Wouldn’t it be great if your organization had the marketing funds to do all of the things you’d like? All the media, events, digital, direct, content, mobile, social, and in-store marketing channels, working seamlessly to drive consumer engagement sounds like every marketer’s dream!

Unfortunately, even if there is a positive ROI on every marketing activity, it is rarely possible to exhaust all of the marketing opportunities that a marketing team has before them. More typically, marketers must struggle with a fixed budget to maximize revenue from customers and prospects.

In my experience over 20+ years of working with large enterprises and medium companies, I’ve come to appreciate the process (and the challenges) of allocating marketing budgets across channels and initiatives. I’ve worked with executives on budget optimization, marketing attribution, and test designs over the years, and have discovered three mindsets that are critical to optimizing your budget.

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Forget big data for a minute. Pause on sending daily emails to your entire customer file, where everyone gets the same thing. Halt from launching a loyalty program that is not connected to your email club or your CRM efforts. Stop your app development that does not capture customer information.

Perhaps it’s not necessary. Maybe we don’t need to do better than this. Does sending me emails for women’s jeans 70% of the time lead me to be less interested in the email for men’s jeans when it appears? Have I been trained to put up with it? How about offers for products you know I have already have purchased?

I believe in something smarter, and I have for years. It’s this: when you take the time to integrate data from all channels (marketing channels, purchase channels), you are able to build strategies and tactics that provide market-beating financial returns for your organization. Over and over again. Knowing how browsing behavior impacts in-store. Seeing that email opens by category can lead to specific product recommendations that are of interest to the customer.

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Every new technology comes with the promise of new capabilities, some of which are immediately apparent, and some that afford possibilities not immediately recognized, but that develop later. For those of us in the customer marketing and analysis side of the world, new technologies breed new types of data for analysis, and new applications of the data itself.

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Go ahead and get comfortable on that couch. Close your eyes. Breathe deep and exhale. Repeat four times. Now imagine your company uses data and analytics to make decisions. Yes, that feeling of confidence, empowerment, and “Don’t mess with me, I have data backing this up!” is kind of like nirvana.

What would it be like to spend a day in the life of a true analytics-driven company?

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You own your customers. Customers are one of your brand’s core assets; they are not something any company should put in the hands of a 3rd party. You may not own all the technology, channels, or touchpoints your customers use to engage with your brand, but when push comes to shove, that customer is yours, not the property of your supplier.

Because the customer is yours, it logically follows that each and every interaction should also belong to you, regardless of how the customer engages.

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