As technology advances, marketers are looking at providing unique and more relevant experiences for their prospects and customers. In the age of millennials, no one likes to be marketed to or sold to. A simple yardstick would be to check how many of us have ad blocks on our browsers. Millennials like to be engaged with. This is where we as marketers, can leverage data and machine learning.
When I first joined the marketing team at Fiind Inc., I expected that I would start with a focus on demand-gen, content marketing, and thought leadership. Though all these activities are a significant part of my role, the founders wanted us to build a culture of growing our company swiftly and efficiently through data.
And it made great sense, because millennials are not easy to market to. There is so much choice available, but so little time.
Data connects the pieces of your marketing puzzle
To connect with the millennials, you need to know what they want, when and why. When you reply with data, it helps you see what resonates and what doesn’t. You can use data to measure and optimize all aspects of your marketing stack end-to-end, which in–turn can help you communicate to your target segment, in a compelling way at the right touch points. To start with, try to get answers to the questions – Are you are targeting the right prospect, is your message right for them & Is it the right time to engage – with the help of internal and external data.
At Fiind, we call data that answers these questions, as “Smart signals”. Let’s take the case of you targeting an enterprise for your software. Signals can be anything from their IT environment, or the products they recently bought, or where they are in the buying cycle, and more. In other words, these are the factors that you would look for in your prospective customer to ensure a great fit. Based on the above signals (according to relevance for your organization), the shortlisting of prospect begins. The most important factor in segmenting these prospects is their “Intent”.
Behavioral patterns can, in-turn, be used to target and engage your audience in a meaningful way. For example, machine learning algorithms can predict which type of videos a target audience will most frequently view, enabling a brand to use advertising space that is most likely to be viewed by their target audience.
Conversational Commerce works best with millennials
Your customers are on the move, know where they’re heading in real-time. Smart signals help you gain the edge over your competitors by being able to reach your prospects and customers on time, with the help of millions of customer signals across internal and external data sources.
You can use this data to facilitate conversations. Millennials are not looking to fit-into a crowd, they prefer being themselves. This means, personalization is more important than ever.
For example, you can know what content works better for which prospect/customer and more importantly on what channels. Get signals on the content that resonates best on specific channels such as emails, social media, third party websites, search and more. Boost your content marketing efforts and create an impact by promoting them on specific channels based on fit-modelling.
Having access to the right information can help you engage with millennials in the right touch points, in a non-intrusive manner. For example, the market is heading to a space in digital shopping where millennials are placing orders as part of online conversations. The popular term for this is “conversational commerce”
Chatbots are empowering this precisely. How? A bot that is interlinked to all business apps will be able to look at past data such as purchasing behavior, browsing history, and offer consumers curated products. And it will learn based on the individuals preferences. It brings a whole new level of targeting capabilities to an already targeted digital space.
Know their journey
If you are targeting millennials, it is important to collect customer data at every touch point and share it throughout the enterprise to break down the siloed boundaries that inhibit brand development. You can begin by asking the following questions.
At Fiind, we have always had separate roles within our marketing department that focus on Martech (which we internally refer to as “infra”) and marketing operations, but we make sure these teams are always in sync with each other, including other departments such as product development, sales et al.
To sum up, the right and intelligent augmentation of humans and technology is the future of millennial marketing. And that mix, will vary with every enterprise.