Smart Marketers Listen to the Data

By Chris Frein, Client Success Manager, Micronotes

At least twice a week, I get a call from what looks like a local number. The first few times they called I picked up thinking it was someone I knew, only to learn it was someone trying to sell solar panels.

I listened to the beginning to the caller’s pitch and politely told him I wasn’t interested. After several more calls, I recognized the number and started to ignore them (I probably should block the number).

This made me think about how inefficient this company’s sales efforts are. They keep calling me, even though I’ve made it clear I’m not interested. Multiply that effort by all of the other people they repeatedly call and it’s a lot of wasted sales time.

Many marketing methods—past and present—are not much better. They cast a wide net with a single message, hoping to catch a few “fish” to make it worthwhile. It’s probably why marketing gets a bum rap. After all, if you’re part of the 90% that’s not interested in whatever is being promoted, you’re undoubtedly annoyed by a company’s repeated calls/emails/postcards, etc.

So, how can companies do better marketing?

Technology provides powerful tools that enable businesses to know more about their customers and prospects than ever before. How can this power be harnessed for good? How can companies sell more efficiently while simultaneously providing potential customers with a better experience? The answer is to simply “listen” to the data.

Much effort is put into collecting data, but usually little to no effort is spent analyzing and learning from it. Artificial intelligence helps by using the multitude of data “knowns” to anticipate or predict the “unknowns.”

There are some companies that use data very effectively. When I’m looking for something to watch, Netflix suggests the perfect choice. They analyze my past selections to anticipate what I might want to see. Amazon suggests other works by an author whose book I recently rated favorably. Or that ladder I looked at on Home Depot’s website “coincidentally” becomes an ad in my Facebook feed.

Micronotes does the same thing for digital banking. Traditionally, banks and credit unions prided themselves on knowing their customers and members. Trust was built in the branch with a handshake and a smile. But the popularity of digital banking has made these in-person interactions rare.

Micronotes enables those conversations to take place online or on a mobile device. Our clients value the feedback we capture through these dialogues. It enables institutions to have intelligent conversations with their digital users that are consultative, not “sales-y.” We also can highlight a user’s propensity for a specific product or service, which allows the institution to target more precisely so they reach the right users at the right time.

Banks and credit unions that use AI marketing are not the only ones that benefit. Consumers learn to appreciate it as well because it is responsive to their feedback about the products and services most relevant to them. Interactions become engaging and insightful, instead of annoying, impersonal mass-marketing engines.

Now, I need to go block a phone number.