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.”

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Three Steps to Better Customer Insights with Guest Speaker Brandon Purcell of Forrester

Just as the 1960s were called the age of distribution, and the 1990s labeled the age of information, the 2010s have been dubbed “the age of the customer.” In this age, companies are reinventing themselves to better understand and serve customers who are becoming increasingly powerful.

As a side effect of the age of the customer, companies have been gathering massive amounts of data. While this data can take many forms (e.g. social, behavioral, mobile, sensor) and can differ from company to company, most of this new data has at least one thing in common: it’s not being used.

We work with smart people at some of the best companies in the world every day to tackle this challenge, but we can never pass on an opportunity to open the conversation to others. In that vein, we invited customer insights expert, Brandon Purcell from Forrester, to be a guest presenter at our webinar on the use of analytics to better leverage customer data.

We covered a wide range of topics with Brandon from fancy french restaurants, to Star Wars, and even Google Glass, but the biggest takeaway was these three steps to start using your customer data more effectively. (you can watch the full conversation below)
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eTail West 2016 – Trends and tips to optimize your agenda

Team Custora is headed to balmy Palm Springs this month to attend eTail West, an e-commerce conference where leading retailers will gather to discuss the latest industry trends.

With an agenda that spans three days with over 40 sessions each day, eTail West is sure to be a whirlwind packed with actionable insights and best practices. We’ve perused the schedule, noted the biggest trends, and created a list of sessions not to be missed.

Omnichannel retailing

One word dotted throughout the schedule is omnichannel. Both traditional brick-and-mortar retailers and pure play online retailers are focusing on being everywhere their customers are, and seamlessly integrating every channel. Here are a few sessions we’re excited about:

1) Keynote Panel Discussion: Migrating To An Omnichannel Philosophy: Assessing Technology, Resources And Strategies

D. Kate Forbes – VP, eCommerce Digital Experience & Operations – Belk
Anoop Kulshreshtha – VP, Web Technology – Barneys New York
Kathy Hecht – VP Marketing and Business Development – Silver Star Brands

2) Cross-Channel Panel Discussion: Here’s How To Create Your Cross-Channel Retail Future

Angela Caltagirone – VP eMarketing and Email Marketing – Williams-Sonoma
Karthik Vish – Director, Acquisition Marketing – Macys.com

3) Bringing Digital And In-Store Together Holistically

Anthony McLoughlin – VP Digital Marketing – The Men’s Wearhouse
Emery Skolfield – VP Omnichannel Strategy – Samsung
Bruce Starnes – VP/Merchandise Manager – Target.com


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Your Last Minute Holiday Marketing Checklist

There are last minute shoppers, and there are last minute marketers.

While most marketers have likely had much of their holiday campaigns teed up for weeks now, it’s never too late to make sure all your I’s are dotted and your T’s are crossed. To guarantee that your marketing campaigns stand out this holiday season, Custora teamed up with Marketo to present “Make Your Holiday Marketing Sparkle: Your Last Minute Checklist.”

In the webinar, we discuss:

  • How online retailers like Crocs and Bonobos are optimizing their holiday campaigns online using data and customer analytics
  • How you can apply segmentation and personalization marketing techniques during the holiday season
  • What are the top holiday shopping days, beyond Black Friday and Cyber Monday
  • What are the best performing online marketing channels during the holidays


Watch the full webinar below to make sure your holiday marketing plan is bulletproof.

How Crocs plans and implements their promotional email strategy

We recently hosted a webinar with Kelsey Vendetti, Email Marketing Manager at Crocs, during which she walked us through the keys to successful email promotions using illustrative examples from Crocs.


Kelsey shared her tips for building a promotional calendar as well as examples of successful calendar-based and product-based promotions – from the planning stage through to results. Kelsey highlighted effective segmentation strategies and also discussed Crocs’ use of triggered campaigns, such as their welcome series, cart abandonment, and winback emails.

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