marketing intelligence. How is this data used to infinitely scale relationships? Content.
Using Relevant Content
“Our end goal is to present the customer with content that is relevant, not invasive.” -Kimberly Ruthenbeck, Head of Customer Experience for Room & Board
There is a way to relevantly do just that. It has to be across all channels at all times. The two channels for a business to focus on are email and the website, because these are the two things that one owns and have the most control over.
Dynamic incorporates a lot of different things. The height or the epitome of dynamic is predictive because predictive allows for proactive things to happen. Traditionally dynamic is reactive, but hypothetically, proactive could know what this person is most likely enjoy or find interesting and then follow through with that. Predictive is also personal, based off of that third party data.
It is being used by a couple of very big brands, such as Diesel.
Diesel is using predictive content to make sure the experiences people have with their brand are hyper-personal and proactive, because they are able to predict what they are most likely to want next. This has shown an increase their revenue by 15%.
Journeys is the next iteration on predictive content. They do this by serving the most likely thing the customers are to engage with at the most likely point in time. But how does one design how those interactions coincide together over a long period of time or a journey?
Going back to Room & Board, any time a customer visits the website and then starts to engage or buy something, the company then looks at what is a relevant journey for this person right now. If the customer starts to buy something for a bedroom, Room & Board can both third-party information, such as who this person is and what their interest profiles are, but also first-party info, such as what they are doing on the site and what type of products are they looking at. Going a step further, if they are looking at bedroom furniture, they know the style the consumer has, they know their demographic, and they know the shopper is redesigning their bedroom. What is relevant right now is bedroom furniture that fits that same look and feel of stuff they had previous looked at. Now the site can design a journey around that person, helping them reach the purpose that they have and—in the end—buy more.
The goal here is not just to get the content in the consumer’s hands and push product. The goal is to help them fulfill their purpose and reach their goal. Their purpose is to make them feel good about their decisions. That is a purpose met through a journey.
Looking at journeys and predictions, here are the things that become visible:
- Website revenue lift of 10%
- Click-through rate lift of 35%
- Conversion rate lift from email of 25%
It is simply the idea that a lot of content is created, but serving that content in effective ways makes things different.
The Actual Content
Now considering the actual content on a website, one should think about and answer the following questions:
- How many pages are on the website?
- How many pages on average does a person visit?
- What percentage of those pages have content on them?
A website probably has hundreds of thousands of pages, and 85 – 90% of those have content. However, on average, a person may go to two or four pages. The average is 1.7 on a B2B website. A B2C website is going to range in terms of what type of a property it is. The takeaway from these numbers is basically that there are many pages that people aren’t even visiting.
Tradition and the more typical strategy would suggest looking at a macro tracking tool and trying to design the best flow through the website possible, and then move some things around to make sure people move from one page to the next page. That is flawed logic in the future when dynamic content is considered.
Instead, one should consider how to create a zero-click website or how to create an experience where from the moment a person comes to the property, it shows them exactly the experience and fulfills the purpose they are wanting fulfilled at that moment. That is really the power because one is to able instantly drive people to the thing that they want, getting them that content that they need but would never be able to find on a website if it was static.
This idea of the dynamic experience in terms of email means doing that exact same thing. A company knows they are going to send an email on Wednesday. What goes in that email will be dynamic based on what the customer has done recently or things the company is predicting they would want in the future. This means the email would help the recipient see things they may not even know they wanted. By being able to dynamically give and display that content in a way which makes it very easy and frictionless for them to consume, one can ensure they’ll be consuming more and having a true brand experience. This moves everything forward.
In conclusion, based on the rest of those ideas, it’s all about connecting data. All of these experiences are going to happen on different channels or different departments inside of an organization. One should make sure all of that data ends up and lives on one central record. That is the only way to be able to drive these experiences correctly.
It is once again all about remembering that one needs to be able to execute cross-channel for the same thing. Finally, the idea of proactive selling allows something to be relevant without being invasive. It is all about building that relationship with content. This provides a new way to look at content in terms of how it is utilized, how it is valued, and how it is delivered to the customer.
It is not about that need to constantly churn out content; it is really shifting the focus to delivering the right content to the right person at the right time. The answer to do that is dynamic experience.