Why CRM Won’t Lead You To Marketing Nirvana

There’s no doubt that marketing technology is going through a period of rapid growth. But just as in any other period of increased spending, some investments are smarter than others. Think back to the money that was thrown into sock puppets and stadium-naming during the dot-com boom and you’ll know exactly how this can sometimes play out.

“Let’s Call It a Marketing App”

For starters, marketing tech’s fast expansion has vendors working hard to repackage what they have as the latest and greatest marketing tool—it’s simply cheaper to start with what you have than to start over. CRM is an excellent example of this approach. CRM vendors are currently pitching products that were built to track a limited number of customers through a limited number of transactions as “The Future Of Marketing.” Gigaom and other market researchers are starting to call these big vendors’ bluffs in reports showing that CRM isn’t the apex predator, prowling at the top of the disruption food chain.

Put Your Money Where Your Disruption Is

Instead, reports are consistently showing that big data, mobile, omni-channel, and social media are having the biggest impact. As a result, they deserve the greatest focus (which generally shows up as “budget”). Underlying all of these capabilities is the huge challenge of integrating data sources and managing large amounts of information. More and more marketing data is being generated every moment and—in order to be useful—it needs to be processed in real time before the customer leaves the store or website. The systems being repackaged, CRMs included, lack the architecture to meet these needs and will more likely put serious limitations on marketers.

Here, There, Anywhere = No Silos

The trends of big data, mobile, omni-channel, and social media meet at a crossroads where brands desperately require a 360-degree view of the customer and the customer adamantly expects to have a unified engagement experience. The marketer, in particular, is saddled with multiple goals that must all to be met. Bland offers aren’t enough and are, in fact, just one of many pieces of the modern marketing puzzle. Throughout the cycle of commerce, customers need to be identified, acquired, converted, and retained, requiring data to be used simultaneously in many ways. Data silos, created in cobbled-together systems, are a formidable barrier to what needs to be a nimble, fast, integrated approach to marketing—CRMs simply weren’t built for this.

A Platform Built From the Ground-Up

Enormous change requires new ways of solving problems. At TIBCO Engage, our deep roots in customer loyalty marketing provide a very different approach to these marketing challenges. As part of TIBCO, long known for its expertise and experience in integration, analytics, and social collaboration, we have a distinct advantage in addressing big data, mobile, omni-channel, and social media.

We recently launched our new platform that was built from the ground up to address the exact challenges that market research shows are the most important. To know more about TIBCO Engage, go to engage.tibco.com.

Exactly How Actionable Are Your Analytics?

By Jeanne Roué-Taylor

Applying analytics to your marketing is one thing, but utilizing actionable analytics is quite another. Making analytics actionable is a matter of having great segmentation that establishes the playing field for those moments when a marketer needs to act or react to the customer. Without segmentation, real time isn’t a realistic expectation for your customer interaction.

Defining Segmentation the Right Way

Just like analytics, segmentation depends very much on having the right data and using that data correctly. Effective segmentation starts with at least three levels; for example, segments of customers, segments of products, and segments of stores.

As an example, getting customer segmentation right may involve knowing buying frequency and product types as well as demographic data such as age, gender, income, and even proximity to store.

Products can be segmented by category, of course, but also grouped by what’s typically purchased together and by the customer segment known for buying the products. In this way, both customer and product segments are tied together.

Stores are commonly segmented by the composition of products purchased, type of store, and neighborhood demographics (therefore linking back to both the customer and product).

Putting Segmentation Into Practice

The rubber truly meets the road in how segmentation is applied. Just as there are multiple levels to segmentation, there are also multiple uses for the segments teased out of data. Segmentation can be about having better core knowledge and insight, personalization and more targeted marketing, customer cloning, influencing the customer journey, creating a path to profitability, or for top-down marketing.

The Power of Propensity Models

Another way to make sure analytics are actionable is to have great propensity models. These models are a mathematical representation of the likelihood of a segment to exhibit a certain behavior, including abandoning their cart, buying multiple items together, or simply responding to an offer. Propensity models are built to allow scoring and predicting that allows marketers to respond quickly, through the right channel, in a changing environment—a real challenge in our mobile, always-on world.

The Psychological Router

The last piece of making analytics actionable is considering the end-to-end system as a psychological router, constantly measuring and influencing the customer in ways that create a synergistic relationship. Done well, the psychological router is a virtuous cycle that starts with the initial propensity model and takes constant input to continually refine and improve marketing performance (see diagram below).

Only when segmentation, propensity models, and the psychological router are in place can marketing truly make analytics actionable.

To learn more, download the whitepaper, Real-Time vs. Right-Time Marketing, Determining the Best Time to Market, and register for our webinar on Wednesday, September 24, to see the new TIBCO Engage platform for marketers in action.

Now, We Enable You to Interpret and Motivate Customer Behavior in Real Time

By Jeanne Roué-Taylor

You’ve heard so many conversations by now about rapidly changing customer expectations, and as a marketer you know that mobile, social, and real-time technology are growing by leaps and bounds. Each can be a major challenge on its own, and the combination of factors is complex and becoming increasingly so each year. It’s exciting and sobering at the same time.

TIBCO Launches Its New Marketing Platform

But there’s relief in sight that responds to both problems at the same time and doesn’t ask marketers to cobble together partial solutions (with the risk and pain that brings). At the intersection of customer expectation and technology challenges, we’ve created TIBCO Engage™ to be the premier Software-as-a-Service marketing platform that enables businesses to interpret and motivate consumer behavior in real time, through personalized experiences and across any channel.

Yes, you can have it all.

TIBCO today launched TIBCO Engage to meet the increasingly complex challenges of understanding, personally interacting with, and retaining customers in today’s world. Those are commonly uttered phrases, but they haven’t been epitomized in one single platform before now. The two tasks of making complexity simple to manage internally and keeping it hidden from the consumer require a great deal of understanding of the consumer, technology, and smart engineering. That’s precisely what went into creating this new platform and we couldn’t be happier about the result.

Our customers are also expressing their thoughts on TIBCO Engage in very positive terms: “We look to actively captivate our best customers with the most relevant content and storytelling. TIBCO helps us to more effectively understand our customers by activity so we can talk about running to runners, skiing to skiers and climbing to climbers,” said Aaron Carpenter, vice president, marketing, The North Face. “Using TIBCO technology has helped us gain significant understanding of our customers to take those relationships to the next level. We are excited to use the advanced analytics options in the new TIBCO Engage platform.”

Savvy marketers know that transactional relationships with customers are no longer enough. Wen Miao, senior vice president at TIBCO, explains the TIBCO Engage value this way: “TIBCO Engage will empower marketers to move away from generic batch-and-blast marketing to personalized brand experiences across any channel. We believe TIBCO Engage will become the essential real-time marketing platform for every company to turn their customers into raving fans.”

We’re excited to launch TIBCO Engage and invite you to take a look at what we’ve built. From connectors, to a behavioral engine, interaction optimizer, loyalty management, social collaboration and communities, we think you’ll see a platform that cuts the risk and timeline of interpreting and motivating customer behavior in real time.

Download our whitepaper on right-time marketing to learn how you can deliver more timely, contextualized customer experiences.

To learn more, visit engage.tibco.com or email engage@tibco.com.

INFOGRAPHIC: Top 10 Marketing Trends for 2014

 

 

To learn more about TIBCO’s Top 10 Marketing Trends for 2014, download the whitepaper and watch the webinar.

Share this infographic on your site!


Top 10 Marketing Trends for 2014

LoyaltyLab.com

Modern Marketing Focuses on Actionable Analytics

by Jeanne Roué-Taylor

It would be really hard to overstate the changes happening in marketing as our world is immersed in burgeoning amounts of all types of data. We suddenly have data that allows us to measure marketing performance through platforms that accumulate historical and real-time data from mobile, web and in-store sources like never before in history.

Actionable Analytics

This definitely gives us visibility into how our campaigns performed, but there’s something more urgent happening that not everyone realizes—the need to see the marketing business from a new and powerful perspective. We need to understand the game before it even begins—before the campaign is executed—through actionable models and analytics that tell us what the rules are, where the game takes place, and how to play.

Three Areas of Understanding

The game is decided by three key areas of understanding that are critical to being competitive:

  • A focus on segmentation – Marketing segmentation is becoming more complex and more powerful. In a noisy world, great segmentation is the arbiter of who engages with the right messages at the right time.
  • The power of propensities – There are far more propensities than simply the propensity to spend or act on a particular offer. Marketers need to get to the heart of why customers attrite, act on social media and a host of other behaviors.
  • A culture of test & learn – Measuring the effect of a hypothesis on a segment of the network allows us to understand the impact of rolling campaigns out to a broad audience.

These trends mean that advanced analytics aren’t simply a nice-to-have. They’re a key part of being competitive and also building brand loyalty, customer retention and brand advocacy.

Upcoming Actionable Analytics Webinar

Learn detailed best practices in actionable analytics in our joint webinar with TIBCO Spotfire on Thursday, May 22nd.

You will learn:

  • The types of analytic skills expected of nearly every marketer in today’s digital and big data world
  • Eight key metrics that get to the heart of measuring loyal customers
  • How to most effectively present information visually and dive more deeply for greater insights
  • Which mathematical models have the greatest impact on success
  • How to separate what causes behavior versus just knowing that it correlates
  • What is the difference between an actionable segmentation versus a descriptive segmentation

Click on the link to register today for our May 22nd webinar, Marketing Analytics: What You Need to Know Now.

Customer Experience Hinges on What You Know and When You Know It

by Jeanne Roué-Taylor

Today’s marketers needs to be focused intently on all of the data that can be gathered about their customers. This modern reality means that data’s two dimensions—”what we know” and “when we know it”—take on a completely new and higher level of importance. This is exactly why CRM falls short when it comes to capturing interaction with the customer in a way that tracks and improves the relationship.

Marketing Is About the Context

The limited data model of traditional CRM systems lacks the context required to engage customers in the best ways possible. That’s because the data available to marketers today isn’t simply historical interaction like transactions. With the data generated by mobile, Web, social and location technology, we can have the context of the customer’s current moment, where decisions are being made, enriched by the over-the-shoulder information from systems like CRM.

Managing Data’s Two Dimensions

This data coming from all directions presents an enormous opportunity for marketers to know more and to know it much more quickly than ever before. Excellent management of data’s “what” and “when” dimensions makes customer engagement a carefully analyzed, modeled, and orchestrated event, instead of an unwanted intrusion. It has relevance and value rather than being noisy and ignored.

Order In Data Chaos

If you’ve ever been to an air show, you know that the planes involved appear to be on the edge of chaos as they make high-speed passes and other stunts. Marketing data today is the same carefully orchestrated but high-speed exercise that we see in the sky. As marketers expand what they know and shorten the time to know it, the customer feels a seamless and immediate experience with the brand. With the right technology, interacting in the “now” moment, despite the noise, looks elegant and easy. Most importantly, brands know what to expect in real time and what will likely happen next.

To learn more, visit www.loyalylab.com/expertise

Customer Experience Truth: Eighty Percent Right Better Than Three Months Late

By Jeanne Roué-Taylor

There’s a truth in customer experience management brought about by rapidly changing technology—marketers are better off 80% right today than 100% right three months from now. Today’s marketing math delivers better results from fast turnaround with good data rather than perfect data that takes far too long to assemble. Traditional marketing approaches looking for perfect data segments simply aren’t competitive any longer.

Intersection of Big Data and Real-Time Information

The math has changed because of a combination of new technologies like mobile, social, and in-memory storage, all creating and managing enormous amounts of data that feeds remarkably powerful analytics. At the intersection of Big Data and real-time information, marketers are finding that analytics changes the game of interactions in the moments that count, in the context of the customer.

Visualization and self-discovery performed against a growing list of available digital information shows patterns we could never see before that allow us to test and learn with every interaction. But there are challenges to taking full advantage of marketing’s new math. The biggest challenge comes from the fact that customer data is found in many places, never in just one.

Customer Systems Evolved Separately

As computerization of commerce progressed over the past few decades, the many things we need to know to provide the best customer experience evolved separately. Information today is stored in many disparate systems, which are even located both on and off premise. Waiting for change won’t help—no monolithic system is going to show up that can replace what already exists, and anything that does is too rigid to be useful as consumers and markets evolve rapidly.

Connecting The Dots

This is precisely why integration is hot technology for marketers, feeding analytics with all kinds of current and historical information that allows marketers to be mostly right very quickly—right enough and fast enough to make a difference.

Discover how companies are making up with volume and speed what they lack in accuracy and completeness. Download the whitepaper Top 10 Marketing Trends for 2014.

Everyone Shops for a Different Reason

By Jeanne Roué-Taylor

Customers are rarely a homogenous group. They differ greatly in revenue potential, levels of loyalty, and frequency of contact. What makes loyalty work, therefore, is an ability to segment your customers using powerful analytics. Segmentation allows the right amount of effort and right offers to be applied in the right moments to the right customers.

Knowing enough to segment properly takes powerful analytics. Unless analytics are a key part of your loyalty platform, odds are you won’t be able to do much more than old-fashioned transactional loyalty.

But segmentation isn’t such a simple thing. There are common segments based on how people shop—like price or convenience—but below those broad categories, there are more subtle ways to segment based on what is required to engage a customer in the right moment with the right offer. This is the description of behavioral segmentation, and takes a capability to test and learn that wasn’t available until recent times.

Test and Learn

Test and learn provides a way to find segments that may not otherwise be visible to marketers. By choosing existing segments and testing offers on a smaller scale, new segments can be developed and marketed to in a larger way. The opportunity to test and learn is a benefit of a customer loyalty platform that includes powerful visual analytics.

In the end, everyone shops for a different reason. Marketers armed with the tools to not just segment along traditional lines of age, race, and other factors—but also to test and learn—have a distinct advantage over those who don’t.

 

Analytics at the Core of Customer Engagement

By Jeanne Roué Taylor

There’s so much customer data around us, and it gets richer and faster each and every day. People are talking non-stop about Big Data and its many uses in various parts of the market. But what’s not really getting as much attention is how analytics are used to make loyalty platforms effective for meaningful customer engagement.

Powerful analytics are on the critical path to understanding customers and when to engage, something we call right-time marketing. Right-time marketing is more nuanced than real-time marketing because it takes into account the data that supports the best time for the right kind of customer interaction. It isn’t a simple action-reaction cycle that turns customers off and can even come across as creepy and opportunistic.

Analytics Done Right

Analytics, used appropriately, allow a brand to understand many aspects of customer engagement, including:

  • Social media likes, shares, and follows
  • In-store, website, and mobile interactions and their context
  • Customer service history
  • Purchase history
  • Customer preferences

By understanding this kind of data, which is often ignored or unavailable because of silo’d systems, brands understand exactly when, where, and how to interact with their customers. This changes the model for customer engagement, and makes the customer much more than a pitch and transaction.

It Takes a Platform

It takes a loyalty platform to bring together, analyze, and respond appropriately to all of the fast-moving, rich data available today. Are you ready?

Learn more at http://www.loyaltylab.com/platform.html and watch the webinar, The Power of Analytics to Drive Loyalty.

Hey Marketers, Insight Isn’t Much Good Without Action

By Jeanne Roué Taylor

The enormous amount of ink being spilled around Big Data often includes the phrase “amazing insights.” At the same time, there’s plenty being said about the need to know and respond to your customers in the timeframes that matter, aka customer loyalty management (CLM).

customer loyalty management

While these customer loyalty management ideas seem intuitive, too often, the ways we gain insights into customer loyalty aren’t directly connected to the action side of the equation. This happens either because the technology that supports insight-to-action or the skills/individuals required to do this efficiently and effectively are artificially separated…or both.

The latency or customer blindness this creates is what differentiates great customer loyalty management from the mediocre. So what can be done to make insight turn into actions?

Model-Driven Data

Models are great tools for bringing together diverse data sets and preventing insights and actions from “falling through the cracks.” A great model brings together data from several sources, feeds analytics, makes predictions, enables test-and-learn scenarios, and allows the organization to adapt as data, channels, and other factors change over time. In a nutshell, models support an organization’s ability to be dynamic and responsive in their customer loyalty management.

Meaningful Analytics

Just as important as the model is the ability to spend less time on reports and dashboards while increasing the transparency of program performance. That can only be done when the marketer’s toolset can dynamically segment and show purchase propensities. Segmentation isn’t a new idea, but the ability to adapt segments and prediction to what’s happening in real time is very ‘new-generation’.

Fast Execution

As we move closer to the moment of decision, thanks to mobility and faster data, our ability to know, predict, and then respond must also be fast. A customer is only on the website until they’re not, in the store until they’re not, and waiting for your interaction until they’ve moved on to something else…or engaged with your competitor.

Models, analytics, and execution are core components of today’s capable customer engagement platform. Any less is too slow and lacks coherence within the brand and worse, across to the customer. Are you ready?