26 Jan All Events are equal. Its just some are more equal than others.
In the previous blog I defined an Event as ‘something significant that has occurred to a specific individual today’ where the key words were individual, significant andtoday.
The whole point of finding such significant Events is that this indicates that something has happened to the customer that changes their situation or state of mind and that this is absolutely the best time to communicate with them.
At eventricity we feel this is correct, but we recognise there are instances of ‘Events’ where this may not be totally true. So I would now like to try and describe several different types of Events. These include:
- Simple (predicted) Events
- Significant Events
- Behavioural Events and Lifecycle Events
Many people that talk about Events are really talking about Triggers. A Trigger is a circumstance that has happened to a Customer today but which is not necessarily significant. It is this lack of significance that differentiates a Trigger from a Significant Event.
Triggers are not very accurate and as such we don’t generally advocate their use. However they can be extremely useful when considered in combination with other Triggers or Events (see behavioural Events below).
Triggers can be very valuable for activation of straightforward business processes. Their best use is for actions that are completely automated and which require no human intervention. Thus they can be programmed to fire whenever a defined circumstance occurs, and provide a clear result. In such situations they are a very cheap and effective tool. Examples can include things such as
- Triggering the issue of a new cheque book when the penultimate one is issued
- Sending an SMS offering a new mobile top-up when the current one has 10 minutes left
- Sending an SMS offering an overdraft facility when an ATM max payment is made, etc.
The key to using effective Triggers is that the resulting action is binary, ie. Situation A results in Action B. They can be very effective for Service based offers.
Thus the Trigger satisfies the standard Event criteria of Individual and Today but fails on Significant.
It should be noted that the timescale for communication of a Trigger can be anything from instantaneous to the maximum of a day or so. After this, don’t bother.
Simple (predicted) Events
Whilst most Events are reactive, ie. Based on what has previously happened. Imagine of situations where the Event will occur in the future. Some Events we can predict. For example, a customer will finish his loan in 30 days.
Undoubtedly, this is important to the customer and a good reason for communication, but we knew the date for this when the loan was taken out 3 years ago. It is hardly a surprise and there is no screaming need to communicate todayotherwise the opportunity would be lost. In fact we can schedule a call anytime over a two week period and get the same result.
Thus the event satisfies the standard Event criteria of Individual and Significant but fails on Today. We call this type of Event a Predicted or Scheduled Event. Examples include
- End of contract,
- End of loan
- Significant Birthday and
- any kind of Customer activity for which there is a known, scheduled date.
The timescale for communication of a scheduled Event can be a window anything from 5 to 30 days or even more.
These were covered in some detail in the previous blog. A single, significant event tells us something about the Customer. It is an excellent indicator of real / potential change. Customers are very responsive and accepting of communication at this time. Examples include
- Large Deposit,
- Salary start / stop, etc.
The timescale for communication of a Significant Event is usually quite short – usually only 1 to 2 days. After this, the effectiveness drops rapidly (typically response rates drop at 60% per day).
Behavioural (Super) Events
A single, significant event may tell us something about a customer, but sometimes Events happen in groups and the sequence and combination of these events can tell us a lot about the behaviour and circumstances of the Customer.
For example, a Customer may have a Large Deposit and this would be of interest to us, but a Large Deposit followed by a Large Withdrawal and then a Salary Stop (within a short period of time) may signify something much more important such as ‘Redundancy’.
For us a Super (or behavioural) Event is a situation where a series of circumstances happen to a customer within a specific period of time and possibly in a certain sequence.
These circumstances can be combinations of such things as Events, Scheduled Events, Triggers (see above) and even other Super Events.
In eventricity we provide the capability for a marketing user to define and develop Super Events without recourse to technical development. The marketer can use predefined and existing Events and Triggers in any combination using simple logic such as AND, OR and NOT. For example:
- Event A AND Event B
- Event A AND (Event B OR Event C)
- (Event A AND Event B) OR Event C
- Event A AND NOT (Event B AND (Event C OR Event D))
- Super Event X OR NOT Event C
Examples of circumstances that Super Events can potentially detect include
- Moving house / job
- Marriage, etc.
Lifecycle Events are very similar to behavioural Events and can sometimes be detected in the same way. Their value is undoubted, with one Dutch bank claiming that 55% of ALL product sales they made were from customer Events based on Lifecycle changes.
- First job
- First apartment
- Getting married
- First child, etc.
However they often concern areas of change that are not so easy to detect or for which a bank doesn’t have the data. They can also present communication challenges and need to be handled very carefully, as a customer doesn’t expect you to know this stuff.
In practise, the best way to handle Lifecycle Events is with tangential communications rather than head on, eg. “Has anything changed in your life?” rather than “Congratulations on the new baby.”
If the customer trusts you, they will tell you. And after all, a customer ringing you up to ask for help is the greatest vindication of your relationship.
Phew. I think that’s enough for you to be going on with for now.