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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

DMA CEO Tom Benton Answers 4 Questions For Marketing Innovators

Tom Benton is CEO of the Data & Marketing Association (DMA). Since becoming CEO in 2014, Benton has led a three-year transformation and rebranding of the organization (formerly the Direct Marketing Association), with an organizational and resource alignment focused on advocacy, innovation, education, and connections.

The rebranding comes on the eve of DMA's 100th anniversary.

With an extensive career across a variety of data-driven marketing environments, including time as SVP of marketing analysis for AOL, Benton is steeped in industry knowledge.

He recently participated in the "4 Questions for Marketing Innovators" series.

1. What is one marketing topic that is most important to you as an innovator?
Two things: one, the rapidly increasing rate at which data is being generated, and, two, the rate at which disruptive technological capabilities are being developed that enable marketers to transform data into actionable insight.

With those capabilities come tremendous responsibility that all DMA marketers take very seriously. Marketing, like most things in life, is all about relationships—relationships with a purpose beyond profit. A responsible and successful marketer believes that what he or she brings to market fundamentally improves lives.

This fundamental marketing principle of relationships is not always understood or appreciated by all legislators and regulators—that marketers' actions are guided by that commitment to a mutually beneficial relationship over time. Many legislators and regulators feel that the use of data and data technology is invasive and should be significantly constrained.

Yet without data-driven insight, value to consumers is diminished. And without data science, innovation is suppressed. I continue to be surprised that many executives, even rising young executives in our industry, either are unaware of or choose to ignore the importance of strong data and marketing advocacy and government relations. Without those relationships, our ability to transform data into actionable customer insight and nurture lasting relationships with our customers is at high risk.

Several DMA members, many from major brands, are working with DMA's attorneys on Data Standards 2.0, an industrywide initiative to develop the standards that will govern the marketing industry's accountability in this new era of data-driven marketing. Despite our community's vigilant self-regulation efforts, our responsible use of data and innovative data technology is at risk. At any moment, with the stroke of a pen, a single state or a federal agency could suppress innovation and eliminate marketers' ability to responsibly access, exchange, and use data and data technology. DMA is the association that stands between marketers and that real risk.

The role of data in marketing has always been present, but it is more pronounced today. Data and data technology are the strategic center of marketing—identifying needs, informing design, creativity, channels, messaging, and more. These are just a few of the reasons that DMA rebranded.

2. Why is this so important?
Foremost, the data and marketing community's access to data and innovative data technology increases value to consumers. It makes consumers' lives more efficient and more convenient. Additionally, the data and marketing community drives our economy by increasing efficiency and adding hundreds of thousands of jobs, as reported in DMA's "Value of Data 2015" report". The data that fuels marketing enables a free internet with all its resources available to consumers.

3. How can this improve the customer experience?
The responsible use of data enables marketers to deliver higher value and more timely and relevant information to their customers, more seamlessly across their customers' devices. This empowers their customers to more efficiently and conveniently fulfill their needs and interests.

4. How will this improve the effectiveness of marketing?
Today's successful data-driven marketing and technology not only benefits consumers, it funds more innovation, which, in turn, will benefit consumers in new ways. It's a virtuous, upward spiral all based on the fact that data-driven marketers continually strive to maximize efficiency and value for their customers and prospects. To fuel this upward spiral, DMA recently launched its Structured Innovation Program, where we bring together the entire marketing ecosystem of marketers, agencies, technology innovators, and data scientists to remove the barriers to innovation.

Bonus Question: What is your favorite activity outside of work?
It should be no surprise that, for me, it’s all about relationships. Making memories by spending quality time with my wife and two daughters, my friends, and my extended family is what I treasure most.



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/

Monday, December 19, 2016

Don’t Let Irrelevant Messaging Cause Your Customers to Leave. Learn What ULTA Is Doing.

"…It's worrying how many consumers feel misunderstood and [feel] that brands aren't listening to them."

These are the thoughts of Jeremy King, CEO of Attest, regarding his company's consumer study, which revealed that over a third of UK consumers feel 'misunderstood' by brands. This could be why, according to Teradata, nearly all (90%) of marketers now believe individualized messaging is the future of marketing moving forward, "beyond segmentation to true one-to-one personalization."

If you don't already have voice of consumer-driven relevancy at the top of your marketing priority list consider this; in a study by Janrain and Blue Research it was noted that 94% of survey respondents took at least one of these actions in response to irrelevant messaging:
  • Automatically deleted the emails (68%);
  • Unsubscribed from emails (54%);
  • Categorized emails as "junk" or "spam" (45%);
  • Became less likely to buy products (29%);
  • Visited the website less frequently (13%); and
  • Never visited the website again (10%).

The study also found that the irritation threshold is now so low that it takes only a few mistakes to turn off consumers: almost half said they automatically delete emails or categorize them as "junk" after being mis-targeted twice; 38% unsubscribe after receiving two mis-targeted emails.

One brand that has re-evaluated how they personalize the customer experience to ensure relevance is beauty retailer, ULTA, which has more than 16 million active loyalty members. And, Fortune recently selected ULTA's CEO, Mary Dillon as one of the most powerful women for 2016.

One of the main reasons ULTA has grown so quickly was the realization that because their products are available through multiple channels, their differentiating factor had to be their consumer experience. To facilitate their omnichannel personalization strategies, they leveraged technology in a campaign they named "connected beauty," which integrates in-store, mobile, social, online and app experiences. "Our concept of connected beauty is really about making sure that we connect with our guests across all touch-points in the same way," says Diane Randolph, CIO at ULTA Beauty.

And according to Lockie Antonopoulos, IT director of mobility at ULTA Beauty, "Technology is giving ULTA the opportunity to strive toward its goals. By giving information at a quicker pace to both our executive team and our store associates, they are able to react in a more timely manner."

Technology allows ULTA customers to get real-time inventory for their local store so they know whether their chosen product is available before they arrive. Consultants can use tablets in-store to access customer information such as shopping history, previous purchases, loyalty point balances, and previous loyalty program redemptions. "We're thinking about the loyalty experience every day... We then attach the info we get from the [in store] consultation to our loyalty program, which enables further personalization," Antonopoulos stated.

ULTA's CMO Dave Kimbell goes on to state, "We're trying to innovate to meet her needs and get ahead of her expectations to personalize the experience whenever she wants it in the store, online or on an app. It's critical to our competitive success because that's how she wants to shop and other retailers that are focused on one or the other can't do that."

TakeAways
  1. Irrelevant marketing now has unprecedented consequences. It has become a reason to sever ties with a brand. If consumers feel their preferences aren't requested or respected, they see little reason to buy from that brand, given the many other choices.
  2. True relevancy is based on an omnichannel strategy which prioritizes getting to know your customer's individual preferences.
  3. Understand how your customer shops your brand and their preferred touchpoints. Build ways to connect these touchpoints so no matter how they engage, they are getting relevance and consistency.



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/

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Preference Data ROI: The Road Ahead

Preference Management Video Series

As we've moved through the layers of customer relationship maturity levels – the degree to which the experience offered by a brand engenders engagement and loyalty to earn long-term relationships – you're well on your way to identifying and thus improving your company's standings with customers.

With this information, you can be more prepared to leverage preference data to interact with customers in ways that build affinity, loyalty, and relationships. Moving from company-centric all the way through to customer-centric is a journey, but it's a worthwhile one.


Whether you see yourself as reactive, customer-centric, or somewhere in between, it's beneficial to recognize certain truths.

First, the Customer Relationship Maturity benchmark scale is merely a reflection of what's already going through the mind of your customers. Brands and interactions are constantly being graded and earning reactions whether they know it or not. The data proves this.

Second, the good news: It is possible to improve. Technology paired with expertise can untangle and address complex, disparate enterprise systems and shift them toward flexible, permission-based models.

Last, savvy companies recognize that the customer-centric movement is only speeding up. Broad trends are apparent as we shift toward empowered, eager consumers – meaning that each day without interactive, permission-based relationships represents lost ground.

Learn more about the road ahead in this short video and by reviewing our Preference Data ROI whitepaper.




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

Thursday, December 1, 2016

How Dove Engages Customers with Sincere and Authentic Cause Marketing

According to Adam Kleinberg, CEO of Traction, consumers are increasingly skeptical about insincere cause marketing efforts which just push products. Almost half (41 percent) of the agency's survey respondents said that insincere cause marketing was perceived as "just a spin" and 25 percent are annoyed by it. "Every brand has a corporate social responsibility … [but it shouldn't] be furthered as a marketing opportunity," said Kleinberg. "You have to put your money where your mouth is, and the consumers will see that."

This is consistent with our ERDM Learnings from 15,000+ hours of VoC Interviews regarding innovation-based customer listening. Here's what consumers said:
  • "With today’s technology, I expect brand communications to reflect my interests."
  • "I don’t want marketing when it comes to major issues."

Aligning your brand with a cause which is meaningful to your customers is an effective way to build long term relationships—if done authentically. According to statistics from the Cause Marketing Forum:
  • 72% of consumers have donated to charity at the register and 65% of consumers felt positively about the retailer after giving.
  • 80% of global consumers agree that business must play a role in addressing societal issues.

The "Dove Self Esteem Project" is a prime example of a brand listening to consumers and supporting their interests and concerns. The campaign offers resources for parents, educators, youth leaders and mentors to run their own "self esteem workshops." Additionally, The Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report demonstrated the brand's sincere dedication to help its consumers by interviewing 10,500 women across 13 countries to get viewpoints and thoughts regarding body image.

According to Victoria Sjardin, Senior Global Director, Dove Masterbrand. "For over 50 years, Dove has been committed to creating a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety. With this new research, we hope to inspire women and girls everywhere to develop a positive relationship with the way they look."

The company states that since its campaign launch, the "Self Esteem Project" has impacted the lives of more than 19 million young people across 128 countries. It now has a new goal to up its social reach by 2020 – committing to positively impact an additional 20 million over the next four years.

TakeAways
1. Aligning your brand authentically with a cause of importance to your customers is vital among all demographic groups, but especially significant with Millennials.

According to the Deloitte Millennial Survey, 87 percent of Millennials believe that a company should have a larger purpose than sales and profits. Additionally in the Cone Millennial Cause Study, 79 percent indicate they’re likely to purchase a product from a company they consider socially responsible.

2. Efforts in cause marketing need to be authentic or you run the risk of turning off consumers.

"There has been a shift in perception among customers of what an authentic expression of a brand is," said Max Lenderman, CEO of cause-marketing specialist agency, School. "And jumping on a cause is increasingly being viewed as not authentic."

"With every passing day, it's getting harder and harder to pull the wool over people's eyes … " notes Jim Moriarty, director of Brand Citizenship. "We all crave authenticity. Brands can and should change the world. And the best way to do that is to initiate, support and amplify causes that are connected to the brand's business and mission."

3. For a cause campaign to be perceived as sincere, brands need to back up their commitment by providing resources, information, and opportunities for involvement rather than merely marketing messages.

The Harvard Business Review looked at top cause marketing campaigns and put together a list of key factors for success which included inspiring messaging; an element that people can experience in the real world and a big issue coupled with a request for a small personal action. Their bottom line recommendation? "[Create] public service engagement, not a public service announcement."

While consumers are looking to brands to take action on matters of importance to them, insincere cause marketing is perceived as simply another sales opportunity, and consumers do not want blatant marketing on major issues. Listening to your consumers and developing innovative means of reacting sincerely to meet their needs is a key way to build long term relationships—but only if done authentically.



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/

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

ICYMI – Preferences, Privacy and Personalization in the News

Why the New Pixel Smartphone Has Been a Modest Hit for Google

While Google gambled by targeting the high-end smartphone market, it's paid off due to its distinctive product-specific tools. The Pixel phones are the only smartphones that include the company's new new voice-driven digital assistant and are among the first to run on the Snapdragon 821 chip, the fastest processor offered by Qualcomm. The phones also include a highly rated camera that some reviewers said rivals the camera in iPhone 7 Plus. Click here to read more.


How this quirky clothing brand uses Snapchat to sell more shorts

Chubbies, a five-year-old apparel company, has taken a cue from its customers and moved to new social channels—including Snapchat. By creating interesting and entertaining videos and photos that entice consumers to add them as a "friend" on the app, the brand is able to reach a wider audience with compelling, creative content. Currently, Snapchat has more than 150 million daily active users globally, and says it reaches 41 percent of all U.S.18 to 34 year-olds. Click here to read more.


Cyber Monday: How mobile shopping and free shipping are shaking up our holiday traditions

Shopping on smartphones and tablets is becoming easier and more ubiquitous, changing purchasing habits and blurring the traditional lines between the designated days of the holiday shopping season. Mobile traffic was responsible for 55 percent of traffic to retail websites on Black Friday, and 36 percent of sales, according to Adobe's data. Click here to read more. 


San Francisco transit hack hints at possible attacks to come

When a hacker recently breached the fare system of the San Francisco Municipal Railway, officials responded by giving fare rides until further notice. The hacker then demanded a ransom to stop the attack. Experts believe that digital assaults are more likely to target institutions, which are more likely to pay a ransom than individuals, since like other victims of "ransomware" attacks, including schools and hospitals, transportation systems need to be open and operational in order to provide their services and make money. Click here to read more. 


How Google Knows When Your Bills Are Due

Through connected Gmail programs, the Google Now/Google Assistant software can remind users of need-to-be-paid bills, as well as notices about package deliveries, flight times, restaurant invitations and more. The information shown shouldn't include account numbers or anything too specific, but by adjusting the app's settings you can increase your privacy and avoid bill-payment (and similar) alerts, but you'll lose out on targeted advertising. 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

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Consumer Expectations vs Overconfident Marketers

Ready to capture that Black Friday and Cyber Monday consumer data? Last year 243 million shoppers hit the stores over the four-day weekend – no doubt many of them will be loyal, return customers.

Collecting customer information in one place to provide personalized consumer experiences is at the core of most marketers' customer engagement strategies. That's because shoppers choose to return to these retailers, providing them with additional data including things like purchase history, communication preferences, and online shopping habits. Yet if customers come to feel like retailers don't understand who they are or what they need, that disconnect can put loyalty at odds, especially when other businesses are racing to catch up.

A study from Econsultancy and IBM reported that 81 percent of marketers believed their organization had "a view of individuals and segments across interactions and channels." But while most brands think that they already know and understand their customers, only 37 percent of consumers believe that their favorite retailers actually understand them.

How can you more fully capture your customer's preferences? And beyond capturing a breadth and depth of your customer's preferences, how can you ensure you have not only captured, but also reflected a unified view of him or her across channels. All the data in the world won't help if your customers don't recognize themselves in your company's interactions.

This disconnect between the understanding marketers have of their consumers and what the consumers actually want shows the urgent need for marketers to take action on the information they collect. But what does this disconnect mean: Do marketers truly not understand their customers? Or do consumers overestimate what retailers are capable of? Perhaps it's both.


Using preference management, which is the active management, maintenance, and distribution of unique consumer characteristics, retailers can address this issue at both ends.


On one hand, using preference management to collect consumer preferences can help marketers and the brands they represent create the more personalized buyer experience that their customers want. Giving consumers control over the conversation will also help marketers reassure their customers that their favorite brand is committed to gaining a better idea of what their customers want and need.



On the other end of the spectrum, preference management, when used correctly, can help retailers subtly show their customers a better idea of what level of consumer understanding they should realistically expect brands to have. One way they can do this is by letting their customers know during the collection process how they will use the gathered information.



So, how well do you really know your customers? Leverage the data your loyal customers are already giving you to create the personal experience they want and they'll keep coming back for more.




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 in the summer of 2013. Eric helps strategically guide companies with the implementation of enterprise-wide preference management solutions.


Follow me on Twitter: @eholtzclaw | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Holtzclaw

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Are You Delivering Cross-Channel Personalization? Learn What Under Armour and Saks Are Doing Right

There is a chasm between what customers are expecting in terms of personalization and what marketers are providing. According to findings from research conducted by TimeTrade: "93 percent of retail decision makers claim that personalization is a strategic focus but only 25 percent of shoppers say they receive a consistent, personal experience across channels." According to TimeTrade CEO, Gary Ambrosino, "to remain successful … brands must … ensure that service is prompt, personalized and consistent across channels."

Personalizing per your customer's individual needs is a 360-degree pursuit. It doesn't stop at the home page of your website or your consumer's email inbox. Personalizing the entire brand experience with Human Data that addresses individual's lifestyle and interests is critical for building long term relationships versus one-shot sales.

Per recent research conducted by our firm, marketers must make a profound shift from implicit data (information data mined or provided by customers for short-term interests or needs) to explicit self-profiled preference Human data (information provided by customers in the Preference Center of a site or through dialogue boxes). Findings from 2500+ hours of VoC research interviews for clients such as Gilt, MassMutual, IBM, HP and QVC, indicate that implicit data is simply not delivering on customer's expectations of value. To drive high levels of relevance and personalization, Millennials in particular, are willing to provide deep explicit Human Data regarding their preferences.

Fitness company, Under Armour offers "UA Shop", a lifestyle-based Custom Shopping App for their customer that provides a deeply personalized experience based on a shopper's athlete inspiration, workout history, and previous purchase history. For example, depending on the type of activity logged into a connected fitness tracker and their geographical location, a shopper will be presented with specific product suggestions relevant to their situation.

Jason LaRose, Senior Vice President, Revenue, at Under Armour noted about the app, "This app was created to … complement our existing in-store experiences … We are now able to provide custom experiences across our various categories specific to our diverse customer base."

High-end retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue have long offered in-store shopping services, but with today's busy on-the-go consumer, that service needed to be upgraded and expanded to include a virtual component. Today, Saks lets its customers connect with Saks Associates 24/7 to create personally curated saks.com boutique pages, via a dedicated URL. Interaction also includes live chat, email or scheduled appointments. In addition, Saks Associates can showcase personalized "storefronts" to customers through email and social media or via a mobile app.

"This is a highly personalized online solution to selling …" commented Marc Metrick, President, Saks Fifth Avenue, "with access to Associates 24/7, personalized services and more, we finally have the ability to bring the high-touch Saks experience and store environment online."

TakeAways
  1. Your customer, BtoB or BtoC, is a human being, not a cohort or data segment. Personalizing their full brand experience across all channels and touchpoints lets them know that you are listening and customizing interactions/solutions per their individual needs.
  2. Showing your shoppers how a product can solve a problem or enhance their lifestyle in a meaningful way lets them envision the brand as a true partner in their life. The brand becomes less about the sale of and more about a long-term ongoing solution.
  3. Today personalization is about putting the consumer in the driver's seat to determine how they want to engage, what they want to engage about, and when that engagement should take place. Brands need to become nimble in order to provide the types of personalized experiences their unique customers require.

Using Human Data for 360-degree personalization is about using consumer-supplied preference data to address lifestyle and interests, not to sell, but to build long-term relationships. Consumers now expect brands to know their needs and present them with highly personalized solutions and experiences.



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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