A recent Resulticks seminar, “Redefining customer experience through modern messaging solutions,” brought together four experienced industry experts to explore collaboratively how marketing teams can leverage AI-powered technology to drive deep customer engagement through mobile marketing campaigns.
The wide-ranging discussion addressed new-age approaches to delivering authentic, immersive contextual experiences; how an AI-based approach can radically differentiate customer journeys and drive superior results; the evolutionary path to holistic, predictive, precisely targeted campaigns clearly tied to business outcomes.
Here are a few selected excerpts, which will be released in two parts. (Please note that in many cases the presenters’ responses have been summarized and edited for length.)
The expert presenters
Pradeep Dukare, DVP, Head Campaign Evaluation and Data Solutions, HDFC Bank
Mani Gopalaratnam, CEO and CTO, Resulticks
How are brands redefining engagement in the face of radically shifting customer\ behavior and expectations?
The panelists concurred that now may very well be the best of times as brands can apply new-age martech tools, AI-driven data analytics, and machine learning to boost the effectiveness of traditional and emerging communication channels
Pradeep Dukare: HDFC Bank has achieved growth in its digital business month-on-month using specific core elements to drive consumer engagement. The most important is analytics, which gives us a customer’s propensity or the next best action for each. Martech tools help us deliver relevant communication. With all of this in place, we’re seeing a reach to our targeted audiences of more than 65% every month, and engagement of more than 50% of them.”
Mani Gopalaratnam: It’s about understanding how customers respond, their channel propensity, and making sure you deliver the right experience. Communication overdose is one of today’s biggest problems And that precise targeting requires clear knowledge of the specific time a customer is active in a particular channel.
You don't have to spam me just because you have my phone number, my email address, and I’ve downloaded your app. Don’t send me communications in all three channels.
And with COVID-19, it’s even worse. I have eight different ecommerce applications where I order everything from groceries to electronics, and all of them are targeting me like crazy. Knowing exactly what a customer wants and providing the right dose of communication in the right channel is key. That can only be done based on reliable data and techniques like predictive analytics and artificial Intelligence.”
How can brands communicate better and more effectively, to achieve a higher level of engagement?
Shankar Iyer: InfoBip enables both the brand and the solution provider. We are spoiled for choice of the different communication channels users choose, and have provisioned them across brands, technologies, and entities.
That’s where it all starts. From there, it’s a question of how you leverage that information, analyze the data, and use channels appropriately to communicate at the right time.”
This comes with challenges. There’s too much clutter. The number of mobile apps has exploded in the last 18 months. There are technologies for bringing mobile usage behaviors into a single platform to ensure you connect with the customer in an appropriate manner.
How can brands manage diverse variables, such as customer preference, internal data, and external data, to deliver immersive, authentic, contextual messaging?
Pradeep Dukare: Data analytics has evolved beyond traditional segmentation. Analytics tells us the next best product to recommend. Previously, we could create only a couple of segments for a particular product. Today, not only do we get insights on what products to recommend, we also get 25 subsegments of that data. So suddenly, our micro-segmentation capability has increased tenfold.
Traditionally, we were just sending out emails and SMS. Today, we do omnichannel campaign orchestration, which means I can choose which customers I will send the campaign to and which channel to use based on their channel affinity.
With A /B testing, it’s not about just blasting out messages; messaging is tested in advance. Then the platform determines which messages to schedule at a specific time, enabling the delivery of authentic, immersive communications.
How did SMS-based messaging emerge as a standalone solution to drive customer engagement?
Mani Gopalaratnam: SMS evolved as a solution because of limited bandwidth. Early on, when you sent an email, people had to go home and check their computer. Now you can deliver an SMS message right to their mobile devices to be read by the user immediately. To minimize fraud and deliver communications effectively, you can use OTP solutions.”
SMS is the preferred channel for trigger-based communications. It is also a priority channel when brands wish to interact with customers in real time. Another factor in the evolution of SMS is the offline to online connection where QR codes come into play. One Resulticks client uses two-way SMS very effectively in malls. When consumers scan a QR code the brand can automatically send contextual offers (e.g., exclusive discounts) that can be redeemed in real time.
How can brands enhance the efficacy of SMS for superior engagement and customer experience?
Mani Gopalaratnam: HDFC Bank provides an example of how to deepen customer engagement and loyalty through contextual offers. We assisted the bank in delivering SMS—and messages from other relevant channels—contextually and at just the right moment for their diverse customer base. Using the Resulticks Smart Link, one half of our Smart Duo technology, in their campaigns, the bank can identify and track its audience’s evolving paths from first touch to engagement to conversion for a wide variety of actions. The bank’s strong branding and high-quality products have, of course, ensure a high degree of engagement.
In part one, Dukare and Gopalaratnam dived into the evolution of digital marketing due to rapidly shifting customer behavior and expectations. They offered advice for brands trying to manage the growing number of variables pertinent to customer engagement and to improve their performances. The conversation also began exploring how SMS remains a key channel of communication for brands today.
Stay updated for part 2 of the blog series. In the meantime, talk to us about how Resulticks can drive real outcomes for your evolving digital marketing efforts.
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