Over the years Bob has grown to know who John is, his budget, and what he’s drunk before. He can therefore make relevant recommendations based on this knowledge of his customer.

And more importantly, as a result of this relationship, John: 

  • Often spends between 30%-200% more in the shop than he planned.
  • Buys five times more than he does at Waitrose.
  • Enjoys dealing with Bob.

As such, the more that businesses can learn to be like Bob, the more successful they’ll be. 

The move towards personalisation

Unfortunately Watton believes that marketers aren’t like Bob at the moment and need to move towards implementing more focused personalisation and segmentation. 

We’re currently putting customers into buckets depending on job titles, size of company, turnover, etc. We can then design value propositions, understand customers and send out targeted messages.

Marketers then achieve a 3% CTR and think it’s great, however “it’s actually a failure if you consider that 97% found it irrelevant.”

How can this be fixed?

‘Traditional’ segmentation works off demographic and profile information, but it doesn’t mean that the person is in the market for a product right now – there’s no understanding of context.

Marketers need to shrink down their segments “from buckets to bowls, to mugs, to shot glasses, to thimbles.”

We have to think about behaviours and the customer’s desire to buy. It’s not about their company or demographic, it’s about where they are in the buying cycle.

This involves four different stages:

  • Decide which behaviours to track. This includes email behaviours, social interactions, what’s going through the call centre, or how they used the website.
  • Pull the data together into a single behavioural database. This involves email, location, social, and CRM data.
  • Use this database to get a single view of the customer. Marketers need to create lead scores based on behaviours and interactions.
  • Finally, automate across channels and personalise the experiences. Take these clues in terms of the customer’s readiness to buy and personalise the experience. If they only read email and never come to the website, then target them via email.

But how do you get there?

To implement this there are various marketing platforms available, with Silverpop being an obvious example.

But to get started on the road to behavioural marketing, Watton suggested that there are 10 B2B processes that marketers should look to automate.

  1. Welcome/Onboarding.
  2. Browse abandonment.
  3. Recommendations.
  4. Product review requests.
  5. Replenishment/re-orders.
  6. Password renewal/reminders.
  7. Trials (e.g. free trial of a product).
  8. Cross-selling.
  9. Purchase anniversary renewals.
  10. Re-engagement.

To bring this full circle, behavioural marketing is essentially trying to do what Bob does but on an industrial scale. 

And if you get it right your customers will love you just as much as John loves Bob…