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Good Enough Marketing Isn’t Good Enough Anymore

By Jeanne Roué-Taylor

Marketing in the modern digital age has done great damage to the term “good enough.” It wasn’t that long ago when good enough was a quality standard that meant, “This will work well enough and nothing better is needed.” But in times of great change, the term good enough needs to be seriously rethought.

Good Enough Isn’t Good Enough

So what changed? For starters, we’re a decade or so into the challenges of Big Data—also known as the digitization of nearly everything a marketer cares about. Customer information, including their past history, preferences, and even where they are in this moment, are flowing across many different devices and channels. What was good enough to work with the data we used just five years ago is very unlikely to be good enough today.

Secondly, our ability to analyze past behaviors to predict future ones has grown as quickly as the data that feeds those analytics. Once we can know what’s likely, we have a need to do something with that information, meaning we need new ways of interacting, nudging, and influencing our customers digitally, and otherwise. The old execution tools and techniques simply aren’t good enough.

Lastly, the customer has transformed into an always-connected, mobile—and much, much pickier—shopper. The customer has the ability to know and choose like never before. Good enough for the new customer is also a moving target that will certainly be not good enough at a point in the not-too-distant future.

What Can You Do About It?

When good enough is such a moving target, maybe the term itself needs to be tossed out in favor of something that better defines the marketer’s needs. But what, exactly, does the marketer need? Today’s marketer needs to tool up with technology that goes beyond the needs of right now. Choices need to reflect that we don’t know what’s coming, but we can be sure that things will evolve to become more digital, faster, more predictive—and that customers will expect a better experience than we can even imagine right now.

Hear more in the webinar, Nudges, Influence and Rewards: Must-know Factors for Success in Retail Customer Loyalty.

Why Haven’t You Defined Customer Loyalty Success?

We’re way beyond the point where the world debates whether customer loyalty works.  When we think about customer loyalty’s broad goals, whether the focus is on retention or brand affinity, investments in customer loyalty have shown repeatedly to provide a very strong return. So everyone is measuring that success, right? No.

What Are Your Goals?

The idea that customer loyalty works may seem obvious to some, but many sophisticated programs in place today lack clarity and fail to answer the simple question, “When we look back a year from now, what will have happened to say we achieved success?”

Without a clear definition of customer loyalty success, there is real risk that great, successful programs will be undervalued and underfunded, and—even worse—that programs with poor success rates will continue, wasting valuable and often scarce resources. Success needs to be defined through clear planning and objective measures, meaning the only guarantee of success is through clarity of both purpose and intended outcome.

Have You Defined Success?

Having a good definition of success—whether the goal is retention, shopping frequency, preventing high-value customer erosion, basket size increase, or another target—is foundational to every other factor. Know your problem clearly and choose a definition of success that directly addresses the issues or goals you’ve chosen.

Hear more on defining success for customer loyalty from Michael Greenberg in the webinar, Nudges, Influence and Rewards: Must-know Factors for Success in Retail Customer Loyalty.   

The World Cup Reminds Us That Marketers Are Architects of Passion

Watching the World Cup 2014 in Brazil is an excellent reminder of the power of passion and the role of marketing. World Cup passion is found on the football pitch, in amazing quantity in the stands and streets of Rio, and in pubs and offices around the world. It would be safe to say that the tournament has become synonymous with passion, excitement, and shared experience.

The Roots of Passion

In the World Cup, passion comes from players and fans putting all of their energy into something bigger than themselves. For a short period, footballer players aren’t free agents taking in millions—instead, they are playing for their countries. None of the passion of the World Cup is accidental, and there’s an enormous amount of work that goes into whipping it up and serving it. This is no different than what happens between a strong brand and its most passionate customers. Today’s marketer needs to be an architect of passion.

Passion Defines

For consumers, passion drives nearly everything they do—what to eat, what to wear, and how and where to spend their time. Connecting with that passion involves making the brand a part of how consumers define themselves and live their lives. Tapping into it requires a different flavor for different products and services, but here are common ways to foster and benefit from consumer passion:

  • Create a strong, omni-channel loyalty program that ‘returns the favor’ for your customers’ business.
  • Give your customers an outlet for expressing their passion that includes social media.
  • Capture the context of your customer’s buying moments, and serve the most relevant interaction possible.
  • Find ways to surprise and delight your best customers and draw them even closer to your brand.
Fire up your customers by stoking their passion, and turn them into fans! For more ideas on how, download our whitepaper, Marketing Transformed: Big Data Sciences and the Revolution of Customer Engagement and Loyalty.

Using Nudges, Influence, and Rewards For Marketing Success

By Jeanne Roué-Taylor

Success in customer loyalty marketing doesn’t arrive from just a single contact with a customer or even from a single approach to interaction. Customers are growing more savvy every day; their expectations are shifting. Marketers need to know and take advantage of the many different factors that will draw in and delight, and—most importantly—the factors that will increase customer loyalty and lifetime value.

Nudges, Influences, and Rewards

Customer loyalty marketing is all about working to make a brand top of mind, the first place customers thinks of for spending their money. Success comes from using a series of well-timed and relevant nudges, finding places and channels of influence and creating rewards that drive customer spending behaviors.

There are key things to know before you can expect to find success,  including:

  • Critical pieces of program setup
  • Investing in the right places
  • Generating customer insights
  • Building your context platform
  • Increasing meaningful frequency
  • Effecting racking and monitoring

Join me for a webinar with TIBCO Loyalty Lab’s Michael Greenberg as he takes us through the critical factors best correlated with success in customer loyalty marketing. Greenberg is an expert at laying out the latest successful approaches to customer loyalty marketing and has extensive experience with top international retail brands. I hope to see you there. Register here.

How Relevant Is Your Marketing and How Do You Know?

By Jeanne Roué-Taylor

By definition, for something to be relevant, it needs to be important to the matter at hand. For marketing, the matter at hand was once simply reaching the public’s consciousness through mass media with hopes that your product would be remembered at buying time. Being relevant today, however, is another matter entirely. Today’s consumer has a shorter attention span and is living in a noisier world. Today’s marketer needs to tunnel through the noise and meet customer expectations in ways that are completely tied to customers’ “matter at hand”—their preferences, history with the brand, and current context.

The Matter At Hand

For a marketer, knowing a customer’s preference, history, and current context isn’t a simple matter. It requires a platform that brings together the right information quickly enough to engage the customer in the moments that matter.

That information includes:

Transactional data – Knowing what your customer has done before is a head start to being relevant today. It’s not just about purchases—transactional data includes all interactions with the customer, including inquiries, returns, product reviews, and more.

Online data – Knowing how your customer has surfed your sites, both web and mobile, will tell you which pages or products have receive the most attention.

Social data – Getting your customers to engage socially provides a rich look into their interests, travel, and other information that supports relevant messaging.

Location data – Perhaps the most relevant data of all, a customer’s location allows a brand to reach out at moments that are fleeting, like proximity to a store.

These pieces of information, together, feed an ability to determine when and where a customer is most likely to respond positively to a message. Every communication needs to be relevant and should feel more like a service than a marketing push. A customer that finds a brand relevant feels served with useful and meaningful information rather than noise and pressure.

Customers are increasingly able to filter out noise and irrelevant information. This is a critically important concept and core to relevance. Focusing on this gives brands an ability to separate themselves from the crowd and be more effective marketers. These efforts feel like special treatment rather than promotion and allow customers to feel comfortable providing more information about themselves. When your customers feel like your marketing is a service, you know you’ve reached the point of relevance.

When the CMO and CIO Collaborate, Anything’s Possible

By Jeanne Roué-Taylor

Forrester’s Sheryl Pattek wrote a few months back on the hot topic of cooperation between CMOs and CIOs. Summaries of Pattek’s thoughts were captured in this SlideShare.

Pattek cites three reasons why these two organizational leaders are finding themselves as allies in ways that were unthinkable a few years ago:

  • Digital changes the game – As organizations become infused with data, more and more are finding ways to use dynamic data to create digital experiences. In this new world, attracting and retaining customers is closely connected to developing customer insights, and having the right process and technology in place to respond quickly and appropriately in a variety of situations.
  • Traditional departmental boundaries no longer apply – Where Marketing and IT were once silos of differing skills, CIOs are becoming much more business-minded and CMOs are having to learn more about technology. The two need each other to succeed as the CMO’s business knowledge and the CIO’s understanding of integration and risk are two halves of their shared challenge.
  • CIOs feel the pressure of a strong business technology agenda – Where IT was once the keeper of enterprise data and information flows, Marketing is rising as a business priority, increasingly using business-focused apps delivered through SaaS, and asking for support for a new generation of digital customer experience technology.

Pattek has advice for both the CMO and CIO on working together closely:

  • Be customer-obsessed and develop a joint strategy for innovation.
  • Make sure goals, priorities, and metrics are aligned between the two organizations. Only when organizations have alignment can they trust each other to act in predictable, mutually beneficial ways.
  • Speed up! The need for constant innovation means that the traditional pace for projects and introduction of new technologies isn’t sufficient. What took years needs to take months and what took months need to take weeks.

CIOs and CMOs are a powerful team if they can see through individual agendas and put the organization first. The key is to rely on each other for domain-specific expertise and put in place a spirit of (and system of rewards for) collaboration between their teams.

Marketers or technologists: Don’t miss our upcoming webinar, Nudges, Influence and Rewards: Must-know Factors for Success in Retail Customer Loyalty.

Modern Marketing Focuses on Actionable Analytics

by Jeanne Roué-Taylor

It would be really hard to overstate the changes happening in marketing as our world is immersed in burgeoning amounts of all types of data. We suddenly have data that allows us to measure marketing performance through platforms that accumulate historical and real-time data from mobile, web and in-store sources like never before in history.

Actionable Analytics

This definitely gives us visibility into how our campaigns performed, but there’s something more urgent happening that not everyone realizes—the need to see the marketing business from a new and powerful perspective. We need to understand the game before it even begins—before the campaign is executed—through actionable models and analytics that tell us what the rules are, where the game takes place, and how to play.

Three Areas of Understanding

The game is decided by three key areas of understanding that are critical to being competitive:

  • A focus on segmentation – Marketing segmentation is becoming more complex and more powerful. In a noisy world, great segmentation is the arbiter of who engages with the right messages at the right time.
  • The power of propensities – There are far more propensities than simply the propensity to spend or act on a particular offer. Marketers need to get to the heart of why customers attrite, act on social media and a host of other behaviors.
  • A culture of test & learn – Measuring the effect of a hypothesis on a segment of the network allows us to understand the impact of rolling campaigns out to a broad audience.

These trends mean that advanced analytics aren’t simply a nice-to-have. They’re a key part of being competitive and also building brand loyalty, customer retention and brand advocacy.

Upcoming Actionable Analytics Webinar

Learn detailed best practices in actionable analytics in our joint webinar with TIBCO Spotfire on Thursday, May 22nd.

You will learn:

  • The types of analytic skills expected of nearly every marketer in today’s digital and big data world
  • Eight key metrics that get to the heart of measuring loyal customers
  • How to most effectively present information visually and dive more deeply for greater insights
  • Which mathematical models have the greatest impact on success
  • How to separate what causes behavior versus just knowing that it correlates
  • What is the difference between an actionable segmentation versus a descriptive segmentation

Click on the link to register today for our May 22nd webinar, Marketing Analytics: What You Need to Know Now.

Are You Simulating Your Way to Success or Just Simulating Success?

By Jeanne Roué-Taylor

Are you on a marketing team that closely plans, tests and measures what it does? Marketing can be a funny thing—a place for people who create perceptions of effectiveness—or it can be quite the opposite, full of people who design, simulate and create measurable marketing success. Judging by the sheer volume of “blind” pitches that arrive in our mailboxes (digital and physical) each day, there are still plenty of organizations simulating success rather than doing the hard work of simulation.

Spray and Pray

They are practicing an age-old method called “spray and pray” which has been just effective enough over the years to stay alive. It relies, however, on a cheap way to distribute offers and an expectation that a certain, if small, number of recipients will respond. It relies on the right message accidentally falling into the right hands. It relies on those “right hands” being predictable, which is less and less true every day for two reasons: One, as the world becomes more digital, we’re moving away from expecting offers in physical form; and two, the online world, where we’re rapidly moving, is noisy enough to require mental and technology “filters” that are reasonably good at blocking out the accidental message.

Don’t Get Filtered Out

Marketers, then, need to up their game or get filtered out. And there’s nothing more expensive than failure. Fortunately, there are techniques and tools that are effective at getting through the filters because the audience is actually receptive to the message. The most effective marketers are collecting key attributes of their customers and segmenting to a degree that allows smart matching of message and recipient. Knowing a segment well enough allows simulations to be run so that what eventually makes its way out to customers has been tested for likely success.

Simulation Makes All of the Difference

This simulation is what makes all of the difference. If a marketer knows that a segment has a high propensity to buy items in combination, a targeted offer comes through the “filter” as a beneficial suggestion rather than an insensitive cross sell. Not only is success much more likely, but customer loyalty increases thanks to the positive shopping experience. What started with simulation ends with very tangible success.

To learn more, contact TIBCO Loyalty Lab for a demo. Email loyaltylab@tibco.com.

Are You On The Front Lines Of The Data Analytics Revolution?

By Jeanne Roué-Taylor

Make no mistake, there’s a digital revolution happening, and that revolution is completely changing the world as we know it. What’s more, it’s happening with the greatest impact in the way consumers and retailers interact. In a McKinsey report published this week, the management consulting firm summarized its interviews with eight companies that are leaders in data analytics. McKinsey came to the conclusion that data and analytics aren’t overhyped, but are oversimplified—it takes real work and strong knowledge for organizations to take full advantage of the power of increasing levels of information and the patterns therein.

In regard to retail, specifically, McKinsey said the following:

Retailers, for example, can harness data to influence next-product-to-buy decisions and to optimize location choices for new stores or to map product flows through supply chains.

This statement is actually a highly nuanced challenge to retailers.

The Landscape of Retail

While some brands have invested in new technology and techniques to take advantage of data analytics, many are still on the sidelines trying to decide when and where to react, if at all. Those who have invested are finding out that many packaged applications don’t have the flexibility to manage new channels or take advantage of advanced data analytics.

These are challenging times for those on the front lines, trying to actively decide what steps to take next. Retail has always been about margin, and maintaining margin had settled into a fairly predictable place before the world went digital and mobile. The amount of data being generated offers each brand the chance to create new business and take it away from the competitor by knowing far more precise details about the customer, the product, and the sales channel. Traditional margin models are being exposed as outdated and ineffective in the face of these changes. Those who will survive the revolution will need to move off the sidelines and build new business models supported by flexible, smart technology.

To learn more about the latest trends in retail customer analytics, big data and loyalty, download our whitepaper.

INFOGRAPHIC: Top 10 Marketing Trends for 2014

 

 

To learn more about TIBCO’s Top 10 Marketing Trends for 2014, download the whitepaper and watch the webinar.

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