How can marketers get started with Attention Messaging? Here is a roadmap.
Lists: Start by figuring out the percentage of customers whose digital identities are known. For every customer, do you know their email ID and mobile number? For every new customer, are you collecting both identities? If not, this is the first initiative to start.
Budget: Create an Attention Budget budget. What is your current split between acquisition and retention-growth? If you are like the typical company, it will be close to 90:10. Begin by taking 10% of the acquisition budget and allocate it for Attention Messaging. This will be money well spent – for your existing customers.
Team: You will need a team for Attention Messaging. It can be an extension of the growth team, but it probably will need some new skills – data science and analytics, creative thinking, content aggregation and creating, and so on.
Conversations: Lift the phone and speak to some of your existing customers. Ask them what they like about the messaging you send them. What is the type of messaging they would like to receive? What will make them stop ignoring your communications? What will delight them? It is amazing the kind of insights one can get by talking rather than just looking at numbers.
Email: The first channel to consider for the Attention Messaging program is email. Email has been around for a long time but has been largely neglected in India. All the more reason to break the mould and make the best use of it. Microns (emails with rewards) need to be well-crafted and part of a sequence, rather than just one-off activities. That’s why it’s important to think about a day in the life of your customer. What can you do to get a 15-30 seconds slot in that life and thus break through the attention recession?
Expand: The program can later be extended to cover other channels which are integral to your communications. You can also expand the coverage of the actions – for example, reward customers for sharing personal preferences, and incentivise them for referrals.
Analyse: At every stage, measure. Over time, the best metric for success is customer retention and growth. Figure out how to track these numbers. And as you see progress, shift additional budgets from acquisition to Attention Messaging.
First-Party Data: As you drive the program, make sure you never miss an opportunity to strengthen your direct access to customer data. First-party data is worth its weight in gold – as long as you can retain the customer.
VRM: As you get the attention of customers, consider creating a Velvet Rope Marketing program. This focuses on the most valuable customers – the top 20% who can deliver 60% of revenues and 200% of profits. A combination of Attention Messaging with VRM can lay the foundation for a profits monopoly (“profipoly”). Deep customer engagement and continuous attention of your Best customers are the best possible moats you can create.
Attention Messaging is a new idea – and yet an old and obvious idea. Think Attention and Retention, not Attrition and Reacquisition. The surprise is that few are doing it. You have an opportunity to pioneer these ideas and build the best protection that a growing business needs – happy customers who pay attention to you and stay for a lifetime!