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Using EDM to deliver event-based marketing

(Posted by guest blogger, James Taylor)

Adam Sarner at Gartner published Five Steps to Successful Event-Triggered Marketing last week. The abstract of this paper says:

Successful event-triggered marketing is a process of identification, categorization, monitoring, optimizing and executing. Marketers that do this right will see their marketing messages receive up to five times the response rate of nontargeted push messages.

It seemed to me that this was a good prompt for a quick reminder on how EDM - Enterprise Decision Management - can be used to deliver on the promises of event-based marketing. Taking Adam's five stages:

  • Identification of the events that matter requires an understanding both of the rules of your business and your historical data. Considering events that can be described in terms of rules (customer's total balance exceeds $X) and analytics (customer's retention risk exceeds Z%) gives you a rich yet actionable set of events. You won't be able to monitor all of them but this will give you a nice superset.
  • Categorizing the events to help decide which ones are important is critical to delivering something practical so use predictive analytics when categorizing. Predictive analytics, with their view into the future, will help to identify leading indicators where other forms of analytics will tend to be backward looking. Analytics for segmentation can also help determine when particular events matter to particular sub-groups of your population.
  • Don't forget when monitoring that you must consider all channels. Using a common decision service to decide which events have happened enables you to detect these events across all channels thanks to decision externalization.
  • Use adaptive control, champion/challenger testing and optimization to make sure that you are making the best offer for each event for each customer. What is best will change over time as your customers, competitors and the overall market change. Stay focused on the micro decisions of how to respond to a specific event for a specific customer to make the most of event-based marketing.
  • Consider using more decision services to handle execution so that you can work across channels. A managed decision service can determine the next best action to take and then decide which channel to use to communicate with that particular customer using a combination of effectiveness  and preference.

EDM is a very effective tool in your toolkit when implementing event-based marketing. Here are some other posts on marketing you might enjoy also:


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Arun Chearie

Hi James,

At first, you have posted an neat article on EBM (Event-Based Marketing). Through the following comment, I would like to add a point on the EBM subject.

In my understanding, elements you mentioned under EBM are all transactional ones - Identifying and handling such events can be achieved with a set of nested/complicated SQL queries and Business Rules to include/exclude identified events. In my opinion, returns from such an approach would be of lesser significannce than what an enterprise could achieve through Behavior Driven Event-Based Marketing!

What I am essentially saying is, identifying and handling a savings account with sudden increase in incoming funds (say 2 Standard Deviation of the previous months balance) is a classical transaction driven event, and surely capable of giving some returns.

This however does not imply, the holder of the account has any "Need". Importantly, marketing message which is not bound to the identified need and only based on the event would be weak.

So, it is very essential to identify 'Such Needs' behind any event. Once identified, validate the same with a set of business rules and base the marketing message in alignment with the validated Need - This can be achieved through Behavior Driven Event Based Marketing.

Behavior Driven EBM gives substantially higher returns compared to a transactional one.

Arun Chearie -

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