By Brent Leary
Digital customers are driving businesses to radically change the way they operate. According to a recent study by Adobe, U.S. consumers spent $73 billion online during the 2014 holiday season. Forty-seven percent used smartphones to make a payment, and, according to a report from Visible Measures, smartphones contributed to the 2.9 billion views generated for branded video in Q3 2014.
Below are two business trends to consider when connecting with digital customers in 2015.
Using Video and Marketing Automation to Know What to Say to Prospects
We know audiences like to watch video, but from a marketing perspective, you’re able to track and understand not only did somebody click play, but how long did they watch? Which parts did they skip? Which parts did they re-watch? And that’s very different than downloading e-books or white papers.
Lead-scoring models built by marketers might give a consumer a score of 20 points if they downloaded an e-book. But they really have no idea if that person even read the white paper. And if they did, how much of it did they read, and which parts did they actually interact with?
A person who downloaded, yet, never looked at an e-book might look the same as somebody who downloaded and read it four times. But, because you can actually track the second-by-second playback for video, you’re able to tell if this person not only clicked play, but watched 80 percent of the way through, or just clicked play and dropped off after 10 seconds.
That kind of insight into actual engagement is a very important capability. By capturing and analyzing it, you have concrete proof of what subject matter is interesting to customers and prospects — and what is not. Businesses are using video as a way to better qualify and score their prospects.
And by integrating with marketing automation, the ability to score video views complements the scoring you’re doing based on other digital interactions. It’s equally important to track page views or blog views by an individual. And marketing automation systems are important platforms for aggregating that data and driving the automated responses back to customers; or the sending qualified leads to the sales team.
Data-Based Business Models Driving Experiences and Journeys
Entrepreneurs are not just adding video and marketing automation to improve interactions; they’re creating brand new business models based on the needs and expectations of digital customers. Denmark-based Mofibo bills itself as the “Netflix of ebooks.” Started in 2013 with a handful of people, Mofibo is a subscription based e-book service with unlimited access to more than 10,000 e-books for about $16 a month. In a conversation I had with Mofibo’s analytics director Martin Jonassen, the whole business is built on understanding what customers want to read from start to finish.
Jonassen says Mofibo has to pay an ebook’s publisher each time a member reads a certain percentage of the book. So, if the average member reads 1,000 pages worth of ebooks each month, it’s better for Mofibo if the member reads four complete 250 page books as opposed to reading 100 pages and partially reading 10 books. This makes it critically important for Mofibo to know what kinds of subjects and authors each member really likes to read, and to constantly put those books in front of them to increase the likelihood that they’ll read to completion — thus, occupying their reading time while minimizing the total number of books read. And because this is a subscription service, Mofibo has to make sure their members have enough books that appeal to them that they’ll renew their membership every month. They’re able to do it because they can track the digital footprints customers leave them, which helps guide them along their way.
Using powerful, affordable, marketing automation systems like InfusionSoft, Act-On, and Hatchbuck will become increasingly important in understanding when to push content to consumers. And how video marketing platforms like Wistia work together with these systems to understand what’s connecting with customers. You may also need to go further, and create brand new business models that work better for a tech-savvy customer base — and for you.
Whatever direction you go in, just make sure it heads in the direction your customer is going. AT