Making Sense of the MarTech Universe

The marketing technology landscape is like the universe, vast and large. By last count, Scott Brinker of chiefmartec.com counted over 5000 marketing technology vendors. And these solutions—driven by the diverse needs of marketers and the imagination of innovative entrepreneurs—don’t always fit into nice, neat categories.

This contributes to the confusion that many marketers feel around MarTech. There is no standard taxonomy for the MarTech solution space, which makes it difficult to break it down into smaller, more manageable chunks of capabilities.

But after many conversations with research analysts and after reading many great articles on the subject, I’ve developed a simple approach to help make sense of this confusing world. 

There are three systems that you need to understand

Continue reading

Lessons from the real world: Five best practices for driving sustainable growth from personalization

After spending many years as the VP of Marketing at one of the leading personalization technology providers, I have a pretty good understanding of the benefits and limitations of personalization. And while there are very clear advantages for retailers that adopt a well-designed personalization strategy, I worry about the personalization bubble that has been created. There is irrational exuberance in the marketplace today, an almost mystical belief in the impact that personalization technology will have on a business.

Messages from analysts and thought leaders are fueling this fire. Here are excerpts from an email I just received promoting an upcoming analyst webinar on personalization—sound familiar?

“Personalization is being redefined as individualization—structuring interaction, functionality, and content around the real time individual needs of customers.”

“Discover why individualization, not segmentation, is becoming the new standard for personalization.”

The implication is that with the right technology investments, brands won’t need to do any heavy lifting in marketing. They won’t need to dig deep to understand the differences across customer segments, they won’t need to develop personas, and they won’t need creative breakthroughs to propel their business. Just leave it to the algorithms to crunch the customer data and deliver the perfect message to each consumer at just the right moment. Sounds like magic, right?

As my mother always said, “if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is, unless it’s me.”

Continue reading

Retail Marketing Leaders Power Breakthrough Results with Custora’s New Segmentation Studio

Fast growing retailers Calendars.com and Dermstore have experienced a 10x lift in ROAS and 2% increase in overall sales with Custora.

Friday, June 9, 2017, 8:03 EDT

Chicago – At CRMC today, Custora unveiled Segmentation Studio, the most robust and user friendly customer segmentation tool on the market today. Segmentation Studio gives marketers point and click access to predictive customer segments that significantly improve the ROI of email, direct mail, Facebook and display campaigns.

Many retailers understand that opportunities for growth are hidden in their customer data, but they encounter a number of challenges when attempting to make use of their data: customer data is fragmented across various systems, they lack the data science capabilities to uncover insights at scale, or, to the extent insights exist, marketers face friction when attempting to leverage insights within daily marketing campaigns. Custora’s advanced Customer Segmentation Platform addresses these challenges and is helping 6 of the top 20 retailers in the US leverage their customer data to drive growth.

Custora’s platform is comprised of two parts: the “Customer Data Cloud” and the newly released “Segmentation Studio.” The Customer Data Cloud powers the platform ‘under the hood.’ In the Customer Data Cloud, Custora aggregates data from a variety of transactional, engagement, and web analytics sources to produce a single, unique profile for each consumer. The platform then leverages a variety of predictive, machine learning models to anticipate customer behavior. Each customer profile is enriched with attributes including product and brand affinities, propensity to purchase on discount, expected lifetime spend, and likelihood of churn.

Segmentation Studio is a web interface that sits on top of the Customer Data Cloud. The Studio provides Marketers with point-and-click access to activate those insights within daily marketing campaigns. Marketers can discover hidden opportunities, create intelligent customer segments, and automatically push those segments into marketing execution tools throughout their ‘marketing stack.’ Segmentation Studio provides “click click done” functionality to help marketers respond to questions such as, “Who should receive our new arrival campaign?” or “Which customers are at risk for churn?” Segmentation Studio offers a natural language query interface, out-of-the-box access to historical and predictive segments, integrations to tools throughout the marketing stack, and automated cross-channel  measurement capabilities. Marketers are leveraging Segmentation Studio to drive significant lift in email, direct mail, social, and display campaigns.
Continue reading

Six Ideas for Building Loyalty with Today’s Fickle Consumer

In last week’s post I shared some alarming stats on the decline in consumer loyalty today. In a recent research study conducted by ICLP, a global loyalty consultancy, only 3% of consumers felt devoted to their preferred retail brands.

Are we surprised by this statistic given the state of the world today? A recent Gallup poll found that 55% of married Americans have had extramarital affairs. How loyal would you expect consumers to be when more than 50% of them aren’t even loyal to their own spouses? Consumers today are faced with more choices than ever they are bombarded with discount offers, and are quite adept at using price comparison shopping apps and affiliate marketing channels.

So, in our hyper-competitive, uber-distracted world, should we just give up on trying to build loyalty with our customers? How much money should we spend on a losing proposition? Should we just accept the fact that fewer and fewer of our customers will become loyal Lucys and most will be one-time Terrys?

Continue reading