Engaging with customers in real time using real-time triggers & events

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Robert Schumacher
Director Customer Intelligence bei gateB
#insurance#banking#triggermarketing

The need for relevant and personalized engagement with customers is steadily increasing. This is true in the finance and insurance industries, too, where individualized interactions with customers at the right time are becoming a game-changer. If providers want to remain relevant to their target groups, there is no getting around real-time marketing automation.

Key facts

  • The interaction between real-time cases, triggers and events enables companies to respond more quickly with their service, thus putting the focus on the customer experience.
  • Real-time cases are not yet the standard in the Swiss finance world, where most applications are in risk and fraud handling. Yet, more and more finance and insurance companies are also looking to use real-time cases in marketing.
  • The prerequisite for successful real-time marketing strategies is an up-to-date database, which is why careful data maintenance is mandatory.

Real-time marketing is based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and learning algorithms. It is defined as responding to particular user behaviors in real time when a predefined action is triggered – a real-time trigger or real-time event. Specifying business-specific applications (real-time cases) beforehand is a prerequisite. The interaction between real-time cases, triggers and events then allows companies to respond more quickly with a service, thus putting the focus on the customer experience.

Timing is everything ...

Although many trends point toward “everything, instantly, now,” real-time cases are not yet the standard in the Swiss finance world. In addition, it is important to carefully consider if real-time cases are truly worth their while because their implementation requirements are often quite complex as well as costly.

Therefore, “timeliness,” meaning the right timing, is the critical characteristic in my opinion. Whether this means true real-time or not is less important than being appropriate and relevant from the customer’s point of view. The event must occur at the right moment from the point of view of the individual customer. Then, the chances are good that the automatically implemented activities will be successful.

Which real-time triggers to use in banking and insurance?

There are many applications, especially in banking and insurance, that require real-time cases – especially if the companies want to support their customers fully. Most of these applications are in the risk and fraud areas, where it is important to recognize irregularities and abnormalities in customer behavior in a matter of seconds and respond to them appropriately.

However, more and more finance and insurance companies are also looking at real-time cases in marketing. If we look at the potential benefits, we can quickly see why.

Using real-time cases:

  • increases the degree of topicality and relevance for the recipient
  • increases the likelihood of a response
  • drives consumer loyalty
  • improves a company’s image (current, relevant, dynamic)
  • saves time and money through automation
  • prevents scatter loss thanks to individualized communication.

Having current data is essential

Of course, the prerequisite for successful real-time marketing strategies is an up-to-date database. Both your customer relationships and your image deteriorate if your customers come across outdated products or offers that have already expired – no matter how good your products or services are. Therefore, careful data maintenance is a necessity – from customer contact data and product information and/or services to behavioral and interaction data.

About the author

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Robert Schumacher is one of Switzerland's pioneers in the areas of data-driven marketing and CRM. Since November 2015, he has been director of business development for customer intelligence and marketing automation at gateB.

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