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ICYMI: Preferences, Privacy and Personalization in the News

Walmart Is Looking to VR to Prep Workers for Black Friday

In preparation for the holiday season, Walmart is adding virtual reality training to 30 of its training centers to help employees experience a real store environment, massive crowds and long lines. The virtual experiences can help train those who may be familiar with the store already, but who haven't yet experienced a holiday season in-store yet. The company says they'll roll out the virtual reality training to all of its 200 training facilities by the end of the year. Click here to read more. 

Customer Records For Millions Of Verizon Wireless Subscribers Exposed

A cyber security firm says that it found millions of Verizon Wireless customers' data on an unsecured web server. The data included names, addresses and personal identification numbers associated with the accounts. Verizon is investigating the breach but disputes the number of customers affected, stating it was closer to 6 million than the firm's estimate of 14 million. Click here to read more. 

Try, Then Buy? Amazon's Move Is Part of a Shopping Trend

Amazon's recent announcement that they'd allow Prime members to order, receive and try on up to 15 items for a week without charge, made consumers take note, but the trend was in effect already. Online boutiques catering to consumers offer personalized shopping assistance, few or no upfront charges, and other time-saving measures that leverage technology. Click here to read more. 

Pandora Is Teaming With Foursquare to Show Its Advertisers Whether Their Campaigns Drive Offline Sales

Thanks to 2.5 million Foursquare app users who opt-in to share their location at all times, the Attribution by Foursquare service is able to share the information with Pandora advertisers. Retail and food clients get access to geo-based data like store visits and foot traffic, as well as reach numbers as they pertain to impressions and devices. Click here to read more. 

Your next Android might come with a 'panic button' to exit shady apps

For those that click with abandon, technology may be on its way to add a bit of extra security in case of poor decisions. Reports indicate that Google has added a feature to its smartphone software that would allow uses to quickly exit worrisome apps. Once a user realizes they've clicked on something unsafe, the panic button would allow the app to shut down. Click here to read more.

 









Eric Tejeda is the Director of Product Marketing for PossibleNOW and CompliancePoint. Eric supports the organization’s growth objectives by productizing and launching innovative new products and services that fill critical needs in the marketplace. 

With 25 years of experience, Eric firmly believes that permission-based marketing and preference management is a mega trend and the path to success for marketers today. 

Follow me on Twitter: @EricTejeda | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Tejeda

Head Of Neiman Marcus' iLab Answers 4 Questions For Marketing Innovators

Scott Emmons is focused on innovation for the Neiman Marcus Group (NMG), where he is responsible for evaluating, designing, testing, and piloting cutting-edge technologies and applications for luxury retail. Emmons founded and built the Neiman Marcus Innovation Lab (iLab) in 2012, which has grown to become the company's hub for innovation projects and has earned a world-class reputation for retail innovation. Recent innovation projects include Memory Makeover, connected fitting room technology, intelligent mobile phone charging stations, and voice-controlled sales associate communicators.

Emmons recently participated in our "4 Questions for Marketing Innovators" series.

1. What is one marketing topic that is most important to you as an innovator?
I would start by saying I am not a marketer. However, after being given the opportunity to help create the Neiman Marcus Innovation Lab, it didn't take long to figure out that marketing was going to be one of the most important partners when it came time to introduce new technology into the retail customer experience. One of the biggest contributions that the Innovation Lab has made is that it has helped open doors between IT, marketing, and other areas of the business. It has also allowed for a much more collaborative relationship to evolve. The most important topic has been solving problems for the customers. It is a topic that is always top-of-mind throughout the retail organization.

2. Why is this so important?
For one thing, it has allowed me to focus on the fact that we are in the luxury retail business. The most important thing everyone does at Neiman Marcus is contribute to our customer's experience, making sure it is the best one possible. I am a retailer first and a technologist second. In IT, we have to be great at delivering information services to our business partners, but our customer is first and foremost. It is possible to lose track of that in the day-to-day activities of keeping everything humming along.

"Customer first" is not just a checkmark on a review form; it is what has driven the Neiman Marcus brand for 110 years and is what will take us through the next 100 years. I believe the iLab has played a role in helping us maintain that customer focus in this time of constant change. By making experimentation with new customer-facing technology available and applying it in ways that make the customer experience better, I believe our innovation program has helped the IT organization evolve from order takers to business partners that are part of the ideation and innovation process. That, in turns, means we can better position resources to support initiatives and to be able to say yes a lot more often when asked to support new capabilities. The innovation program is allowing Neiman Marcus to be first to leverage the latest and greatest technology and help drive our reputation as an innovative retail technology leader.

3. How can this improve the customer experience?
This translates into a more agile organization that can build and deliver new capabilities for our customers at a much faster pace. Given the ever-increasing speed that change and new technology is being introduced, it is only natural that the business has had to adapt to meet this challenge. Removing the internal silos allows us to be better and faster at delivering a cohesive and compelling experience to our customers. It allows us to bring the right resources to the never-ending circle of evaluating, experimenting, learning, and refining how we deliver value to our customers. The iLab can quickly deliver technology that enables new surprise-and-delight moments to the customer. This same technology has brought new capabilities for collecting data that delivers new insights for the marketing team.

4. How will this improve the effectiveness of marketing?
Essentially, I have been talking about blurring the lines between the technology team and marketing, as this translates into combining skill sets. Bringing marketers together with technologists and combining people that know how to communicate and resonate with the customer can effectively identify, integrate, and implement cutting-edge technology to support the efforts. It is a powerful combination.

Bonus Question: What is your favorite activity outside of work?
I love to travel abroad with my wife and daughter. It is important to see and experience different cultures and perspectives. This also comes in pretty handy for my innovation work!



About the Author:
Ernan Roman Direct Marketing's Customer Experience strategies achieve consistent double-digit increases in response and revenue for their clients, which include IBM, MassMutual, QVC, Microsoft, and Symantec Corp.

As a leader in providing Voice of Customer research-based guidance, ERDM has conducted over 10,000 hours of interviews with their clients' customers and prospects, to gain an in-depth understanding of their expectations for high-value relationships.

The results achieved by ERDM's VoC-based strategies earned Ernan Roman induction into the Marketing Hall of Fame.

Visit his blog at: http://ernanroman.blogspot.com/

GDPR: What You Need To Know, Part 1

In recent years, governments have undertaken revisions to privacy regulations. Originally written in a world that hadn't yet conceived of how the internet would impact our lives, updated regulations define consent and data protection. Last year's approval of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the European Union Parliament has far-reaching effects – and enforcement begins in less than a year.

Beginning in May 2018, organizations will have to receive explicit consent from customers and be subject to fines if they aren't in alignment with the regulations.

"GDPR is simply the next step down the road to universal, unambiguous consent," said PossibleNOW President and CEO Scott Frey. "Knowing that we're entering the age of permission-only interaction between company and consumer, we've spent more than 15 years engineering the tools enterprise companies need to earn consent, manage preferences and maintain a single repository of customer data for demonstrable compliance."

Adopted to strengthen data protection for individuals within EU countries, GDPR is designed to give people more control over their personal data. Here's what your company needs to know:

Who should be concerned about GDPR?

Companies with employees, customers or goods for sale in the European Union must bring their marketing and customer contact operations into alignment with the regulation. This means companies around the globe will need to update their data collections processes.

What are the penalties for non-compliance?

Companies that don't comply with GDPR can receive fines as great as 20 million euros or four percent of total worldwide annual revenue, whichever is larger.

What does "consent" mean?
The conditions for consent have been strengthened in GDPR regulations. Companies will now be required to state terms and conditions in plain, clear, accessible language. Furthermore, consent must be as easy to revoke as it is to give.



Eric Tejeda is the Director of Product Marketing for PossibleNOW and CompliancePoint. Eric supports the organization’s growth objectives by productizing and launching innovative new products and services that fill critical needs in the marketplace.  

With 25 years of experience, Eric firmly believes that permission-based marketing and preference management is a mega trend and the path to success for marketers today. 

Follow me on Twitter: @EricTejeda | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Tejeda

How You Should Engage at These 7 Points in the Customer Lifecycle

Here's how Fran Horowitz-Bonadies, chief executive officer, Abercrombie brand/Hollister & Co. describes consumer communication in 2017:

"For the past year, we spoke to one-and-a-half million consumers on what they are looking for in their shopping experience… There's been almost a 180-degree turn on making sure we keep the customer at the center of everything we do. It's been [our] most important singular focus…"

But, it's not only about keeping customers at the center of your communication and engagement strategies. Research findings from thousands of hours of VoC research conducted by our firm, ERDM, indicate that customers want unprecedented levels of personalization at 7 very specific points in their lifecycle with a brand. Think about how savvy customers are to identify the following points where they want brands to engage:
  • Purchase
  • Onboarding
  • Reach out when you see Decreasing Engagement
  • A Poor Experience
  • Surprise & Delight / Thank You
  • Value Added Cross Selling
  • Value Added Repeat Sales.

However, to deepen relationships at these key points, brands must shift to truly relevant and value-driven communications. Per the research, traditional transaction / persona / implicit data based communications are not viewed as relevant.

Using the 7 VoC research-based lifecycle points, here are ways that marketers can add value to communications.

New Purchases and Onboarding—You Need to Become Part of the Consumers' Lifestyle
Bacardi Limited Chief Marketing Officer Mauricio Vergara recently noted:
"We need to get our brands back into culture, so we're moving away from a traditional marketing model of talking to consumers to really being part of their lifestyle…If we are true to that philosophy of being part of their lifestyle, a brand that they actually relate to in their day-to-day life, we cannot just be present in the high-selling moments… It's been a learning process…but we're definitely seeing the payback."

When You See Decreasing Engagement/Poor Experiences – You Need to Understand How to Win Back Trust
V. Kumar, a marketing professor at Georgia State University outlined in a Harvard Business Review article, the key factors marketers need to keep in mind when attempting to win back lost consumers, "Too many companies go after whoever they've lost, throwing all these offers at them, hoping something will work," Instead what he recommends is fully understanding which group of lost consumers will yield the best bet to come back and not depart again, then crafting an offer or message that is compelling to that segment.

Here is what the study advises: "firms will be more efficient if they focus on people whose prior behavior suggests a predisposition to return. The researchers found that customers who have referred others, who have never complained, or who have had complaints that were satisfactorily resolved are the best bets. Reasons for leaving are also predictive: Customers who canceled because of price are more likely to come back than those who left because of poor service, and people who cited both reasons for quitting are the least likely of all to return."

For Cross Selling/Thank You/Repeat Sales – Use Value Added and Emotional Engagement to Strengthen Connections
Recently, Yeti — a manufacturer of coolers used primarily for outdoor and camping pursuits — decided to open their first retail location. But, rather than building a transaction based store, the brand decided they wanted an experiential, emotional, connection-building brand immersion. The brand noted, the goal was less to "find a way to sell a lot of coolers to people who come inside and more to create a permanent brand activation that allows people to interact with Yeti in ways that they'll hopefully take with them in the future."

Corey Maynard, Yeti's Vice President of Marketing explains "It's meant to be much more of an immersive Yeti experience…than it is to be a transactional space… Yes, we're selling coolers…but it was much more important to us that people could have fun with the Yeti brand and see it brought to life …than just be a place that's driven by transaction." Tony Kaplan, YETI Director of Consumer Experience "YETI's flagship is not a typical retail store… [it is an] authentic experience that allows our customers to interact with the YETI brand in a whole new way."

In summary, think about the 7 stages in the lifecycle which emerged from the research and see how many opportunities exist for you to deepen your relationships with customers!



About the Author:
Ernan Roman Direct Marketing's Customer Experience strategies achieve consistent double-digit increases in response and revenue for their clients, which include IBM, MassMutual, QVC, Microsoft, and Symantec Corp.

As a leader in providing Voice of Customer research-based guidance, ERDM has conducted over 10,000 hours of interviews with their clients' customers and prospects, to gain an in-depth understanding of their expectations for high-value relationships.

The results achieved by ERDM's VoC-based strategies earned Ernan Roman induction into the Marketing Hall of Fame.

Visit his blog at: http://ernanroman.blogspot.com/

Be Human with Birthdays

Memorial Day Doorbuster!

Fourth of July Bonanza!

Labor Day Deals!

Every other month marketers have an opportunity to connect with customers – reminding them of a promotion, providing them an opportunity to interact, increasing the likelihood of positive customer experiences.

The issue at hand is that pretty much everyone is getting the alert, even if it's personalized in some way. On the one hand, it's an easy opportunity. On the other hand, it's a catchall.

Yet when presented with simple opt-ins, customers can lay the groundwork for more individualized communications that allow us to be human in a digital world, avoiding mass messages. One easy way to cut through the promotional noise, be human and meet expectations? Wish your customer a happy birthday.

It's one of my favorite simple statistics – 52 percent of millennials in the US and UK expected retailers to remember their birthdays. The survey, by retail research agency Conlumino, found that remembering birthdays and responding accordingly was more expected than retailers remembering a size or even past purchases.

Here's why I love this stat: we spend a lot of time thinking about how much information a consumer might be willing to share and how we can leverage that data to better position our products and services. But we don't think nearly enough about social and emotional impact of our work and how it plays into loyalty and engagement.

The simple truth is that millennials expect companies to wish them a happy birthday. They've shared that information, along with their likes and dislikes, wish lists, dream vacations and more. And if the point of customer engagement is to form a sort of friendship, shouldn't we remember their birthdays along with purchase history and billing information? We stay human in a digital world by listening, remembering and responding – especially when we want to wish someone a happy birthday.

Have you forgotten your customer's birthdays? If so, what do you plan to do about it?







Rob Tate
As Vice President of Sales, Rob is responsible for growing the client base and market share and helping his sales team achieve their goals. He also develops partnership opportunities and industry relationships. Rob focuses on generating consistent results, utilizing sales and opportunity management tools and implementing best-of-class sales methodologies all of which have enabled him to build a scalable sales organization. He continually studies how metrics, leadership, culture, and innovation drive business value in the SaaS and marketing automation fields.

Don’t Be Shy: Opt-in Customer Data is Essential for CX Success

A full 96% of digital marketers say personalization advances customer relationships, according to a new study from Evergage and Researchscape International. Yet more than 55% say the industry isn't getting personalization right. And nearly 50% give their company's personalization efforts a "C" grade or below.

So how do CMOs raise the bar?

To develop an effective personalization strategy, CMOs need to start with a solid foundation of traditional customer data. But that is not enough. The essential next step is building deeper levels of human data gained via preferences and attitudes.

Some brands already understand that.

"To achieve truly meaningful personalization and CX, we needed more than traditional purchase history and overlays of behavioral/inferred data. We needed to get customers to opt-in and tell us their individual preferences," said Scott Emmons, head of the Neiman Marcus Innovation Lab. "But to earn that deeper level of information, we had to offer something meaningful. Our Memory Makeover smart mirrors are a high-value way for customers to share their individual preferences regarding cosmetic products. We make it clear that this information will be used to serve them in the stores and as part of ongoing email communications to reorder products or learn about new products that are uniquely relevant to them."

Why Traditional Data Approaches No Longer Work
Findings from over 16,000 hours of Voice of Customer research conducted by our firm indicate that traditional customer experience, personalization, and personas are no longer effective. That's because the B2B and B2C decision-making journey is neither linear nor simplistic, and customers are complex humans, not cohorts.

However, marketers must realize that they are not entitled to deep customer information. They have to earn it. A reciprocity of value is required, where customers opt in to provide deep preference data in exchange for smart, useful personalization.

But here's the caveat: This data must be explicit data, meaning it is self-profiled preference information delivered via a site's preference center or through dialogue boxes. Explicit data indicates deeper or longer-term preferences versus traditional implicit data, such as data-mined information or short-term consumer interests or needs.

"Too often, personalization relies on statistical inferences from a customer's purchase and browsing history. This will likely be subject to error and spurious correlations, one reason why many customers are unimpressed with today's attempts at personalization," said Wayne Duan, director of merchandising and merchandising operations at Walgreens Digital Commerce. "The retailers who will win are those that successfully collect explicit customer input and harness those direct and intentional actions to improve the customer experience."

Duan cited as an example Walgreens' Beauty Enthusiast program, which asks customers their preferences, such as makeup style and skin needs. "We use this clearly expressed data to personalize the customer offering and experience within our beauty category," he said.

Kevin Lindsay, director of product marketing at Adobe, built onto that with a point about context. "Historical customer data, such as purchases, is important but not predictive," he said. "It must be enriched with contextual information to drive truly relevant personalization and CX. Contextual information provides the uniquely rich opportunity to understand the human dimension and situation of customers."

Betabrand, a crowdsourced apparel company, is another brand that understands the fundamental shift in personalization. "Betabrand has a unique ability to measure and react to every click, vote, comment, purchase, etc., on our site," said CMO Aaron Magness. "We use this rich data to provide a personalized shopping experience that goes way beyond the old-school segmentation mindset and truly serves you what's relevant, not what's relevant to people like you. Having data is one thing; understanding how to act on the important data is what matters."

And while having the technology to analyze the data is important, equally important is not solely relying on it. "Companies tend to be lazy and arrogant by trying to mass-produce marketing or solve the problems by buying the latest march tools," said Silver Star Brands CMO Kathy Hecht. "One cannot achieve true personalization without deep human data from your customers."



About the Author:
Ernan Roman Direct Marketing's Customer Experience strategies achieve consistent double-digit increases in response and revenue for their clients, which include IBM, MassMutual, QVC, Microsoft, and Symantec Corp.

As a leader in providing Voice of Customer research-based guidance, ERDM has conducted over 10,000 hours of interviews with their clients' customers and prospects, to gain an in-depth understanding of their expectations for high-value relationships.

The results achieved by ERDM's VoC-based strategies earned Ernan Roman induction into the Marketing Hall of Fame.

Visit his blog at: http://ernanroman.blogspot.com/

ICYMI: Preferences, Privacy and Personalization in the News

These Color-Changing Tattoos Monitor Your Health, No Wearable Needed

Researchers at MIT and Harvard University are exploring the possibilities of real-time bio feedback using tattoo methodologies that turn the skin into an interface. Traditional tattoo ink is replaced with biosensors that change color depending on changes in your body's system, like blood sugar, hydration, sodium, or pH levels. The researcher in charge has also experimented with other "beauty technology" like smart fake eyelashes, conductive makeup and RFID-enabled nail polish. Click here to read more.

Gatwick Airport now has 2,000 beacons for indoor navigation

Smartphone navigation using GPS tends to suffer in places like malls or airports. One solution had been 3D sensors on smartphones, another option has been to outfit an interior with "Bluetooth beacons," creating location-based information that can relay to your smartphone where exactly you are. The latter has been implemented at Gatwick, the United Kingdom's second-busiest airport. The beacons allow digital map users to get a more accurate location, can also power a wayfinding tool for use within terminals, and allow airlines or airport retailers to connect with users in the future. Click here to read more. 

Google Is Going Ahead With Controversial Ad Blocking Plans For Chrome

Google's internet browser, Chrome, will now include ad-blocking filters by default – hiding ads that don't fit Google's new standards. If a website has too many ads requiring blocking, then no ads will be shown at all. Being blocked are ads like pop-ups, auto-play videos and ads that time out on a countdown before a reader can view the page's main content. While it's expected to improve the web experience, it still raises questions about the reach of Google's digital reach. Click here to read more. 

Pandora Is Building Branded Radio Stations That Offer On-Demand Listening

As Pandora works to compete with other streaming music services, it's beginning to incorporate a selection of on-demand music for subscription members. Gatorade-owned Propel recently launched a campaign on Pandora that offers curated playlists by fitness personalities – within each playlist are options to save specific songs. The fitness influences campaign is the first time on-demand streaming has been built into an ad since the subscription service launched last year. Click here to read more. 

Google's A.I. Program Rattles Chinese Go Master as It Wins Match

A computer program called AlphaGo is two-for-three in a competition centered on Go, considered the world's most sophisticated board game. Nineteen-year-old Ke Jie, a Chinese prodigy, was hopeful during the second match – but the emotion may have been his downfall. The "cold focus" of artificial intelligence makes it preferable in some cases, yet computer scientists say that often the best use of artificial intelligence is not to pit it against humans, but to pair it with them. Click here to read more. 








Eric Tejeda is the Director of Product Marketing for PossibleNOW and CompliancePoint. Eric supports the organization’s growth objectives by productizing and launching innovative new products and services that fill critical needs in the marketplace. 

With 25 years of experience, Eric firmly believes that permission-based marketing and preference management is a mega trend and the path to success for marketers today. 

Follow me on Twitter: @EricTejeda | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Tejeda