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Digital marketers look for behavioral triggers

Tom Kaneshige | June 30, 2015
If you've spent time Google searching and window shopping online, say, on an outdoor retailer's website, dreaming about a $400 graphite fly fishing rod, maybe even putting the fly rod in a shopping cart to keep the fantasy going only to click away when reality bites, you might see the fly rod following you around the Interwebs. It's on your Facebook feed. It's staring at you in a banner ad. It's hyped up in a native advertisement about local fly fishing spots. And it's in an email from the retailer offering a special sale on fly rods. Your fly rod.

'Hey, stop following me'

Privacy concerns can be another roadblock -- as in, are you following me?

There are ways to get around this. For instance, one of Bluecore's retailer customers knows its shoppers don't take too kindly to being tracked. So a behavior-triggered email won't show the exact product an online viewer was looking at, rather the email might be about the general product category. The idea is that the viewer gets an email he's interested in and figures it's merely a coincidence that he had searched for it earlier.

Maybe the biggest hurdle behavioral triggers face is the marketers themselves, says Marketo CMO Sanjay Dholakia. Many don't realize what's possible with behavioral triggers and don't want to know. They hear about such complex, data-driven technology and dismiss it with excuses, such as a lack of resources prevents them from adopting behavioral triggers or that the promise of behavioral triggers can't be true.

"Here's a big secret: Marketers don't give a sh-t about technology," Dholakia says. "They're actually pissed off about having to figure out all this technology, and they're doing everything in their power to bury it."

 

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