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Interpreting Preference Data: Defining Meaningful Metrics – Hard & Soft KPIs

Preference Management Video Series

As preference data continues to collect, it's imperative that the data is thoughtfully interpreted, and that you and your team are on the same page. Moving from preference management implementation to improvement hinges on defined and applied business rules and what meaningful metrics are used. These metrics may range from "hard," measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) to "soft" KPIs that are oriented around baseline customer expectations and customer interactions.

There are five categories of hard KPIs that can be measured when considering preference management performance. Those include:
  • Preventing Loss of Customers
  • Reducing Costs
  • Boosting Revenues
  • Centralizing Preference Collection and Availability
  • Mitigate Compliance Risks

In this 12-minute webinar, Eric Holtzclaw walks viewers through the ways to define return on investment and success factors with KPIs. Do any of them ring true to you?

Don't forget to consider those soft KPIs, too. Customer conversions are easy to quantify but customer retention, engagement and lifecycle are about qualified perceptions. However with preference management tools in place, tracking soft KPIs becomes much easier. Customers will select useful or timely communications and opt out of ill-conceived campaigns. In the short term, the data will empower marketers to course correct, reducing churn and improving marketing efficiency. Over the long term, that data will represent an actionable sample size from which to make large-scale marketing decisions.





In the following weeks, we'll continue to roll out videos to guide you through interpreting preference data. If you haven't yet explored our Resource Center, you can download the Interpreting Preference Data 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

Customer Journeys: Are You Leading or Following?

As summer rolls around, it's prime time for seasonal promotions at retailers. Come Memorial Day you won't be able to escape the ads for patio furniture, pool toys, grills and getaways. Like any mass grab for seasonal consumer attention, attracting potential shoppers quickly becomes an exercise in oversimplification.

One of today's typical technological innovations—automated targeting—seems like an ideal solution for retailers on a budget who are hoping to find the magic bullet with an engaged audience. It's summer vacation for everyone, right?

They're not wrong: Targeted, programmed ads are a smart way to drill down to a demographic. There's a caveat though – while gathering actionable demographic data, the targeting is often focused on past behaviors. Was the suburban mom recently shopping for swimsuits or life jackets? You may think you've found a customer, yet it's hard to know from a programming point of view whether she's already purchased the family's new swimwear or a set of arm floaties for the kids. You're already behind.



And now there's no way for her to correct that conversation either. Consider that if you already had that information, you could suggest towels or swim cover-ups, kid-friendly SPF or sun-protecting summer hats. 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 able to get a full view of your customer. By using their self-provided information to engage your customers, you create an environment where they're apt to turn to you in the beginning of their customer journeys, open to guidance. It's harder to get behind when you're already a part of 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

Preferences and Privacy on CMO.com

Once again, our own Eric Holtzclaw is featured on CMO.com—this time writing on the challenges of "Preference, Privacy, and the Internet of Things" with advice for marketers and customer experience professionals.

Eric is absolutely right that connected devices are booming right now, and consumers are inevitably faced with a bevy of choices to personalize each one—deciding which devices can or should link with one another and determining what each device should track, listen to or do.

As the popularity of Internet-enabled devices continues to soar, it's preferences and privacy that will drive customer experiences – and that’s something that marketers should keep in mind.

By embracing transparency, dialogue and trust, Eric illustrates the ways in which smart technology can remain convenient and personalized without overstepping privacy and overlapping preferences. Check out the whole article 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

Runkeeper background tracking leads to complaint from privacy watchdog

Earlier this year, the Norweigan Consumer Council investigated 20 apps' terms and conditions, and put them through technical data tests. The Council is now arguing that Runkeeper's Android version tracks users when not in use, fails to delete personal information and requests "unreasonably wide-ranging permissions." The same investigation found flaws in dating app Tinder's privacy. Click here to read more.

SkinTrack Turns Your Arm Into a Touchpad. Here's How It Works

While the popularity of wearables soar, one factor in the transition from full-size typical technology to a compact, smart version means less ability to manually navigate screens or commands. Carnegie Mellon's Human Computer Interaction Group created an interface that extends onto wearer's own arms. Click here to read more.

Don't use Facebook's Reaction buttons if you value privacy, Belgian police say

Belgium's Federal Police are speaking out against the social network's buttons that allow users to react to posts with emotions including "Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry." The police warned that Facebook would infer users' emotions in real-time, leveraging the information for advertisements and marketing opportunities. Click here to read more.

Air France partners with Cannes to ensure passengers don't miss the endings of in-flight films

For flyers starting a film on select Air France flight routes, they'll rest easy knowing they can doze off. The airline's "Cinema to Go" program is in partnership with the Cannes Film Festival and provides film follow-throughs by sharing a code with passengers to they can catch plot twists once they've deplaned. Click here to read more.

The Washington Post tests personalized "pop-up" newsletters to promote its big stories

Recently, existing email subscribers of the Post received personalized content gathered from the readers' news-consumption habits using keywords or phrases in similar stories. Since January, eight stories were given personalized treatment in customized personalized newsletters and have garnered triple the typical open rates for the newspaper. 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

Research: Marketers Overestimating How Well They Listen To Customers

Recently, we conducted VoC research for an innovative company that prides itself on having achieved high levels of customer personalization due to significant investments in technology, algorithms, and analysts. But the company was shocked when findings from our interviews uncovered that people were unsatisfied with the personalization, referring to it as "old-fashioned" and "not smart."

Following are additional representative quotes from the research:
  • "What we receive is not smart personalization. They aren't personalizing the things that matter to me!"
  • "With today’s technology, I expect emails to reflect my interests and preferences."
  • "I want more than just buying history-based emails."

Results from more than 15,000 hours of VoC research for brands such as MassMutual, Gilt, and QVC have identified a unique convergence of three factors that present CMOs and marketers with unprecedented challenges:

Factor 1: The power of technology, especially mobile, is an unprecedented enabler of better informed and faster consumer actions and purchases. To keep up, marketers need to develop strategies for high speed and high relevance engagement. A recent report noted that 69% of Britons are unsubscribing, closing accounts, opting out of emails, and deleting apps due to poorly targeted communications.

Factor 2: Consumers, in general, and millennials, in particular, are feeling a sense of tremendous empowerment and entitlement in terms of what they expect from brands. In the Deloitte report "The Growing Power of Consumers," the authors stated that "there is an increasing expectation gap as businesses struggle to keep pace with more informed, more connected and more demanding consumers ... consumers have come to expect more, making it harder for businesses to keep up ... empowered consumers are actively sharing their views ... and becoming more involved."

Factor 3: As illustrated by the ongoing Apple controversy with the FBI, consumers understand the value of their personal information, yet they desire higher levels of personalization. And, per our VoC research findings, reciprocity of value is a fundamental requirement for earning the right to in-depth customer information in exchange for significantly improved preference-driven personalization.

How can marketers better listen to their customers? Here are a trio of action items:
  1. Actions need to meet consumer personalization expectations. Capture individual preferences, use preferences to drive "smart" personalization, and establish guidelines for safeguarding data privacy.
  2. Don’t ruin the hard fought gains by sending "spray and pray" blasts that disregard preferences in hopes of generating extra sales.
  3. Find the right mix between implicit and explicit data. Using only implicit data is not enough to power true personalization.

Marketers are dealing with the most demanding consumers in history. Leveraging new listening and responding capabilities is now essential in order to acquire and retain this empowered consumer. By acting on these three listening factors, marketers will be able to provide the highest levels of customer experience, value, and personalization.


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/

What’s Happening in 2020?

Aside from what I hope to be a much less absurd political cycle, 2020 is shaping up to be a landmark year, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit. Their latest report highlights the intersection between technologies and customer trends and the ways in which 499 CMOs and senior marketing executives plan to shape their next four years.

The report, The Path to 2020: Marketers Seize the Customer Experience, has a section titled "Personalisation at Scale," which I found was incredibly validating. Mid-way through the report, that section details marketers' agreement that personalization across touchpoints is earning recognition as an essential feature for marketing departments. By now we know that relevant content and responsive communications aren't just good ideas, they're expected by the customer. Therefore personalization will continue to offer a bridge between the customer and the brand wherein timely, relevant content is welcome and actionable.

But what I found remarkable was the speed at which everyone was transitioning their focus from traditional, mass marketing and publishing to customizable channels like social media, because technologies inevitably differ in their delivery of personalization. Whether marketers reach out through media channels, email, mobile or traditional advertising like print or TV, they'll be aiming to deliver branded messages to multiple audiences—not the same message though.

When they were asked about the top three channels in which customers experience their brand's marketing efforts today, connected media like the internet, social media and email took the top spots. When asked the same question, but focused on the year 2020, marketers put an emphasis on the importance of social media while the internet declined. They state, "By 2020, mobile apps and mobile web will overtake e-mail as a top channel to the customer… this suggests that by 2020, the top three channels to the customer will be those that focus on personalization and engagement."

Preference management, the active collection, maintenance and distribution of unique consumer characteristics, such as product interest, communication channel preference and frequency of communication, will be essential to the growing priorities of mobile and social media. It's preferences that will be able to drive the customization and personalization of your brand's communications. Without customers' preferences, we'll struggle to identify which customers are opted-in to what channels and why.

Incredibly sophisticated preference management is possible, and it's on the horizon for more and more marketers, but if you're not using preferences yet, you should get started now. Before you know it, it will be 2020—and some people are already have their game plans together.



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

Nestle Waters' CMO Answers 4 Questions For Marketing Innovators

Before he was appointed executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Nestlé Waters North America in 2014, Antonio Sciuto oversaw the brand's digital transformation as its global head of e-commerce. Prior, he was global strategy and organization manager for customer and sales.

A graduate of Bocconi University in Milan, Sciuto began his career in 2000 at Procter & Gamble, where he spent seven years in marketing and sales roles. He then worked as a consultant for McKinsey and Co. from 2007 to 2010.

Sciuto recently participated in our "4 Questions for Marketing Innovators" series.

1. What is one marketing topic that is most important to you as an innovator?
The evolution of the marketer's role to win in the omnichannel consumer journey.

The centricity of the consumer journey is shifting marketing's focus from building databases to fostering communities by leveraging social and mobile platforms. In the past few years, we have focused on big data: building things like databases, consumer segmentation, and predictive behavior. All of these initiatives are still relevant, but we need to shift our mindset toward understanding that the best databases are ones that are available at our fingertips (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.). Data from these platforms may not be owned in the traditional sense, but they are certainly usable as long as we leverage the data to make better business and marketing decisions.

An important part of our job must be to leverage social databases and their roles in consumer behavior. We do this not only by engaging with consumers when responding to inquiries, but also by fostering a more modern, proactive approach to satisfy consumer needs and enrich their consumer experience. Our scope is no longer just limited to demand generation; our mission should be building a holistic relationship with our consumers by leveraging all engagement opportunities across all available channels and touch points on their journey.

2. Why is this so important?
This new reality is blurring boundaries between marketing, sales, customer service, and IT, requiring an end-to-end approach that will transform the entire organization, rather than merely adding incremental online revenue. This is critically important considering the implications on three key components: role of content, definition of community, and evolution of marketing approach.

Branded content is the new advertising. The development of the right content by touchpoint is key to driving conversion along the entire consumer journey, from basic product information to brand campaigns. Most importantly, it's critical to understand how content and the role of the touchpoint are changing.

Our definition of "community" has changed as well. We have seen that community is no longer a place where people gather around similar interests, but rather something that forms temporarily and elastically around content people share similar interests in.

Last but not least, the marketing approach needs to evolve to smarter brand campaign content, complementing the traditional agency model with a faster go-to-market model built for more intelligent, higher quality content creation and distribution. We've found this in both agency partners, like Deep Focus and its DFx platform, and new content partners (e.g., BuzzFeed, Tastemade), who are changing the rules of the game. They offer not only more collaborative content production, but guaranteed targeted distribution and engagement at scale as part of a turnkey offering.

3. How will the customer experience be improved by this?
In this changing environment, the integration between marketing and technology will allow brands to build a deeper relation with consumers. This integration will make a significant impact by supporting the collection of consumer data, mapping of consumer profiles, and building lookalike models to amplify campaign effectiveness. This offers new possibilities to build more valuable brands and businesses by personalizing the consumer experience. Now marketing is not a sequence of different campaigns but an integrated and automated journey to better satisfy consumers' needs.

At Nestlé Waters North America, our approach is to offer consumers a unique and complete set of omnichannel solutions aligned with their needs by offering the ideal product assortment in-store, e-retailer content to overcome online shopping barriers, content worth sharing in their social channels, and delivery directly to their home with "Ready Refresh," our direct-to-consumer business.

4. How will this improve the effectiveness of marketing?
This renewed digital approach, enabled by marketing cloud technology, will allow brands to amplify their marketing efforts beyond the main campaign. Marketers now have the opportunity to proactively engage with consumers on social platforms and to build additional consumer journey and content based on online consumer behavior amplifying campaign results.

To improve marketing effectiveness and capture this opportunity, there are three key enablers for success:
  • Manage digital operations end-to-end by integrating digital, social media, and e-commerce into an e-business organization unit. This combines different teams with complementary roles and one common denominator: a relentless focus on the consumer journey.
  • Accelerate a shift to digital media vs. traditional media in accordance with the opportunity of each brand's consumer targets
  • Adopt a "learning by doing" approach. Accelerate the speed to market and not worry too much about perfection, but, rather, place emphasis on speed.

Bonus: Favorite activity outside of work?
Traveling and enjoying time with my lovely wife and my daughter.


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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