From one-to-many to one-to-one
“The immediacy of digital communications means we have to be really short, snappy and engaging in what we say to customers. We only have seconds to grab and hold their attention.” says Marc Verschueren, Online Marketing Director at Happy Socks.
Happy Socks is not alone in facing this challenge, and companies in today’s digital era must forge personal connections in tight timeframes, if they want to drive customer engagement.
To achieve this, brands in almost every sector are moving beyond one-to-many marketing strategies and expanding their one-to-one capabilities. Customers don’t want to be spoken to en masse, any more. When they interact with a brand, they want that same level of personal commitment back.
Technology is developing quickly and giving brands the tools to design one-to-one customer experiences that are informal, conversational, realistic and highly effective. These technologies can be adapted to individual needs and deployed faster than many think.
Bringing the brand personality to life
Happy Socks recently took a closer look at Messenger, and how it could use the platform to speak directly to individual customers and show off its fun-loving and slightly zany personality.
Lots of customers were using Messenger to ask questions, and Verschueren wondered whether Happy Socks could make the customer experience more sophisticated and use the platform to strike up engaging, two-way conversations.
The path to purchase for Happy Socks’ customers is short, because its products are relatively inexpensive. This means the brand must make the most of every customer interaction to drive sales.
A lot of sales are campaign driven and Happy Socks initially used Messenger in one of its first campaigns of the year.
Verschueren explains: “This year we started with a New Year’s Resolution Campaign, so for people that wanted to eat more healthily, we presented them the different fruit or vegetable socks that we have. If someone else wanted to be more active and sporty, we showed them our athletics socks. We started with a relatively simple bot and a straightforward Messenger flow.”
The bot engaged with customers, found out about their resolutions and budgets, and then suggested appropriate products.
Test, learn, improve, repeat
Happy Socks went from campaign concept to delivery within five weeks. In that time it designed the customer flow and developed the required wording, tone of voice and creatives. It aligned the campaign to existing business and marketing strategies and benchmarked performance against detailed KPIs.
The speed of implementation minimised the time and resource Happy Socks had to use in testing Messenger and assessing its impact on customer experience and commercial results. Verschueren says the return on advertising spend was immediate and commensurate to that achieved by Happy Socks’ regular Facebook adverts.
His team are now building on that initial success and using the rich customer data generated by Messenger to sharpen future campaigns. They can measure the flow of customers and identify exactly where they engage, how they engage, and when they drop off.
This high-resolution picture pinpoints where tweaks are needed to optimise the overall flow. It also means companies can analyse the impact of each change, validate their strategy at every step, and quickly expand on successful activity.
“We’re very metric-driven,” says Verschueren. “Whatever we do, we look at the metrics and how can we improve on them. What’s working and what’s not? If something is performing well we try to iterate on that strategy and build out from there.”
The perfect fit
Happy Socks has discovered the informality of Messenger allows it to really express its brand personality, to provide a wittier and more tongue-in-cheek experience, and to engage with customers in highly personalised, one-to-one conversations.
The platform also lets Happy Socks speak to its customers at any point in their purchase journey, and it is exploring what types of conversation are most effective at each stage.
Drawing to a close, Verschueren comments: “We’re a very creative company and we try to spread happiness. Messenger offers so many opportunities to suggest products, engage in a fun way, and show off the lighter side of our brand. I think it’s a great opportunity.”
The Reuters editorial and news staff had no role in the production of this content. It was created by Reuters Plus, part of the commercial advertising group. To work with Reuters Plus, contact us here.