Marketing automation is personal, contextual and mobile – Scondoo’s story

SUMMARY:

Marketing automation is still on the buzzword treadmill. But too often, “automation” ends up being too automated, and not personalized to our device and priorities. In this use case with marketing automation vendor Kahuna, Barb Mosher Zinck tells a tale of marketing automation done right – and what we can learn from Scondoo about how to truly personalize our services.

personalization-touchHow do you know when a marketing automation technology is the right one for you? You look at your requirements and the fit. Absolutely. But maybe even a better thing to do is look at how other customers are using it. Not only do you glimpse the fit for your current requirements, but you see what you could do with it, and that might be even cooler.

Which leads me to a pretty interesting customer story for the marketing automation solution, Kahuna. Scondoo is a German marketplace helping people find deals and save money on groceries. Essentially, it’s a cash back mobile app (similar to Checkout51 in Canada) offering deals on 80% of the top 20 FMCG brands in Germany.

People download the mobile app, sign up for the service and get deals on products they are interested in purchasing from the stores they frequent. It seems basic, but there’s a lot more to this service than is readily obvious and to ensure it delivers a personalized, contextual customer experience, it integrates the Kahuna marketing automation solution.

How Scondoo works

Here’s a quick run-through of how this service works:

  1. Sign up to the service and complete your profile. Select the stores you regularly shop at and the types of deals you are interested in. You create a shopping list of the deals you want to take.
  2. Go to a store and buy your products. Or, if you are walking close to a store on your preferred list, get a notification (in-app message or push) that you have deals to use and a store is close by.
  3. Purchase a product, then take a picture of the receipt in the app, or upload a picture of the receipt to the app to have it manually verified. There is a status pending notice until verification is complete.
  4. The app will notify you when the receipt is approved, or if it’s rejected and why.
  5. Get 100% cash back, or you can donate your cash back to a charity.

There’s also some features on the back-end for brands such as dynamic online reporting, aggregated demographic data, trade and price analysis and the ability to conduct flash polls and surveys in real-time.

Delivering a contextual and personalized experience

I had a great conversation with Kevin Hansen from Scondoo about the cashback service and what Kahuna brings to the table. Scondoo started using Kahuna in October 2016. They did look at a few options, and they selected Kahuna because it provided a single tool that that offered email, push notifications and in-app messaging all in one place. They previously used MailChimp for email, but it wasn’t integrated like they wanted it to be.

Scondoo also uses Google Adwords and Facebook Ads, but they aren’t integrated with their solution, and there are no plans to do so in the near future. For them, Kahuna is their direct communication to users.

Scondoo creates several different kinds of marketing campaigns, all of which are personalized to the user and the current context. A few examples:

  • When a new user signs up, there is a campaign that takes them through the process, explaining the features and deals and starts the process of moving the user through their journey. A user journey in Scondoo runs seven to fourteen days and starts with selecting deals, purchasing the products, uploading receipts and getting approved.
  • For every deal, there is a separate campaign run, and there are many deals running at the same time. Each deal expires at a different time and needs to be disabled when it’s over. If a user selects a deal but then doesn’t act on it, they get a push notification (or an in-app message) reminding them the deal is still available, or that the deal is soon over.

Scondoo also has fixed campaigns, some triggered by other events. For example, a customer uploads a receipt which signifies the end of the journey. To re-engage the customer, Scondoo sends messages the customer to check out other deals to continue engaging the customer with the app.

There’s also the lifecycle campaign. When a user doesn’t open the app for three or four days, a message is sent to them reminding them of the deals. After seven days, another message is sent telling the user they miss her. The point of this campaign is to get the user engaging with the app again. The campaign will also send specific messages and emails with incentives to return. After a certain time, if the user hasn’t re-engaged, the system moves the user out of the campaign and ceases communication.

Much of this sounds like capabilities you can do with most marketing automation systems, so what is it about Kahuna that Scondoo likes?

A couple of things stand out for Scondoo:

  • They really like Kahuna’s Filter function. This function enables Scondoo to send very targeted communication, like the user who doesn’t redeem a deal and gets a reminder message that the deal is still available. This is unique for each customer, and the campaign is set up to automatically filter for specific circumstances and perform some action.
  • Remember I said that Scondoo wanted a solution that provided several different ways to communicate? Scondoo doesn’t have to tell Kahuna how to communicate with a particular user – it learns the best approach – in-app messages, push, email – based on the habits of the user.
  • Most marketing automation systems kick off a campaign at a certain time for everyone. With Kahuna, Scondoo sets a campaign to start at 0 am and have it delivered over a 24-hour period. Kahuna knows when the best time is to send the push notification to each user to increase engagement. So it’s not a blanket decision to send the message/notification to everyone at the same time, it’s specific to the usage habits of each user.

My take

Plenty of businesses across the globe talk about delivering personalized, contextual experiences. Most of the time those experiences are personalized for content, and that’s good. But what’s also really nice is for the company to communicate with you when it’s the right time for you, on the channel you prefer most. That would be very difficult to do if you had to do it manually, or you had to create segments of users for each variation.

Kahuna talks about these capabilities in simple terms: Smart Content, Smart Channel, Smart Timing, Smart Path. It takes personalization to the highest level which involves a nice serving of AI to make it all happen. This is an example of a great customer experience strategy, and a great example of what AI brings to the table.

Scondoo is B2C, and maybe you think that’s great for a consumer-focused company, but how does it apply to my B2B company. Personalization, contextualization – these are extremely important in the B2B world, especially since B2B is overwhelmed with content. If you want to break out of firestorm of information that plagues your market – figure out the best way to reach your customers when it’s best for them.

I can think of at least three B2B companies that could do a better job communicating with me. How many can you think of?

Image credit - Human resources and leader © Jakub Jirsák - Fotolia.com

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    1. Jaime says:

      Interesting case! I’ve been reading a bit about personalization, but it’s, as you said, mostly about content personalization. Automation can have a meaningful engagement of the campaign users if it’s done right. I’ve recently switched to GetResponse for marketing automation, but I’m certainly not there yet to do complex campaigns.