In today’s always-on marketplace, brands have many options regarding how and when to interact with their customers. While it may be tempting to act immediately on information, like a customer’s location or other real-time data, patient marketers know that there’s a best time to respond that may or may not be right now.
The right time to engage with customers must be determined by an intelligent framework that ensures decisions are systematic and accurate. The three core areas of customer understanding are context, channel, and characteristics—the “Three Cs.”
Is the customer gathering information to inform a purchase or simply sharing comments on a social network? Are they comparison shopping or are making an actual purchase decision? There are many varied situations where a customer is in contact with a brand—in-person or digitally—that determine the timing of a brand’s response. Understanding the customer’s perspective involves “seeing” and interpreting the customer’s current context and either act in real time or waiting.
Just as context should determine the timing of a response, so should the customer’s chosen channel of interaction. Customers have varied expectations for right-time marketing, depending if they’re on the website, on-premise, or communicating through email. Each channel has best practices in response timing which depend on each interaction and the characteristics of each customer.
A dramatic shift in today’s marketing centers around customer’s expectations. Businesses now know and respect customer preferences, including privacy and control of information. Understanding a customer’s key characteristics guides the way businesses show respect for their customers.
Customers’ preferences have moved past the surface and now include brand loyalty, social media savvy, and demographics. These key identifiers help distinguish customers so they receive tailored, respectful, and appropriate interactions.
Context, Channel, and Characteristics
To allow context, channel, and characteristics to work together seamlessly, a platform must align a brand’s people and processes to facilitate rapid information in a scalable manner. Automation technologies are the only solutions that give scale and alignment. Are you automating your marketing to deliver right-time responses to your customer?