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Privacy & Preferences at 30,000 Feet


At the end of 2014, United Airlines announced that they were investing in technology for in-flight use by flight attendants - each would receive an iPhone 6 Plus. The smartphones would make retail transactions quick, and keep essential information easily accessible (like safety policies), but it would also replicate each flight's manifest to put flyer information at attendants' fingertips.

Now that the technology is finally being unrolled, passengers are experiencing more personalized service. For frequent travelers, it's just another customized interaction that represents a wealth of data the airline has on them - name, birthday, itinerary, loyalty status - information that's often used to reward the traveler with special treatment based on recognition. For many of those loyal, repeat customers, the personalized interactions are not only welcome, but expected.

Meanwhile, those who travel less frequently are unaccustomed to being identified or given that level of personal attention. In fact, the confusion over being identified in-flight is putting some flyers off.

The misstep I see is that the consumer journey has been altered on a meaningful level and wary customers aren't sure how their information ended up in a flight attendant's hand. Companies need to be cautious of managing expectations for their customers. While every flyer has to share their information to book a ticket, the difference in expectations between skeptical and eager consumers can result in awkward moments during an overly personal beverage service.

Preference management, the active collection, maintenance and distribution of unique consumer characteristics, such as product interest, channel preference and frequency of communication, would have been the first step for a program that aimed to use traveler data for real-time recognition. While a flyer's data could be used for requested alerts about cancelled flights or seat upgrades, it's a significant leap to translate the same information for use in an omnichannel situation without first informing a consumer about the ways in which their information and preferences might be used during their service.

These days everyone tries to delight their customers, but creating a personalized journey with all the big data you can get your hands on can backfire. By using preference management solutions, you allow customers to state their preferences in myriad ways. By respecting your customers' comfort levels, you build trust on their terms and enhance engagement with consumers who become your best return on investment.




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

Implementation of Preference Management: Preparing for Success

Preference Management Video Series

Once you've begun the implementation process for preference management, it's essential that you prepare for success. Such a streamlining process is often complicated up front - it may have started as a marketing initiative, gone through the IT department and been boosted by the customer support team - but deciding where to begin is the first big challenge.

Like any project, the scope sometimes seems so vast that the first step is overwhelming. For some brands, grand ideas and unrealistic timelines depress the process. For others, preference management is a logical, one-step-after-another process wherein each step validates the next. In this video, PossibleNOW Chief Strategist Eric Holtzclaw discusses the challenges at the outset.

We've worked with companies in so many different industries that we know the best model to success.


In the following weeks, we'll continue to roll out videos to guide you through the implementation of preference management. If you haven't yet explored our Resource Center, you can download the Implementation of 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

Getting Personal with the Right People

You've seen it in action: your airline saving your miles rewards and reminding you of your next milestone, online retailers anticipating your shipping address, the auto shop calling to set up the oil change based on your last visit. We modern consumers appreciate and expect the personalization that allows for customized service and improved experiences at every visit.

Sure, the idea of retaining essential customer information is nothing new, but the ways in which we are able to use that data can have wide-reaching impacts on different audiences. To begin with, personalized communications are not only welcome, but often expected.

Findings from AgilOne show that the consumer pivot from appreciating personalization to expecting personalization hovers at 79 percent for American shoppers.

Seventy-nine percent! Seventy-nine percent of American shoppers expect some level of personalized communications. That includes abandoned shopping cart reminders, knowing a customer's size, and remembering how long he or she has been a customer.

But when you drill down, it's the younger generation that has the highest expectations for personalization. For example, remembering a customer's birthday or their size - one in five in the 65+ crowd think you should know that information, while more than twice that amount of 18-24 year-olds expect it.

As brands work to customize conversations with consumers, they should also be leveraging the readiness of certain demographics to share more personalized information. 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 identify the wants and needs of your many different customers.

Are you asking the questions your customers are ready to answer? Key groups of consumers are expecting you to engage with them - and if you're not reaching out to them, someone else might be.





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

AT&T Offers Data Privacy - for a Price Customers using AT&T's new gigabit-per-second service, called GigaPower, can receive discounted rates for those that opt-in to sharing some of their trackable data - or pay for privacy, depending on how you look at it. The $29 difference in plans means that users can choose to receive targeted, relevant ads (and a discounted rate), or stay anonymous at a higher cost. Click here to read more.
Smart Luggage for the Connected Age
A wave of tech-enabled luggage begins hitting showroom floors this season with features including digital locks, built-in scales, GPS- and cellular-enabled tracking, Bluetooth speakers, USB ports, Wi-Fi hotspots, battery chargers and more. Free-standing devices are also entering the market for those looking to enhance existing luggage. Click here to read more.
YC-Backed BuildScience's Platform Ties Hardware Systems Together In Big Office Buildings
Internet-connected hardware in large commercial office buildings has the capacity to make a big dent in managing heating, lighting, utility metering and security, say the founders of BuildScience. The Internet-of-Things platform lets building owners and property mangers utilize existing sensors, giving them floor-by-floor stats in order to mange costs and energy usage. Click here to read more.
SUBWAY's Wi-Fi Automatically Rewards Customer Loyalty With Free Food
Connected customers at Subway restaurants are logging in and chowing down. The restaurant's new customer loyalty program encourages guests to connect to the Internet through participating Wi-Fi signals, netting rewards like free sandwiches and more. At subsequent visits, the customers gain more rewards to reflect their loyalty level. 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

When Transparency Nets a Win



It's fair to say that today's modern consumers are aware that a bit of information goes a long way. By sharing simple preferences with companies, a customer's experiences can be vastly improved with recommendations, preferred communications and ideal contact methods. That means not only one-off experiences (an in-store errand, a single online shopping bag, a customer service call), but entire lifetime relationships can be enhanced and personalized.

A Janrain survey found that 57 percent of consumers are happy to provide preference information in acknowledgment that their personalized experience will be superior to an anonymous one. But the catch is in casting a wider net: targeting those customers who avoid sharing preferences because they don't understand what happens next.

That same study found that if a business explained how it was using personal information to improve consumers' online experiences, then 77 percent of customers would trust the company more. From 57 percent to 77 percent and all you have to do is remind the customer that you have both the functionality and responsibility to protect their information.

When otherwise engaged or loyal consumers stop short of sharing their unique consumer characteristics, they lose out. 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 framework for creating customer experiences that build loyal, lasting relationships. And like any relationship, it starts with trust.

If, when you're asking for preferences from your customers, you aren't also reminding them how you're using and protecting their information, then you're not getting the big win. Make sure you're reaching not only the quick-to-share customers but the ones who need that additional clarification.




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

Harvard student loses Facebook internship after pointing out privacy flaws

An app created by a Harvard student exposed privacy flaws on Facebook’s Messenger app. Aran Khanna’s app allowed users to locate other users they were communicating with – an act he considered a public service illustrating the consequences of unintentionally sharing data. His upcoming internship with the company was rescinded but he called the episode a learning experience. Click here to read more. 

Barcelona: The most wired city in the world

Researchers say that cities will save about $17 billion a year in energy bills by 2019 by optimizing services like streetlights, parking or garbage. Using large-scale digital systems allows cities like Barcelona to collect data and feed it back through high-tech infrastructure, like re-working bus routes for efficiency and personalizing information for neighborhoods. Click here to read more. 

Yahoo Tweaks Email to Make Search More Personal

Yahoo email users will now be able to execute more thoughtful searches within their inbox, say developers. In addition to message content, the email service will also index the attachments and links that people include in emails, and highlight paired social media profiles of recipients on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Click here to read more. 

New York Times Plans to Spark Customer Engagement Through Mobile Moments

Moment-driven, personalized journalism will be available to mobile readers of the New York Times. Based on a year-long study of mobile users, their team was able to identify when consumers were looking for particular content, like a morning briefing “tip sheet.” Linda Zebian, Director of Corporate Communications for the Times, says the dynamic technology will continue to evolve and personalize. Click here to read more. 

It's frighteningly easy to kill you -- on official papers

An Australian security expert presented research at a hacking conference in Las Vegas recently that showed flaws in the online systems for death records. Filing a death certificate requires minimal information and victims who are deemed “dead” then get stuck in a mess of bureaucratic paperwork with multiple agencies. 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

Easy Does It: Compliance and Consent


When the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that it was tightening technical definitions and expanding opt-out rights, they provided consumers greater protections from automated marketing calls and texts. Yet that waterfall effect means that legitimate contact from debt collection agencies needs to meet stricter standards of consent from consumers. The new rules require companies to track and verify consent to call and text mobile devices and to allow consumers to revoke consent more easily. If a phone number has changed hands, companies will only get one chance to stop calling the new user before facing penalties.

PossibleNOW offers technology solutions and data services to ensure compliance for receivables operations and debt collection agencies, safeguarding the companies from penalties and damaging lawsuits.

"It all starts with capturing the written consent of the consumer to contact them on their mobile device. That consent must be maintained, validated and updated as necessary. Our do not contact scrubbing technology identifies which numbers on calling lists are cell phones,” says Scott Frey, President and CEO of PossibleNOW. “Next, collectors can utilize our service to match and append a landline number to the corresponding cell phone number so that they have an additional contact number. We also offer a mobile scoring service which indicates the likelihood that the person who provided consent to the debt collector to contact them on their mobile phone is still associated with that phone number."

Maintaining regulatory compliance for marketing, receivables and collection agencies has always been a primary focus of our company. The FCC’s announcement only serves as a reminder to others how important Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) compliance is.





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

Good Enough Isn’t Great Enough

If you’ve done the research on personalizing marketing strategies, you know there’s no shortage of ways to optimize your outreach. And in fact, though there are many approaches to reaching customers and anticipating their wants and needs, the truth is that any customer-facing strategy that attempts to convert without a conversation is falling short in the long-term.

In the sixth annual Econsultancy Conversion Rate Optimization Report, in association with RedEye, 50% of marketers admitted that their personalization strategies were “standalone,” meaning they relied on on-site data to target content or offers, instead of using integrated data from multiple channels. When you can shift an outlook from simplistic and flat data to a rich and dynamic array of data provided by consumers themselves, you’re truly optimizing that conversion opportunity.

Preference management – the active collection, maintenance and distribution of unique consumer characteristics, such as product interest, communication channel preference and frequency of communication, allows marketers to get a full spectrum of the customer. Opting in with self-reported data on preferences allows consumers to give you a fuller view that’s anything but standalone. Even if you start your marketing program with an entry point as simple as opt-downs as opposed to the so-called atomic opt-out, you shift the black-and-white, yes-or-no to a moment of engagement. And that initial personalization has the potential to leapfrog the standalone siloed data like geography, referrals, search queries and device type. Those data points are good, but not great.

Utilizing preference management allows you to build personalized experiences for consumers that promote consistent service, lifetime loyalty, and repeated opportunities for conversion.


Are you still using segmentation strategies to personalize your marketing? Is it good? Is it great? Consider whether your single-faceted data is providing the whole picture of your customers. The sooner you can begin a customer engagement journey, the sooner you’ll go from being in good standing to being in great standing. 




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

Marketers: Use These 2 Strategies to Engage with Consumers, Win BIG

Your marketing messages go through a virtually instantaneous evaluation by consumers.
Engage with ConsumersThey either identify with your communication and say, “Yes, that’s me!” or, disconnect, feeling that you have no idea who they are or what they want. It’s all based on your degree of relevancy.
The following requirements for achieving meaningful marketing relevance emerged from 15,000 + hours of VoC research we have conducted;
  • Segmentation by life stage is now essential for determining which products consumers will see as relevant.
  • Within life stages, determine consumer’s self defined attitudes toward your category and your products.
  • Develop truly personalized messaging and offers for each individual consumer with relevant content and imagery to address their likely concerns and questions.
  • Your customer insights must be real time to stay in sync with your customer’s ever changing life stages.
  • Most shoppers want innovations that improve convenience and efficiency, extending beyond personalization into hyper-relevance
  • Hyper-relevance delivers value… or engagement… throughout the shopping lifecycle, … that best suits the customer’s context (where [they], what [they] are looking to accomplish in that moment).
Relevancy Strategy 1: Make your brand and product relatable to your target audience:
How Nail Polish Helped Ace Hardware Become Relevant
When Ace Hardware set out last year to begin targeting women, they reached out with a relevant and unexpected message that women could relate to–offering wall paint in OPI Nail Polish colors. The campaign was so successful that the two companies teamed up to introduce a lineup of 50 new colors.
One of the reasons this unlikely effort worked, is that it made the idea of do-it-yourself relatable and turned the “helpful hardware man” stylish. The company quite literally re-engineered not only their marketing strategies, but also their actual product in order to make it relevant to a brand new audience.
Bloggers, women’s magazines, and other style-savvy media outlets that would have never before reported on a paint collection found the campaign relevant to their audience which made the reach all that much wider.
These efforts to make an established brand relevant to new audiences appear to be working. Ace Hardware reported that for the first quarter ended April 4, 2015, total revenues were $1,186.1 million against $1,078.7 million a year ago.
Relevancy Strategy 2: Tailor your offering and message to a highly targeted audience to ensure relevance to their needs:
BtoB Relevancy Drove Event Attendance for Replicon
Replicon, a software company, turned to LinkedIn to promote live BtoB events to specific job titles. They created an event series called “Culture vs. Compliance,” featuring live presentations.
Brett Chester, VP-online marketing at Replicon noted that the company “utilized a marketing mix that no one had used before in the same way.” They teased the event with a LinkedIn sponsored update and followed up with sponsored targeted InMail messages sent to LinkedIn users with HR, payroll manager and higher-level titles.
Victor Lin, digital marketing manager at Replicon reported that “…Within the first two weeks of the campaign, the sponsored updates delivered over 90,000 impressions, with an average click-through rate of 1.33%, compared with the LinkedIn average click-through rate of 0.31% during that same time period.” The company reports that the event achieved the campaign goal, with an average attendee rate of 51% — and in some locations, the attendance rate topped 60% of registrations.
“[We used] copy resonating with our target audience [and] we tweaked the message as we were learning and improving… When you truly understand your audience, who they are and what they need, then you are able to say, ‘We have something you’re looking for’,” said Lin.
3 TakeAways
  1. Consumers are demanding marketing that is relevant to their interests as a person for BtoC, and to their individual job title and function for BtoB.
  2. Marketing ROI increases significantly when targeted to an audience with a message that is relevant per 3 criteria; their interests, life stages and self defined attitudes toward your category and brand.
  3. Be creatively daring! The Ace Hardware example above and the Ice Bucket challenge last year are examples of extreme creativity.
Today, the big win will be achieved when marketers engage consumer needs with credible relevancy. By scrutinizing every single communication to make sure it is relevant, you demonstrate a sincere interest in what is truly important to 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/

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