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Personalizing Across Properties

No matter whether your travel is for business or pleasure, there’s one thing that doesn’t change: the anonymous, impersonal hotel stay. You might stay at a resort with all the amenities, but it’s still not quite the comfort of home.

How does the thread count in your King Suite related to preference management? Oh it is does, thanks to innovative hotel brands’ excursions into personalization via technology.

CBS’ Peter Greenberg visited Starwood’s tech labs to investigate how technology is elevating hospitality with personalization for each customer based on their preferences. The expected technology advances are there, like mobile check-in and keyless entry with apps or Apple Watches, but more granular and personalized details like lighting and temperature can also be adjusted for each guest’s preferences. Imagine setting up a morning routine geared toward your own preferences: gradually brightening your lights while the coffeemaker starts up at 6 on the dot.

As hotel brands begin to embrace the power of personalized technology, their nature as a temporary yet recurring host creates vast opportunities to match preferences at different properties for the same guest. Can your hotel access your customer profile before you’re even on-site and prep your room? That morning routine of coffee with a side of NPR on the in-room audio is entirely possible, but so is preparing a firm pillow at night and synchronizing an updated weather summary for the following day. Your time-zone-hopping trips could accommodate for jet lag or pre-emptively tell housekeeping you need an extra blanket.

Because brands that use stated preferences to provide offline experiences can replicate those preferences at different touchpoints—or properties—they represent an important element in the personalization of our technology and communications.

Preference management—the active collection, maintenance and distribution of unique consumer characteristics, such as product interest, communication channel preference and frequency of communication—will lay the groundwork for the hospitality industry’s innovative execution of personalized technology. Yet the example of hotels’ preference management also represents the ways in which consumers can expect personalization to perform: across channels, properties, and trips—as well as being based on their own preferences and mutable at any time.


I can only hope my next trip can meet my expectations now. 







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

3 Ways Mobile is Impacting Your Marketing Right Now

Your company has become a mobile experience for customers whether you are ready for it or not. Today's multi-device consumer is increasingly accessing your information, messaging and ads on a mobile device. Your challenge is how to utilize mobile to take consumer experiences to a higher level.

1. Mobile Has Changed the Path to Purchase
According to retail strategy and marketing firm InReality's report, "Reality of Retail", it was noted that;
The following three types of conversations were identified as critical;
  • 71% of shoppers who use loyalty programs still use their mobile for price comparisons.
  • 88% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
  • And, “technology, especially mobile, is having an impact on the store—changing the shopper's path to purchase.”
With the knowledge that smartphones are innovating customer experiences, Outback Steakhouse is utilizing the medium to provide real-time wait time data via their “Clickthru Seating” app. The development of the app was driven by a consumer survey that discovered there was a wait of 40 minutes to be seated. According to Elizabeth Watts, director of media and community relations, “Our number one priority is to provide our guests with the best customer experience possible….Click Thru Seating empowers our guests [to] get a table when they want it.”

Guests use a mobile device to access current wait times and place a reservation. This new feature is an addition to the company's existing 365 app which offers surprise deals with a countdown clock and notifications of nearby restaurant special events.

2. In-Store Mobile Use is on the Rise
Accenture's survey of U.S. retailer operations across multi channels, found that enhancements in the mobile in-store experience are needed to meet consumer expectations;
  • 39% said they would like the opportunity to earn loyalty points and save money by using in-store mobile phone offers.
  • 45% want to receive real-time promotions via their mobile device.
3. Email Access via Mobile
Consumers and prospects are increasingly using mobile devices to access email messaging.

According to the full year 2014 Litmus study of 12 billion worldwide opens “nearly half of emails are opened on smartphones and tablets—a 500% increase in four years. Additionally, in the Yesmail's “Email Marketing Compass” 4Q 2014 report;
  • Email mobile-open orders increased by 58%.
  • Breakout of those orders by device type; 24% iPhone, 59% iPad, 16% Android phone.
Avenue, a plus-sized women's retailer understood two things about their clientele; they love their mobile phones and they love a bargain. So the company used SMS mobile messaging to connect with their customers to offer bonuses, discounts, and introductions to new fashions. The opt-in effort included traditional emails, in-store signage, and web signup links. The campaign was so engaging for customers that the company reports the mobile messages generated 97% percent open rate with 71% of users accessing deals from their smartphone.

3 Takeaways:
  1. Utilize mobile to take consumer experiences to a higher level. Don't embrace mobile for the sake of technology. Embrace it for the benefits it can bring to your consumers and for the insights that it can net for your company.
  2. Use mobile as a positive influence tool. In the Telmetrics third annual Mobile Path-to-Purchase report it was noted that 60% of consumers used mobile exclusively to make a purchase decision.
  3. Be sure to have responsive versions of emails and web. A study by mobile marketing firm NetElixir Inc. finds that “conversion rate for smartphone shoppers on mobile-optimized sites is 160% higher than the rate for smartphone shoppers on non-optimized sites.”


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/

Making the Case for Preference Management: Establishing the Need

Preference Management Video Series


While 97 percent of executives agree that customer experience is critical to success, less than half (just 40 percent) of those same executives have customer experience initiatives in progress – and not even sophisticated programs at that. We’ve found that “customer experience” is too vague and unable to be broken into specific steps, leaving marketing, IT and customer service departments unable to achieve much.


To combat that issue, preference management provides an actionable plan for customer engagement. Preference management, the active collection, maintenance and distribution of unique customer characteristics such as product interest, channel preference and frequency of communication is the best way to execute consumer engagement strategies on an enterprise level. Preference management can drive personalization, privacy, and two-way communication. 






In the following weeks, we’ll continue to roll out videos to guide you through making the case for preference management. If you haven’t yet explored our Resource Center, you can download the Making the Case for Preference Management 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

Oracle Emphasizes PossibleNOW’s Preference Management

We were thrilled to attend Oracle's Modern Marketing Experience in Las Vegas earlier this year, but one of the most gratifying parts of the conference was when Oracle Group Vice-President Steve Krause and Oracle Eloqua Product Leader John Stetic's keynote presentations cited PossibleNOW. The pair highlighted the beneficial aspects of our preference management platform, MyPreferences, as a means to gather opted-in consumers.

"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 an innovative and critical component for marketing automation. See what else Krause said about PossibleNOW's solutions:



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.

Finding the Sweet Spot

Depending on the survey of the day, consumers can seem like a mess of juxtaposing ideals. "Exceed my expectations" on Tuesday becomes "How do you know so much about me?" on Wednesday. 

An SAS survey found that a growing number of US consumers are concerned about businesses using their personal information. At the same time, the survey confirmed that consumers still expect business to understand them as individuals and personalize their experiences. Ahh, yes, asking for the impossible. 


On it's face, it's a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" scenario for marketers. Ask for information and you risk privacy fears. Deliver services impersonally and be criticized for being primitive and low-tech.



But take a closer look at the data and the dilemma may not be as bleak as it appears. Survey respondents reported spending an average of 77 minutes a day on social media and a whopping 70 percent of them belong to loyalty programs. Clearly, it is possible to be concerned in general about privacy while still selectively placing trust in particular companies.



I'm reminded of the old political true-ism: most Americans hate congress but love their congressman.  Consumers are much the same - while they harbor real worries about privacy in the abstract, they willingly share personal information in real life on a selective basis.



Companies that nurture prospects, progressively acquire data as the relationship grows and respect customers' wishes through preference management are rewarded. And suddenly a dilemma becomes an opportunity. From impossible to very possible. 






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.

ICYMI: Preferences, Privacy and Personalization in the News

IBM, Facebook team up to deliver personalized brand experiences through people-based marketing

Facebook has partnered with IBM to leverage their marketing cloud to provide leading brands with tailored marketing capabilities. IBM's Journey Designer will allow brands to create personalized customer experience across multiple touchpoints. IBM also announced that Facebook would join its IBM Commerce THINKLab, a research and collaborative environment to accelerate technologies that will enhance personalized customer experiences. Click here to read more.

N.S.A. Phone Data Collection Is Illegal, Appeals Court Rules

The systematic collection of American's phone records in bulk is illegal, ruled a federal appeals court. The decision did not include an injunction ordering the program stop, but Congress is set to decide whether to reauthorize the Patriot Act or replace it with the USA Freedom Act, a new program that would preserve the ability to analyze links between callers, but not require bulk collection. Click here to read more.

Walgreens Drives Customer Engagement through Personalized Marketing

Walgreens' Balance Rewards program boasts membership near 130 million consumers and their three years of growing consumer data has provided useful data on personalization and loyalty, with measurable impact on shopping habits. Click here to read more.

Undressing Industry Buzzwords for Digital Documents & Customer Communications

After attending the Xplor conference, Mia Papanicolaou shares the buzzwords that were flying around about customer communications: push vs pull, HTML5, omni-channel, and most importantly, preference management. She concludes by saying "Moving away from the viewpoint of providing the customer with what is easiest for us and moving towards providing the customers with what they want, in the manner in which they want it, is key." Click here to read more.

Politics huge on Facebook but it's no echo-chamber, says the network

Research on over 10 million Facebook users showed that the network wasn't creating an "echo chamber" for like-minded people, but in fact that users tended to already associate with individuals who were of similar ages, educational attainment, occupations and geography-meaning that their political affiliation was also likely to be similar. 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

Preferences: From Online to Offline



The other day my wife was describing an after-hours event a local boutique was hosting - a trunk show with a visiting designer. She'd heard about the event through an email from the store, but when she arrived, instead of a mass of every shopper that had ever set foot in the store, it was an intimate group of VIPs in attendance. The boutique had communicated with its clientele who were not only loyal, but who'd indicated they'd like to be invited to such exclusive events. That clientele self-selected by stating their preferences online about experiences they'd like to have offline.

We've worked with companies that unrolled preference management techniques one at a time, and indeed, that's what we recommend: initially offering opt-downs, then installing a website preference centers and eventually expanding with a limited-scope starter program. This step-by-step approach guides your company to successful preference management and ensures your customers have the ability to maintain and change their preferences and interests throughout their customer journey.

But to take a wider view, the companies who begin to see success with preference management don't immediately see all its vast potential. Just 23 percent of worldwide marketers surveyed by Econsultancy were personalizing offline channels (compared to 88 percent who personalized emails and 44 percent to websites), yet 95 percent of those who implemented personalization via offline channels had seen an uplift in conversion rates.

Have you thought about how far preference management can go? When consumers are given the option to personalize their communications through preference management - the active collection, maintenance and distribution of unique consumer characteristics, such as product interest, communication channel preference and frequency of communication - they're primed to continue sharing the ways in which they want their customer experience personalized, and that includes offline experiences too.

No longer are preferences just about what email to receive and when, but whether your customer wants to have a personal shopper session or if later in-store hours would suit them. Going from multi-channel to omni-channel, stated preferences are the key to tailoring seamless experiences from online to offline. A customer journey might begin with an opt-down on mobile, followed by an opt-in on email and then a conversion in-store thanks to meeting, and eventually exceeding, her expectations at every touchpoint.



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: Conclusion

Preference Management Video Series

New technologies and forms of media mean that interruption marketing is in the past and personalized marketing is the future—that’s clear. From now on, conversations between marketers and customers will be guided by preferences, therefore customers need to be empowered to own the conversation.

The upside for businesses is that responsiveness and personalization is rewarded with loyalty by customers. Consolidating and integrating that customer data means that a long-term customer journey is inevitable and all the more easy. Increasing revenue, improving loyalty and increasing the lifetime value of the customer, all while being compliant? That’s all due to preference management.




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

ICYMI: Preferences, Privacy and Personalization in the News

New Customer Experience Approach Lets Sprint Stride Toward Social Engagement

Telecom giant Sprint has pivoted more of its customer service energy to meeting users on social networks, says John R. Glenn, Vice President of Care Strategy, Operations and Transformation. The customer experience on social media was in reaction to findings that a large segment of customers preferred to communicate via social channels. "Our mission is to meet our customers where they are, to listen for emerging trends, and to resolve their service needs without requiring they interrupt their day with needing to call customer service," says Glenn. Read more here.

PepsiCo CEO: We've never seen consumers so confused

On a quarterly earnings call, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi stated that among the company's global and financial challenges was one of millennial customers' changing preferences. The company has started sorting its products into categories described as "fun for you," "better for you," and "good for you" to allow for consumers' flexible definitions of "healthy." Read more here.

(Surprise!) Facebook Algorithm Changes Likely to Reduce Brand Impressions

The push-pull between Facebook and marketers continues as the company's algorithms have been adjusted to create more balance between what users see from friends, businesses and organizations. More prioritization is given to content from a user's friends, but multiple posts from a single source are more likely to be allowed. Read more here.

How To Use Twitter & Instagram On The Apple Watch; Facebook Is MIA

The Apple Watch apps make simplified social media accessible on your wrist, but with some caveats. Speaking to Siri is possible, but the virtual assistant has to use Handoff to complete more difficult tasks on iPhones, like tweeting via voice. Apps will continue to unroll with tweaks specific to the Watch. Read more here.

Pinterest Adds Tools For Marketers To Post Better Pins

Pinterest, a social sharing site, is offering new tools to brands looking to optimize their content engagement. The technology will allow partners to synchronize their branded content across channels while utilizing scheduling and receiving performance feedback. Read more 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

Once-a-Year Chance

You know that sinking feeling when you glance at the calendar and realize that yesterday’s date looks a little familiar, or you log into Facebook and see a slew of messages on a friend’s page: “Happy Birthday!”

Life is hectic and sooner or later we’ve all forgotten someone’s birthday. It’s a terrible feeling because we know it makes that person feel unimportant. If it’s a coworker, you can repair the damage with a free lunch. If it’s a spouse, it may be a more expensive proposition. But in either case, we act quickly to emphasize how much we really care.

Now consider this: according to a survey from retailer research agency Conlumino, a whopping 52 percent of Millennials believe brands should remember their birthdays. It’s a surprising data point from research on more than 3,000 adult online shoppers in the US and UK.

We talk a lot in this space about the importance of personalization, but birthdays? Really?

Really.

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? It only seems fair.


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.

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