Choreographing Your Customer Communications
By Steve Morse General Manager, Travel & Hospitality, ClickSquared | January 27, 2012
It's no secret that today's consumers are more demanding and selective than ever. Not only does yesterday's approach of one-off direct mail pieces and random emails no longer work, it can be enough to turn off your customer or prospect for good. With today's economic climate showing limited signs of improvement, it is critical that travel organizations and destinations leverage "intelligent," triggered communications approaches to engage, motivate and sustain customer interaction in all market environments.
The dance of communications choreography is the incorporation of timing, sequence, frequency and pacing considerations into the customer outreach process. Even for a customer base that numbers in the millions, engaging the individual customer in a highly relevant, personal and timely dialogue is an accomplishable task using new technology that automates the process. In fact, it is an essential competitive strategy because customers are bombarded with thousands of mass marketing messages every day.
So how do you utilize choreography to break through that clutter? Marketers are increasingly turning to solutions that take four key elements into account enabling them to deliver automated, highly-customized marketing campaigns that respond to customers in a way that increases the bottom line.
Four Choreography Components
Communication choreography requires that companies consider four distinct but related elements that can contribute to increased sales lift and response. These elements are: Timing, sequence, frequency, and pacing.
Timing is a big opportunity that many companies haven't even begun to explore because most are focused on producing the right message for the right customer so the element of 'timing' is often neglected. Awareness of timing enables a company to capture changes and events at different points in the customer lifecycle. A travel agency should take notice of the time elapsed between a customer's trip booking and its marketing program to cross-sell her to add excursions for that trip. But most organizations miss these opportunities because their marketing is program-driven and not customer-driven. In other words, marketing messages or even operational messages, get delivered to customers based on internal timelines (such as quarterly revenue targets) instead of customer-based actions. This is rarely in sync with the customer lifecycle. Companies may think they're targeting the customer when in fact they are executing static programs, driven by corporate timelines, to particular customer segments.