Archive

Archive for the ‘Customer-Centric Marketing’ Category

Ask MarketingSherpa: Maturity of conversion rate optimization (CRO) industry

September 6th, 2019
Share

We frequently receive questions from our email subscribers asking marketing advice. Instead of hiding those answers in a one-to-one email communication, we occasionally publish edited excerpts of some of these conversations here on the MarketingSherpa blog so they can help other readers as well. If you have any questions, let us know.

 

 

Dear MarketingSherpa: Hi there Daniel,

I quite like the sequence you have built, it’s quite relevant and well refined.

With regards to the personal note, very well done. I am guessing you get a mixed bag from this one.

I would like to ask a question, in your opinion, where do you think CRO is in the adoption lifecycle?

As an industry/set of processes do you think it is still early days or are we nearing the end or somewhere in the middle?

From: Kaleb Ufton, Director of Technology and Digital Marketing Strategy, EKOH Marketing

 

MarketingSherpa responds: The sequence Kaleb is referring to is the welcome email drip sequence, which includes emails written with a direct and personal tone, that marketers receive after subscribing to the MarketingSherpa email newsletter.

But then he asks a thoughtful and provocative question about conversion rate optimization (CRO). If you’ve read previous Ask MarketingSherpa columns, you know they are usually how-to questions about topics like value proposition communication or finding clients.

Kaleb’s question is more challenging. It essentially requires the ability to predict the future. I needed a little help with this one.

Fortunately, I work every day with one of the pioneers of the conversion rate optimization industry—Flint McGlaughlin. So I walked down the hall to get his take on this question, and here’s what he had to say …

Moving away from just testing pages to testing for new products

I think CRO is in the advanced segment of the first stage and beginning to move into the second. I’ll explain:

When we began our research, no one had a conversion budget; there was no one to hire to do conversion work. There was no training available for conversion. Now companies everywhere hire conversion optimization experts and are testing, but they do it very poorly. Stage 1 has matured to the point where it has become a common practice, but the quality of the execution is definitely lacking.

Tests are often run with major validity errors that no one detects. The testing tools are still primitive, and the biggest problem in the industry is that people don’t know what to test. Having a tool doesn’t help you if you don’t know how to really use it. So I think we are in the advanced segment of Stage 1, and Stage 1 would represent the general adoption of conversion optimization. Clearly some industries are far, far beyond, but in general, things have advanced significantly.

Now, how far do we have to go?

We have a long way to go. Conversion as it relates to personalization is not even close to being executed properly. The next phase in conversion will come through the advanced development of existing technologies. AI (artificial intelligence) is making big promises but delivering far less in practice. There will come a time when it can do more.

In addition, conversion is moving away from just testing pages to testing for new products and also testing for entrepreneurial software rollouts (full stack testing). These are new fields with greater opportunity. I think there is a stage coming where the practice moves to new areas, and then there is a stage coming where technology makes new possibilities.

— Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director and CEO, MECLABS Institute (parent organization of MarketingSherpa and MarketingExperiments), and author of the book The Marketer as Philosopher

Since this question requires essentially making a prediction, I wanted to leverage the wisdom of the crowds and get a few other opinions as well from your marketing peers and CRO practitioners. So here are some other thoughts on the state of the CRO industry …

Read more…

Business Intelligence: If only more of our customers were like Larry David

February 23rd, 2018
Share

I usually watch “Curb Your Enthusiasm” through the eyes of a fan. But recently I watched the popular HBO show through the eyes of a marketer.

And it struck me — Larry David is an extremely valuable customer. And not just because he has all of that “Seinfeld” money (some $900 million of it, according to Adweek).

Larry is valuable because he actually tells brands what he is thinking. Commonly derided as “complaints” or “rants,” in reality, Larry is offering up valuable customer intelligence.

Complaints are business intelligence

In a recent episode, Larry is staying at a hotel. When asked by the front desk employee if he had any feedback on his stay, he suggests that they shouldn’t tuck the sheets in so tight when making the bed. Who sleeps like that?

But Larry isn’t the normal, quiet customer. He’s a super-suggester. And he goes far beyond replying to a question from an employee asking for feedback. He offers unsolicited advice on topics the hotel doesn’t even think to ask about.

While the hotel brags about cookies made by its pastry chef, Larry isn’t buying it. He says the cookies are from Pepperidge Farm.

And Larry is none too happy about the cookie retrieval system the hotel has set up in its lobby. Larry doesn’t want to use tongs to grab the cookies — he is afraid the cookie will get crushed — and he suggests a wider cookie layout system so guests can pick cookies with their bare hands without touching an adjacent cookie.

Read more…

Rapid-Fire Results: Get quick ideas for improving your customer-first marketing

July 27th, 2017
Share

The focus at MarketingSherpa Summit 2017 was inspirational stories of customer-first marketing, and so we mostly shared in person, live versions of the in-depth case studies we report on from your peers.

However, previous attendees have told us that they also want quick ideas for improving their customer-first marketing.

So in this quick-hitting session, my Summit co-host, Pamela Jesseau, and I shared ideas for improving your marketing from industry experts, your marketing peers and MarketingSherpa Award entrants who had outstanding ideas.

Sit back and watch the entire 30-minute video to get several different ideas. Or, if you’d like to jump ahead to a specific topic in a specific section, our copy editor Linda Johnson, put together these timestamp links for you.

Read more…

Customer-First Marketing Research: 4 key data points from research with 2,400 consumers

March 31st, 2017
Share

All marketers should have three key questions in their head at all times. What do consumers really think about your business practices? What marketing approaches can I use to tell them about our business? And where do they want to hear these messages (i.e. channel preferences)?

To help you get an answer to these questions, we conducted research with 2,400 U.S. consumers, sampled to reflect a close match to the U.S. population’s demographics. But we also split them into satisfied and unsatisfied customers to understand how these marketing and business behaviors affect customer satisfaction, especially taking a customer-first marketing approach to all of these business decisions.

We published what we discovered in a 54-page free report filled with oodles of data for the customer-first, data-driven marketer.

But that’s much too much to dive into on a Friday.

So here are some snack-size, social media-friendly (wink, wink) videos to provide you some quick consumer insights from the study.

But first, here’s a little more background about the research.

And now a look at a few of our discoveries…

Read more…

Advice on How to Make the Case for a Customer-Centric Transformation

March 27th, 2017
Share

Customer-centric isn’t just a buzzword to us — those marketing efforts are the stories that we love to tell at MarketingSherpa. From our case studies to our data, we want to give you everything you need to keep your customer foremost in your marketing efforts.

In October 2016, we surveyed two groups of 1,200 about customer-first marketing. We asked one group 50 questions about the business, marketing and channel practices that make them highly satisfied with a company. We asked the other group similar questions about what makes them highly unsatisfied with a company.

We provided Sarah Esterman, Lifecycle Marketing Manager, Simple.com, and Jamey Bainer, Strategy and Planning Director, Pacific, with two of the charts created using that data, which asked 1,200 highly satisfied customers: “Thinking about the marketing of [the company they were highly satisfied with] which of the following is true about your experience? Select all that apply.”

Chart 1-Customer-First-Research-Study

(click image to enlarge)

The same question was asked of 1,200 highly unsatisfied customers — with a very different result:

Chart 2-Customer-First-Research-Study

(click image to enlarge)

Armed with that information, we asked Sarah and Jamey five questions about the trials, tribulations and tips for implementing customer-first marketing.

Editor’s Note: Sarah Esterman is speaking at MarketingSherpa Summit 2017, and Jamey Bainer participated in the sponsored Summit content “Inside the Industry.”

Q: What are some arguments marketers can use to push for customer-centricity in their organizations?

Read more…

Customer-First Marketing: Understanding customer pain and responding with action

August 5th, 2016
Share

It’s all too easy to think of our jobs narrowly: “I’m a marketer. I’m in ecommerce. I’m in the apparel industry. I work in tech.”

But what we really do, or at least what we should be doing, is much too big to be constrained by a single job title or industry.

To give you an example, I came across an interesting story while conducting interviews at the MarketingSherpa Media Center at IRCE 2016. As you would expect, most of the interviews focused around hot ecommerce topics like Amazon Marketplace, Snapchat, and funding a startup.

But I had a deeper conversation with Joe Peppers, the Ecommerce Market Sector Leader at The Weitz Company.

But previously, Joe went to West Point and served three tours of duty in Iraq as a Captain in the U.S. Army, before going on to work in ecommerce for Amazon, Apple, Fanatics.com, and now The Weitz Company.

I discovered some interesting lessons from military service that can be applied to ecommerce, so we sat down to talk about it…

Personally, I have two big takeaways from this conversation.

Read more…

Customer-First Marketing: Do you put your customers’ interests first?

June 21st, 2016
Share

fiduciary-dutyFiduciary duty. These words have been in the news lately, as the government seeks to require that financial advisors have a fiduciary duty to their customers in certain cases.

A fiduciary duty is a legal duty to act solely in another party’s interests. So what this new regulation essentially means is, financial advisors must put customer’s interests before their own. And the financial industry has been fighting this.

As marketers – this should be crazy to us! This is what we should do every day: Put our customer’s interests before our own. How can a business, much less an entire industry, be against the customer?

 

Remember: You are not your customers

Customer-first marketing begins with the realization that our desires and goals are not necessarily the same as our customers’.

Let me give you an example. Mary Abrahamson is an Email Marketing Specialist at Ferguson Enterprises.

Usually if you go to marketing industry events, and a mobile vendor asks, “Who has a smartphone?” we see that everybody raises their hands. And so the vendor says – “See, everyone has smartphones.”

Well Mary realized – she wasn’t her customer. Her customers were plumbers and HVAC professionals. These people often had flip phones. So, when she launched a mobile campaign, she made sure that text messaging was an important part of her campaign … not just apps. The campaign ultimately generated more than $10 million in online revenue.

So next time you’re launching a campaign – take a fiduciary responsibility with your customers. Think of their needs … and not just your own.

  Read more…

Maximizing Multiple Marketing Platforms for Success

May 20th, 2016
Share

After 35 years in the industry, Chinese Laundry, a privately held women’s footwear company, continues to expand its influence season after season.

During Internet Retailer Conference Exhibition (IRCE) 2015, MarketingSherpa’s Courtney Eckerle spoke at the MarketingSherpa Media Center with Scott Cohn, Vice President of Ecommerce, Chinese Laundry.

Scott spoke about how marketers tend to establish processes or utilize platforms that work for specific projects or campaigns, but don’t always think about how it affects our customers.

“The biggest challenge we had is that they [platforms] were perpetually out of sync. So our inventory, pricing and a whole variety of other things that a customer expects to be consistent across channels, just weren’t consistent,” he said.

Whether you are looking to condense your blog platforms to update your content strategy or want to build product awareness, Cohn shared two key takeaways on maximizing multiple marketing platforms:

 

Be on the lookout

When undertaking a technology innovation, how do you begin to think about where you pain points lie?

Read more…