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PossibleNOW Announces 2013 Customer Engagement Marketing Summit; Call for Speakers Now Open

CEM Summit 2013 - September 26-27
Riding on the heels of our successful inaugural event last fall, I am pleased to announce the 2ndannual Customer Engagement Marketing Summit to be held September 26 and 27 at the JW Marriott Buckhead in Atlanta.

Last year's event was the ideal venue to help companies benchmark their customer experience and engagement marketing strategies against real-life case studies from industry experts and thought leaders. We had a powerful lineup of speakers from industry giants as Coca-Cola, Intuit and Symantec who shared real-life experiences to help B2B and B2C marketers address the challenges of delivering a personalized customer experience.

We're looking for the same type of global brands and industry thought leaders who can energize and engage the attendees at our 2013 CEM Summit. We expect this year’s event to attract marketing and customer service professionals and executives who are involved in customer engagement, mobile marketing, social media marketing, customer loyalty and retention, and other facets of direct marketing.

The theme for this year's conference is "Moving Beyond Experience to Engagement." We are looking for dynamic speakers who can provide insights and case studies on these topics:
  • Relationship Marketing
  • Customer Engagement Strategies
  • Cross-Channel Marketing
  • Consumer Preference Management
  • Big Data
  • Marketing Compliance
To learn more about opportunities for speaking at the 2013 CEM Summit or to submit an application, visit http://www.cemsummit2013.com. The deadline to submit speaking proposals is April 30, 2013. PossibleNOW will announce the speaker lineup in mid-May.

Mark your calendars and save the date for the 2013 CEM Summit!



About the Author: 
Scott Frey is the CEO of PossibleNOW and CompliancePoint. Scott leads the strategic mission to maintain its leadership position in global direct marketing compliance by closely monitoring changes in consumer privacy legislation, industry trends, and delivering innovative products and services to meet client’s needs.
 Follow me on Twitter: @ScottFreyPN | Connect on LinkedIn: Scott Frey

Market to Me

We all have experiences with our best friend's, in my case a 2 year old border collie, "guilty" look. Zephy usually jumps through the air because she is excited to see me, which is the case most of the time. But when she starts to walk like a very cautious cat, trying to blend in with my furniture, we both know something is up. As in every regular dog family, there are usually one or two shoes involved.

I have gotten better about not leaving my shoes unattended, but occasionally I still end up sharing them with my dog. Somehow Zephy knows exactly which are my most favorite shoes, and, as I learned quickly - the most expensive ones or even impossible to replace. Zephy has good taste and targets extra tasty, all-leather shoes.

I took it for granted that I had those shoes. I am originally from Germany and grew up buying based on quality and durability, not solely based on fashion. So, most of my shoes were more than 10 years old, made from real leather, and still looked like new. As I tried to replace them, I quickly learned that shoes of that quality are a luxury item here in the United States and I was not willing to invest the going price. Not only were they expensive, they are also hard to find, especially since I am not someone who likes to shop in a mall. Instead I found myself flying back to Germany to find the perfect pair of shoes, which is not the best solution.

And then I found Zappos.com.

I must say Zappos has met all of my expectations. The shipping is great, service is quick, and I love the fact that I can bookmark my favorite shoes separately from those my husband prefers. Zappos as a brand has definitely earned my consumer trust and I have recommended them to friends.

But still, there is something I feel they can do better. Do you have an idea of how many pairs of shoes Zappos sells? Take a guess.

They offer a staggering 6,348,973 products in 153,871 styles from 1,393 brands! This is more than I can handle. I feel extremely frustrated when browsing the site, it feels like I am wasting my time. There are so many things I would rather be doing, like taking Zephy for a walk!

A company offering that many products is obviously trying to appeal to a very broad customer base. Some customers like to browse, I don't. Some want to know what's new every single week. I only want to know what's new when I'm ready to buy new shoes.

It is not that I can't decide what I want. I have a very clear idea of the style, quality and budget I prefer.

Even though Zappos has a great selection of newsletters and notifications to choose from, the options I can choose - specials by certain brands or when certain shoes are back in stock - do not really meet my needs. When it comes to shoes, I am not a person who religiously sticks with a brand, even though I will remember good fitting shoes forever.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if I could tell Zappos that I love all-leather shoes, that I am open to trying different brands and that I only want to know what's available on my timeframe?

Instead of a weekly email with every offer, why can't I log into my account and tell them "send the email now"? Show me what you have today that you think I might like, because I am ready to buy.

I know I am taking customized marketing to an extreme level with my request, but technology is here to make my life easier, isn't it? After all, even my dog is smart enough to know which are my favorites.

What's in it for Zappos? Better targeted emails that customers pay attention to and appreciate, a reduction in disgruntled customers unsubscribing from emails, a higher click-through rate, and, in my case, a likely purchase. A win-win situation for both of us!


About the Author: 
 
Sylvia Kay is a Project Manager of the Preference Management Consulting division of PossibleNOW.

 

Know Me.

I buy many of my clothes for work and presentations from Banana Republic. Their shirts fit me very well and they always have a great selection of patterns and colors. I love their items so much that I agreed to sign up for their "email newsletter" while checking out one day.

But recently I have thought about turning this e-mail off.  You see, the problem is that their communications are only relevant to me and my needs once every week or two, even though I think I receive something from them almost daily.

The mistake Banana Republic has made is they haven’t set up their system to allow me to tell them my preferences for what I want to hear about.  And because they don’t have this information, they don't understand "why" I really shop with them - for clothes that I will wear to work or when I am speaking - so they end up sending me irrelevant messages that just fill up my already overflowing email inbox.

In my work with companies to understand their consumer groups, I often point out the ways these companies can tap into the information they are collecting on their consumers to market most effectively to them.  Using a centralized collection of consumers’ preferences is a great way to accomplish this goal.

The trick is to make sure preferences are collected in a granular fashion. By analyzing this preference data, your company can gain valuable insight into who your consumers are, why they buy from you and what will be most relevant moving forward.

I would gladly tell Banana Republic what items I am interested in so they could send me only relevant offers.

Preference data serves as one of the first true lenses that can be used to find patterns in the "big data" being collected.  After all, isn't the effort around big data to help you market more effectively to your different customer types?  What better way is there to unlock the value of what you are collecting than comparing it to self-reported information provided directly by your consumers.




About the Author: 
Eric V. Holtzclaw is Chief Strategist of PossibleNOW. He's a researcher, writer, serial entrepreneur and challenger-of-conventional wisdom. His book with Wiley Publishing on consumer behavior - Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior - hits bookstores this summer. Eric leads the professional services organization to strategically guide companies on the implementation of enterprise-wide preference management solutions.

Follow me on Twitter: @eholtzclaw | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Holtzclaw

Building Loyalty Based on Consumer Preferences

Loyalt Expo FloridaAttending the Loyalty Expo in Orlando this week?
If so, join me as I co-present with Robin Korman, SVP of Global Loyalty and Strategic Partnerships at Wyndham Hotel Group. 
Our presentation, “Building Loyalty Based on Consumer Preferences,” explains how self-reported data and loyalty program use can unlock your customers’ core drivers and help you build better incentive and loyalty programs for your consumer communities.
We all have core drivers that make us who we are and understanding these drivers is the key to building loyalty programs that resonate with your customer base. One core driver of consumer DNA is that people are either spenders or savers.
Spenders find a way to spend. They justify spending by using coupons, finding “deals” and cashing in on points. Conversely, true savers work hard to not spend their money. These core drivers and how consumers act upon them for loyalty program participation and redemption is driven by life circumstances such as income.
Self-reported consumer data and loyalty program use provides an important clue to your consumers’ core drivers. Learn how to personalize 1to1 communications by collecting and analyzing the type of loyalty offers consumers participate in and the information customers are open to receiving from your organization.

From this presentation, you will learn:

  • 6 core drivers of every consumer based on primary research
  • Best practices for collecting and determining consumer drivers and preferences
  • Techniques for using consumer behavior to maximize loyalty program impact

I hope to meet you at the Loyalty Expo in Orlando!

For more information about this event, visit http://loyaltyexpo.com/




About the Author: 
Eric V. Holtzclaw is Chief Strategist of PossibleNOW. He's a researcher, writer, serial entrepreneur and challenger-of-conventional wisdom. His book with Wiley Publishing on consumer behavior - Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior - hits bookstores this summer. Eric leads the professional services organization to strategically guide companies on the implementation of enterprise-wide preference management solutions.

Follow me on Twitter: @eholtzclaw  Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Holtzclawhttp://loyaltyexpo.com

Beyond the Preference Center


I normally consider myself a "crafty" person. I like to take things apart and understand how they work, and can usually do so while minimizing household fires and danger to small animals. So when the time came to fix a broken thermostat, I was sure that I had the situation well in hand.

Little did I know, I was in for a bit more than swapping out a couple of batteries. After a couple of hours spent trying to discern the proper configuration of wires to a new thermostat, followed by a trip through the crawlspace under the house to look at the heating unit, I came to realize just how much I had underestimated my "simple" task - and how little I knew about home improvement.

I have the privilege of working with well-known companies to implement preference management solutions.  Many come to us thinking preference management is merely a preference center that collects consumer communication, just like I thought fixing a thermostat was easy to do, but implementing preference management is farther reaching than most companies expect.

A preference center is the central interface to manage preferred methods of communication for your customers and prospects.

For smaller businesses with a limited customer base it can be relatively simple to set up a preference center and it probably makes sense for it to "live" within one of the existing customer touch point systems.

For larger enterprises with customers interacting with numerous brands and products across multiple touch points, it’s essential to have a preference center that can handle the complexity that exists.

At a minimum, companies need a preference center that meets compliance regulations and reduces the risk of customer complaints and subsequent fines. Too many companies make the mistake in the implementation of a preference center by approaching it as an all-or-nothing proposition where customers are either given only the options to wholesale "opt in" or “opt out” of communication. Building a more complex preference center allows customers to instead ‘opt down’ via multiple choices for communicating with the company.

Some areas to consider if you are implementing a preference management solution include:

Integration Points

How do your customers interact with your company? Is it through a bricks-and-mortar location (retail, restaurant, hotel, etc.), via your website, on the phone, via mobile device or perhaps a combination of those?  Multiple touch points present challenges for managing your preference center. Every point must collect data and share it across other touch points, and preference data must be documented should a complaint or problem arise.

Customers interact differently based on the touch point. At a retail location a customer may browse for an extended period, but wish to remain anonymous. A customer doing research on your website may be willing to create a profile to gain deeper access to information. On the other hand, interaction via mobile is often a tighter experience, requiring the customer to provide personal data will be a barrier.

Use of Preference Data

Customer data can be invaluable to your marketing campaigns, but it’s important to manage those campaigns with preference compliance in mind. When building a target list for a campaign it may take several rounds of running lists and reducing the customer pool based on preferences before you get a clean list. With a robust preference center you can reduce your time to market because the data is already clean and ready to use.

Consider the Context

When building a preference center, be mindful of what data you want from your customers. Consider that customers have limits on what they’re willing to provide, and those limits may be situational.

For example, a customer may not want to provide his phone number or email address at a retail checkout counter. In that situation the information request may seem intrusive. Yet that same customer may be more than willing to provide deeper and more valuable information during a website purchase, such as his address, basic demographic data and interests in specific products.

Getting Started

At a minimum, your preference center will want to capture an email address and contact preferences from customers. The next level would be to capture the customer’s name and country of residence to help determine if local regulations impact compliance regulation. At a deeper level you may be able to collect more descriptive information such as demographic data and specific lifestyle or product interests. Bottom line, make it easy for customers to state their preferences and make sure they see the value in of providing the information without becoming so intrusive that you risk losing the customer altogether via a total opt out.

Just as I thought it would be easy to fix that thermostat, companies need to consider the above complexities when undertaking a preference management project.  It takes much more than merely creating a preference center to be truly successful.



About the Author: 
Mike Madison is the Director of Product Architecture at PossibleNOW.

Meet the PossibleNOW & CompliancePoint teams this week at the PACE Convention

2013 PACE Annual Convention and Expo
I really enjoy the chance to meet with customers and prospects one-on-one. This week provides me with the opportunity to do just that.

As you are reading this, staff members from PossibleNOW and CompliancePoint are at the annual Professional Association of Customer Engagement (PACE) Convention at the Westin Kierland in Arizona. In between the social activities like golf and tennis and informative sessions on customer engagement, we are speaking with association members about our new products and services that can enhance multi-channel marketing efforts.

One of the key concerns among association members is how to effectively comply with the new FCC rule regarding automated sales calls to mobile devices. As you may know, the FCC now requires that marketers obtain written consent from a consumer before delivering any type of advertisement or solicitation call that uses an automatic telephone dialing system to any mobile device.

This new law goes into effect later this year, but the time to take action is now!

PossibleNOW offers three different approaches to solve this issue.

Our most comprehensive solution combines a wireless scrub with wireless consent capture. This application lets you capture a valid written approval if you perform lead collection on your web site. Even if the application determines that the phone number is a landline, the information can be captured and saved for later use to show as an established business relationship with the consumer. You can also expand the single channel express consent into a full multi-channel solution with our MyPreferences®product.

If you are attending the PACE convention this week, please stop by and chat!





About the Author: 
Scott Frey is the CEO of PossibleNOW and CompliancePoint. Scott leads the strategic mission to maintain its leadership position in global direct marketing compliance by closely monitoring changes in consumer privacy legislation, industry trends, and delivering innovative products and services to meet client’s needs.
 Follow me on Twitter: @ScottFreyPN | Connect on LinkedIn: Scott Frey 

It’s Not You, It’s Me


It's Not You, It's Me - MyPreferences
I love my sister and enjoy our conversations about food, restaurants and the craziness of planning family get-togethers. But there is one topic that I never want to discuss with her.

You see, my sister and I picked very different career paths. I spend my time in an office with computers and people - she works at a hospital as a nurse practitioner. While I am proud of her accomplishments, I prefer to not hear about what she does for a living. I can’t stand the sight or even thought of blood, needles or really anything medical.

Which brings me to a point about communication - just because I don’t want to hear about her work doesn’t mean I don’t want to talk to her at all. She knows that these conversations make me squeamish, so she stays on topics we both know work for our relationship.

In my experience with marketing departments and other brands, most don’t provide the same level of understanding to their consumers. Instead, they provoke their customers into discontinuing conversation altogether by “opting out” completely just because of one imperfect interaction.

I started working with PossibleNOW in January of this year to assist them with the creation of a Professional Services Organization. PossibleNOW is the industry leader in managing preferences for some of the largest companies in the world. In fact, they have over 80 billion preferences currently under management.

The more time I spend with PossibleNOW, the more I realize their approach to preference management is ideal. I have always advocated that companies listen to and honor their consumers’ wishes - that they really get to know their customer. PossibleNOW’s technology allows companies to do just that.

It’s Not a Guessing Game

The last 12 years of my career has included a strong focus on customer typing based on their behavior – how does a company identify their target customers, sort them into clusters and market to them effectively. In the countless hours I have spent studying and talking with consumers, I have learned that consumers are more than willing to tell you what they want. They’ll tell you what your product is doing well and they aren't afraid to tell you what you’re doing wrong.

The great benefit about collecting customer preferences, when done correctly, is it allows your customers to tell your company exactly how they want to be communicated with, over what channels, about what content and even when they are open to receiving the message. This is amazingly powerful and helpful information to any marketer.

Knowledge is Centralized

In my background of understanding consumers, I experienced how hard it was to relay knowledge learned across an organization - to teach everyone what I knew about their consumers and how to apply it to their initiatives.

Preference management suffers from the same problem. You need the right technology and it must sit in a central point within your company’s infrastructure so the varied systems across the enterprise can access the information to make sure you communicate with consumers in the way they prefer.

What’s compelling, and the reason I joined PossibleNOW to build a world class organization to help their customers implement preference management within their enterprise, is the unique approach PossibleNOW takes to preference management and how it allows marketers to both understand consumers and communicate with them in a meaningful way. PossibleNOW centralizes preference management, concentrating on that as the core offering, and allowing the systems (CRM, POS, e-mail, etc.) they connect with to do what they do best.

Preference management, if implemented correctly, lets your customers tell you what they want. One customer might be highly interested in some of the communication your company is providing, but will be turned off by other offers. Allowing them to choose the communications that best fits their desires keeps them in the relationship.

Preference management was listed as one of the top 10 trends for marketing in 2013. While it landed on the list as item #8, I argue it should have appeared much closer to the top of the list.  Implementing centralized preference management supports and informs all of your marketing initiatives and gives you a powerful tool to establish and maintain relationships with consumers across your organization.





About the Author: 
Eric V. Holtzclaw is Chief Strategist of PossibleNOW. He's a researcher, writer, serial entrepreneur and challenger-of-conventional wisdom. His book with Wiley Publishing on consumer behavior - Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior - hits bookstores this summer. Eric leads the professional services organization to strategically guide companies on the implementation of enterprise-wide preference management solutions.

Follow me on Twitter: @eholtzclaw | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Holtzclaw

Upcoming Speaking Engagement – "The 5 Dirty Little Secrets of Demographics"

2013 PACE Annual Convention and ExpoI’ve been selected to speak at the upcoming PACE conventionfrom March 10 - 12 in Scottsdale, Arizona. I’m excited to address this audience because of the association’s new focus on customer engagement and experience.
My topic is “The 5 Dirty Little Secrets of Demographics — And How They Are Threatening Your Customer Experience.” My presentation explains why today’s customers demand more from companies. They expect products, services, information and customer experiences that are timely and catered to their specific needs and desires. 
Traditionally, companies develop, market and support products and services based on market segmentation and demographics, assuming that the features, functionalities and messaging will meet the needs of all of the customers in a given demographic – a "one size fits all" mentality.
One major problem with traditional demographic data is this: in today’s many-to-many world, users group themselves largely based on values, interests and aspirations – not by sex, race, income and age. Today, companies must understand their users’ behaviors and motivators – the why's behind their actions. Otherwise, the “one size fits all” outlook can sabotage the customer experience online and off. 
I will utilize real-world examples from primary research that was conducted with customers over the last decade to change the mindset about what it takes to create and maintain an engaging customer experience.

Attendees will learn the following:

  • How the customer is changing in a multi-channel world
  • Tips to better understand your customers
  • Ways to engage your customers in meaningful ways
If you are attending the PACE Convention, I look forward to meeting and chatting with you!




About the Author: 
Eric V. Holtzclaw is Chief Strategist of PossibleNOW. He's a researcher, writer, serial entrepreneur and challenger-of-conventional wisdom. His book with Wiley Publishing on consumer behavior - Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior - hits bookstores this summer. Eric leads the professional services organization to strategically guide companies on the implementation of enterprise-wide preference management solutions.

Follow me on Twitter: @eholtzclaw  Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Holtzclaw

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