The behavioral marketing definition, as given by MarketingSchools.org and about 100 other sites states:
“Also known as behavioral targeting, behavioral marketing profiles the prior behavior of online users in order to determine which ads those users will see next.”
This is extremely reductive, and extremely incomplete.
Profiling users' online behavior to increase the chances of conversion of an ad is just the most common form of behavioral marketing, albeit often misused and yielding mixed results.
Take shopping for clothes for example. You check an item several times on the same site. Before long, anywhere you land online, you see that very same item. The little black dress (LBD for us ladies in the know), the flick-wrist pen by Porsche, the 3D Rubik’s cube. One day, you buy it. What happens next?
Next, you keep seeing that very same item to the point where you want to scream: I ALREADY BOUGHT IT. Intelligent behavioral targeting should understand you are not done shopping forever and show you what to buy next: the shoes and purse that go with the LBD, the Cayenne, the hologram cube to solve in a futuristic ambiance… The brand gave up on you.
To be fair, online behavioral marketing uses browsing history, search history, IP addresses and cookies, purchase history, past likes (or dislikes), shares and reviews… But it also uses social chatter, as in comments you make, parses language and analyzes sentiment. In essence, the root of the concept lies in the collection of data. And, because we leave so much information online - knowingly or incidentally - interpreting the data and drawing predictive analytics from it becomes a powerful tool for you marketers out there.
The behavioral characteristics in marketing as a whole include
- Information search (queries written or spoken- let’s start thinking the future is in voice search)
- Brand loyalty (in the form of repeat purchases or advocacy)
- Peer pressure (how a post from your neighbor boasting about his new mower influences you to buy the same one or better)
- Language (how you formulate opinions based on the platform where you share it)
- Cultural elements
- Social groups interactions and engagement
It also taps into millions and millions of users' activities (active or passive) to establish patterns as to what logically happens next, hereby telling you what you should do/show next.
Understanding Behavioral Factors in Marketing
Our decisions to take action (subscribe, enroll, buy, share, comment, etc.) are driven by 3 main behavioral factors COMBINED at any given moment (though any or all may be different each time)
- Psychological factors
- Personal factors
- Situational factors
Marketers need to pay attention to all factors, from lifestyle to demographics to mood, to ultimately craft campaigns that are highly relevant to an individual, without having to design as many campaigns as there are users.
Yes, there are tools for that, we’ll talk about it later.
Say you’re paying attention. How do you implement behavioral marketing in your online strategy? Where does it fit in your work to attract, convert, close and delight?
Behavioral segmentation is a highly focused form of market segmentation that allows you to group users and leads based on specific actions and activities they take. It lets you engage with an individual on a buyer’s journey in a timely, personalized manner.
Think of the user who completes a conversion goal, abandons a shopping cart, fills out a form, or engages with your social media. They followed a path, maybe a similar one, that will help you pinpoint their exact itinerary. From there, you build workflows and contextual marketing content to take them to the next step. When the data tells you that the behavioral trend is going from e-book download to demo request, you want to make sure the route to that sweet spot is the shortest possible. Any side tracks, small paths webbing around is a sure way to lose your lead.
Eliminate distractions, no matter how hard you’d like them to see that beautiful landing page that DOES NOT offer a free demo but yet another download. TRUST THE DATA.
2. Behavioral Email Marketing
In a study conducted by MarketingSherpa, the most effective tactic for improving email engagement was identified by 39% of the marketers surveyed as “automatically sending emails based on triggers.” But in another survey, conducted by Econsultancy, only 20% of email marketers responded that they utilize behavioral targeting in their email marketing strategies.
If targeting email recipients with content based on their own behaviors and actions has the potential to be among your most effective marketing strategies, you should have some information on getting started with this at your disposal. Put simply, your CRM should be the tool that gives you the data you need to optimize your email strategy.
- Track the ways that consumers engage with your business.
- Decide what the most important actions taken by website users might be.
- Begin dialogues with consumers based on these actions when they are taken.
Once you understand which contact properties are tracked and stored, and you’ve figured out what the most important user actions on your website might be, you can begin crafting your targeted messages. The best way to write your behavioral marketing emails is in a conversational tone so they have a personal feel. Email is supposed to be a personalized experience, so take advantage of your ability to speak directly to your audience.
3. Behavioral Advertising
When Amazon detects that you’ve been browsing items in their store but that you haven’t completed a purchase and possibly abandoned your sales cart, you’ll start seeing pictures of the items you were browsing all over the rest of the website. Amazon does this because they can tell by your behavior that you’re thinking about making a transaction, but you might just need a little nudge to complete the sale, or perhaps being shown related items and what other customers who viewed the items you viewed ultimately wound up getting.
Tracking users with cookies and delivering targeted advertising based on actions taken (or not taken) is a powerful way of interacting with your customer and guiding them further through your sales funnel. As more information is collected about someone, a complete profile can be built of who the customer is and what they’re trying to attain. Retargeting and suggestive up-selling can multiply your profits in a dynamic manner that classic static advertising just can’t achieve in an inbound scenario.
Behavioral Marketing Tools for Power
Behavioral marketing is all fine and dandy, you say, but how can I implement it in day-to-day operations? Valid question. As you have already concluded by now, even a robust CRM only scratches the surface of data. Data mining is a sacerdoce, a lifelong pursuit for gold nuggets… Or, maybe it isn’t.
Web activity pharmacist: Hotjar
Your website has been and remains the soft spot: where a lot happens (or doesn’t) and where often the friction lies. Hotjar reveals the online behavior of your users by combining analysis and feedback tools. You can measure and monitor how users are actually engaging with your content and layout using heat maps, conversion funnels, and form analytics. Collect info directly from your visitors with handy feedback tools like polls and surveys, and even recruit users for research and testing directly from your website.
Email engagement nurse : your robust CRM
Hopefully, you do already have a CRM that can get you started on users’ behavior(s). If not, consider the investment. Sending emails relying on accessible but limited tools reaps you off of valuable information. Remember “open rate” is a vanity metric. “Click rate” is better, provided you can track what was clicked. Then again, what good is it to know what clicked if you don’t know WHO clicked?
Pattern doctor: Salesforce Einstein
This baby will be the topic of an article coming soon. Let’s just say that AI put to the service of marketing and sales has never looked so dapper. This AI tool shows you how to optimize engagement, what to offer next, how to optimize your email and forget about manual trivial things like A/B testing or - gasp! - data entry.
There are a few other mighty AI Marketing solutions to accompany you on your journey to conversion and growth. We will cover the most significant in the next few weeks. AI marketing and business intelligence have improved so significantly in the past few years that everything seems possible, today. All within the principles of inbound marketing: selling the way people buy.
Are you overwhelmed by the amount of data at your disposal? Are you trying to grow your business, but falling short of your goals? Are you intimidated by business intelligence? SiO Digital has developed the ultimate success concept of iNBOUND iNTELLIGENCE to smart-increase your ROI.