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When Consumers Want to Change the Channel

Bzzz. It’s your teen texting you. Bzzz. Now it’s your husband. Bzzz. Here comes a link sent to the whole family, and you brace yourself for the onslaught of reply-all group texting commentary. Bzzz. Bzzz. Bzzz. Bzzz.

For many of us, texting has become an integral (and maybe even annoying) part of our daily communications. But the convenience and immediacy of texting – whether it’s to your spouse about dinner plans or your boss about the upcoming meeting – is appealing, isn’t it? The modern-day equivalent of trading notes in class allows for responses either in real time or at your own pace, providing a uniquely flexible channel for communications from brands.

In fact a survey by The Harris Poll found that 93 percent of 18-34-year-olds use text messaging, and that 86 percent of 18-34-year-olds strongly or somewhat agree that it’s frustrating to be tied to a phone or computer to wait for customer service help.

If we know that much, it’s not hard to realize that one of the many channels your customers might want to use could also be specific to a type of communications they want. Are you letting your customers untie themselves from desk-bound devices for certain customer experiences?

Preference management, the active collection, maintenance and distribution of unique consumer characteristics, such as product interest, communication channel preference and frequency of communication is the best way to figure out how, where and when your customers want to relate to you.


As marketing experts, we already know it’s not just kids with noses buried in screens who are looking for text-everything, but providing customers opportunities for brand communications in different settings can let them set the pace and tone for certain communications.  Whether their style is about passing notes in class or having a heart-to-heart, make sure you’re speaking your customer’s language.






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 - hit bookstores last summer. Eric helps strategically guide companies with the implementation of enterprise-wide preference management solutions.



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

The Foundation of Effective Consumer Engagement: A Brief History of Consumer Engagement

Preference Management Video Series

Over the 19th and 20th centuries, consumer engagement spanned the town’s lone general store where the owner knew your family and thus your needs, to industrialization and mass production creating affordability and a new level of consumerism. That new version of commercialism also meant that competition between brands was then based on ideas rather than simply availability.


That new version of commerce led to marketing – broadcast, direct, and digital – morphing the possibilities for customer engagement. Today’s innovative technologies have expanded what it means to communicate directly with consumers.



In the following weeks, we’ll continue to roll out videos to guide you through the power of preference management. If you haven’t yet explored our Resource Center, you can download the Foundation of Effective Consumer Engagement whitepaper here



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

Break a Sweat for Customer Engagement

Did you join a gym in the new year? How’s that resolution going? Just like a new workout routine you hope to carry throughout the year, customer engagement takes some initial preparation before the rest of the journey becomes easier.

For gyms and health clubs across the country, January was the real holiday season. An estimated 12-15 percent of all gym memberships in a given year are sold in January and most facilities see a huge spike in personal training, nutrition and class enrollments. Seeking to put the excesses of the holidays behind them – and perhaps to make good on that New Year’s resolution – millions of Americans are sweating their way through the depths of winter.

Inside the typical CMO’s office, a similar trend is in effect. But instead of building muscles, they are seeking to build engagement, that magical place where prospects become customers, customers become loyal fans and a healthy, profitable cycle of interaction gains momentum. Instead of classes and diets, CMOs are buying software, engaging consultants and (gulp) seeking buy-in from skeptical CEOs. 

In the gym, the search for fitness might begin with push-ups, the stair-stepper or perhaps some good old-fashioned weights.

In the CMO’s office, the solution is murkier. A clever social media campaign? A bigger investment in display advertising? A new in-store customer service training program?

For many enterprises, the journey to engagement must begin with listening to and learning from its audience. Without the basic ability to hear what consumers want and respond to their wishes, every other engagement initiative is doomed to fail. We call this preference management – the active collection and distribution of preferences such as product interest, channel preference and frequency of communication.

These preferences are not derived by profile data, purchase history or where they are on your website; rather, they are expressly stated by the consumer themselves. In other words, preference management means giving your customers and prospects the ability to conveniently communicate with your company, recording the information in a central location and acting on what they say.

Sounds simple, right? In truth, it can be incredibly complex for an enterprise-level company with numerous customer touchpoints, departments, offerings and locations. As larger organizations delve into the topic, they soon discover why preference management is easier said than done.

But who said getting in shape was easy? The point is that it is possible to make real progress on engagement when you start at the right place and move forward in incremental steps. If engagement is your goal, preference management is your starting point. Welcome to the gym!





About the Author: 
Rob Tate is the Director of Enterprise Sales at PossibleNOW.






Big Data is a Big Deal: Make the Most of it


When Teradata surveyed over 1,500 worldwide marketing and communications executives in 2014, they found an overwhelming response to what their priorities were in 2014. What did 92% of marketers agree they were prioritizing? Individualized marketing - going beyond demographic segments and focusing squarely on one-to-one interactions.

Yet turn the tables and ask the same folks what the most underutilized asset in the organization is and they say it's data. To have that cloud of data within reach, know it's by far your greatest priority, and not know what to do with it? That's tragic. Eighty-seven percent of the same marketers believe data is the most underutilized asset in their company and that's no way to begin to grasp that big goal of customized, individualized marketing.

We can take away some additional clues on the state of internal priorities from the same report: Findings indicate that the biggest obstacles for organizations in "preventing marketing from becoming more data-driven" were security concerns, lack of data in certain departments, and inadequate CRM databases. We've seen all this before, and we recognize those struggles and, let’s be honest, fears. Both compliance and data synthesis between silos are overwhelming tasks, and when you're up against both simultaneously it's doubly so. Expertise in one area doesn't necessarily translate to the other, but a single solution, like preference management, can answer many of those needs.

Preference management, the active collection, maintenance and distribution of unique consumer characteristics, such as product interest, communication channel preference and frequency of communication is a solution that addresses both security concerns and communications between silos. Getting a bigger, better, and secure view of your consumers is the best way to make sure that individualized marketing is a goal within reach for 2015.

Next time you consider your company's goals, make sure you can say individualized marketing is not only a priority, but something you're well on your way to accomplishing - despite the internal barriers other organizations still face.



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

The Foundation of Effective Consumer Engagement: An Introduction

Preference Management Video Series

"The consumer isn't a moron, she's your wife." In 1963, David Ogilvy's famous quote illustrated the revolution that was taking place in the way companies reached out to consumers.

Today we're a beyond the concept of bonds between people and the businesses that serve them, and more than half a century later we're continuing to perfect that idea of consumer engagement. We know businesses thrive when they can offer customized experiences for their customers, and preference management is the best way to manage the wealth of information available to you.



In the following weeks, we're rolling out videos to guide you through the power of preference management. If you haven't yet explored our Resource Center, you can download the Foundation of Effective Consumer Engagement whitepaper here.



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

When the Customer Sees Behind the Curtain

Ever open your inbox and see a subject line that makes you cringe? Not the click-bait stuff, or the constant political fundraising asks, but the one that you can instantly identify as a poorly crossed marketing wire?

Like when I get "personalized" invitations to store openings in Los Angeles, or alerts that there's a sale on a collection of BPA-free teething toys. Folks, I'm based on the East coast sans infants.

Those unfortunate attempts at one-to-one marketing aren't just a head-shake for those of us already focused on personalized communications, it's also a watershed moment in the customer's experience with the brand.

According to a recent Gigya survey, 67 percent of respondents unsubscribe from an email list after receiving irrelevant information. Equally frightening - 43 percent of consumers ignore future communications, and apparently 20 percent are so incensed that they stop buying products from the company entirely! That means a single wrong email can, in theory, lose you a swath of customers who dispense punishment by dispensing with you.

Preference management - the active collection, maintenance and distribution of unique consumer characteristics, such as product interest, communication channel preference and frequency of communication - is a proactive way to understand your customer's wants and needs, as well as whether they would be interested in emails about teething rings or not.

When you can communicate with your customers on a personalized basis, you're able to focus on sending out the emails that best relate your brand to that particular customer. That means fewer opt-outs, more sales, marketing bliss.



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

ICYMI: Preferences, Privacy and Personalization in the News



Online privacy and banks: Has anyone asked the Millennials?

Six in ten Canadians surveyed by Microsoft Canada responded that they believed their bank could do more to encourage them to share more information online. The report indicated that consumers acknowledged the importance of sharing personal information, but that they don’t often see how they benefit, e.g., better loan rates and rewards. Click here to read more.


Starbucks and Brand Loyalty: Growth and Results of My Starbucks Rewards

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz says that one in seven American adults received gift cards this holiday season, a number that pays off well beyond the holiday season. Receipt of a gift card often lead to a My Starbucks Rewards membership, which itself is one of the most important business drivers, since members exhibit long-term loyalty. Click here to read more.

The latest from Twitter: "While You Were Away" round ups

This game-changer for both social marketers and and social users means that tweets missed in real-time may still get views after the fact. This new update will share tweets with high engagement to ensure notable news in already-personalized timelines will reach users. Click here to read more.


At Universities, a Push for Data-Driven Career Services

As alumni relations adapt to a more connected set of graduates, colleges are using data from alumni profiles on LinkedIn to develop relationships with companies and prove return on investment value to prospective students and parents. Click here to read more.


Added protections for consumer information on health website

After consumer privacy advocates and lawmakers prodded the Obama administration about consumer data being given to private companies, HealthCare.gov has curtailed its release of personal information. 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

Engaged vs Enraged: Customer Tipping Points

How many times have you stopped at the grocery store after a long day at work and proceeded to wander down each aisle while also juggling an influx of incoming text requests from the rest of the family? With so many objectives in one person's errand (get the necessities, find specific brand requests, see what's on sale that could be tonight’s dinner), the opportunities for immediate personalized assistance are tempting. 

A Midwest regional grocery store chain, Marsh Supermarkets, has launched a mobile app for shoppers that can use beacons to push notifications to users based on their location-even down to their aisle. Notifications include shopping lists, recipes, deals or ideas based on past purchases. Similar personalized services can be found on many platforms, but I think the early findings of this particular app are intriguing as we consider how personal we get with consumers. 

What the numbers show is that users draw a line between personalization being relevant and personalization becoming bothersome. Overall, in-store notifications have achieved a 45 percent interaction rate (five times more than messages without location context), yet more than one push per location caused a 313 percent drop in usage. Imagine that-exactly one message too many and you’re deleted from a customer's virtual toolbox. 

As technology gets smarter and more precise, it's easy for us to assume our consumers want all the personalization we can give them. But customers have a tipping point, and if they can't tell you about that point, they could simply opt out. 

Knowing which customers want one notification and which want ten is the difference between engaged customers and enraged ones. Preference management, the active collection, maintenance and distribution of unique consumer characteristics, such as product interest, communication channel preference and frequency of communication, is essential when integrating personalized technology. 

Make sure you've navigated your customers' preferences before they navigate the store aisles. 

Oh, and don't forget the milk. 



About the Author: 
Rob Tate is the Director of Enterprise Sales at PossibleNOW.






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