What is "customer activation"? It's consistent customer service, to be active, so they're motivated to move forward and to reach the next stage in their buyer's journey faster than they would have done organically. In other words, the "passive prospects" and "one-time customers" are invigorated to act.
This translates to sales leads converting into first-time customers, one-time customers transforming into repeat customers, repeat customers increase their purchasing frequency, and evangelists continue to spread positive word-of-mouth and heighten their positive behaviors. In other words, customer activation is as if having a "magic button" for each customer to buy the first time and repeatedly.
However, naturally, activating customers is one of the most challenging tasks a marketer must perform. It requires a deep understanding of who the customers are and their behaviors before you can come up with the right mix of marketing tactics. It also involves the marketers' advanced soft skills that are positively projected in every engagement delivered by the right marketing automation tools.
In this article, we'll discuss the frameworks and strategies for engaging customers throughout their lifecycle and moving them faster to the next stage. Also, we'll discuss the soft skills and marketing automation tools necessary to make it successful.
10 Steps to improve your customer activation
- 1. Create the buyer personas of existing customers.
Interview your customers to better understand their buyer personas. Take note of their demographics, like their job, family members, age, marital status, hobbies, education, passions, and others. Also, feel free to write down your own version of the "ideal" buyer personas that your business would be perfect to deliver.
- 2. Identify their preferences and pain points.
By recognizing their likes, dislikes, and problems, you'd be able to deliver based on their preferences and paint points. What do they actually need and want? How can you solve that problem?
- 3. Identify their online behaviors.
With behavioral data, you can get a strong indication of what they're likely to do in the next step. Pay attention to collect relevant information by tracking their interaction with your business so that you can recognize the motivation. Perhaps they contacted you through social media or other channels.
- 4. Map their buying journeys.
Outline the stages of buying journey or customer lifecycle, so you can develop strategies that speak directly to them. The channels they use, the types of information they collect, and first and last contact points with the business. For instance, if they open text messages but not emails, focus on mobile-based engagements.
- 5. Deliver personalized information and content.
Personalisation is completely doable with segmentations and opt-in preferences, which can be done early with a CRM or email management software. By collecting such data, you can deliver information and content that resonates with their interests and passions.
- 6. Create action trigger points based on their stage in the journey.
Recognize every customer's position in the buying journey, which is crucial in the creation of active trigger points. This tactic can be executed with personalized information and content designed to trigger certain actions.
- 7. Involve customers continuously with engaging activities.
Cultivate customers' interest by continuously involving them in research and development without making them feel like being studied. Educating webinars and other live online activities can be used to create a close rapport that could result favorably.
- 8. Identify buying journey stage and speed.
How are the customers moving forward to the next step? For this, you'd need to learn in what stage they are and the speed. Do customers repeat purchase? Alternatively, do they stay inactive? Why? Do they open their emails? Do they respond the surveys?
- 9. Automate customer activation and engagement.
With marketing automation, you can determine the stage in the buyer's journey and what to do at each stage. Each touch point marks a stage and provides a glance into the speed and possible timeline, which require specific delivery of contents, products, or activities.
- 10. Track and analyze for future reference.
Use web analytics, like Google Analytics and other tools; you can track each movement with precision. Over time, by recognizing patterns, the collected data can be used for future references. Use it in conjunction with competition analytics and other data collection methods for better results.
Now that you've understood these ten frameworks and strategies for customer activation, what's next?
First and foremost, work on the buyer personas and collect as much data as possible from your existing analytics tool. Keep your evangelist customers close and your dormant clients closer. Whenever possible, create a strong rapport with them without being annoying nor making them feeling like being studied.
Adopt a customer-servicing mindset
Next, you want existing, and future customers continue to feel appreciated, which is key for them to get engaged in every stage of the journey and in every step they take. Writing skills that communicate the company's marketing messages without pushing would be crucial in creating contents that resonates with them, for instance. Also, a favorable image driven by thoughtful UI/UX designs can be another positive element.
"The customer service department needs,"
To enable customer activation technically, use reliable marketing automation tools, which can deliver web analytics data that matter, automated emails, drip contents, personalized information, customized ads, and other action-triggered activities. Moreover, there are more than 5,000 marketing automation tools to choose from, according to 2017 Martech 5000 Conference in San Francisco.
You can start with these marketing automation tools that are key to customer engagement and activation:
- Content marketing: SEO, competition analytics, long-tail keywords analytics, freemiums
- Social media marketing: social media management, social media listening, social media analytics
- Email marketing: email newsletter, drip content, personalized content
- Paid media: search ads, audience network ads
- Mobile marketing: audience network ads
- Analytics: web analytics, marketing analytics
In conclusion, today is the best time for implementing customer activation strategy. With the right tools (software) and the right communication skills (brainwave), you can expect to generate positive results. However, since marketing is mostly an art with the help of scientific data, there is no definite "formula" on how to engage customers 100 percent. So, remain positive and be ready to test your tactics to see which ones would work the best.
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