gateB AG

Trigger-based marketing is the future

September 3, 2019

Push marketing is dead. Long live the trigger!

Push marketing, the time-bound measure that follows internal processes, has had its day. Trigger-based marketing, which reacts to real customer needs with real-time actions, promises more success.

Trigger-based marketing. Is it just another trend? Or is it a major change of perspective? With it, the marketer is no longer the one who determines the time of the campaign. Instead, the customer triggers a communication activity through his or her behavior. The result is a measure that is much more relevant because it is timely, topical, and personal.

Trigger-based marketing isn't just a set of one-off actions. It's a fundamental change in the way marketing activities are planned and implemented. In this area, too, marketing is on the verge of a radical change.

Taking the outside-in perspective 
In trigger-based marketing, "outside-in" – not "inside-out" – applies. Think from the customer's point of view and not from internal processes. "Triggers" are measurable interactions between the customer and the company that indicate a need, an intention, or even a possible purchase. Firstly, we want to identify them so we can react promptly and suitably to them. Ultimately, this means that it is not we as marketers who define the marketing plan, but each customer for himself. The customer initiates his own marketing measures. The "trigger" ensures the right time and the right context for a relevant interaction. 

Start with the most important triggers 
What makes this approach so attractive and successful is the fact that it is quite easy to implement. It is usually enough to start with two or three triggers. Take, for example, trigger-based publication of content on a website. The trigger ensures the content behaves intelligently and can play purposefully and automatically. And personalized web content is just one example. The "personalization effect principle" can also be extended to emails, newsletters, SMS, in-app messages, surveys, etc. 

«Triggers are measurable interactions between the customer and the company that indicate a need, an intention, or even a possible purchase. We have to identify them and react to them promptly.»

— Robert Schumacher, Director gateB

Intelligent use of technologies
As the number of triggers increases, so does the complexity. And with it the need to have a software solution at hand that automatically manages the triggers. At this point, you need a prioritization and optimization logic that ensures that no customer is over-stimulated, that no duplication of effort occurs, that time limits are adhered to after a measure has been executed, and that all triggers also align with overarching business objectives. 

We need to know the preferences and behavior of our customers. We have to think our way into the customers' head and their interaction scenarios. To connect them, create relevant customer journeys, integrate, and, where appropriate, automate marketing measures. Every interaction counts. The most recent studies show that customers are increasingly evaluating their experience with brands based on the most recent interaction. In the case of negative customer experiences, brand loyalty or previous positive experiences no longer play a role.

The birthday message for a customer at risk of leaving should be different from that for a new customer. We must not only react promptly, but also ensure that the message is right. The right message at the right time. Offline and online. For all this, the use of customer data is indispensable. 

Securing the customer relationship
Why is that so important today? In the age of digitalization, the importance of customer relationships has increased dramatically. The danger of being overtaken by new digital players is just a click away. Today, new competitors can contact customers directly, quickly, and easily and thus attack established customer relationships.

We should have our interactions with our customers under control. This becomes more difficult without trigger know-how and without relevant answers and direct reactions to customer behavior. Dealing with customer data is key to creating new interaction experiences that create value and strengthen customer relationships. Let's trigger it!

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