Posts Tagged ‘Direct Marketing

01
Sep
08

B2B Loyalty – Best Practices

Here are the latest trends in B2B loyalty, technology and analytics that can help business build a bond with other other businesses:

How do you transform your company from a mere vendor into a valued partner? By building a loyalty platform on a strong foundation of customer data—and leveraging that platform to identify, understand and influence the consumer behind the account number.

Here are some best practices that you should consider:

IDENTIFY: People, not account numbers

Here’s a look at a few of the predominant models for identifying critical B2B contacts:

Give them some face time.

Jeff Hayzlett, Chief Business Development Officer for Eastman Kodak Company, is intimately familiar    with the B2B identification challenge.Given the vast variety of customer types, Eastman Kodak’s approach is to facilitate meetings and events with end users who value the chance to interact with the company on a personal level. Kodak’s annual Graphic Users Association Conference brings Kodak product managers and software developers face-to-face with their end-users, while a series of customer councils for publishers, commercial printers, and database marketers helps Kodak identify key decision-makers and influencers and give them tools to help them grow their businesses.

Use Web 2.0 tools—but warily.

One in three small-business owners now cultivate leads and choose suppliers based on recommendations from social-networking web sites such as Facebook or LinkedIn.”Increasingly, small-business owners are getting referrals and searching for supplier recommendations through their networks. Direct mail, newspaper and broadcast advertising are becoming less efficient mediums for reaching small businesses.”

UNDERSTAND: It’s the database, stupid

Once you have identified your sweet spot of small-business customers, the next step is to spend some time understanding their current behavior and comparing it to that of your best customers. Your goal is to isolate behavioral gaps that can be overcome with the right offer.

Treat your database like an asset.

B2B data degrades much more quickly than consumer data. While a consumer might keep the same email address for most of her adult life, a small-business buyer might change jobs, get a new title or return to the corporate world. That makes data refreshment a continual challenge.

Thou shalt not live on transactional data alone.

A 2008 Marketing Leadership Council study found that, because the cost of switching suppliers is higher and more complex in B2B, “attitudes”—in other words, the customer’s emotional connection to the brand—are often better indicators of B2B loyalty than pure transactional behavior. Small-business customers can look loyal in the transaction file, but a survey might find pockets of disgruntled customers who could benefit from an intervention.

Become a data conduit.

In the consumer world, data tends to flow one way, from the consumer to the database. B2B marketers, by contrast, can also learn a lot about their small-business customers by reversing the data stream. Small-business credit cardholders who lack accounting departments, for example, can benefit from information on their business purchases. AT&T Universal Business Rewards cardholders not only earn Citi ThankYou Rewards points on all purchases, but also gain access to a wealth of tools to help track and analyze business expenses.

Source: Colloquy

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01
Sep
08

Case Study: How Harbor Sweets uses customer data effectively

Harbor Sweets is a Massachusetts-based gourmet chocolate company that offers a variety of premium sweets. In 1973, the company emerged from humble beginnings when Ben Strohecker set out to create the “best piece of candy in the world.” The result was Sweet Sloops, a sailboat shaped piece of almond butter crunch, covered in white chocolate dipped in dark chocolate and crushed pecans. Over the years, the company grew to feature additional candy lines and retail outlets across the U.S. Harbor Sweets also added a significant mail-order catalog division.

Their catalog program was successful in delivering sales during key holiday buying seasons, but the company also wanted to ensure that holiday campaign mailings – the main driver of catalog business – were maximizing sales.Harbor Sweets needed a solution that would efficiently turn existing customer data into actionable next steps. Essentially, Harbor Sweets wanted to find out if removing a single mailing to “active customers” from the holiday mail schedule – which included mailings every month from September through December – would conserve marketing resources, while refraining from negatively impacting revenue or overall response rates.

Harbor Sweets conducted a suppression test, assessing how effective the holiday campaign mailings had been at driving sales. Harbor Sweets mailed the catalog to everyone in December and ran a suppression test for September, October and November. The results were surprising.Harbor Sweets was actually hurting sales by mailing too many catalogs to customers during the holiday season. The results also found that the cadence for the catalogs could be reduced to three, while still achieving similar results.

Additionally, Harbor Sweets learned firsthand that it is imperative to be open to analyzing data and customer behavior in new ways.The more information available on existing customers, the more effective the software is in its results, whether it is predicting customer’s next steps or customers at risk of defection.

The results allowed Harbor Sweet to develop a long-term marketing process for the future. The revenue saved by removing one mailing is now applied to another mailing during non-peak times to provide customers with a more effectively targeted, timely catalog.

Source: DM review

17
Aug
08

Survey reveals telecom industry missing marketing oppportunities

A recent survey by Valista reveals that mobile industry wants more streamlined campaign on-boarding and management methods. At Cequity, we do encourage telcos to start thinking  CLCM( Customer Lifecycle Campaigns) which includes planned on-boarding of new acquisitions, defending the relationship in the first 90 days, reinforcing the relationship in the next 45 days and win-back programs if there is a churn amongst these customers. It needs to be a systematic and planned process of customer engagement. Take a look at what the survey revealed: 

“It can typically take months to introduce a new mobile campaign across all the carriers,” Heeran said. “This clearly needs to change as many campaigns lose relevancy with each passing month and some campaigns are never considered because of the production time. Mobile service and content providers need to be able to react to the market quickly and provision new mobile campaigns in a more dynamic fashion.”
 
According to the survey, the mobile industry could take better advantage of customer loyalty programs as a way to spur purchases of downloaded content.
 
“Surprisingly, none of the respondents said that they use any form of loyalty scheme as an incentive to increase content purchasing or encourage repeat buyers,” Valista officials say. “Over 70 percent of those surveyed, however, use other promotions methods to entice customers to purchase more content, including discounts, free trials and product bundling.”

Read more

10
Aug
08

Building a customer-centric marketing organization(CCMO) – Marketing needs to lead this change

At Cequity, in many of the client engagements with CMOs across organizations, we always highlight the changing marketing environment, where the world of “monologue marketing” has shifted to “conversational marketing”. This necessitates in marketing departments an understanding of data, closed-loop marketing competency – leads to conversion to relationship integrated messaging and marketing measurement. Here’s an interesting article on this topic:

Many of today’s marketing organizations were built and optimized for a scenario in which they had nearly complete control over the consumption of messaging. Changes in technology and society however have dramatically altered this picture. Due to shrinking reachability, and greater addressability the control has shifted to the customer. To remain relevant, therefore, marketing organizations need to re-optimize around the reality of this changed environment.

To truly optimize, marketing organizations need to reinvent themselves from the ground-up.

Strategic Platform

The core foundation of the marketing organization needs to be remodeled around the customer. Organization structure, segment valuations, KPI’s, everything needs to be defined in terms of the customer.

Tactical Planning

Where the strategy piece was about establishing where you wanted to go, the tactics is about steering things on course. The hard part, of course, is figuring out what and where you need to measure to generate useful information critical for making the right adjustments. While analytics is clearly the center piece, user experience and insights also plays an important role in this stage. Together, these groups need to work together as a team to map out a course for continuous interaction improvements.

Execution

From an operational structure perspective the execution piece remains the most unchanged. It’s not so much the how, but rather the what that has changed. Messages will still be delivered multi-channel, but the content and plan behind the message will be radically altered.

A couple of generalized thoughts on this topic; First, content is going to explode. In the age of conversations, each interaction is going to need a much more refined, personalized piece of content. Not only is more content going to be created, but will need to be managed.

10
Aug
08

How Harrah’s Entertainment translates customer data points into the big picture.

At Cequity, we have always believed that “earning points” in a loyalty program is a means to an end and not the end itself. Many companies fail to see the data from such programs holistically and tend to treat it too tactically leading to managing the points rather than an effective customer management strategy intent with which they started these programs. One of the few companies that have made this transition happen is Harrah’s Entertainment. Here’s what David Norton, CMO of Harrah’s Entertainment had to say:

Pointillism is a painting style in which the artist dabs small dots of primary colors on the canvas. Viewing the artwork at nose-distance, you see nothing but adjacent points. But step back, and suddenly you see Georges-Pierre Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.

Analysis of customer behavioral and transactional data can similarly suffer from such granular myopia. Individual data points viewed without an overall perspective not only masks the larger view, it also blinds you to opportunity.

When I joined the company in 1998, we designated customers who played $400 in a given visit to one of our casinos as VIPs who received preferential treatment. But a customer who played $402 during one visit, triggering VIP treatment, might play only $398 on a subsequent visit and receive no such treatment. More importantly, customers who played only $50 a day but visited 50 times a year received no differentiated service at all.

As our goal is to see the total picture of a customer’s play with Harrah’s casinos, members earn credits across any one of our 12 casino brands. This feature not only benefits our members; it also allows us to measure their cross-market play. A third of our revenue comes from members playing in a property other than their home property—whether home is Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Reno, New Orleans or Tunica.

Our Total Rewards database also gives us unique insight into our customers’ total relationship with Harrah’s—including their non-gaming spend. Historically, Harrah’s Entertainment earned 80 percent of its revenue from gaming; our initial data analysis revealed that we received less than a third of our customers’ non-gaming budget. Once we acquired the Caesars Entertainment family of properties, however, non-gaming revenue—from hotel stays to fine dining to entertainment to shopping—became a significant portion of our business. Caesars Palace provides a strong gaming revenue stream from a relatively small number of VIP players, but many Caesars customers come to Vegas for non-gaming entertainment. We can now encourage non-gamers to use their Total Rewards card, for stays at Caesars Palace, trips to the spa and on our shows and still receive all the benefits of our loyalty program. Today, $2.1 billion of our revenue comes from non-gaming activity—and we want the total picture of those customer relationships too so we can customize their marketing and service interactions.

09
Aug
08

Building brand agility thro’ customer insights and integrated marketing techniques

A slow economy does not always mean death-knell for brand marketers. The ones who mine customer data, identify purchase patterns and discover useful insights will be the ones who will win in this environment. At Cequity, we continue to advice companies to walk this path with 3 specific strategies:

  1. Accelerate your customer database management strategy
  2. Embed analytical thinking within marketing teams where use of data & analysis is made mandatory
  3. Micro-market – Identify smaller & smaller segments and increase campaign velocity with relevant offers

Here’s what the article has to say:

According to Experian, companies that can gain useful customer insights through integrated marketing techniques will benefit from greater agility than their competitors and will be able to more quickly adapt to market changes and provide products, services, and value propositions that are more closely tuned to customer needs and purchasing patterns.

Collect insights, not just data
According to Marie Myles, director of marketing consulting at Experian’s Integrated Marketing division, “Based on our experience with some of the world’s largest consumer brands, the turbulent economy simply means a re-doubling of efforts to derive even more valuable intelligence from every consumer interaction.”

Actions for brand growth

  1. Understand customers and their needs
    Customer insight needs to be continually revisited to ensure that it is up to date, focusing research investment on this area and not solely on the brand. Marketers need to use this intelligence to create engaging and relevant messages based on a solid understanding of each customer’s preferences, needs and behaviours. This will pave the way for true one-to-one communication and enhanced brand loyalty.
  2. Analyse and segment
    Customer profiling, clusters or RFV models are essential to identify which customers are spending the most, how to uplift sales and to detect high value customers that show signs of diminishing value. As new trends emerge, marketers can use this insight to adapt and refine retention marketing techniques on a personalised basis.
  3. Adapt products and services
    It is imperative to assess the environment and for marketers to re-evaluate their propositions. In a changing economic climate brands need to be responsive to evolving buying habits. By taking this approach, marketers will be able to offer a better service to customers, making it harder for competitors to lure them away.
  4. Integrate channels to increase customer engagement
    Customers expect to be contacted through different media. Companies need to understand these media links and weave different online and offline messages to build compelling, engaging and personal experiences. Integrating channels at different stages of the customer buying cycle and customer management programme will drive benefits including a more consistent and persistent message.
03
Aug
08

Sales & marketing silo syndrome: a real problem

The CMO council recently released the findings of the Sales & Marketing Silo syndrome in organizations. Since data between sales & marketing need to be fused for better returns on marketing investments. At Cequity, we too see this gap existing in companies as a part of our client assignments. Enterprises need to effectively harness this data for better ROI. Many companies have recently started to take steps in breaking this silo and ensuring there is better synergies between these two departments. Here are the survey findings:

  • Less than 20% of respondents said that their sales and marketing organisations were “extremely collaborative”, and most others felt that the two groups had “intermittent relations and interactions”.
  • Looking at the ways in which sales could add value to marketing messages and communications, survey participants felt that engaging strategically with customers to better understand their problems and needs was the most valuable contribution.
  • Two of the most important roles that marketing can play in optimising sales performance were cited as “fielding campaigns that generate and nurture leads and opportunities”, and “providing customised value-selling content and presentation materials”.
  • Only 12% of sales and marketing professionals said that they have a well-integrated, real-time view of all customer interactions, and only 37% reported good visibility into prospects, sales pipeline, deal flow and conversion rates. At the same time, 20% indicated that marketing currently hands leads to sales but has no insight into conversion and sales closures.
  • 13% said that most sales leads are never captured, qualified, or acted upon, while 11% reported that they have no on-premise or on-demand CRM system in place.
  • Among those who have CRM applications, only 13% viewed the application as “highly valued and widely deployed”, while 42% reported growing acceptance and adoption. And, while CRM systems tend to be mandated and adopted across the sales function, they tend to be more selectively embraced by marketing teams.
  • Data analytics, reporting, and forecasting tend to be the biggest deficiencies in optimising the functionality and usability of current CRM solutions. The top three areas highlighted by nearly 50% of respondents were: the ability to easily create analytical reports; customisation of the application; and forecasting capabilities.
  • While 50% said they had “pretty good” or “extensive” visibility in to customer accounts and business activity, the remaining 50% said that they often had trouble finding customer account data, did not have enough information, or had no information at all.



At Cequity, we believe customer intelligence will be the biggest competitive advantage enterprises will have in the next decade or two. Successful enterprises of tomorrow will be the ones who can organize and leverage this information at speed to optimize their marketing performance, increase accountability, improve profit and deliver growth. Cequity insights will bring to you trends and insights in this area and it’s our way of sharing best practices so as to help you accelerate this culture and thinking in your organization.
November 2017
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