When an English movie channel wanted to create buzz around its launch in India, it identified women who consumed a great deal of English language content, based on the information gathered from their social media profiles. The channel then contacted them to be a part of an exclusive 'invite-only' club. As a member of the club, the women would get passes to movie premieres and free merchandise and collectibles. On special occasions, such as birthdays and anniversaries, the channel started sending members of the club cakes and other freebies. This helped the brand earn brownie points - through brand advocacy and word of mouth, piquing others' interest in the channel and the 'exclusive' club.
"A lot of other people started sending requests to be a part of the club," says Chetan Asher, Founder of digital media agency Tonic Worldwide. From a mere transaction-based relationship, the channel had managed to evoke brand love.
Companies are no longer just segmenting social media profiles based on tastes and interests for better ad targeting, but also working towards leveraging the data for offline engagements. These include customer connect programmes, building communities or generating word-of-mouth, informs Asher.
Segmenting the customer base is a pre-requisite for sales. Earlier, the sales team of a company would work on the segmentation based on the appearance of customers. "Now, with an online and offline presence, brands are using the same data available online to cross-sell and up-sell through offline touchpoints, making the customer experience seamless," says Tina Garg, Founder and CEO of Pink Lemonade, a digital media agency.
This type of profiling involves using social media tools to understand customer behaviour across multiple channels through a single window. Marketers have access to a 360-degree view of the customer's journey with the brand on social media and this helps plan the next best move on how to approach a particular customer, says Praveen Rao, VP, Marketing, Arvato Bertelsmann India, a CRM and marketing technology provider.
Ena Bansal, Chief Digital Strategist of online retailer Vajor, says that if a customer who has signed up with the company calls, the software throws up his/ her social media profile in front of them. Details such as the history of transactions with the brand and their demographics are visible on the software. The company is working at adding personality insights to the profiles available on various social media platforms, Bansal adds.