EventTriggersRelevance is the be-all and end-all, but unfortunately the prerequisites for a customer's receptivity to a particular marketing message can change quickly. Event triggers can be of help here, which are usually events that can be defined as triggers for sending certain marketing messages.

A typical distinction is made between time-based, internal-, and external event triggers: while time-based triggers mostly relate to a date in a customer's personal profile, such as a birthday or anniversary, and relatively easy to plan, internal triggers are based on specific actions of a customer and therefore, more difficult to plan because they can be behavioral- as well as transaction-based. External triggers go one step further and relate to external events, such as a push notification triggered by a geofence as soon as a customer enters a store.

Regarding event triggers, it certainly makes sense to take a closer look at the channels used and who determines the point in time for a triggered marketing message: is it the customer who, for example, triggers the next campaign step by scanning his customer card at the checkout or by visiting the online shop (pull channels), or is it the marketing manager who, for example, has scheduled an email as the next step in the campaign as soon as the customer celebrates his 1-year customer anniversary (push channels)? Either way, the use of event triggers leads to significantly more relevance in marketing, as current events are directly included in the campaigns.

As an example, imagine that one of your customers is browsing your online shop and adds some of his favorite items to his shopping cart. However, even after an hour, he didn’t complete the purchase and leaves your shop—what are you doing now?

Do you wait until he comes back in the hope that he'll finish the order process? You could do that, but it would be more promising to use the abandoned cart as a trigger to start a campaign aimed at abandoned carts. In fact, you should then not only offer the products that are already in the shopping cart but think forward.

Perhaps now would be exactly the right time to use the data and insights that you were able to collect through a 360° customer view and offer suitable or alternative products based on previous purchasing behavior and the transactions of similar customers.

The channel used plays an important role too: while one customer can be reached better via email, the next may react more to push notifications. This data, analyzed using the 360° customer view, combined with an incentive, such as free shipping or a discount coupon, depending on the customer value, can make all the difference and lead to an order.

It makes sense to also consider the context of the shopping cart abandonment to make the marketing messages and especially their timing even more intelligent. If the shopping cart is canceled on the weekend or in the evening of a weekday for example, we can assume that the customer is free and is receptive to the message. For example, if the cancellation took place at noon on a weekday, it may be better to wait until the evening to send a message.

Google provides a very good example of contextual viewing with its ''Micro Moments". When someone searches for a restaurant on Google Maps, the most obvious context is of course "where is the person right now". However, Google includes significantly more criteria in the search, such as the time or previous search behavior, to suggest suitable restaurants to the searcher.

Designing campaign automation spontaneously offers some advantages when it comes to time and content relevance in marketing. Event triggers are an adequate means of incorporating customer behavior and its context into your marketing campaigns to allow customers to help shape the communication.

By Daniela La Marca