You’ve probably experienced what feels like a whirlwind shift in marketing over the past several years. All brands have.
It’s an evolution spurred forward by advances in marketing technology and sophistication of data. As a marketer, your goal is to take advantage of these changes so you can continue to build trusted, loyal, and lasting customer relationships and accelerate business outcomes for your brand.
Yet, just when it seemed that marketing couldn’t evolve any faster, a global pandemic set in, further altering how retailers and pure play e-tailers must engage customers and drive revenue and growth. Speed-to-market, agility in execution, and a robust digital strategy are essential.
In this webinar, we explored how brands can thrive in these ever-changing conditions by turning their existing data sets into revenue opportunities — quickly. Sometimes it’s better to hear valuable information directly from the sources, so to recap the webinar, here are seven key takeaways, as shared by:
- Alex Timlin, SVP of Verticals, Emarsys
- Ross Williams VP Retail, Emarsys (former Digital Customer Experience and Digital Product Director of N Brown Group & Tesco)
- Carolyn MacKenzie, Managing Director, Forever New
- Lynn Barrett, Chief Digital Officer, National Tiles
1. Marketing has shifted to be more customer-centric
“Things have moved quickly [in marketing] … And it’s moved even quicker in the last three months. Customers’ expectations are continuously being raised by the industry leaders who set the new normal. Customers expect the businesses to be communicating and serving them consistently across all channels they operate in, and often new channels as they come available.”
“Consistency and timeliness are the key to offering excellent customer experience that customers want and deserve. From a business perspective, it’s really important right now [and] will continue to be going forward, so you can respond and adapt quickly to the current situation and the continuously changing situation.”
2. Consolidate your customer data
“Getting your data into one place is one of the key opportunities that people have. Where you put it is less important than how you make sense of it.”
“[Certain] point solutions may solve an immediate need, and a silo challenge, but [they’re] not going to enable you to get insight to making decisions and executing on those decisions in a timely manner … [or] in a personalized way at a speed that’s necessary to adapt to changing consumer needs.”
3. Successful implementations are focused on business objectives, not the tech itself
“The successful [data] implementations aren’t really focusing on the technology and the technology capabilities, they’re really focusing on the problem they’re looking to solve for. And the brands are really being clear about: ‘What’s the business outcome we’re looking to achieve, and how will we measure success?’”
“The technology isn’t as important as the problem… Be clear about the problem you’re solving for, and how your business is looking to measure success. It’s the responsibility of your agencies, partners, and vendors, and [teams] to look at, ‘What are the different opportunities we have at solving for these problems to help us hit those metrics and milestones that the business has set out?’”
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4. Get more out of your customer behavior data by being proactive (not just reactive)
“Look at the browsing and abandoned cart behavior to recognize: Are there certain products that are being abandoned? … Certain products being browsed? [This] really allows [brands] to capitalize and double down on some of these initiatives to squeeze every amount of performance from them.”
“From my time being client side, a really high value, advanced use case is: Using AI to predict when people are going to exit, and moving from reacting to people exiting to predicting it in real time so that you can persuade that customer actually not to exit, and [instead], complete their purchase. Moving to predicting rather than reacting can be massively valuable, and to do that, you need to leverage AI.”
5. Brands benefit by focusing on customer lifecycle opportunities
“We are seeing more and more of our clients look for opportunities inside of the customer lifecycle… First-time-to-repeat-buyer programs are one the most impactful programs that we have, [though] it’s often the most difficult metric for marketers to influence.”
“Some of the most advanced brands we’re working with are starting to integrate their [customer] loyalty and rewards communications with their marketing communications. The benefit from this is it can help to incentivize customers with less indiscriminate discounting because you can offer rewards instead of discounts. It’s a growing trend we’re seeing.”
6. As demand and supply chains fluctuate, massive opportunities lie in your product data
“There is a huge opportunity in working with product data… The demand for these programs have been off the chart because of the current climate. If someone is looking at a product and hasn’t bought it, if that product comes back into stock, or if that product changes in price, those are automated feeds and automated behavior that are actually quite simple to pre-package and leverage.”
“Some of the valuable examples that we’ve seen in our client base of actually executing on this [product data] are identifying products that sell well or categories of products that sell well, and then automating recommendations off the back of that.”
7. Better use of data helps brands be more efficient, agile, and profitable
“With Emarsys, we have been able to unify multichannel customer data, honing in on specific customers across every channel. Harnessing the power of automation and artificial intelligence to drive efficiencies and accelerate business outcomes has helped us to grow Forever New in a more profitable way.”
“What we did at National Tiles took months, not years. We found new, agile ways of working using incremental, iterative work sequences to continuously improve and react to unpredictable changes in the environment and consumer landscape.”
Watch the full webinar and get all the insights
For businesses to respond in times of economic change or uncertainty, they need to be empowered to discover opportunities for revenue and growth whenever and wherever possible. As we learned in the webinar, brands that can get the most out of their customer, product, and sales data are strongly positioned to find these opportunities (and turn them into business results).
But Alex and Ross offered many more actionable insights throughout the webinar — too many to share in this post. If you’re interested in learning more about how your data sets can be used to accelerate business outcomes for your brand, watch the full webinar here.
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