For the second in our series of Asia-Pacific roundtable events we invited senior marketers in Singapore to discuss the trends and challenges around behavioural marketing.

The conversations focused on email, marketing automation and behavioural marketing.

You can read a roundup of the discussions that took place at our previous event in the Philippines, and there are still places available for the Bangkok roundtables on June 11 so don’t delay in applying for an invite.

What is behavioural marketing?

The definition of what constitutes behavioural marketing is very broad. 

So much so that several delegates were unaware that some of what they are already doing falls under the umbrella of behavioural marketing.

At the most basic level marketers discussed the need to clean up their email lists and make sure they are actually contacting real people, before moving through to more advanced methods of behavioural targeting. 

Cart abandonment

Cart abandonment emails proved to be a common tactic among delegates from ecommerce companies.

It was also generally a successful tactic, with marketers stating that is was effective at driving return visits and conversions.

In our latest Email Marketing Census we found that abandonment emails are used by more than a third (37%) of marketers, making it one of the most common automated triggers behind ‘subscription or sign-up to a website’ (65%) and ‘automated response to website visit/sign-up’ (59%).

Manual automation

Several delegates admitted that a lot of their lead scoring and segmentation was done manually in Excel, which suggests it’s still a common practice among marketers.

Though some of the more advanced delegates are doing automated lead scoring, typically the process of sorting data and making judgements on different characteristics is all done by hand. 

Disparate systems

All of the delegates were struggling to deal with disparate systems and datasets.

This is a problem that has been hampering marketers’ ability to implement automation for years and it doesn’t look like going away any time soon.

Our research shows that marketers cite difficulty unifying different sources of data as one of the biggest barriers to understanding the customer journey.

What are the greatest barriers preventing your organisation (or your clients) from gaining a better understanding of the customer journey?

Internal battles

As well as siloed data, difficulties in working with other internal departments were also cited as a barrier to implementing marketing automation.

Marketers have to work closely with their IT team and it can often be problematic finding the necessary resource and agreeing shared goals.

PDPA

The Singaporean government recently passed new legislation in regards to personal privacy, which has created additional work for companies using marketing automation.

We’ve previously looked at the global ramifications of the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) and what it means for businesses.

How to get budget?

Buying new marketing automation technology can be a major investment, so it’s difficult to secure budget without necessarily being able to prove what the ROI will be.

To help persuade the company of the business case and ensure it remains a priority delegates suggested appointing internal champions within each department.

They can then coordinate the implementation of new automation technology and help to resolve any issues.

Subscribers into advocates

Once a business has a sizeable and clean subscriber list the challenge is then to turn those users into brand advocates.

This is important because peer ratings and reviews are a powerful sales tool and are proven to increase conversion rates.

Email is an effective tool for this as it can be used as an aftersales customer service tool and also to solicit product reviews.

Similarly, several delegates had had success using email to re-engage lapsed customers.

The cherry on the cake

When summarising the talking points after the roundtables one of the moderators suggested that marketing automation should really be seen as ‘the icing on the cake.’

What this meant is that it’s first necessary to have the business working correctly with the requisite digital skills and processes in place.

Marketing automation isn’t just for marketing teams, it also requires several other internal departments to be involved and working together.

Furthermore, marketers need to have already done research to understand their customers and their behaviour before they can begin to implement automation.