Consistent connection matters, regardless of the season

Communicating with your customers isn't about waiting for the right moment. It's about reaching them during times of need, times of plenty, and everywhere in between. Take educators, for example. Although most schools make spending decisions in March and April, our "Digital Marketing Trends in the Education Market" report found that educators are actually most engaged during the month of July — when 97 percent of K-12 schools are out of session. If marketers only spoke to educators during the spring purchase period, they'd miss a critical time when educators are ready to consume content. Not only do educators have less time to read and share content during the height of the spring semester, but they also often use the summer months to plan lessons for the coming fall. Without a year-round approach, marketers couldn't truly call themselves educators' partners. Just like educators, other audiences have slower and busier seasons. They go in and…

CXJM is essential to help you lay down your plan of attack and start realizing the opportunities for delivering against customer experience objectives

It's no secret that most marketers are on the same trajectory and curve when it comes to Customer Experience. Although some are further along the journey than others, almost all are heading towards the common goal of achieving a single customer view. Therefore, most will have also had some exposure to Customer Experience Journey Mapping (CXJM) in some way, shape or form. As an approach, CXJM is essential to help you lay down your plan of attack and start realizing the opportunities for delivering against customer experience objectives. When conducted properly, the process will give you a better understanding of what the experiences of your customers really are and how you can start to plan effective communications around them. Part of my role is now leading the entire Journey Mapping process…

Why the marriage of technology, data, and creativity allows brands to foreground the consumer experience and drive greater sales results

More than most marketing strategies, direct marketing remains largely stigmatized. Mention it to most outside of the discipline, and truckloads of snail mail overfilling people's mailboxes come to mind. But direct mail and direct marketing are not the same thing. [si_guide_block id="5676" title="Download FREE Resource – Digital marketing plan template" description="Our popular marketing planning template built on the Smart Insights RACE planning system."/] Direct marketing is about driving business results. No matter the platform, any time brands communicate with a potential consumer — such as using an augmented reality platform targeted at Millennials to drive insurance purchases — they are actually using direct-response marketing. Today, the convergence of data, technology, and creativity are opening new direct-response avenues that, while highly successful, are still largely untapped by many brands. After years of being the…

Chart of the day: How can latency be applied to other sectors to understand engagement and to design lifecycle communications?

I don't see latency talked or written about much, so I was interested to see this new research from Monetate that shows average latency between purchases. So, what is latency in marketing? I think latency is best defined in the context of the customer lifecycle, that is: "Latency is the average time it takes between different lifecycle events for different groups or cohorts of customers". In this research, to measure engagement, Monetate looked at how frequently customers began a new session within a set time period, specifically the number of sessions and the number of days it took for a customer to complete a purchase. For first-time customers, the baseline latency from the first visit is an average of 25 days and 3.5 sessions to complete a purchase. Here is the latency for repeat…

67% of companies that don't hit their multi-year Black Friday average will fail to hit their multi-year rest of the holiday season average

The days are getting shorter and all of the decorations are out. You know what that means. Pumpkin and maple flavored everything and your massive holiday season to-do list just became more urgent. The NRF 2017 Holiday Playbook reports that more than half of holiday shoppers start researching potential purchases in October or earlier. With the holiday shopping season fast approaching, there is no time to waste. eMarketer expects digital commerce to climb 15.8%, even while total retail growth will slow this holiday season. Make sure your eCommerce engine is firing on all cylinders because there is a lot at stake. …

The three C's of customer social rewards: Community, Comparison, and Charity.

It’s been said that the greatest gifts are those shared with others. I’ll share a memory with you. In third grade, my classmates had a communal pet. Herman was more than a hermit crab — he was an icon, a mascot, a symbol of our community. One week, as a reward for helping a classmate, I was bestowed the honor of taking Herman home for the weekend. The sense of duty I felt to my classmates was my first palpable sense of social responsibility, and it was, itself, the true reward for my behavior. Science tells us there is something to this concept of social rewards. Fundamentally, we are wired to connect with others. We are always attuned to our social context. In which group do I belong? What are my peers doing? Am I keeping up with the Joneses? Am I…

Chart of the day: Over half of loyalty program users in North America don't know if the program offers a mobile app

There is a huge demand for mobile apps for loyalty programs, according to the large scale loyalty program study by Bond Brand Loyalty.

Loyalty program behaviours and wants

Over half (55%) enroll online, compared with just over 3 in 10 (32%) at the brands location. Almost 6 in 10 (57%) want apps from their loyalty programs but over half (52%) don't know if the program has an app.

There isn't enough personalisation

36% are very satisfied with their loyalty program, whilst just a quarter are happy with the level of personalisation. Over 3 in 10 (33%) trust loyalty programs, however only a quarter (25%) are happy with the rewards. In North America, the average number of programs customers have joined is 14, whilst it's around 6…

The 7 elements you need for superior retention automation

It costs a lot to acquire a new customer, but most clients will make a single purchase and leave. A repeating purchase, on the other hand, costs far less than acquiring a new customer, estimated at between 4 and 7 times less actually. Retention automation has a simple, well-known theory that deals with this issue. Retention automation aims to get better ROI by turning one-time buyers into repeat customers and keeping them, rather than focusing on acquiring additional new customers. Retention automation can be done with the basic understanding that customers are different, then analyzing them as groups, connecting them to automated campaigns designed to move them in the right direction. There are plenty of examples that demonstrate programs and multichannel campaigns addressing customer retention according to the customer’s current lifecycle situation and their importance to the business. Surprisingly, although the theory is so…

How acknowledging your customers’ emotions helps Improve your customer experience and business performance

Every business would like to uncover the secret of the best customer experience. Customers have always run the business--no customers, no business--but this saying has never been more true than in the digital era. Brands that appeal to customers are those with added value, great features and an easy, frictionless experience--and we’re not talking about reduced prices here. Here’s how most companies try to improve their customer experience: through surveys or market research, they find out what customers want or need and try to fulfill that need. Sure, it’s important to understand what customers want and know how they want to be served, and to use this information to guide your strategy. That’s a basic business principle. The problem is that many companies have forgotten the basics--they forgot that emotions actually drive customer choices.

Customer experience is pivotal

There has been a…

Smart Insights and Adestra report on customer engagement 2018

Engagement is one of digital’s most prickly talking points. Increasingly Digital Natives expect brands to understand needs deeply and then deliver answers promptly.  Thanks to technology, professional, personalized automated Marcoms programmes help ensure that such responses are not simply addressed, they exceed average expectations. We live in a society where all generations see the world through the lens of technology. Engaging with Digital Natives calls for deeper insights into their lifecycles. Fortified by such knowledge, brands can provide accessible services that are easy to act upon via unified frictionless experiences that cross all divides and devices. [add link to report when uploaded] According to a recent report from Smart Insights and Adestra around 41% of marketers take advantage of a single welcome email. Inactive subscribers are contacted by 34% of marketers. Behaviour-based triggers (such as abandoned carts) trigger around 30% response. …

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