How to get rid of your customers before Christmas


That’s become a constant activity leading up to Black Friday and afterward, too. And these are emails coming from the places that I know and trust. The ones I’ve gladly given my email to in to past. They were good about sending me emails once in a while and for that reason, I actually read a few.

But that’s changed. They’ve broken my trust. They inundated me with a mountain of missives announcing pre-Thanksgiving, Black Friday, post-Black Friday and pre-Christmas deals. Frankly, I feel more than a bit used. I feel cheap.

How did this happen? I’ve been a good customer. They reward my loyalty on a regular basis, so they know what kind of customer I’ve been, too: They know how often I shop and they know how much I spend. So why, if that’s the case, do I not rate a different way of marketing than the masses they don’t know? The ones who’s trust they haven’t earned? The ones who maybe respond to mass emailings in a better way than I do?

A better way than spamming

Because they haven’t made the turn yet. There’s a new way of marketing that goes well beyond the mass mailer screaming “30 percent off everything!” It’s known as event-driven marketing and it is far more effective than shouting through email.

For the retailers that have embraced it, there are strong returns with studies showing a 15% increase in response rates. In retail terms, that’s fantastic.

Event-driven marketing is about knowing the customer from a historical and current context. It is about being able to apply marketing effort in smart ways that show you know your audience and reward those who bring you repeat business.

Warning: Effort required

But event-driven marketing requires investment and effort. It takes a platform that bring together lots of information for just the right moments.

The turn

The turn is about investment that does the following:

  • Maps the selling process and the customer’s buying process to better understand how a sale happens. This is simple BPM and as old as the hills but critical to success.
  • Analyzes commerce and understands what customer behaviors signal an intent to buy and what signals to send to influence a sale. This is visualization that is readily available in today’s software marketplace.
  • Can tie disparate events to the right meaning. Events are the things that happen that in combination, have impact and require response.
  • Manages inventory to know what needs to move and who is most likely to buy. While this can be off-line, the most effective systems take advantage of the next one…
  • Can create an offer in the moment that matters…AKA real-time offers that rely on cache memory to bring the right information together in the right moment.

The retailers that take the time to map the customer from an holistic view can see what they’ve purchased, what they’ve checked into on the website, what they’ve abandoned in their cart, know what they have in inventory that they’d like to move, and other details that create a context for making smart offers. Offers that increase loyalty instead of pushing customers to unsubscribe.

The delivery

And the offer doesn’t have to be by email. It can be in-person, as we saw last Christmas at Safeway, through an app or by text message. The point is that an offer comes at the best time through the best medium.

Let’s hope this is the last Christmas season I need to hit the unsubscribe button for the retailers I’d like to trust.


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Categories: Data Analytics / Big Data, Marketing, Patterns / Rules / Events

Author:Jeanne Roué-Taylor

I'm fascinated by disruptive technology and its impact on our world. I manage sales operations for an excellent startup with a unique team of highly experienced data scientists.

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