There is not a single multinational company thriving today that would deploy an integrated supply chain system that failed to account for volatility, disruption, and consumer demands for immediacy in the delivery of customized products and services. Putting the right product at the right time with the right price in front of a customer is simply too important to rely on static, list-based decisions and systems that fail to account for the dynamics of a global economy.
The same is true for keeping pace with always-on, connected consumers as they move through an omnichannel customer journey. Consumers demand a personalized customer experience, and evidence shows that delivering such an experience provides a direct line to revenue. Yet, unlike the universal acceptance of a dynamic and highly functional supply chain, many organizations are slow to embrace empowering marketers with the same power and flexibility under the spirit of “it’s just marketing” or “marketers just don’t think that way”. The hard truth, though, is that if “marketers don’t think that way”, they won’t be long for their jobs, as marketing is the direct line between data and revenue and expectations have risen both inside and outside the organizations for marketing to be the tip of the spear for the enterprise as a revenue-generating engine.
A New Mindset That Leaves Audience Lists Behind
Marketing, perhaps more than any other line of business, has complexities that require dynamic systems of engagement. An influx of communications channels. Online and offline engagement touchpoints and personas. Continuous updates to preferences and permissions. The bottom line is that no line of business deals with things like data lists anymore, and none should be bound by legacy technology designed for the age of outbound, batch, or drip communications through audience lists. Everything in marketing is now dynamic and enterprises cannot afford to have toys standing in for hardcore data-driven tools needed to achieve the ultimate marketing objective: omnichannel (all outbound and inbound channels) optimized messaging.
With this context in mind, here are 10 reasons why a customer engagement platform that derives audiences, channels, actions, and preferences dynamically at the time an action is taken is a requirement for keeping pace with a dynamic, omnichannel customer journey.
1. Rules Are Dynamic: In a rules-driven environment, marketers are not locked in by pre-defined, static lists of data, customers, or prospects that paint a picture of a moment in time at odds with the entirety of a customer journey. The dynamism and flexibility of a rules-based system underscores every reason why a rules-based approach is superior to a reliance on lists.
2. Rules Are Data-Model Agnostic: Being dynamic, rules can organize and re-orient themselves into whatever a changing business requirement or KPI dictates. Lists, being inflexible, are static in a table. Models based on lists will therefore become outdated the moment a business objective or KPI changes.
3. Rules Are Multi-Channel Driven: A marketing campaign based on a static list – such as sending a credit card application to a list of prospects – is likely not just impersonal, but it runs a risk of being irrelevant if a prospect signs up for the credit card after the list is created. Because a rules-based system is dynamic, eligibility for one channel versus another channel – or multiple channels – is decided at the time the communication is initiated based on the totality of a consumer’s actions.
4. Rules Are Journey-Based: A list-based system is locked in time and cannot keep pace with a customer in a non-linear, non-sequential journey. A rules-based system dictates a next-best action relevant to a customer’s journey at the precise moment and channel of engagement. It does not rely on a list that recommends an action for a customer based on an engagement that may have lost its relevance.
5. Rules Are Re-Usable: Lists are a one-and-done proposition. As soon as a customer takes an action – signs up for the credit card, buys the product, etc. – the list is obsolete. Rules are dynamic, which means they can be updated in real time based on a customer’s behaviors and re-used as a “living” document. A rule about what constitutes a gold customer means that the “list” of gold customers is fluid, and is re-usable within an automated machine learning model.
6. Rules Are Flexible: Once created and activated, a list cannot adapt to an unforeseen change in conditions. When an item on a grocery list is not in stock and the shopper makes a substitution on the fly, the list is relegated to the trash bin. Likewise, a static list of customers loses relevance when any change occurs that is not directly accounted for in the list.
7. Rules Are Not Batch-Driven: Running batch-based business processes means that decisions are – by definition – based on lists of data. Businesses – and connected consumers – move faster, which require that decisions rest on dynamic, analytically driven machine learning models.
8. Rules Account for Behavior Post-Campaign: An “if this, then that” dynamic rule builds on its own success, infusing value into campaign results by moving the chains, if you will, providing marketers with an – automated – logical next step to drive desired behavior. Results from a campaign derived from a list can be matched back to the list, but a new list must be created to advance any findings.
9. Rules Do Not Require Coding for Dynamic Personalization: A list-based email campaign set up for personalization requires scripts, as an example. The time-consuming, resource-intensive effort devalues the benefit of personalization because by the time a customer receives a personalized email, they may be steps ahead in a customer journey. Scripts simply cannot be written to keep pace or to account for every step of a dynamic customer journey. By not requiring coding, rules are unencumbered by manual intervention for dynamic personalization.
10. Rules Are Secure: A previous blog in this space focused on the importance of applying customer permissions dynamically in the customer lifecycle. The fact of the matter is that regulations frequently change; new provisions, bylaws, and legislation crop up continuously. A list of customer preferences and permissions becomes outdated with each new provision, introducing compliance risk and creating a self-defeating cycle where a new list becomes irrelevant almost the moment it’s published.
Applying rules dynamically at the time of each customer interaction seamlessly integrates all segment and preference data into the process at each stage of the journey, making it dynamic and eliminating the potential of frustrating a customer by ignoring or mishandling their preferences, or by ignoring where the customer is in their journey.
The RedPoint Customer Data Platform is rules-based. It creates rules for how, where, and when customer data is ingested. It creates rules for how it is managed, and for how it provides advanced identity resolution. It creates rules for how code-free automated machine learning models recommend a next-best action that is always perfectly in the context and cadence of a customer journey. These rules are the most powerful part of the solution, providing the foundation to enable segment-of-one marketing at scale. Any system that relies on lists is simply incapable of matching this power.
A rules-based platform embraces the enormous complexity of providing a personalized customer experience for every customer at every stage of a dynamic customer journey. The reward for tackling this complexity is to have a mission-critical solution that is accountable for generating revenue.