The Personal(ized) Side of Marketing: 3 Ways Retail Brands Are Using CRM Data to Their Advantage

We hear it all the time: data is yesterday’s “big thing,” today’s “big thing,” and—more than likely—tomorrow’s “big thing.” But how can a brand leverage its data in a way that is truly meaningful from a marketing perspective? The answer is personalization. Personalization is the practice of producing and delivering individualized content to people by using data collection, analysis, and automation technology. Though it has been viewed as “creepy” by some, the truth is that both brands and consumers alike are coming to embrace personalization—even the slow adopters. Why? Because it’s a very effective marketing tactic that serves consumers products or services that they were probably already thinking about purchasing anyway.

A recent article from Marketo stated that: “email personalization boosts open rates by 26%, and click-through rates by 97%”. Also, according to recent Epsilon research, “80 percent of consumers are more likely to do business with a company if it offers a personalized experience.” So how can retail brands put this into practice using their own Customer Retention Management (CRM) data? Here are three ways:

Scanner Applications: Scanner data can be used to capture consumer preferences and buying habits. Many retailers use scannable cards, which are loaded with personal consumer data, to plan for and outline marketing strategies. For instance, a retailer could use that data to offer coupons that are specific to a brand that was purchased. One can also offer a percentage or dollar amount off of future purchases based on total dollars spent by that consumer. Scanner data allows you to reach a consumer when your products or brands are still top of mind.

Recommender Engines: Using the data you have access to by just doing business can be a simple way to implement personalized marketing. Let’s say you are a sporting goods retailer, and a consumer purchased a lacrosse stick from your website. A few days later, you could then use that information to generate an email to send that consumer recommending lacrosse balls. Generating recommendations based on purchasing behavior is one of the simplest and most effective marketing tactics, as consumers likely need or want what you’re recommending based on what they’ve already purchased. Segmenting your CRM data into lists depending on purchasing behavior allows you to remind consumers of items they likely need to complement past purchases or are clearly interested in based on those past purchases.

Subscription Services: This example is slightly different than the previous ones, in that subscription services provide a much more obvious way to encourage consumer purchases based on preferences that are directly provided. A subscription service, such as Stitch Fix, for example, requires consumers to fill out a survey that details their personal fashion preferences. Doing so very clearly defines what a consumer might buy, and, in turn, allows Stitch Fix to send 5 curated items to the consumer that they know they will like based on the data. In turn, that consumer is more likely to purchase those items because the items have been selected in response to the personal preferences data that was collected.

If you’d like to learn more about how to leverage your customer data, please call 585.421.0100.

Brand vs. Agency: A Tale as Old as Time

Four Common Differences Between Agency-side and Client-side Marketing

Client-side versus agency-side is a tale as old as time. If you like long hours and a fast-paced highly competitive work environment you should work for an agency. If you like mundane, 9-5, and a corporate environment, you should work for a brand. The stereotypes are endless. Here are a few of the differences, and similarities, between agencies and in-house marketing teams to help you chart your own career path.

Creativity
Whether you work for a brand or an agency, your creative mind will be called upon for marketing campaigns, strategic guidance, and problem solving. However, there is a difference in creativity that goes into a marketing campaign for a brand versus one for an agency.

Work for a brand if: You enjoy maintaining the image of an entire brand, with the occasional fight to have your voice heard.

Work for an agency if: You enjoy limitless creative opportunities while also working within the confines of clients’ needs.

Workload
Generally speaking, when you work for a brand you tend to see a steadier and more predictable pace of work. The reason for this is that you are working for a single client – your employer. Within an agency, there is much more variation.

Work for a brand if: You’re looking for a steady, predictable, and manageable workload and do not mind working for the same client, product, or service.

Work for an agency if: You’re looking for a work environment that keeps you busy and never leaves you bored, even if it requires long hours at times and working simultaneously with several clients on multiple campaigns.

Historically, working in-house usually meant your days were 9-5. In the new digital world, the internet never sleeps, so if a brand’s website goes offline or comments flood in, crisis on their social media channels, they may need to be more flexible with their hours. In the same way, as work-life balance becomes increasingly more important to employees, agencies are taking steps to ensure that their staff members don’t work themselves into the ground. Of course, there are still deadlines to be met and hours to be worked, but it is becoming less common on a day-to-day basis.

Income
Having a job that is intellectually stimulating and fulfilling is something that everyone wants, but let’s not pretend that income doesn’t play a role in career decisions. Brands tend to pay more than agencies, but this varies depending on job title and company.

Work for a brand if: You’re looking for a stable and steady income with the potential to earn top wages, even if it means that promotion opportunities may be limited.

Work for an agency if: You don’t mind starting off at the bottom and climbing your way to the top, earning big money later on.

Career Progression
In order to have a successful and satisfying career, you need to consider the ability you have to move upward with future opportunities. With both agencies and brands, this largely depends on positions becoming available, but ultimately, it comes down to how individuals manage themselves.

Client-side positions do not come up as often as agency-side ones because turnover is lower. In contrast, having a strong brand under your belt can help you move to a better position at another brand. Agency-side, there is much more turnover, creating new opportunities consistently; however, these positions can be highly competitive.

Work for a brand if: You’re patient and believe the long, steady climb to the top is worth the potential reward.

Work for an agency if: You want limitless opportunities and are willing to be competitive to achieve your career goals.

Brands and agencies are becoming increasingly more comparable, but there are still differences between the two. While some differences are subtle, others are more obvious. Depending on your personality and your values, you will excel in either environment. Whatever you choose, enjoy the journey and learn everything you can from the experience!

Resources:

https://blog.hubspot.com/agency/agency-client-side-switch-infographic
https://www.ellevatenetwork.com/articles/7350-to-be-or-to-serve-the-pros-and-cons-of-client-side-vs-agency-side-marketing
https://www.smartinsights.com/managing-digital-marketing/personal-career-development/agency-vs-client-side-marketing-which-path-should-i-choose-for-my-career/
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/agency-vs-client-side-which-you-daniel-bolter/
http://www.adnews.com.au/news/agency-vs-client-side-is-the-grass-greener
https://www.live-recruitment.co.uk/blog/2016/05/7-key-differences-between-client-side-and-agency-marketing-roles
https://digitalgurus.online/uk/blog/pros-and-cons-working-agency-vs-client-side/

 

Finding The Right Media Mix

Deciding where to run your advertisement could prove to be tricky. Many advertisers think any large or well-known media outlets are worth the cost. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. For example, if you see your ad in People magazine, you may assume it would be great exposure for your business and drive sales of the Ferraris on your car lot. WRONG! People magazine is very popular, reaching a large population, but it may not reach YOUR audience. Currently, People magazine has a readership in the United States composed of 71% females and 29% males with a median household income of approximately $70K. The average reader may not be able to purchase Ferraris that cost $200K+. Forbes magazine may be a better fit as its readerships are 2x more likely to be c-level executives making $250K+ annually.

What if you are a local flower nursery with only a storefront presence? An ad in Fine Gardening magazine would be a great brand awareness play as it reaches 96K+ of the most engaged gardeners in the United States. In reality, this, too, may be a waste of money because it’s unlikely to effectively drive local gardeners to walk into the store.

This is why a well-developed and well-executed media plan is so important. Identifying, evaluating, and strategically selecting a mix of media platforms that will achieve an advertiser’s campaign goals within a defined budget (the People magazine ad may have taken up 99% of your total marketing budget) is the mission of media planning. There are so many factors to take into account, but the main ones to consider include:

    1. Audience Research: Who are your ideal customers and how can you best reach them? You should have a clear idea of your target market’s age, gender, income level, media habits, interests, etc.
    2. Goals: Do you want to increase your overall brand/product awareness? Do you want to drive conversion rates for a newsletter sign-up? Each media outlet will have a different outcome. This is why it’s important to set clear goals in order to measure the performance of a campaign.
    3. Media Evaluation: Which media outlet will be the most effective to reach your audience and accomplish your goals? In addition, you have to consider what type of media placements are offered – Display banners? eNewsletters? eBlasts?
      • Anticipated Metrics: What type of performance does each media placement and outlet generate? What are the CPCs (Cost per click) or the CPMs (cost per thousand) look like? What about the CTRs (click-through rate)? These anticipated metrics are based on your goals.
    4. Budget: Everything has a price. You want to make sure you don’t spread your budget too thin. The budget should be allocated behind the placements that will give you the most bang for your buck, and sometimes that means focusing on 1-2 publications instead of running in 8 publications. You want to have enough reach and frequency.

After considering the above and deciding on defined marketing goals, it’s time to mesh together a cohesive media plan. However, you don’t have to do this alone. Martino Flynn is equipped with all the tools and highly experienced staff to find the right media plan for you.  Let us help you reach your goals; contact us at 585.421.0100.

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