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The Next Generation of Behavioral Data is Social

Posted on 9.02.2014

By Roz Lemieux

Since the dawn of sales, marketers have faced the challenge of delivering the right message, through the right channel, at the right time in order to influence purchase.

Once social media conversations are added to the marketing picture, the opportunities seem endless when it comes to personalized messaging.


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Just how does it come together, full circle, to formulate a persona? This new generation of behavioral data consists of the following three key components that businesses must take into account in developing their marketing automation processes:

Even more BIG data. In the past, companies primarily had only historical behavior data and click data – both of which left marketers with the task of piecing together a puzzle in order to identify the factors leading to conversion. Now, thanks to decreasing cloud storage and processing costs, companies can readily track an individual customer’s current behavior – including on the social networks where they’re spending an average of three hours per day. At scale, companies have the opportunity to use this behavioral data to now predict future behavior more accurately, and trigger moment-appropriate marketing. What about tracking and responding to the vast majority of mentions that don’t include specific brand (or product) names? That’s where existing email lists come in. By incorporating what is already known about customers with real-time social chatter, the modern marketer now has all of the information needed to provide a personalized response.

Real-time response. There’s been a lot of hype around the concept of real-time response. It’s central to the concept of modern marketing, and certainly marketing automation. As a highly valuable form of information, social data has become easier than ever to collect with the help of “social listening” tools – but is useless if not translated into insight, and particularly direct response, in real-time. When action is taken quickly, companies have the opportunity to reach the level of immediate reaction and deliver custom offerings based off of “behavior personas” compiled from social media conversations. However, the challenge many companies face is that technology has been slow to allow the delivery of a truly real-time response. In order to trigger conversational responses, effective social automation tools must marry big data-fueled listening with marketing automation functionalities.

Multichannel engagement. Email isn’t dead yet - and despite what many think, just because someone isn’t opening email anymore, doesn’t mean they’re not interested. There are a number of factors such as “inbox overload,” Gmail tabs, life – that keep customers from opening marketing emails. On the contrary, social media networks do not lend themselves well to “blast” messaging, so companies have been slow to adopt one-on-one engagement and response mechanisms. Now, companies have the ability to use social behavior data to find those customers in their lists that are still potentially interested, and then turn to social channels to push Facebook or Twitter ads, direct messages, Tweets and more to ultimately “win” them back.

For example, let’s say your company sells refrigerators and your marketing team is tracking a customer segment that has purchased a refrigerator from you in the last 12 months, and they complain about “my fridge” — you’ll know it’s highly likely it’s the refrigerator you sold them that has the issue. By tracking that complaint in your company’s marketing automation system, you can fire off a warranty reminder via email, or, have your dedicated social media marketing team message that individual directly with an offer of support.

Luckily, there’s a new breed of marketing automation and CRM technologies are making it easier and more viable for marketers in any industry to interpret valuable customer data from the freshest source – social media. The need to utilize social media data to interpret customer buying behaviors is further driven by the fact that brands must engage with social savvy consumers today, who are accustomed to personalized messaging, quick responses, custom offerings and immediate gratification.

Roz Lemieux is a partner at Fission and CEO at sister company, Attentive.ly. At Attentive.ly, Roz ensures companies are able to monitor the "digital body language" of customers across the social web to deliver real-time personalized marketing.

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