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ICYMI: Preferences, Privacy and Personalization in the News

Oreo Colorfilled packaging offers personalized touch amid e-commerce push

The classic black-and-white cookie gets a colorful upgrade with customized packaging that features seasonal images and personalized messages so that consumers can decorate the designs themselves. The personalized packs are part of the company’s expansion into e-commerce. Click here to read more. 

Walmart’s Use of Sci-fi Tech To Spot Shoplifters Raises Privacy Questions

Retail superstore Walmart admitted to using facial recognition software in some of its stores, facing criticism for the biometric system that uses virtual grids to identify face prints and then alerts store associates when a previously known shoplifter is identified. While other stores refused to admit to using the software, the technology can be flipped to identify loyal customers. Click here to read more. 

Facebook Says It Will Enable Safety Check During More Human Disasters, Following Criticism

After the terror attacks in Paris, Facebook enabled a feature called “Safety Check” which allows people in a specific region to notify Facebook connections of their safety. The Paris incident was unique from previous Safety Checks because it was in response to a human disaster rather than a natural disaster. The social media company was criticized in the wake of the Paris attacks for not also using the feature for bombings in Beirut the day before, but has vowed to use recent feedback to personalize Facebook experiences for users in affected areas. Click here to read more. 

In a first, the FCC is fining a major cable company for getting hacked

Although those affected numbered fewer than 100 people, the breadth of data accessed by hackers that infiltrated Cox Communications’ customer information proved to be severe enough to earn punishment. The Federal Communications Company fined Cox nearly $600,000 for the data breach. Click here to read more. 

You, Only Better

By tweaking nutrition and exercise, “biohackers” believe self-tracking and choice ingredients can optimize wellness. Fitness trackers and the availability of personal data elevate the movement while investors have poured money into ventures like Bulletproof, a company that spikes its coffee with butter and oil, and whose founder says he lost 1000 pounds and boosted his I.Q. by researching the brand’s suggested diet plan. 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

Welcoming the Webroomers


With the rise of ecommerce, brands initially took a look at the other edge of the technology sword and declared that “showrooming” was the new enemy. Showrooming is the idea that shoppers visit brick-and-mortar stores to check out their potential purchases before returning home to make the final purchases online after comparing prices.

But there’s actually an even more technologically advanced version of shopping that’s something retailers can embrace. Shopping studies show that it’s actually “webrooming” that’s on the rise and leads to bigger overall purchases. Webrooming is the reverse of showrooming – when shoppers conduct their information-gathering prior to going to a store. Consumers compare prices online, finalize their lists, and then head to stores in order to make final purchases.

Survey results from The Harris Poll indicated that roughly half of Americans have showroomed, while roughly seven in ten Americans saying they’ve webroomed. Not only that, but showroomers spent an average of $156.40 (a steady decline from 2013 and 2012 numbers – $174 and $211.80 respectively), while webroomers clock in with receipts averaging $200.70 for in-store purchases after researching online. To put it plainly: shoppers who engage online spend more in stores.

The upside for retailers is the ability to embrace the research phase by utilizing integrated outreach and personalized communications. Preference management – the active collection, maintenance and distribution of unique consumer characteristics, such as product interest, communication channel preference and frequency of communication – can pre-empt shopping decisions and help customers in the midst of their holiday hustle and bustle.

When you can synthesize data provided by customers themselves, you already have a leg up on their potential shopping list. Product interest and communication channel preference are vital in heading consumers off at the pass and handing them an effective, personalized tool.

Unprepared brands may be wringing their hands over webrooming, but companies that have already adapted to modern shoppers’ habits by utilizing preference management techniques are clearly experiencing growing returns. How did your past years reflect consumers’ newer shopping habits and how will this year compare?







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.

The Customer is Wrong and Cannot Be Trusted

Haven't we all had those beyond awful customer service experiences? I recently had one of "those" experiences and was stunned that every interaction and communication with this major brand assumed that the customer was wrong and could not be trusted. It is shocking that this kind of behavior is still so pervasive today.

According to Shep Hyken, customer service expert, "Customer service is not a department, it is a philosophy."

And, this is why so many companies still get it wrong. Most customer service departments are disconnected units built as battle grounds to defend corporate policies or disseminate complicated procedures that presume the customer is always wrong.

Companies must finally fix this by imposing customer engagement and retention behaviors and metrics for every channel used by customers.

According to the report Customers 2020 by Walker Information in collaboration with Customer Think and the Chief Customer Officer Council, by 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.

Here are some other stats to consider:
These insights are corroborated by findings from Voice of Customer Learnings from 15,000+ hours of research conducted by our firm, ERDM;
  • High quality customer experiences must occur at every point of contact, every medium and every part of the customer journey.
  • High value experiences are now a key competitive differentiator for consumers.

Marriott International Puts People First

With a slogan, putting people first, Marriot International has recently been named to the "2015 Customer Service Hall of Fame" by 24/7 Wall Street.

On their website Marriott International notes:
  • We put people first - Take care of associates and they will take care of the customers.
  • We pursue excellence - Marriott's reputation for superior customer service dates back to J. Willard Marriott's original goal for his business... We take pride in the details...
  • We embrace change - We're driven to continually challenge the status quo and anticipate our customers' changing needs.
Marriott trains its staff to understand each other so that it can understand consumers. According to Nancy Curtin Morris, Marriott's National Director of Training:

"Our focus on customer service has been strong for more than 70 years. (The ability of) managers and their staff to understand and relate to customers - and that is where the payoff comes in..."

Marriott's Second quarter 2015 net income totaled $240 million, a 25 percent increase over 2014 second quarter net income.


TakeAways

  1. Don't think of customer service as call-center or chat based. Think of customer service as a company-wide commitment that transcends every touchpoint throughout the customer journey.
  2. Companies need to develop customer service policies and metrics that are relationship builders rather than merely avenues to defend company policies or disseminate impersonal information to customers who cannot be trusted.
  3. Train employees on communication and empathy so they can better navigate situations with each other and with customers to more efficiently and effectively.

According to Scott Broetzmann, president of Customer Care Measurement & Consulting, "Many companies today are simply awful at resolving customer problems..." And in the Arizona State University's "customer rage" study it was noted that "satisfaction with service is actually no higher than it was in the 1970s."

Companies need to take a new look at old, outdated customer service that cultivates a combative "us vs. them mentality." Companies must rethink customer service as a revenue generating skill that builds, repairs and grows long-term relationships.



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/

Seamless Preference Management with Oracle Eloqua


PossibleNOW recently launched MyPreferences for Oracle Eloqua, an enterprise preference management application available to marketers through the Oracle Marketing AppCloud. By integrating MyPreferences for Oracle Eloqua, CMOs and their teams can seamlessly collect, store and distribute customer and prospect preference data in order to synchronize their brand's communications.

Because Oracle Marketing Cloud's modern marketing solutions connect cross-channel, content, and social marketing with data management and activation on a single system of record, it's essential for enterprise B2B and B2C marketers to integrate preference management solutions. 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 valuable tool in customizing and synchronizing conversations with consumers.

On Oracle Eloqua, attracting and retaining customers becomes simplified with customer-centric personalization that's data-driven and compliant. The components of MyPreferences for Oracle Eloqua are threefold: MyPreferences Sync enables marketers to easily integrate preference data within a central repository in near real-time, ensuring synchronized communication preferences, frequency preferences and contact preference attributes; MyPreferences Connector enables marketers to update their database with up-to-date preferences from channels outside of Oracle Eloqua, allowing for informed campaigns; MyPreferences Decision Service allows marketers to drive campaign delivery based on preference information captured through other channels and departments without incurring the overhead and cost of storing all of that data in Oracle Eloqua.

"Integrating PossibleNOW's MyPreferences with Oracle Eloqua gives clients the immediate benefits of enterprise preference management while enabling a first step toward enterprise-wide preference management strategy," said Ron Patrick, Director of Product Architecture at PossibleNOW. "Marketers using MyPreferences solutions have reported retention rates as high as 95 percent. Clients who have the ability to track stated preferences, opt-ins and even opt-downs can focus on delivering their most targeted campaigns."

Oracle Marketing Cloud customers who have an active Oracle Eloqua license and MyPreferences license can visit the Oracle Topliners community site to install the MyPreferences Sync application and begin integrating MyPreferences for Oracle Eloqua in the Oracle Marketing Cloud.




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

Reaching a Moving Target

As retailers gear up for the holiday season, you can bet they're looking for the biggest bang for their buck in attracting potential shoppers. One of today's sought-after technological innovations, automated targeting, seem like an ideal solution for retailers on a budget who are hoping to find the magic bullet with a precise, engaged audience. They're not wrong: Targeted, programmed ads are a smart way to drill down to the demographic they're looking for. There's a caveat though - while gathering demographic data, the targeting is often focused on past behaviors. Was that suburban mom recently shopping for athletic shoes or a new car? It's hard to know from a programming point of view whether she's already purchased a pair of Reeboks or an SUV.

And there's no way for her to correct that conversation either. Consider that if you already had that information, you could suggest compression running gear or a jogging stroller, catchall floor mats or an infant car seat. The automated hypertargeting might be a foot in the door, but it's not a conversation. Customers are moving targets, and a marketing plan should take into account the scope of the customer journey - beyond the single slice of life that earned them a targeted ad.

While a targeted ad may remind a customer of an item they were looking for previously, it can't engage them beyond a visual blip. With preference management - the active collection, maintenance and distribution of unique consumer characteristics, such as product interest, communication channel preference and frequency of communication - you're more likely to get a full view of your customer. By using their self-provided information to engage them, the consumers are apt to turn to you in the beginning of their customer journeys. Meaning they're no longer a moving target, they're taking you along on the trip.






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

Preference Collection Best Practices: Definition of Preferences and the Collection Process

Preference Management Video Series

Once your preference management program has unrolled and your company understands the power of preferences, it's essential to be sure that everyone is on the same page about what constitutes preferences and how they'll be collected.

We define preferences as self-reported consumer opinions as they relate to interactions between the customer and company on things like product interest, channel of choice and frequency of communication. Furthermore, those preferences are expressly stated by the customer themselves, not mined from profile data, purchase history or demographics. By centralizing the storage of your customers' preferences, you're also able to provide the ability for effective communications between the company and consumer, bypassing typical issues companies experience that have siloed information.

There are three categories we can use to describe the different types of preferences customers will want to share, each of which create actionable information and guide conversations: Contact preferences, product preferences and personal preferences. In this video, Rob Tate, Director of Enterprise Sales, describes the different ways customers might indicate those types of preferences and how you can act on them.





In the following weeks, we'll continue to roll out videos to guide you through the best practices of preference management. If you haven't yet explored our Resource Center, you can download the Preference Collection Best Practices 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

The Right Channel at the Right Time

Quick question for your colleague who's on a lunch break? Might as well text. Need to check in with the kids for their dinner plans? They'll answer a text. Now do you have a grocery run request for the spouse? Yep, you should text.

In our multitasking, by-the-minute modern days, texting has become the quick, catchall communication. It's immediate, it's in your pocket, and despite its ubiquity, it still feels personal. It's no surprise that brands have seized the opportunity to reach consumers on a flexible channel with real-time communication opportunities.

Different modes of reaching customers have different advantages, but we don't have to remind you that you want to be where the customer is. 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. With great power comes great responsibility: 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 that are looking for text-based communications. We realize that 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 dashing off a quick request, getting an immediate answer or having an in-depth conversation to solve a problem, 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

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