Blog: Michelle BB
We all know (but perhaps don't want to acknowledge) that brands shouldn't try to build relationships with their entire customer base; there is no need to focus on the person who buys once every ten months. Instead, spend your time, effort and resources on your top 10, 20 or 30% (depending on your business), increasing your understanding of your most valuable (current and potential) customers. To do that, you must think "direct".
To clarify, "direct" has two distinct meanings here - there are those customers who choose to buy Direct from you (vs. their local retailer); we'll call those "BIG Ds" or simply "Directs". And those who engage directly with your brand via the myriad channels available today (think Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and the like). They're little "ds" or "directs".
The way brands interact with consumers has evolved significantly (particularly with the little "ds") because of digital channels. Brands now have access to a wealth of information from both Directs and directs, which means you have the intelligence you need to develop more relevant dialogues to drive purchase, loyalty and evangelism.
I hope you will join me and Fatemeh Khatibloo, Senior Analyst at Forrester Research on February 28th at 1pm ET, for an informative webinar to introduce Fatemeh's newest research on Customer Intelligence (CI) Services.
DM News - Staying Up-to-Date on Data Technology
August 1, 2011
Customer relationship management, or CRM, has evolved into a sophisticated approach to customer communications. Particularly with the advent of social CRM, companies can now track and monitor specific customer behavior to inform segmentation and customization of marketing messages for more sophisticated customer intelligence.
Our three expert CRM column contributors provide tips and advice about the latest trends and best practices in the CRM space, from social marketing features to proven processes and tactics used by marketers to maximize customer communication strategy and give brands a road map for success.
During the next few months, you'll hear (and see) me talk about ValueWatcher, a highly intuitive (and interactive) visualization application that puts customer data in the hands of business users to gain a better understanding of customers and glean insights in a self-sufficient manner.
Why? Because our clients have adopted and embraced this tool in ways we never imagined possible. While not a substitute for a campaign management or business intelligence application, ValueWatcher has become the perfect complement. It allows those individuals who are not power users - and have no desire to be - the ability to query their customer data quickly and easily.
Quaero recently sponsored Forrester's Marketing Forum 2011. (And if any of you were able to attend our reception or visit our booth, you'll agree that the event was a particularly sweet success; Quaero treated attendees to more than 2,000 pieces of gourmet chocolate!)
As always, the Forum provided marketers with a great deal of food for thought. This year’s theme was Innovating for the Next Digital Decade. Forrester warned that rapid innovation is creating radical shifts in the methods and media that people use to engage with your company, brand, and products, and promised to demonstrate how emerging tools can combine the targeting, customization, and measurement of online platforms with the rich, emotional brand experiences often associated with traditional ‘offline’ media.
Some of you might have seen my rant against the Today Show’s Steals & Deals for promoting amazing deals that were virtually impossible to get. Guess what? I wasn’t alone in my frustration. This particular episode that aired on November 2nd, 2010 raised the ire of many consumers who tried to purchase the XOXO jacket or the Tahitian pearl set and wound up angry…and empty-handed. Just check out the comments section of my post and you’ll get a sense for just how dissatisfied consumers were with the experience.
I don’t think the Today Show knew how much strain on the system its deals would cause. Nor do I think they adequately prepared the individual retailers. But I don’t think they should stop the concept altogether; it’s a great idea and people love bargains. The Today Show, (and the supporting retailers), however, need to focus on the customer experience for the sake of their brand.
This morning, the Today Show aired a shopping segment called "Steals and Deals" that allowed viewers to take advantage of amazing deals on some hot products (e.g., Talbots cashmere sweater for $24; normal retail price = $115). As the most popular network morning show on the airwaves, the Today Show has a tremendous following with more than five million viewers tuning in weekly. It's no surprise that thousands of people hit the MSNBC site and the retailers' links to purchase these heavily discounted items.
Forrester’s Marketing Forum, as I wrote in the recent post, Forrester’s Marketing Forum – Are You Planning to Attend, was intended to deliver value to attendees through a variety of means – content, networking, council meetings and analyst 1-on-1s.
So did it deliver? Yes, it did. Quaero folks onsite spoke with peers, clients and analysts, all of whom agreed that the content will help to shape the decisions they make back at their companies.
Why was it so powerful? A lot of it had to do with the content and theme. Adaptive Marketing: How to Design a Flexible Marketing Organization to Thrive on Change felt particularly relevant as we start to see a light at the end of the recessionary tunnel.
Here are some of the things we learned:
In a previous blog post, I shared thoughts on a book chapter Naras and I are in the process of writing. I thought I'd follow up by focusing on one of the key external drivers forcing CMOs to take a hard look at their ecosystems.
Changes in Consumer Behavior
In the not-too-distant past, if you wanted to "buy" something, you went to a store (or several), evaluated your options and ultimately made a purchase. Now, brick and mortar stores have become little more than distribution centers for people who have done their "shopping" online and want the convenience of picking up in-store. Since 2000, online retail shopping has grown by 210% and accounted for a $130 billion market in 2008, according to comScore (SCOR). And while in-store sales are declining, online sales are, in fact, growing.
Later this week, I'll be heading to Los Angeles to attend Forrester's Marketing Forum, Adaptive Marketing: How to Design a Flexible Organization to Thrive on Change. As a silver sponsor of the event, Quaero will have a presence in the network showcase and is hosting a themed break (with prizes! and food!) on the 22nd.
Will the event be enjoyable? Of course. It always is; Forrester's event team works hard to make sure attendees have a good time. But, will it be useful? Absolutely. I would argue that this year's event could be the most important and best yet. Here is why:
If you've been to the site before, you've probably noticed that we've made a few changes recently. Some are fairly obvious; others, which are far more subtle, are designed to improve your experience, making it easier to find what you're looking for. The new Quaero Web site now:
In searching for some statistics on social media to support a separate idea, I came across this interesting link:
The blogger has compiled an impressive collection of statistics pointing out the staggering growth of social media in recent years. I believe some of these figures have been carefully "interpreted" by the author to help build his argument; however, he has linked back to his sources adding a level of credibility of the information. The evidence makes the case that social media is not a fad, but a fundamental shift in how we communicate and consume information. I think it's hard to deny this, and the implications of this change are particularly interesting to marketers. Marketers should apply careful thought and consideration to these media trends when planning future initiatives and roadmaps.
To read more insights on social media, be sure to check out two of Quaero's resident experts: