On this journey towards Agile Personalization, we’ve touched on the need for the right kind of AI, as well as having the right kind of insights to help with targeting. But what’s actually preventing most brands from really achieving their potential is the fact that they don’t have the overall picture of what’s happening with their consumers.
One-size-fits-all marketing has been out-of-style for a while, but for some reason that’s exactly what brands keep buying into — the idea of “you can” without really thinking about how the new shiny thing is going to be any different from the old one. And since insights based on behaviors within industries aren’t the same, how can you expect a one-size-fits-all marketing platform to truly deliver?
Every industry — travel, airlines, hotels, subscriptions, publishing, gaming, and more — is distinct and different. We read so much about “individualized” content and “1:1 marketing,” but what about VERTICALIZED SOLUTIONS developed for specific sectors?
The Problem with Universal Applicability
Obviously consumers and the brands they buy from overlap… I’m a customer of a grocer, cell phone provider, and rental company all at the same time.
Think about your customers for a moment. How may the following be different as they pertain to your brand compared to others?
- Business model. Think of all the different kinds of business models: manufacturer, distributor, retailer, franchise, brick and mortar, e-commerce, subscription, agency, on-demand, etc., etc. How similar are your day-to-day business ops to these other verticals?
- Use cases. Sure, re-engagement campaigns and welcome series are APPLIED consistently across industries, but the APPEAL and CONTENT better be very unique… not just for your industry, but for your brand.
- Data. Demographic information aside, all first-party behavioral, transactional, and engagement data — data collected and owned by you — is unique to your brand.
Most martech is intentionally designed to handle BROAD APPLICATION. These automation platforms use a single set of widgets, campaigns, and capabilities on a MASS SCALE. Mass application = mass marketing = mass let down.
In what world does this make any sense?
Why would I, as a pure-play e-comm fashion company, want to use the same generic templates, tools, and tech as an on-demand movie streaming service? Everything about my business is drastically different from the way a streaming brand drives value.
The Need for Verticalization
The playing field has been dramatically limited, and most marketers have been confined, operating beneath the guise of shiny-object-syndrome and broken promises for so long they remain ignorant to what’s really possible or have become resigned to the status quo thinking that’s all there is.
In short, marketers lost their way. Marketing needs a rejuvenation of innovation and ideas. It needs to be injected with TRULY next-level, modern tech that’s as flexible and dynamic as today’s busy consumer.
But what does it actually mean to be flexible?
For martech to actually qualify as a verticalized solution, it needs to have industry specific knowledge, marketing KPIs that tie to growth, and the ability to turn all this information into action — and fast.
We’re talking knowledge built into a platform — self-learning solutions that solve for industry specific use-cases. Without applicable tactics, marketers will continue to remain far from realizing their goals, and nowhere near achieving anything like true omnichannel marketing.
But what’s the value of such a system?
“Industry-specific” here means focusing in on what’s actually relevant, and as a minimum needs to be able to include:
- A customizable dashboard, which uses built-in knowledge (industry-specific use cases) paired with AI to get extremely personal with WHO buyers are.
- A structured framework based on verticalized insights and execution capabilities that guide you through the exact tactics that work for your niche.
- Rapid deployment, that breaks through the clutter using real-time value resulting in better speed to market.
Industry-specific is very much about having the knowledge and experience baked into the technology so that you can benefit from all the insights and knowledge of those who have faced the same issues as you are.
Business KPIs for Growth
What would it mean to your team to be able to see how their contribution is adding to the bottom line without spending loads of time crunching the data?
By being able to PROVE how specific tactics tie to strategic KPIs like revenue growth, a marketing team can see how their contributions made an impact on the bottom line, and they’re not wasting time on it. In fact by being able to eliminate the need for working out the targeting, there’s more time available to be proactive to do more meaningful things, like finding new opportunities.
Here are five quick examples how your AI can actually take care of boosting your KPIs while your marketing team focuses on other things:
- Web. Visitors can be shown dynamic content based on their behaviors and purchases. AI can even go a step further by targeting or even suppressing disengaged or churning customers.
- Move customers from one lifecycle to another. Identify first-time buyers who are likely to convert and follow up for a second purchase.
- Target customers likely to churn. Based on data and the purchase cycle of a specific customer, send 1:1 content before churning.
- Cross-sell opportunities. Based on purchase behavior, a customer can be sent 1:1 communications, across any channels, based on what they’re likely to purchase.
- Overall revenue prediction. By looking over all predictive potential customer revenue, along with the projected business growth, marketers are able to predict revenue over time.
Mixed with industry-specific use cases, templates, and automations, AI can provide massive benefits for driving UNIQUE value, long-term customer engagement, and business growth — all aligned to business goals.
Eliminating Vertical Specific Challenges
So far we’ve talked about requirements that could arguably be called “generic” because giving more solutions that “can” be used to fix things isn’t new — and that’s how a lot of providers still pitch their offerings.
Marketing teams need to be able to directly apply insights and use the built-in knowledge that will actually help fix the very thing that is keeping them from shining — whether it’s the inability to accurately track activities across touch points, prove their contribution, or focus on what really matters.
It doesn’t matter if you have all the tech at your fingertips… you cannot be agile and you are not personalizing if you haven’t got the complete overview of what customers are doing across all touch points in real-time.
If you are not approaching your marketing with complete transparency (and confidence that you know what is happening with your customers as it happens), then you still aren’t going to be any closer to delivering truly agile personalization.
To be able to really deliver engaging personalization that is adaptable and relevant to consumer whims, it’s time to eliminate what’s holding you back.
Verticalization is the answer to that, because it breaks down the barriers across your touch points and silos, and actually opens up the potential for your marketing teams to act. From there you need them to be supported with the relevant insights, and empowered with AI to take over the marketing execution. Then, you can really start engaging your customers with perfectly personalized 1:1 content at scale.
Brands need software that is able to be as unique as their customers and company, without being trapped in an expensive custom solution. They need a more proactive solution with ready-to-deploy strategies and tactics aligned to the organization’s high-level objectives.
So when you’re thinking verticalization, keep these differentiators that separate industry-specific solutions from cookie-cutter platforms in mind:
- Embedded knowledge. Tech that knows your industry helps keep you on track, helping you focus on what counts.
- Business-aligned. The ability to directly show and drive bottom-line revenue contributions.
- Proven tactics. Working off tried and tested use-case templates that are proven to generate results.
It’s a new era — so demand more! Demand tech that is built to meet specific marketing challenges unique to your individual sector, rather than just giving you the tools to try and figure it out yourself.
Consumers are fickle, and competition is hot. Can you really afford not to have the technology that lets you personalize 1:1 at scale without sacrificing agility?
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