According to MIT Sloan Management Review, "digital maturity goes beyond technology … it’s about how businesses are adapting in a digital environment.” Organizations must strive to make digital core to their business—in all areas of their business—in order to succeed. As a marketing leader you have a key question to answer: Are you fundamentally adapting your customer experience to compete effectively in the digital era?
Press Release: Smart Panda Labs has been named one of the 2020 Best Workplaces for Commuters for offering employees exceptional commuter benefits.
Press Release: Certification fuels company growth and deepens marketing technology capabilities to further optimize the customer journey.
The power of data can be used to fuel the customer journey from awareness to purchase to loyalty and evangelism. But data science is not all science. It's also an art. Extracting valuable customer intelligence requires creative intelligence, a process that applies meaning and understanding to existing data. By empathizing with customers making a considered purchase, businesses can draw more insightful conclusions about their data and make decisions that take the human element into account.
Build. Measure. Learn. Those three words are at the core of Lean methodology, a way of doing business that incorporates elements from Six Sigma, agile development, design thinking, and other sources. Lean’s continuous improvement cycle enables companies to make meaningful progress by getting the best use of customer data and intelligence. And, when it comes to the digital experience, Lean thinking can be a tool of immeasurable power. This methodology—and its build, measure, and learn approach—is now at the heart of how we at Smart Panda Labs are helping our clients drive customer lifetime value.
There are hundreds if not thousands of agencies and consulting firms that specialize in digital marketing, strategy, and technology and further specialize in a particular market segment. But if you are seeking a partner to support your digital efforts, finding one that simply focuses on your target market isn’t enough. To find the right help at the right time, you need a process that is not simply focused on specialties, personalities or price—although those are factors—but on discovery, diagnosis, and design.
Press Release: Active in the LGBTQ+ and Hispanic communities, Corzo among the region’s best and brightest executives.
Press Release: Shamir Duverseau, co-founder of Smart Panda Labs, will discuss how to reduce ad spend in higher ed for higher conversion rates.
Press Release: Lisa Edwards, formerly with The Walt Disney Company, will guide clients’ digital strategy and optimization of the considered purchase customer journey.
To help those impacted by the 40 hour hit the Bahamas endured from Hurricane Dorian we’re donating 40 hours worth of revenue to help Chef Jose Andres and his team with World Central Kitchen feed as many people as they can. Here’s why.
Does diversity in design make a difference? What key role does design play in this process? And if so, how do we measure this and tie it to meeting and exceeding business goals? These were some of the questions we tackled last month at the dmi: Diversity in Design conference in Washington D.C. In our session, and in this post, we explore how this understanding of human cognition squares with our roles as designers and digital strategists, including how and why digital experiences should reflect the realities of the diverse audiences for whom we are designing.
Digital excellence is about the experience. Being a digital leader means shifting from a mindset of conversion rate optimization (CRO) to one of digital experience optimization (DXO). We’re not implying that conversions don’t matter but instead that a broader view is necessary. Growth-minded organizations must pay attention to each touchpoint between a customer and their brand—touchpoints that lead not only to the initial transaction but to an ongoing relationship.
The new year is upon us and, if 2018 is any indication, we will likely see the world transform in ways big and small, including disruptions in culture, technology, and business. While we may not have a crystal ball, our smart pandas most certainly have some predictions for the world of digital marketing in 2019. Here are a few of our forecasts.
If you’ve decided that it’s time to make the move to a new digital agency, then it’s likely the following has also occurred to you: 1) breaking up is hard to do and 2) the transition has a lot of moving parts. How are you communicating the change of direction? Is there a plan in place to ensure campaigns can persist without disruption? And who the heck has all the passwords to the technology platforms? Companies planning for or in the midst of a switch can benefit from these tips to ensure the new agency is able to get up and running as seamlessly as possible, with less downtime for your marketing efforts and more opportunities to improve the process.
According to NationalDayCalendar.com, Get to Know Your Customers Day is observed annually on the third Thursday of each quarter (January, April, July, October). It’s a day intended to encourage businesses to reach out to their patrons and get to know them better.
It’s easy to become complacent with your digital marketing efforts. Take email, for example. You deploy communications, people open them at a satisfactory rate, you move on to the next agenda item. But if you asked a smart panda, they’d tell you that you might be leaving considerable engagement on the table—and missing out on all the fun!—when you pass up an opportunity to test.
My day starts at 4:45 am, when I get up and go to the gym. Shortly after my workout, the waterfall of demands begins. From making breakfast for the kids to reading through my emails, by 8:30 am I’ve been up for almost four hours and am practically thinking about lunch. Nearly eight years ago I decided to leave traditional corporate life behind and cofound a digital marketing agency. A virtual firm, we rely on a team of people who work remotely, the majority of whom happen to be moms. I made this shift, in part, because I wanted greater work-life balance and to be more available for my family.
Several of my colleagues and I recently returned from the 2018 Salesforce Connections conference in Chicago — an outstanding event focused on supporting connected customer journeys. There were dozens of sessions designed to help digital marketers better understand how to how to create personalized experiences at every touchpoint, specifically in light of constantly evolving technology and the new ways in which customers interact with devices (you can read some of our takeaways here). The conference was also an exciting opportunity to learn about many of the upcoming changes for the Salesforce 2018/19 roadmap, including a partnership with Google and the introduction of Interaction Studio.
It seems like with every passing day our digital world is exponentially more exciting — and more personal. Google knows when it’s cold in my house, Apple knows when and where I go for my run and Amazon knows what I bought for my grandmother last month. Personalization is happening at our fingertips, on our wrists and by command (“Alexa, make my life easier.”) And as a digital marketer, I know that customers – both B2B and B2C – now look beyond product, rewarding businesses that can deliver a more convenient, personalized experience.
Early last week, Starbucks shut its stores to conduct an inclusion class for employees. The following day, the ABC network canceled its hit sitcom “Roseanne” due to racist twitter remarks by its star. It's 2018—why are we as a society still struggling with diversity, inclusion, and race? And what can we do about it?
Google Tag Manager (GTM) makes it easy for marketers to add and update website tags with just a few clicks, and without needing to edit website code. We’ve touted its virtues previously on this blog, including the ease by which it can be learned and launched, and of course, the fact that it’s free. In some cases, however, the easiest path is the wrong one. The urge to make SEO changes using GTM, for example, is a trend I don’t recommend.
Don’t worry, it’s happened to the best of us. You sent a marketing email too soon and left placeholder copy in the subject line—you know, the dreaded "Subject Line Goes Here." Your invitations had the wrong date on them. Your team sent a members-only promotion—to non-members. Your automation went haywire and sent seven simultaneous, identical emails to everyone on your list (yes, it's happened). The deals you sent your subscribers expired last week. Every single email was addressed to "Dear [First Name].” The horror!
Persuasion. By definition, it’s a symbolic process whereby people try to convince other people to change their mind or choose a particular course of action in an atmosphere of free choice. Of course, if you’re a marketer, you’re more than familiar with the process of persuasion—it’s the essence of what you do.
It's the start of a new year, which means everyone is making their resolutions—and already breaking them, too. To be honest, I am not a fan of resolutions. While I applaud the intent to set goals and meet them, the data shows that making one-time resolutions, for most of us, doesn’t work.
Have a long list of data to present to your boss or a client? Or maybe you just want to remember your parking spot number at the mall for once in your life. While this may not be a typical Smart Panda Labs post, we can’t resist sharing a fun and memorable (literally) takeaway from Opticon17, Optimizely’s annual conference.
My colleagues and I recently returned from Optimizely’s annual conference, Opticon 2017, in Las Vegas. The focus of this year’s event was on building and scaling a culture of experimentation across teams, channels, products and device. The three-day conference was attended by more than 1200 executives, product managers, marketers, testing novices, experimentation gurus and developers. As well as four smart pandas.
My kids are back in school, and Amazon just closed their deal to buy Whole Foods Market. What do these events have to do with one another, you ask? A lot. As with all things Amazon, their focus is on me—the customer—and my experience. The more they know about me, the more relevant my experience with them becomes. To that end, enter Whole Foods Market.
Conversion rate optimization— it’s a mouthful. It’s also a science and an art … and frankly, a lot of work. But few aspects of your digital marketing strategy are more important than this cumbersome term. Our crowd of friends at Wikipedia define conversion rate optimization (CRO) as, "a system for increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that convert into customers, or more generally, take any desired action on a webpage."  If you just totally zoned out, or assumed this was just a fancy way of talking about split testing, we understand. At Smart Panda Labs, we define CRO a little differently—it’s a way of thinking about all the digital experiences you offer.
It’s been 46 years since Ray Tomlinson sent the first ever email. The history of email itself is a fascinating evolution, and the progress in email marketing, especially of late, has been exponential. As a CRM + database marketing expert at Smart Panda Labs, it’s my job to keep up with these rapid changes.
This is not our first public display of affection for testing—we love tests, and we love to talk about them. In a previous post, for example, Shamir Duverseau shared three ways a testing and optimization program can help you increase revenue, reduce costs and improve customer loyalty. We’ve also shared a compelling testing case study on Optimizely’s blog, and theorized how a mobile app test might have saved Netflix considerable headache.
I’ll come right out and say it—today is my birthday. Send the cake and presents this way! If you need more reason to celebrate, I recently discovered that I share my birth month with another mover and shaker. Last week email turned 46—older than the Internet itself—and it’s still looking great.