Introducing Behavioral Marketing
Behavioral Marketing enables brands to identify and react to consumer behavior in real-time, driving more relevant and productive one-to-one communications and unlocking incremental revenue for brands.
In fact, you’ve already experienced Behavioral Marketing. It’s existed since before the creation of the internet. SuzieQ will walk you through how it worked:
The sales rep relied on SuzieQ’s body language — browsing and selecting a shirt — to guide her shopping experience and help her make a purchase.
So, how do you start implementing Behavioral Marketing in your digital business (that’s the purpose of this article, after all)?
We’ll dive into a few different types of behavioral marketing strategies and give you some actionable tactics that you can start experimenting with today.
How Does Behavioral Marketing Work?
You should already know that the “one size fits all” approach to marketing is extinct. We’re all about one to one, customer-centric marketing today — and we should be.
Considering the on-demand nature of uber-connected consumers, creating experiences catered to the individual and regardless of where and how they’re choosing to engage is critical. The Robin Report’s Paul Gulbin calls for a digital transformation:
“By placing customers at the center of the business model and crafting engagement and servicing systems to deliver desired customer experiences, companies build a strong competitive advantage that pays off.”
And Behavioral Marketing does just that. It puts the consumer at the center of your marketing strategy, creating a cohesive and personalized message across every point of engagement — email, ads, cell phones, tablets.
At least it can when you implement the People-Based Approach to Behavioral Marketing.
The People-Based Approach
I know what you may be thinking. You’ve already implemented various consumer-centric personalization tools and strategies, so what’s the difference?
The problem with the current market of “personalization” is that it more or less boils down to product recommendations and personalized tokens. But neither of these result in a truly tailored experience for each individual user. Even worse, those personalization tactics don’t connect across devices (or even browsers) unless the user is intentionally logged in (which, unless you’re Amazon, rarely happens).
Behavioral People-Based Marketing, on the other hand, relies on the person and their unique identifier (typically an email address) instead of a limited and expiring cookie. With it’s identification-first approach, People-Based Marketing enables brands to tie behavioral data to those unique identifiers. Now, regardless of where or how the individuals engages, brands can create the most relevant digital experiences based on the expressed intent of their traffic.
Today, Amazon and Facebook are the embodiments of brilliant people-based marketers and publishers. They’ve geared everything around the identification of their visitors in order to create the most engaging and relevant experiences.
As a result, both of these brands have successfully achieved truly omnichannel experiences for their users. Since their traffic has to be logged in to continue engagement, both Amazon and Facebook are able to identify their user base no matter how they’re browsing, enabling them to create adaptive and tailored experiences.
Cookie-Based vs. People-Based Identification
It all really boils down to identifying your traffic. The problem with cookie-based identification is that it assumes that you never clear your cache, that you never switch browsers, and that you never use a different device. Old-school, I know.
The people-based approach eliminates any questions, because it allows you to anchor your marketing strategies to the individual, in question. It no longer matters whether they’ve cleared their cache, switched to a new browser, or started browse on a new device.
Once you have an email address, you can begin building the robust behavioral profiles. These profiles encompass any and all behaviors an individual takes while engaging with your brand and connects back to that email address. Ultimately, these behavioral profiles providing you with a single view of your consumers — cross device, cross platform, cross website — for a truly people-based approach to marketing.
Why should you use Behavioral Marketing?
Shoppers don’t think like marketers. They think like humans, continually looking for new and easier ways to shop, to read, to live their lives (think Trend of Convenience). So, the increasingly crucial challenge for marketers becomes two-fold:
- Marketers must adapt to their consumers at any and every moment in time, regardless of how individuals choose to engage
- Marketers must humanize the digital experience, in order to create productive and profitable relationships with their traffic
Behavioral Marketing allows marketers to achieve both of those goals. With it’s people-based approach to identification, Behavioral Marketing ultimately connects each of your siloed channels (email, ads, search, social) under a single cohesive marketing strategy, centered around the individual.
As a result, every ad, every email, every onsite engagement tactic, all work together to build a seamless omnichannel experience. This newly unified customer journey builds on the behaviors you’ve identified and creates new experiences that lead your customers toward the next most productive action with your business. Those actions can include anything from moving from a category to a product page, opening an email, clicking through an ad, or making a purchase.
Additionally, by creating cohesive omnichannel experiences for your audiences, marketers will unlock a new top 5 source of revenue. Today, with the shotgun and siloed approach to marketing, your current marketing channels have diminishing returns – they’re maxed out. Message and ad fatigue is at an all time high amongst consumers, preventing your initiatives from reaching their highest potential.
With a behavioral approach, however, your messages across email, ads, search and social, will become not only consistent but hyper relevant to the consumer whose behaviors they’re based on in the first place. And just like that, you’ll tap into an otherwise inaccessible source of new revenue.