'Find the trigger,' to expand your business states American Express Open's executive of client acquisition

The key to expanding your business, is knowing how to “find a trigger”, according to senior vice president & general manager, American Express Open acquisition and prospect engagement, Audrey Henley.

Speaking at the Advertising Club of New York's Measurement Now event, Henley said of her company: “Our business is to help businesses do business.”

Amex Ooen caters to the 26 million small businesses in America that employ half the private sector.

While Amex Open has many competitors, its goal is to “stand out from the crowd” by using a different approach to customer acquisition.

“Throwing money at a problem doesn’t necessarily get us an outcome,” Hendley admitted. “It’s throwing customer insights at the equation and understanding what our customers are doing that will get us an outcome.”

Amex developed a digital program that would find customers’ “triggers.”

The company wanted to know, “Who are our prospects? Where are they? What do they want?” In doing this, Amex was able to determine which customers were ready to sign up.

“Every piece of marketing should be based on a trigger,” Hendley said.

For Hendley’s customers, triggers included everything from “needing cash flow to getting married to looking for housing.”

However, finding triggers wasn’t a hard task. In fact, she said, “even competitors can find triggers.”

“The trick,” she said, “was finding the trigger nobody else had.”

While developing a program that determined triggers could be costly, it was worth it, claimed Hendley who added that in the long run, it would help both acquire and retain customers by allowing businesses to predict their customers’ needs.

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