Tag: personalization
Shamir Duverseau

3 Steps to Knowing Your Customers Better

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.

Oh, you had no idea that today was Get to Know Your Customers Day? Me neither. Evidently, I missed National Salami Day and National Ampersand Day last month as well, but luckily, I am catching this one just in time. All joking aside, taking a day a quarter to reflect on consumer insights and personalization is more than a great idea—it’s essential to your marketing strategy.

So, in honor of this occasion, here are three basic steps we can all follow to learn more about our customers and act accordingly.

#1 Learn their preferences

The best way to collect customer preferences? Ask them! If they are a part of your email database, send an email and ask them what they would like to learn more about, what products or services they are interested in, how and when they want to hear from you.

You can also capture this information while visitors are on your site. Software tools such as Qualtrics, HotJar, and SurveyMonkey enable you to serve visitors with a simple survey while they are already engaging with your brand.

Today’s consumers expect personalization, so they will appreciate that you’re taking an interest in their preferences.

#2 Store their preferences

Now that you asked for the information, you have to put it somewhere—ideally a client relationship management (CRM) system. Because this information may be coming from various sources, a customer data platform like Tealium can help you unify and accurately connect those data points to the same person across multiple touchpoints and send that information to your CRM. This way you can build a comprehensive customer view in real time and take the next steps within the technologies you already use.

3) Use their preferences

You’ve asked the right questions and collected the right information. To make all that data valuable, you have to act on it. Your customers’ preferences should be reflected in the experiences you provide for them. You’ll be showing them that what they say matters, while simultaneously encouraging further engagement with and loyalty to your brand.

There are countless ways to leverage customer insights to further engagement and personalization. As one example, we recently built a personalization campaign for a travel client that promoted travel destinations based on data; if most New York residents who visited the site ended up booking a stay in Florida, the site would promote Florida offers for all visitors from New York. However, once that same New York person visited a specific destination page on the site, such as California, the promotional offers would shift from Florida to California. This use of customer preference data increased revenue per visit by 45%.

As marketers, we tend to make decisions based on our personal experiences and opinions. But the truth is, it’s not about us.

You may not be able to achieve 1:1 personalization or engagement—at least not across all touchpoints. Most businesses can’t. However, most brands can get a lot closer than they are today. And the closer you get—the better you get to know your customer—the better the results.

Key Takeaways

  • Today’s consumers expect personalization, so they will appreciate that you’re taking an interest in their preferences The best way to collect customer preferences? Ask them!
  • Software tools such as Qualtrics, HotJar, and SurveyMonkey enable you to serve visitors with a simple survey while they are already engaging with your brand.
  • Data about consumers needs to be stored somewhere; a customer data platform like Tealium can help you unify and accurately connect those data points to the same person across multiple touchpoints and send that information to your CRM.
  • Your customers’ preferences should be reflected in the experiences you provide for them. You’ll be showing them that what they say matters, while simultaneously encouraging further engagement with and loyalty to your brand.

 

Tag: personalization
Charlene Hixon

Digital Marketing: What’s Now + What’s Next

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.

Several of us recently attended the 2018 Salesforce Connections Conference in Chicago to learn how technological advances, including Salesforce product innovations, will help our clients succeed in this goal. Here are a few of my takeaways from the three-day conference.

Prepare for Voice

From Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana to Google’s Assistant suite and Amazon’s Alexa, these smart personal assistants are getting better at using artificial intelligence and natural language processing to interpret and fulfill our commands. By 2020, ComScore predicts that 50% of all search will be voice generated. These software/hardware combinations are also becoming more personalized. Last month, Amazon launched the Echo Dot Kids Edition, and currently in development is an Echo that caters to an elder population.

During a session presented by digital strategist Lisa Graves, “Alexa, How Can Marketers Prepare to Utilize Voice Assistants,” Graves discussed the importance of leveraging the opportunity of voice by keeping it simple. “Unfortunately, voice can be difficult if a multi-step process is required to get the result you want.” Brands interested in leveraging voice must offer customers a process for solving problems with smart speakers that offers more convenience than alternative solutions.

Optimize for the Wrist

During “Designing Email for Apple Watch Attention Spans,” Heidi Robbins of Salesforce discussed how the ways in which consumers read and interact with email are changing—constantly. Not only should we be thinking about designing communications for multiple desktop browsers and mobile users, we must now take devices like the Apple Watch into account. That means subject lines (the extent of what fits on a watch face) are the new email. Interesting to note, 141 million Apple Watch wearers are forecasted for 2018, up from 75 million last year.

Wearables market share is rising.

Get Into the AR Game

Since its inception, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have been most closely associated with gaming. That is no longer the case, as brands and companies everywhere seek to add augmentation to their arsenal. Ikea recently launched their AR app that allows customers to view IKEA furniture in their own home before purchase. Jeep’s new AR experience lets you interact with a car that isn’t actually there. And last year Toll Brothers introduced a virtual reality program for personalized kitchen design. According to Penny Gillespie from Gardner, immersive commerce is “enhancing the customer’s interaction with products, thereby increasing conversion and loyalty.”

Go Live to Get Personal

Facebook Live gives anyone with a phone the power to broadcast to anyone, anywhere in the world. Mobile streaming through social media is like live theatre, giving all participants a feeling of personal connection. According to Facebook Product Manager Vibhi Kant, the latest figures suggest that “people spend three times longer watching live video compared to video that is pre-recorded.” Whether through live interviews and events or sharing behind-the-scenes footage, live streaming presents a real opportunity for businesses to connect with their audience.

Be Customized — Not Creepy

Mike Davidson of Lyonscg articulated the growing feeling of “ick” around the omniscience of social networks, especially Facebook—it’s like they’re listening to us right now. During his session, Davidson discussed when tailored experiences start to feel like stalking and shared that the key to personalization is combining it with customization. Give the consumer control of what data they would like to share in order to start the conversation.

Why it feels like Facebook is listening through your mic

Offer Seamless Mobile Experiences

During his keynote address, Salesforce president and chief product officer Bret Taylor touted the virtues of mobile data stream. He gave an example of his Marriott hotel experience during the conference, where his phone was the room key and he could order a toothbrush via the app even prior to arriving. “Mobile is the greatest opportunity brands have ever had to connect with customers,” he said. Other examples of customer-centric mobile apps of course include Uber and Lyft, which provide instant gratification and demonstrate the power of straight-through processing.

Changes in technology are constantly forcing businesses to find more innovative, impactful and exciting ways to talk to their audiences. In an increasingly digital world where the average person spends nearly nine hours per day on digital devices, it’s essential for businesses to not only have an effective digital strategy, but to also regularly review and update how they market themselves to their audience.

A key point for brands looking to jump on the bandwagon of any digital trend is to make sure that it’s an opportunity to add value to the customer experience. Don’t do something just for the sake of doing it, otherwise you risk making a huge investment only to annoy—or even creep out—your customers.

Key Takeaways

  • Prepare for voice. Smart personal assistants are getting smarter, and by 2020, ComScore predicts that 50% of all search will be voice generated. Brands interested in leveraging voice must offer customers a process for solving problems with smart speakers that offers more convenience than alternative solutions.
  • Optimize for the wrist. When creating digital experiences and crafting communications we must now take devices like the Apple Watch into account. That means subject lines are the new email.
  • Get into the AR game. Immersive commerce by way of virtual and augmented reality is enhancing the customer’s interaction with products, thereby increasing conversion and loyalty.
  • Go live to get personal. Whether through live interviews and events or sharing behind-the-scenes footage, live streaming presents a real opportunity for businesses to connect with their audience.
  • Be customized — not creepy. Tailored digital experiences can go too far. Give the consumer control of what data they would like to share in order to start the conversation.
  • Offer seamless mobile experiences. From turning mobile phones into hotel room key cards to the seamless, customer-centric experiences of Uber and Lyft, mobile is the best opportunity brands have ever had to connect with customers.
  • Before you jump on the bandwagon of any digital trend, make sure that it’s an opportunity to add value for your customers.
Tag: personalization
Jessica Porges

What Digital Marketers Can Learn from Amazon’s Purchase of Whole Foods Market

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.

The tech giant’s $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods has sent shock waves through the grocery industry and suspicions among Whole Foods loyalists who have concern about how their shopping experience—or the quality of the products they love—might change. But so far, the takeover has been all upside for consumers.

According to Bloomberg.com, Amazon spent its first day as the owner of a brick-and-mortar grocery chain cutting prices as much as 43 percent. In the coming weeks, the Whole Foods rewards program will be rolled into Amazon Prime for added savings and in-store benefits. This affords Prime a valuable new perk to attract subscribers and will encourage Whole Foods shoppers to buy more—according to a survey by Morgan Stanley, 62% already have a Prime account. And 1010data found that Prime members have deeper pockets at Whole Foods than non-members, spending an average of $306 more over a 12-month period.

Of course, as I eluded to, the strategic implications of Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods go much deeper—the acquisition offers its buyer a lot more value than the margins on organic avocados and rotisserie chicken. I’m talking about data.

Take an (Amazon) journey with me

Amazon already knows that I’m likely a mom of young children based on the diapers I order, the shows and movies we stream, and the parenting books I buy through my Prime membership. They also know I’m busy and seek ways to make my life more efficient, e.g. the Instant Pot pressure cooker I purchased. And now, if I shop at Whole Foods and use my Prime membership to get in-store perks and discounts, they will also be able to track my offline grocery store behavior and tie it all together. With massive amounts of data from Whole Foods shoppers, Amazon will ultimately be able to tailor the grocery shopping experience—and much more—to the individual.

Let’s pretend for a moment I didn’t own that Instant Pot just yet. Maybe I had just stalked it a few times online (since everyone is talking about them). Amazon might send me one of their high-converting emails promoting the Instant Pot, maybe with same day delivery (in some areas). They might kick in some trending one-pot recipes for beginners, with a list of ingredients I could also order and have delivered to my doorstep by upgrading to AmazonFresh.

The Amazon email I received after checking out the Instant Pot.  You can easily see how it would make sense to include recipes. 

Amazon’s goal is to make it so easy for me to get my groceries from them that I continue to do so (as opposed to shopping at the other grocer to which I’ve been loyal my entire life). They can send me weekly emails with Instant Pot recipes and links to order the ingredients. Maybe they’ll even upsell me on some Instant Pot accessories, like silicone fingertip mitts and that popular glass lid.

But they’ll also be able to learn what perishables I buy each week (because we never seem to have enough yogurt drinks or string cheese for my kids), automate it for me so I don’t have to even think about writing out a long grocery list, and deliver the food to my door (or have it ready and waiting for me in a locker at Whole Foods).

Amazon is a master of the upsell, using a highly sophisticated algorithm to recommend the right products to the right customers, at just the right times. Their treasure trove of data enables them to analyze behavior from customers and use this information to recommend products to those shoppers as well as other shoppers with similar profiles. The company has integrated recommendations into nearly every part of the purchasing process from product discovery to checkout.

They also dole out recommendations through email. Did you know that Amazon’s email marketing program analyzes the success of various campaigns and drives only the highest performing emails to a customer’s inbox? Smart. And now, whether shopping on Amazon.com or in Whole Foods retail locations, shoppers’ unique Prime identifiers are keeping track of all their activity, adding them to specific customer segments that can trigger personalized emails, messages on the website, retargeting ads and a multitude perks and offers.

How to think like Amazon

What can marketers learn from this tech behemoth with the potential to know everything there is to know about my movie preferences, lifestyle choices, kids’ snacking habits and my grocery aisle behavior? Regardless of the industry you’re in, your customers are engaged in a journey, and it’s your job to optimize the key decision points along their route with Amazon’s ninja-like precision. Here’s how to do it.

Map it out. List the key decision points along your customer’s journey and the steps necessary to take your desired actions. In my Amazon/Instant Pot example, that could include:

  1. Getting me to add the Instant Pot to my cart—ideally with add-ons
  2. Purchasing the Instant Pot
  3. Opening an email with groceries to buy from Whole Foods to make my first Instant Pot meal
  4. Adding those groceries to my cart
  5. Purchasing those groceries (either for delivery with the upsell to AmazonFresh or pick-up at Whole Foods)
  6. Subscribing to an auto-ship or weekly auto-order to pick up at Whole Foods
  7. Referring friends/family to Amazon Prime, AmazonFresh, etc.

Think about the metrics. Use analytics tools to determine a baseline for your online and offline metrics at the conversion points currently implemented.

Implement technology. You have data and you have a lot you want to do with it. Now you need the right technology to make it happen. Most of us don’t work for a company with the resources of Amazon, with several dozen people to build and optimize internal systems to power their customer experience. But, you can do the same with the right tool at the heart of your customer experiences.

For example, let’s talk about Tealium. Tealium has a suite of tools that allows you to gather data from various online and offline sources (Tealium IQ Tag Manager), slice and dice your consumers into segmented groups, and then share that with other systems both for action and analysis (Tealium Universal Data Hub). (You can learn more about tag management in our earlier post, 3 Tag Management Systems To Make Your Life Easier.)

Tealium allows you to ingest multiple data sources, stitch them together, and then push meaningful data into other systems to trigger actions or to analyze for insights.

If I’m looking at the Instant Pot but haven’t yet pulled the trigger, I’m placed in a group that will be encouraged to make the purchase via remarketing and retargeting tactics.

If I decide to walk into Whole Foods and pick out my groceries the old-fashioned way, I’m incentivized by perks to reveal my Amazon Prime membership and, when I do, my website activity and in-store purchases become tied to the same member number and united in Tealium.

From there, I can be put into another segment of customers, which may trigger certain personalization on the website that prompts me to share my experiences, sign up for perks and more.

It’s likely I fall under a few different marketing categories: “high disposable income”, “young children”, “healthy lifestyle”, “tech gadget lover”. Because Amazon doesn’t want to flood my inbox, they will choose the most successful of the emails that are relevant to me that week, e.g. “top toys for children” or “best newly released workout videos” to increase the odds of me opening it, clicking through and potentially converting.

Applying Tealium to your customers’ journey

No matter your industry, multi-channel analytics, personalization and re-marketing are your best digital marketing tools for driving conversions. Using a tool like Tealium enables you to tie customer data together and activate next steps. Let’s look at a few examples.

Hospitality

If available, I tend to stay at Ritz-Carlton hotels when I travel. When I book my room online, I log into my existing account and enter my member number to earn rewards. That gives Ritz-Carlton at least two unique identifiers to analyze my behavior and market to me in a more personalized way. Using a tool like Tealium, they can tie me to the types of rooms I’ve booked or upgraded to in the past from their CRM and tailor an “upgrade now and save” message to me.

Tealium then tells their email service provider (ESP), such as Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC), to send me that message as part of my confirmation email, or it tells a personalization tool like Optimizely to give me this message on the confirmation page. Or, both—it can serve up the upgrade message on the confirmation page and, if I don’t react, include it in the confirmation email. Perhaps the message comes to me before I even book the room. If Tealium sees that I didn’t choose the upgrade in the booking funnel, it could tell a tool like Yieldify to inject a targeted message in the booking process. It could also learn from the CRM that I’ve dined at their hotel restaurants and tell SFMC to send me a pre-arrival email with available dinner times during my stay.

By targeting messages at key points in the conversion process, such as after a room type is selected, you can improve the customer experience and better meet your business goals.

Real Estate

Opendoor.com is a relatively new company that buys and sells homes in a streamlined fashion– they supply a seller with a firm offer within 24 hours that the seller either accepts or rejects. After Opendoor owns the home, they make any necessary updates or renovations and then list the home in their inventory online. Anyone interested in viewing the property can gain access instructions through their mobile app.

Let’s say I’m in the market for a new home, so I download the Opendoor app and set my search criteria. I go visit a few of the homes on my list, but none of them are the perfect combination of the features I want. As I leave each home, the app detects I’m leaving the area and sends a push notification to complete a short survey providing feedback on the home, perhaps using a tool like ForeSee. ForeSee then sends that information to Tealium. Did I love it, was it missing something? Tealium sends this data to Opendoor’s recommendations engine, to help make better recommendations to me (and others like me) to view other properties. At the same time, the data could even be combined with other data and sent to Domo, to help Opendoor analyze and select the appropriate features to look for in (or add to) the subsequent homes they invest in, getting close to a “just-in-time” model within the pre-existing real estate market.

Healthcare

As a mom of two kids, I’m a frequenter of Urgent Care. Perhaps at my most recent visit, I opted in to receive newsletter communications from the health system. These emails may contain general tips on staying healthy, but Tealium can help connect the ESP to the CRM so that the email could also be personalized based on what the medical center knows about my previous visits (being careful to mention that I’m simply an anonymous patient ID, not a name, by simply grouping me into a segment). If I click through one of these emails to the site, perhaps to read about yoga exercises I can do at home, Tealium can connect my urgent care visit to my website visit and to the content I viewed, all in the CRM. Perhaps after reading about yoga, I read about primary care physicians before leaving the site. Tealium can now tell the ESP to personalize a section of my next email with information about choosing a PCP, maybe even including a short list of physicians near my home.

Pressure cook your personalization

It’s been estimated that more than 80 million people are Amazon Prime members. With this data, it is capable of building analytic models which can predict what these consumers will want, how much they will want, and when they will want it. Now that Amazon can collect and connect data from offline purchases as well, the power of their customer insights is unrivaled.

Ok, so we can’t all be Amazon. But every digital marketer can optimize their business’s key performance indicators by understanding the customer journey and getting ahead of questions or roadblocks at each micro-conversion point. From there, you can use a toolbox of technologies and strategies to optimize the journey from consideration to purchase, and then help them to keep coming back for more.

Remember, it’s personal. Customers care more about themselves than they care about you. Use data to make your communications as customer-centric as possible. That’s what Amazon does best and a key reason for purchasing Whole Foods. Follow their lead and make the best possible use of the data at your fingertips.

Key Takeaways:

  1. The strategic implications of Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods is less about brick-and-mortar retail or the margins on groceries. It’s about the data.
  2. No matter what industry you’re in, every digital marketer can and should optimize their business’s key performance indicators by understanding the customer journey and getting ahead of questions or roadblocks at each micro-conversion point.
  3. Tools like Tealium can help digital marketers gather data from various online and offline sources, slice and dice consumers into segmented groups, and share that data with other systems both for action and analysis.
  4. Remember, it’s personal. Use data to make your digital experiences as customer-centric as possible.