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Building Brands vs Building Relationships

In the age of information, will the role of a brand have the same power over consumers?

That question plagued hypothesizing marketers for a while, with some guessing that consumers would leverage the availability of so much data to find the ideal product regardless of brand affinity. Others suspected the information would be so overwhelming that consumers would naturally revert to known brands. And surely anyone could pluck a case study that supported one point over another.

Or we could just take a look at the numbers: Data from over 6,000 mergers and acquisitions between 2003 and 2013 that shows us valuation trends over the decade.

Data from the Markables database shows the dollar valuation of a company’s assets, which include the trademarks and customer relationships—an ideal data set to provide answers for those hypothesizing marketers. An analysis by the Harvard Business Review showed that over ten years the trend lines are clear: brand valuations declined while customer relationship values rose.

Source: Harvard Business Review





So it’s less about whether customers can or will sift through information to make (or not make) decisions about brand purchases—it’s about whether or not you have a relationship with them. That relationship is quite literally more valuable than your brand.

Luckily, marketing technology now allows brands to optimize the consumer’s journey and leverage effective communications. 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 engage with customers and ensure that they are leading that relationship on their own terms. When they have an affinity for the brand, it’s due to their personal relationship with it, not necessarily the research and development behind the product.

Think about how your company would be valued—are relationships with your clients worth double your brand? Investing in those relationships now has an increased ROI for your company as a whole.







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

Marketing Mythbuster

Eric Holtzclaw is on CMO.com again talking about marketing technology myths, especially around technical initiatives like preference management—the collection and distribution of customer-reported data like product interest, frequency of communication and channels of choice.

Once again, Eric is able to use his experience consulting with the world’s biggest brands to showcase what misconceptions companies are working under. Preference management is a growing priority for enterprise-level marketing teams, yet it’s easy to get carried away—draining patience and budgets.

Is your company taking the right approach, or have you fallen for one of the myths of preference management. Check out “The Dark Side of Marketing Technology” on CMO.com and see whether you and your brand believed any of the myths that Eric’s busting.





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

An Oracle Keynote Highlight: PossibleNOW

We’re no strangers to the power of preference management, but it sure is nice when others recognize its power in the modern marketing landscape. Readers already know that we were at Oracle’s Modern Marketing Experience in Las Vegas, held March 31-April 2—what you might not know is that PossibleNOW earned a shout out in the conference keynote.

Oracle Group Vice-President Steve Krause and Oracle Eloqua Product Leader John Stetic’s keynote presentations cited PossibleNOW as an Oracle partner that was delivering innovative solutions with our enterprise management platform, MyPreferences.

“PossibleNOW puts the marketer in control of creating the preference experience,” said Steve Krause, during his keynote presentation. “Instead of having six preference centers split across brands, regions or apps, there is one way for preference data to be collected and a safe place for it to go. And it’s all under the marketer’s control.”

Because MyPreferences integrates with Oracle Eloqua and Oracle Responsys platforms, we were identified as a critical component for marketing automation. We were gratified to be highlighted at an event that offers best practices, training, process innovations, new technologies and networking for marketing professionals. As a whole, the event was a phenomenal platform for marketers that understand the necessity of preference management, many of who connected with us in person to seek additional ways to leverage effective systems for real results.

Preference management, the active collection, maintenance and distribution of unique consumer characteristics, such as product interest, communication channel preference and frequency of communication, continues to be an essential tool for marketing professionals. We’re glad that Oracle and our technology peers are embracing preference management in order to support long-term customer engagement and loyalty.






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.

Sephora Innovation Lab VP Answers 4 Questions for Marketing Innovators

Bridget Dolan, Vice President, Sephora Innovation Lab, will address these 4 questions;

  1. What is one marketing topic that is most important to you as an innovator?
  2. Why is this so important?
  3. How will the customer experience be improved by this?
  4. How will this improve the effectiveness of marketing?


Bridget Dolan, Vice Presiden, Sephora Innovation Lab
Bridget Dolan is Sephora's Vice President of the newly formed Innovation Lab evaluating new technologies, inspiring an innovation culture, nurturing strategic relationships and setting the future vision of technology within Sephora. Bridget has led Sephora's online marketing efforts for the last 14 years, launching social site features such as BeautyTalk, The Glossy, SephoraTV and The Beauty Board, as well as expanding Sephora's social presence and engagement in Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Google Plus and Instagram. Prior to Sephora, Bridget worked in online advertising for Eve.com, Amazon, and drugstore.com and worked in offline marketing for Castrol and Walgreens.


1. What is one marketing topic that is most important to you as an innovator?

I'm most passionate about finding new ways for a woman to use her own mobile device as a way to personalize her store shopping experience.

2. Why is this so important?
I've seen our clients come to rely on mobile during so many phases of the shopping experience. Whether she's at home watching a video tutorial on her phone or scanning products in the store, the phone has become her own personal shopping assistant. We see women use their phones in our stores daily to text beauty looks to friends, scan their Beauty Insider cards, and pay with a stored eGift Card or Apple Pay.

3. How will the customer experience be improved by this?
Mobile empowers the shopper to have all the information they need at their fingertips at all times. Millennials learn through watching and doing. Women who want to learn a skill will search first on YouTube and see it in action. Women's phones are an extension of her hand as she shops, and she can finally use her phone to personalize the store shopping experience and learn more about products she's considering by watching videos, reading ratings and reviews, and even seeing the products being worn by other women on The Beauty Board.

Part of our job is educating our shopper — if we have not taught her, we've failed her. Since mobile has become an extension of her hand, we put all this content easily accessible when and where she needs it. We've crafted the mobile experience to help her find the information she needs while in our stores — like Augmented Reality to allow her to easily hover her phone over a product to watch informative videos and demystifying new beauty trends like contouring with our new Pocket Contour tutorial. Now we can use mobile to connect with clients to teach them how to use products in very personalized ways. For example, with Pocket Contour Class, clients upload a selfie to the mobile site and receive step-by-step contouring instructions and product recommendations that will complement her unique features.

We want to empower clients to be in control of their shopping experience and have everything they need to be confident in their purchases, while making the omni-channel shopping experience as seamless as possible — and mobile is at the heart of these initiatives.

4. How will this improve the effectiveness of marketing?
We've already started to see the impact that mobile has had on our marketing programs. With our mobile-first digital gifting strategy, for example, we saw eight times eGift card revenue growth in the first year and an over 70% lift in average in-store purchase size over the initial gift card value. The growth of mobile gift cards is huge, but the ease of redemption is game changing. We partnered with CashStar to be one of the first to allow clients to save both their Sephora eGift Cards and plastic Gift Cards to Passbook, as well as to our own app for iPhone. Clients now have their gift cards with them whenever they are in our stores, because they never leave home without their phone. So we know mobile is effective and impactful to the bottom line, and will continue to invest in this area through our new Innovation Lab.

What is your favorite activity outside of work?

When I'm not working, I hike and explore the forest and creeks of Healdsburg, California with my 3 imaginative kids and husband. The WiFi is horrible, so I get to think deep thoughts and truly connect. 



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/

The Foundation of Effective Consumer Engagement: Build or Buy?

Preference Management Video Series

For companies that have started to consider the vast benefits of an enterprise preference management system, the next question is often “Build or Buy?”

Once a brand’s customer engagement and communications shortfalls are pointed out, ambitious companies often think an in-house solution is the best or only way forward. Integrating new technology, breaking down silos, engaging multiple departments and long-term maintenance are some of the big issues that companies need to address.

An illuminating panel discussion between Director of Enterprise Sales Rob Tate, VP and GM of Professional Services Jeff Jarvis, and Solutions Architect Tom Fricano touches on questions brands must consider in the decision-making process.




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

Does This Statistic Scare You?

We spend a lot of time talking about preventing opt-outs through preference management - the active collection, maintenance and distribution of unique consumer characteristics, such as product interest, communication channel preference and frequency of communication.

And rightly so. Anytime a customer chooses to remove themselves from all future communications – the so-called “atomic opt-out” – they are likely gone forever and represent a dangerous erosion of the prospect pool.

To avoid this, we work with companies to provide opt-down functionality that empowers customers to narrow their focus and ensure that the content they receive is timely, relevant and delivered through the appropriate channel.

The importance of preference management was driven home for me yet again when I stumbled across a surprising statistic: a recent study from the International Customer Management Institute found that 49 percent of consumers reported they would be willing to move to a competitor who provides the same product or service but in their preferred channel.

Same product.

Same service.

The only distinction that, according to recent research, would move roughly half of all consumers from one company to the next is whether or not that company serves their channel of choice.


It’s a remarkable finding and one that underscores just how high the expectations are for personalization. Kudos to the companies that already have preference management functionality in place and find this stat to be a confirmation instead of a wake-up call.





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

ICYMI: Preferences, Privacy and Personalization in the News

Online retailer Amazon announced a new hyper-connected and personalized product just before April Fools Day, confusing cynics. Small branded push buttons for Tide, Bounty, Gillette and other oft-used households items will be Wi-Fi connected and, with the push of its button, replenishing orders will be placed and sent via Amazon’s Prime service. Click here to read more.


Economic incentives for data-sharing are becoming more common in the health industry, and studies have shown that when patients are given their own data, they are able to better understand their conditions. Doctors, patients and administrators are now navigating the personal privacy issues. Click here to read more.



Beauty emporium Sephora found success with its Sephora-to-Go app by unifying the channels that support its gifting program. The single storage place for gift cards meant that the physical card was not needed, did not have to be found in email inboxes and consumers could track their balances. Click here to read more.



An app popular on college campuses, Yik Yak, has started to unroll photo capabilities for its anonymous users. No faces or nude shots will be allowed, and the photos have to be taken from within the app—safeguards that the app hopes will curb potential harassment. Click here to read more.



American travels to Cuba will now be able to use home-sharing service Airbnb to sort through more than 1,000 properties, 40 percent of which are in Havana, with the rest spread around other tourist spots. 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

Demographics Don’t Say It All


You're already used to seeing Eric Holtzclaw's name in this space, but recently it graced another place-check out his article at CMO.com about his research on the Baby Boomer generation.

Eric has some really helpful insights about the perils of using demographics alone to market brands, and how marketers can really dive into the different Boomer mindsets. Think you're good to go with your existing, demographic-based marketing plans? He may make you reconsider.

Eric also shares the one thing that pre- and post-Vietnam War Boomers agree on. Think you know what it is? Head to CMO.com to see what Eric has to say.





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

Making a Sure Bet

The idea that a poker player, suffering through a streak of terrible cards, is somehow due for better cards later is known as the gambler’s fallacy. It hinges on the very human belief that events are somehow supposed to make sense. To fit together and find balance. In reality, the poker player's odds are exactly the same, every hand, forever.

In much the same way, marketers believe that data collection somehow leads to coherent data organization. We’re collecting more and more of it every day, through every channel. And many of us believe that all that data will somehow add up to reveal a consistent identity—a unified picture of a consumer that aids personalization and customer experience.

A new global report conducted by Signal indicates that just six percent of marketers have figured out cross-channel identity. That means data fragmentation is an overwhelming challenge for a vast majority of marketers, putting them in the position of constantly playing catch-up while they juggle bits of a picture that don’t make sense.


Obstacles like data collection and fragmentation mean that marketing measurement and personalization are out of reach—crucially important elements that could be solved with preference management. Preference management, the active collection, maintenance and distribution of unique consumer characteristics, such as product interest, communication channel preference and frequency of communication, is an essential tool in creating seamless user experiences, customer engagement and, most importantly, a whole picture where there were once just pieces. Having a lot of data is one thing, knowing how to connect it is another.


And the upside to this slow race? Anyone already confronting these issues is ahead in the game. Knowing that such a miniscule amount of marketers have the capabilities of cross-channel identity means that those who can figure it out now will stay in the lead and continue to offer consumers what they want.



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

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