Getting the timing wrong is not only frustrating to the consumer, but it’s also costly to you. And that’s what happening to marketers in the major life purchase markets—mortgage, autos, insurance, education—every day. They’re spending a lot of time and money on tools to reach their prospects, but they’re still struggling to reach them at the right time.
We know that timing is important because today’s consumers are not only inundated with Marketing messages but they also have more options than ever before. Consider an Accenture study where 60% of consumers would consider buying insurance from a bank and 38% from a home services company.
Convenience for the consumer means they can be extra choosey, weigh their options, and seek multiple opinions. In studying the Jornaya network of shopping behavior, we found that more than one-third of mortgage and insurance shoppers and nearly two-thirds of education seekers submit inquiries to 2 or more sites. And for every inquiry, there are multiple site visits with research and comparison shopping.
If you aren’t aware of this occurring, you can’t possibly know when to engage with the consumers you care about. If you don’t reach the right consumer at the right stage of their shopping journey with the most appropriate message, it’s a wasted opportunity. Accordingly, when your data is not relevant, it can’t tell you when the time is right to reach out to your target consumers.
Getting It Right
The right data source will provide you with a complete look at the consumer’s journey. As I wrote in Connecting Behavior for More Meaningful Engagements, the highest performing organizations are adding behavioral data sets to their customer workflows to help them deliver better customer engagements. Ultimately, connecting to known consumer wants, desires, and needs drives better engagement and higher acquisition, growth, and retention.
If that data reveals the consumer has already visited several different websites over the past several weeks researching this purchase, then they are further along in their journey and it’s the right time to engage.
If the data tells you that a consumer narrowed their options down to just your company and a competitor’s company, you know they’re in the decision phase and you need to move quickly to provide an enticing offer to choose your business over your competitor’s.
With the right data, you can identify an active buyer early in their journey and educate that consumer with the right content to nurture them appropriately through all stages of the buying cycle.
Without timely data about your consumers’ journeys, you will just continue working based on non-behaviors signals (think demographics), or even worse, guesses, which means you will be getting it wrong more than you are getting it right. Access to these behavioral data signals, delivered through data-as-a-service (DaaS) organizations, tells brands where the consumer is in her shopping journey.
Creating Great Experiences
At Jornaya, we’re helping you create great customer experiences as they consider the biggest purchases of their lives. While it’s going to take time for every company, we have a simple framework that can help guide you towards better experiences for your customers:
- Target people, not devices or opaque audiences. Access to strong identity resolution is a must.
- Concentrate on consumer behaviors as signals of where the consumer is in their buying process. Demographics can help also but not nearly as much.
- Utilize analytics to understand how you can best meet the consumer where they are in the buying process.
- Make the shopping process helpful to the customer not spammy, annoying, or intrusive.
Keep your customers and your business safe, avoiding risky or non-compliant interaction.