Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Connecting the Dots to Deliver Context

Data drives experience in today's marketing machine, with data and automation forming the perfect union to deliver the right message to the right place at the right time - with the end goal of driving specific consumer actions.
A first step to connecting the data dots is to assess available data based on actions across channels. Below are useful and commonly available customer interaction data types listed by channel:
  • Email: Opens and clicks on content such as articles, offers, products, surveys/poll, social links, preference centers, and more.
  • Social: Clicks to social links, sharing links, social login, social content, and social data.
  • Mobile: Mobile email and site engagement data such as email opens, device type, mobile app downloads, alert actions, mobile account access, mobile purchases, text to join email, and more.
  • Display Retargeting: Response to incremental display touch points driven by site browsing, email response dormancy, and more.
  • Web Commerce: Visits, time on site, browsed products, carted products, wish lists, and favorite products.
  • Click-to-Call or Chat: Clicks to get additional assistance are key behavioral triggers.
  • Real World Dots: Email sign-ups in-store or at an event, catalog or direct mail response, and purchases are all valuable data dots.
Understanding how channels work together to drive consumer experience and actions is key. By combining customer interaction data from brick-and-mortar, events, Web commerce, email, social, mobile, display, phone, and even direct mail catalogs, marketers are able to paint a more accurate picture of individual customer behaviors and preferences. As automation puts the data into campaign action, the goal is to create a one-click contextual ripple effect, where insights gained from previous interactions inform subsequent messaging to more effectively drive future customer engagement.
As marketers, you've earned those click actions, so put them to good use to fuel your automated email and cross-channel experiences. Then, once you have a clear strategy of how to put your data into action, test your theories and, as Steve Jobs said, start to "trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future."


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pinterest Ramps Up E-Commerce Features

outdoorThe image-based discovery platform is rolling out pins for specific interests, another feature that will benefit online businesses. So how can marketers best use Pinterest for e-commerce?
Pinterest continues to boost its e-commerce services in order to help brands further engage with consumers. Shortly after it designed a new Follow button for brands, the platform has unveiled another new feature to make brands' pins more discoverable.
Now, when users search for their favorite categories, they can now follow a range of related interests. For example, if a user searches for "outdoors," related topics like "camping" and "hiking" will appear at the top of the page.

Facebook Experiments With Buy Button

The new feature will allow users to purchase items without ever leaving Facebook, and perhaps alludes to the broader future of e-commerce.

Facebook is trying out a "Buy" button that will let users make purchases from ads and companies' Pages, all without leaving Facebook's platform. Customers also have the option to store their payment information, which eliminates two big conversion hurdles: getting a customer to the checkout screen and having them enter their credit card number.
Though Facebook won't disclose many details, the new feature has a handful of guinea pigs. They're all smaller businesses, such as Modify Watches, a 4-year-old San Francisco start-up that offers customizable timepieces. For now, Facebook isn't charging these companies to test the feature, though monetizing the transactions in the future isn't out of the question.
"I think [the Buy button is] good for Facebook, it's good for brands, and it's good for marketers. The question is, will it be good for consumers?" asks Bob Cargill, social media director at Overdrive Interactive.
Although Facebook says the Buy button is as secure as possible, Cargill thinks privacy may be a hurdle. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Get Ready: Commercial Viral Videos to Take Up Even More of Your Time

Production execs face challenges with managing rights and royalties for digital commercials 

Is the end of the traditional TV commercial upon us? Probably not—at least for a while—but the channel isn’t seeing a huge production increase either. In an April 2014 study conducted by Talent Partners, US senior advertising executives predicted that social media-driven campaigns would see the most growth in commercial production in 2014, cited by 44% of respondents.

Viral video ranked second, with 30% of senior production execs foreseeing more of these campaigns. As videos often go viral thanks to social sharing, social media will likely benefit from the increased focus on these as well. Meanwhile, respondents expected more traditional formats—TV and print—to see little or no growth. 

Marketers Scramble to Unscramble Customer Data

Market Square, Enniscorthy

Data collection up in an effort to create individual customer profiles

As more tools come out that help them gather data, marketers are upping such efforts. In Digiday and Neustar polling conducted in June 2014, 77% of US digital media and marketing professionals said they had increased their data collection process over the past year.

Why the rise in data collection? The study found that marketers were looking to better understand their customers—the most popular response, cited by 57%. To gather this information and form customer profiles, respondents had expanded the data types and quantity collected, gathering everything from location information to demographic, psychographic and social details.

Despite these improvements and the emphasis on linking data to create individual customer profiles, 50% of respondents were still struggling to integrate everything. And even for those who could, traditional data points such as location information and demographics were the main sources, limiting the formation of full profiles. Q2 2014 polling by Econsultancy and Tealium found similar results, with more than half of US client-side marketers saying that the desire to build a single customer viewpoint was a key priority of unification—combining data from all applications that help with marketing today. 

This was the second-biggest reason for ramping up data aggregation, only trailing data integration to justify marketing’s impact on the overall business.

However, just 14% of marketers said they were strongly capable of creating a single view of the customer. Though nearly 40% said they were doing an average job at creating individual customer profiles, a close 34% reported being weak in this area.