Customer Engagement: Brands need to focus more on data to engage with customers better

Customer engagement has been an industry-wide marketing term for around a decade now. It encapsulates the change in marketing philosophy brought about by three effects of digital media:

  • Rise of marketing automation
  • Move from one-to-many broadcast marketing to one-to-one conversational commerce
  • Proliferation of transactional and programmatic messaging

Customer Engagement pressures: Marketers need new ways to engage

According to the report, marketers have found that they need to find new ways to communicate with customers and build lasting relationships, or face crippling competition from more capable rivals.

Those that adopt a customer-engagement approach to their marketing strategy typically see improved customer satisfaction, resulting in improved customer retention and financial performance.

B2Cs, for instance, measure impact in increased order values and reduced marketing costs, while their B2B counterparts use customer engagement techniques to boost acquisition and optimize their lead quality.

For better customer engagement, brands need to connect and communicate smarter

Adopting a customer engagement-focused marketing strategy doesn’t happen overnight. Putting the customer at the heart of the business requires significant, inside-out change throughout the organization. Only 9% of respondents in the survey cited their business at an advanced level.

There are two main barriers to a robust customer engagement strategy:

  1. Difficulties in getting a single customer view (SCV)
  2. Disconnected technology platforms

Many businesses struggle with legacy systems that don’t work together, since driving engagement relies on the seamless connection of all data points. Plus, antiquated organizational structures impede the vital sharing of data across the business. This is another key requirement to creating a consistent and engaging experience along the path to purchase and beyond.

Headline stats highlight customer data silos

How are marketers engaging their customers?

  • 79% of respondents use email platforms
  • 65% use content management systems
  • 62% use social media tools

BUT, creating an SCV proves to be a challenge…

  • Just 65% of companies have integrated email and CRM
  • Only 56% of businesses have integrated email with their didgital analytics

And the levels of integration are far lower for other types of technology.

Consumers expect personalized experiences

Brands are well aware of the growing expectations of consumers. Personalization has, according to 25% of those surveyed, been one of the most important customer engagement-related trends in the last five years. The need to personalize is driving intermediate and advanced brands to focus more on AI as a tool to accelerate the customer experience into new realms of personalization.

More unmissable insights

For a deep-dive into all of the stats, as well as regional breakdowns across the UK & Europe, North America, and APAC, download the full version here.

You’ll discover the true importance of customer engagement, considerations and tactics for B2C and B2B, as well as how the right technology can drive long-term success.

The post Customer Engagement: Brands need to focus more on data to engage with customers better appeared first on dotdigital blog.

Reblogged 4 weeks ago from blog.dotdigital.com

Happy Mother’s Day to all the brands out there!

Here are some 2019 examples you can
draw on for inspiration next year:

Combining Products

If you carry both kids and adult ranges, consider combining the products into a Mother / Son or Mother / Daughter duo, like what Spendless Shoes did:

Not only does it encourage shoppers
to make a purchase for their Mum, but it tempts them into picking up and pair
for themselves too.

Gift with Purchase

Offering a free gift with purchase
is an oldie but a goodie.

It’s a way to increase the perceived value, rather than simply discounting. It should be relevant and drive urgency, so don’t be afraid to use the ‘while stocks last’ caveat, which is what Giftbox Boutique did:

Giftbox Boutique free gift

Depending on the value of the gift, you may want customers to spend above a certain threshold. Reaching this threshold could mean customers get a whole pamper pack, not just a body butter. Here’s what Hitting the Mark APAC winner SurfStitch promoted:

SurfStitch free pamper pask

Gift Guide

Ecoya created “Mum personas” from “jet setter Mum” to “wellness Mum” and matched their candles to these personas. This is a clever tactic, as the content aims to help and inspire shoppers who’re unsure what to buy their Mum:

Encoya gift guide

Competition

Seize the opportunity to gather more data on your customers, and get people talking about your brand on social media with a competition.

Matt Blatt Mother's Day competition

Furniture brand Matt Blatt had a $3,000 Mother’s Day
makeover up for grabs for one lucky customer. Entrees were asked to describe
the most bizarre Mother’s Day gift they’d ever received in 25 words or less,
post a pic, and tag Matt Blatt and radio celebrity Em Rusciano on Instagram and
Facebook.

Once customers were lured in by the
competition, they were then directed to shop Em’s favourite furniture edits.

Discount

Sleepwear brand Peter Alexander had two weapons in their arsenal – a store-wide 20% discount, and free shipping, which ended 72 hours before Mother’s Day. This helped to set customers’ expectations on shipping.

Peter Alexander Mother's Day discount

Choice

At the same time, it’s important to remember Mother’s Day may not be a happy occasion for all people. Brands such as florist, L’Ámour, recognize that and offered customers the option to opt-out:

L'Amour Mother's Day opt-out

As you can see, brands cover the
whole spectrum of promotions and emotions on Mother’s Day.

My favourite type of promotion this
year?

Combining Products.

When I can buy a present for my
Mum, but also see product for myself, or get something extra for her, I’m in.
And if there is a store-wide discount, then everyone wins.

Fuzzy feelings all round!

It’s important to make sure
whichever tactic you adopt, you’re picking the one that works best for your
brand and on your budget.

If you can’t wait till next year to use some of these ideas for inspiration, there’s always Father’s Day! In the UK and USA, it’s on Sunday 16th June, and in Australia, it’s on Sunday 1st September.

The post Happy Mother’s Day to all the brands out there! appeared first on dotdigital blog.

Reblogged 6 months ago from blog.dotdigital.com

Examples of brands with excellent omnichannel experiences

The birth of omnichannel has led to a revolution in the digital marketing world. Marketers have long since known about the advantages and effectiveness of omnichannel’s success; putting it in to practice has been challenging. Juxtapose that with the expectation of today’s consumer that every brand interaction be seamless.

So, let’s define what omnichannel really means. Omnichannel is about delivering a consistent and cohesive customer experience via any channel the customer chooses.

Take Domino’s, for example. The pizza you’ve ordered needs to taste, look and smell the same whether it was ordered online, through an app or in store. Similarly, the product needs to be consistent – whether it’s collected in store or delivered by one of Domino’s’ drivers.

Let’s take a look at the companies we believe are winning over consumers by going truly omnichannel.

Domino’s

Domino’s receives most of its orders on digital channels and is now classed less as a restaurant and more as an ecommerce company.

Domino’s operates 14,000 stores in more than 85 countries around the world and gets more than 50 percent of its sales through digital channels — with half of those coming from mobile.

Domino’s succeeds in an on-demand world by adapting to consumer behavior. Ordering pizzas with emojis and voice commands are not just a ploy – voice-related searches and the use of emojis reflect how people are interacting with each other and with brands in the post-digital age.

CEO Patrick Doyle challenged the company’s Information Technology team to “make it so a customer could order a pizza while waiting for a stoplight”, as he understood that mobile was, and remains, ingrained in this kind of behavior.

You can also order Domino’s pizzas through an increasing number of channels and devices which go beyond Twitter and the Amazon Echo. These include apps, Facebook messenger, Apple Watch and smart televisions.

Domino’s is a great example of creating the right experience for the consumer, channel and device.

 

An overview of Domino’s’ omnichannel reach:

  • Email
  • SMS
  • App
  • Social media
  • Facebook Messenger
  • Dom. The AI Bot.
  • Bricks and Mortar

Topshop

Recent studies (McKinsey Research and Harvard Business Review) have shown that customers who use more than one channel spend more and have a higher lifetime value than those customers who use fewer channels.

It has taken several years for bricks and mortar and digital to become truly integrated in retail but finally, we are seeing mobile, desktop and in-store shopping coalesce.

The growth of apps has also empowered shoppers to locate items, check availability, take advantage of offers, promotions and vouchers and participate in loyalty schemes more easily and conveniently. Topshop’s ‘On the go’ app creates a seamless experience between physical and digital worlds – a barcode scanner that links users to nearby store locations and highlights its available stock.

Asthma UK

Asthma UK runs a 12-week asthma support programme using dotmailer’s automation studio to send a mix of email and SMS content to send free, personalized advice to motivate patients to manage their asthma well.

Patients need to be qualified by Asthma UK by reviewing a patient’s answer to a short 8 question eligibility questionnaire to gain access to the content of the program, which was designed and developed by asthma clinicians and health psychology experts.

What really works for this program is how Asthma UK utilizes long-form content within email to deliver useful and key pieces of information. Plus, the non-profit also leverages SMS to deliver short-form content to manage expectations for what’s coming next.

For example: ‘Look out for your first email tomorrow’. Or, you could drive traffic to vital pieces of content, i.e.: ‘if you haven’t watched our welcome video, why not watch it now <insert link>’.

As this program is ongoing, Asthma UK utilizes a test-and-learn approach with all its emails. This allows subscribers to respond to the usefulness of the content at the bottom of their email, as well as a post-program questionnaire to gain valuable feedback.

 

Check out Asthma UK’s winning entries for this year’s dotties: the charity won the non-profit and omnichannel campaign categories.

Starbucks

Starbucks is at the top of its game with omnichannel right now, and it comes as no surprise, with over 28,000 stores worldwide and approximately 15 million active members of its loyalty program.

What makes Starbucks so great with omnichannel? You can use its mobile app to place an order and pay ahead of arriving at one of its bricks-and-mortar stores.

After placing the order, the app suggests nearby Starbucks stores and lets you know the estimated wait time for your order at each one. No more bun fights in a morning on your way to the office!

When you’ve selected which store to collect your coffee, it gives you directions to get there. You can pay for said coffee using the Starbucks card and can check the balance anywhere, at any time, using either your phone, the app, the website or in store.

This is a great example of how to leverage your customers’ devices and your own channels for a better experience.

 

Oasis

Oasis is at the leading edge of omnichannel, using its ecommerce site, mobile app and brick-and-mortar stores in to one simple, seamless shopping experience.

If you take a visit to one of its stores, you’re greeted with sales assistants holding iPads that are available to give you up-to-date, accurate and on-the-spot product information.

This iPad also acts as a cash register, making it more convenient to purchase your product/s. If it appears that something is out of stock, the staff can instantly place an online order for you to have the item delivered direct to your home address. For online shoppers, if an item is sold out then customers can also use their ‘Seek & Send’ service.

Overall, Oasis provides a well-managed experience that reduces the lines between online and offline. The brand endeavours to get that sale, no matter what channel is used, and without being pushy and demanding too much attention from the customer.

Three tips on implementing omnichannel for your brand:

  1. Develop an omnichannel location data strategy. Once you understand every touch point your customer uses, ensure that your brand is visible on each one through location data.
  2. Understand your customer’s omnichannel journey. Examine the entire journey your customer takes from home to store. Understanding your customer’s omnichannel journey will require you to employ tools such as journey maps, which designers use to research and depict the customer experience journey.
  3. Create next moments appropriate for each channel. As I mentioned in this article a “next moment” is the action that occurs after someone finds your brand through a search. The next moment needs to maximize and capitalize on the unique attributes of each channel and device (e.g. highly visual content for Instagram).

In short: more connected channels = more revenue.

Want to discover omnichannel in more detail? Download our whitepaper here.

The post Examples of brands with excellent omnichannel experiences appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Local SEO: Driving customer actions for enterprise-level brands

Multilocation businesses face some unique challenges in today’s local search landscape, but columnist Thomas Stern believes they can succeed by finding the right balance between centralized data management and localized content production.

The post Local SEO: Driving customer actions for…

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Reblogged 2 years ago from feeds.searchengineland.com

IRCE 2017: 4 Key Session Takeaways for Brands

The annual Internet Retailer Commerce & Expo (IRCE) show came to a close last week in Chicago. We had so much fun seeing our customers, partners and industry friends at one of the largest e-commerce trade shows of the year. We were inspired by some great sessions with some very common themes that e-commerce brands should consider right now to grow their business…use innovative technologies but be human, have fun – be authentic, get personal with your customers and think of one more creative idea to make it work.

Here are a few session takeaways that inspired us.

  • Shark Investor, “Shark Tank” TV Series, Barbara Corcoran – Barbara Corcoran shared her personal journey in creating her empire and $66 million dollar sale of her real estate business. Getting past failure, having more fun at work, “dress in your PJ’s, dress as nuns,” was threaded throughout her presentation. Corcoran’s message to e-commerce entrepreneurs, “Fun is good for business. If you have more fun at work you build more teams.” Corcoran also shared how all of the best things that happened to her happened on the heels of rejection and that setbacks are “the seeds to creativity and innovation.”
  • Mary Beth Laughton, SVP, Digital, Sephora“Feed her mobile addiction” with “teach, inspire and play” experiences was the theme of Mary Beth Laughton’s presentation. Laughton shared how mobile is Sephora’s fastest growing channel. Embedding “addictive mobile experiences” along the consumer journey, drawing on customer insights and following up quickly with personalized communications (personalized emails with tips on how that product looks, exclusives, early access experiences, etc) are all opportunities to get the customer to come back again.
  • Nicole Gardner, COO, Dormify – dotmailer’s featured customer Nicole Gardner, COO of Dormify, shared best marketing practices for converting tech-savvy Millennial and Gen Z shoppers. As an e-commerce business that is growing 50% year-over-year, Dormify continues to focus on fresh SEO techniques and layering great content and guidance at every touch-point of the customer journey. Gardner wrapped up the session by sharing the following advice, “Know your customer and know they will change. Be where they are (but don’t force it). Be useful. Help them build the ultimate _____. Be modular, not prescriptive. Provide choices and tools to help them make their own experience.”
  • George Hanson, VP, North America E-Commerce and Brand House Stores, Under Armour – This session gave an awesome look at wearables today and plans in the works. According to George Hanson, “data is the key to unlocking more personalization and product innovation.” Under Armour has a community of more than 200 million connected fitness consumers. This community informs Under Armour’s digital marketing experiences. Hanson emphasized that personalization needs to be connected and many brands have siloed solutions.

We look forward to continuing the discussion and hearing about your favorite takeaways. Fill out our dedicated survey to provide your feedback.

Please keep the conversation going at @dotmailer, #IRCE17!

 

 

The post IRCE 2017: 4 Key Session Takeaways for Brands appeared first on The Email Marketing Blog.

Reblogged 2 years ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Is Australia the land of opportunity for your retail brand?

Australia has a resident population of more than 24 million and, according to eMarketer, the country’s ecommerce sales are predicted to reach A$32.56 billion by 2017. The country’s remote location in the APAC region means that unlike European countries or the USA, traditionally there have been a lack of global brands sold locally.

Of course, we also know that many expatriates, particularly from inside the Commonwealth, have made Australia their home and are keen to buy products they know and love from their country of origin.

All of these factors present a huge and potentially lucrative opportunity for non-Australian brands wanting to open up their new and innovative products to a fresh market, or compete for market share.

But it’s not just non-Australian retailers who are at an advantage here: Australia was late to the ecommerce party because native, established brands were trading well without it. Subsequently, Australian retailers’ ecommerce technology stacks are much more recent and not burdened by legacy systems. This makes it much easier to extend, or get started with, best-of-breed technologies and cash in on a market that’s booming. To put some of this into perspective, Magento’s innovative ecommerce platform currently takes 42% of Australia’s market share and the world’s first adopter of Magento 2.0 was an Australian brand.

The GST loophole

At the moment, local retailers are campaigning against a rule that exempts foreign websites from being charged a 10% general sales tax (GST) on purchases under A$1,000. And in 2013, Australian consumers made $3.11 billion worth of purchases under A$1,000.[1]

While the current GST break appears to put non-Australian retailers at an advantage, Australian-based brands such as Harvey Norman are using it to their advantage by setting up ecommerce operations in Asia to enjoy the GST benefit.

Australian consumers have also countered the argument by saying that price isn’t always the motivator when it comes to making purchasing decisions.

It’s not a place where no man has gone before

Often, concerns around meeting local compliance and lack of overseas business knowledge prevent outsiders from taking the leap into cross-border trade. However, this ecommerce passport, created by Ecommerce Worldwide and NORA, is designed to support those considering selling in Australia. The guide provides a comprehensive look into everything from the country’s economy and trade status, to logistics and dealing with international payments.

Global expansion success stories are also invaluable sources of information. For instance, it’s not just lower-end retailers that are fitting the bill, with brands like online luxury fashion retailer Net-a-Porter naming Australia as one of its biggest markets.

How tech-savvy are the Aussies?

One of the concerns you might have as a new entrant into the market is how you’ll reach and sell to your new audience, particularly without having a physical presence. The good news is that more than 80% of the country is digitally enabled and 60% of mobile phone users own a smartphone – so online is deeply rooted into the majority of Australians’ lives. [2]

Marketing your brand

Heard the saying “Fire bullets then fire cannonballs”? In any case, you’ll want to test the waters and gauge people’s reactions to your product or service.

It all starts with the website because, without it, you’re not discoverable or searchable, and you’ve nowhere to drive people to when running campaigns. SEO and SEM should definitely be a priority, and an online store that can handle multiple regions and storefronts, like Magento, will make your life easier. A mobile-first mentality and well thought-out UX will also place you in a good position.

Once your new web store is set up, you should be making every effort to collect visitors’ email addresses, perhaps via a popover. Why? Firstly, email is one of the top three priority areas for Australian retailers, because it’s a cost-effective, scalable marketing channel that enables true personalization.

Secondly, email marketing automation empowers you to deliver the customer experience today’s consumer expects, as well as enabling you to communicate with them throughout the lifecycle. Check out our ‘Do customer experience masters really exist?’ whitepaper for some real-life success stories.

Like the Magento platform, dotmailer is set up to handle multiple languages, regions and accounts, and is designed to grow with you.

In summary, there’s great scope for ecommerce success in Australia, whether you’re a native bricks-and-mortar retailer, a start-up or a non-Australian merchant. The barriers to cross-border trade are falling and Australia is one of APAC’s most developed regions in terms of purchasing power and tech savviness.

We recently worked with ecommerce expert Chloe Thomas to produce a whitepaper on cross-border trade, which goes into much more detail on how to market and sell successfully in new territories. You can download a free copy here.

[1] Australian Passport 2015: Cross-Border Trading Report

[2] Australian Passport 2015: Cross-Border Trading Report

Reblogged 3 years ago from blog.dotmailer.com