While marketers who leverage buyer insight in their campaigns experience significant business benefits above their peers, behavioural data still remains the greatest untapped marketing asset, according to a study conducted by Forrester Consulting for Silverpop.
The survey of 157 US-based marketing professionals (entitled 'Use Behavioral Marketing to Up the Ante in the Age of the Customer') examined their use of behavioural marketing automation to enable communication strategies and deliver campaigns. As campaign effectiveness is increasingly derived from customer insights, Forrester analysed how marketers are powering automation with buyer behavioural data to drive engagement across multiple touchpoints and channels.
The study found that marketers who have adopted behavioural marketing practices and technologies have achieved significant results ranging from higher return on marketing investment (ROMI) to higher contributions to sales pipelines, as well as revenue.
"Today's buyer demands more personalised attention, and to be more personal the marketer must be more automated," said Lori Wizdo, principal analyst for Forrester Research, in an October 2012 blog post. "Marketing automation captures buyer behaviour - the greatest untapped asset that marketers have. Marketing automation lets us know which specific content buyers are consuming. Marketing automation tells us where customers are finding our content. Marketing automation tells us what they do next. With this data, and the knowledge it drives, marketers can provide targeted content and offers which serve to both improve buyer engagement and increase conversion rates."
Among the study's key findings:
- Behavioral marketing boosts revenue and customer experience/loyalty: When asked to assess the potential gain of taking specific actions with prospective customers based on their behaviours across channels, return on marketing investment and customer satisfaction/loyalty topped the list of overall perceived benefits for marketers, with 44% and 42%.
- Behavioral marketers are seeing an impact on sales pipelines and revenue: Forrester found that behavioural marketers are simply getting better results, with B2B behavioural marketers attributing 34% of their total sales pipeline to behavioural marketing-nearly 10% higher than their peers at 26%. Similarly, B2C behavioural marketers attributed 26% of their revenues achieved to their behavioural programmes, with peers at just 21%.
- Buyer behavioural data remains the greatest untapped marketing asset: In the age of the customer, buyer information is critical. With customer behavioural data, marketers can provide targeted content to drive buyer engagement and increase conversion rates. However, Forrester found that only 45% actually collect and consolidate it within a single, integrated database. While data-the lifeblood of effective marketing automation-is important, consolidating it into a single database makes it actionable in a very efficient way.
"While marketers have come a long way in automating their efforts, not all are using marketing automation at its full potential and incorporating buyer behaviour into their campaigns in order to deliver the most personal and engaging customer experiences possible," concluded Bryan Brown, Silverpop's director of product strategy. "Data is the fuel that powers today's digital marketing campaigns and no insight is more valuable than what buyers tell you based on the actions they take. By capturing and then quickly acting on this behavioural data, marketers can form very rewarding individual relationships that lead to revenue and a deep sense of loyalty that can last a lifetime."