A few days ago a friend of mine received an email campaign from Easy Jet. She was so thrilled and sent a screenshot of the message to me with these accompanying words: “Thought you’d appreciate how personal this marketing is.”
It was a well-crafted email campaign, personalised and inspired by a deep-rooted understanding of the customer. A few days ago, I read a blog on the PPC Hero platform, where the author was mistaken segmentation for customer intelligence or insights. Customer segmentation uses conventional parameters like gender, age group, nationality, earning bracket and a few others. On the other hand, customer intelligence goes deeper to more unconventional insights like a customer’s motivations, fears, frustrations and deep-seated habits.
Easy Jet knew my friend was female, British, loved travelling and in her mid-twenties. Designing an email campaign purely on these parameters is segmentation, which is not as personal as customer intelligence. They went further and said: “You’ve even taken the window seat 76% of the time. Well, who doesn’t enjoy a room with a view?” This got my friend thrilled and felt they went deeper to understand her, than any other marketing campaign- a personal touch, you could say.
Customer intelligence helps companies like Easy Jet utilise the habits of customers to gain a better understanding of their personalities. My friend chose the window seat because she likes solitude, prefers the view to the sky than random and most importantly she does not like to be disturbed.
On the other hand, I prefer the aisle seat in flights because I don’t like to ask for permissions. I am spontaneous and like the freedom of walking to the bathroom without having to ponder over how I will excuse myself to get past a passenger at the aisle. I like to know what’s going on around me- and this gives me a great view.
Our simple habits provide the greatest source of customer intelligence that brands can leverage upon. Most brands play safe and easy by sticking to segmentation along conventional lines of gender, age group, marital status, earning brackets and a few more. Digital campaigns borne out of these variables are not personal and fail to generate the most impact.
Here are 7 reasons why customer intelligence and not mere segmentation will drive digital marketing in 2015
1) Customer intelligence is more personal: My friend declared the campaign from Easy Jet with a powerful word ‘Personal.’ It was personal because Easy Jet spoke to her through the email campaign and not a profile of customers in their mid-20.
2) Customer intelligence creates brand awareness: At the office, when a colleague of mine accessed her email she uttered: ‘A very personal email from Easy Jet.’ That utterance creates a handful of brand impressions with other colleagues. If a colleague had no idea who East Jet was, this was free publicity gained by the brand.
3) Customer intelligence is a mirror that enables reflection: Mirrors are an important item in most homes. After being forwarded this email from my friend, I became reflective and pondering as to the ‘Why’ behind my choice of seating at the aisle of planes. As I reflect over this, like a mirror, the Easy Jet brand and email campaign becomes the reflector.
4) Customer intelligence esteems: Easy Jet acknowledged my friend preferred the window view but did not end at this point. They went further to endorse and esteem the habit of my friend by stating: “who doesn’t like a room with a view.” Customer intelligence enables you to accept and applaud the peculiarities of customers.
5) Customer intelligence shows more facts than mere assumptions: “You’ve even taken the window seats 76% of the times.” This is more convincing than stating ‘You’ve even taken the window seat most times.’ Easy jet provided personalised numbers in this email campaign. It showed they had systems and processes that observed the travel patterns of customers like my friend.
6) Customer intelligence helps you fit your brand into the customer’s story: Easy jet said: “We just hope you’ve had as much fun as we’ve had from the first take off to your last visit to Basel 62 days ago.” Easy Jet puts the customer first in the story but fits its brand afterwards, making it a seamless brand and customer journey. You have to know and understand a customer’s story before your brand can find its place, that’s why Customer intelligence is needful.
7) Customer intelligence motivates customers to pursue more goals in line with their peculiarities: The aim of a digital marketing campaign is to encourage customers to take action- like purchasing, downloading a whitepaper, making a phone call or signing up to a newsletter. A digital marketing campaign premised on customer intelligence drives customers to take actions that are in line with their habits or peculiarities. Easy Jet got this spot on as they had this in their campaign: “You’ve been to Basel with us, why not Berlin? We think you’ll love it.” They had an image of the Brandenburg gate in the campaign. The Brandenburg gate of Berlin is known as a passageway to history. Connect the dots! My friend likes the window seat- she likes a view, hence a city with a landmark knows as a gateway or passageway to history was recommended.
Customer intelligence provides you with a platform to help customers understand themselves better. It is less about projecting your brand via a digital campaign but empowering customers with pointers that help them understand why they act the way they do. When brands do this they end up as a mirror that becomes a constant feature of a customer’s thought process.
In 2016, digital campaigns driven purely on the grounds of customer segmentation (profiling) will have less impact than those premised upon a deeper understanding of the customer (personas).
Customer segmentation on the grounds of conventional profiles (gender, age, earnings, and nationality) is like going one mile wide and one inch deep. It is less personal and not as effective. On the other hand, customer intelligence goes one inch wide and one mile deep- it has depth and is more personal.
In the words of Malcolm Forbes, “The best vision is insight.” How well do you know your customers? Remember: the deeper your understanding of customers the clearer your brand’s vision becomes- 2016 is a year for deeper customer understanding.