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“Welcome to Panera! What can I get for you today?” the eager associate asks. “A bowl of chicken noodle soup with a side of bread, please. Oh! And a large ice tea. For here.” She swipes my Panera card and looks up smiling, “Happy birthday, Analise! For your birthday you can pick out a free bakery item today through October 17th.” A quick glance over at the display of tasty treats is all it takes to convince me that I want dessert.
Shopping cart success: reminding her how much she likes stripes.
The sunny disposition of the associate and the inevitable joyous sugar rush placated my uneasiness with Panera knowing it was my birthday.
I probably gave them my birthdate when I registered my reward card, but this experience reminded me of something far more important – I have a customer relationship with Panera – if they knew or revealed any more personal information about me, I would be upset.
Panera demonstrated a very clear sense of what it takes to manage a customer relationship using customer data. Not every experience ends in a free cookie.
“On demand” data used in direct interactions with customers can be beneficial yet challenging for companies. For example, Qantas Airlines armed their flight attendants with iPads to give them up-to-date information on loyalty and elite customers. When it came time to interact with these customers, they fell flat – unable to translate the data into an engaging conversation or successful outcome. The communication breakdown isn’t [entirely] a data privacy issue. It is a data delivery issue – one that can adversely affect how you engage and interact with customers.
Here are three things you can do to optimize your customer relationships: Read More
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The SAS Booth at Retail's Big Show
Omnichannel, Internet of Things and customer loyalty were just three of the terms you heard over and over again on the conference floor and in presentations at retail's biggest conference last month. If you had to miss the Retail Big Show in New York City, the article "Retail's Omnichannel, Data-Driven Revolution is Here" from CMSwire nicely sums up the main themes of the conference. Here's an excerpt:
“Praise the Lord,” that was our response when Alan Lipson, the global industry marketing manager for retail at SAS, said, “Smart retailers see that not every touch needs to lead to a sale. Sometimes the customer’s goals are more related to utility or convenience, and using data to help them accomplish those goals will increase customer loyalty in the long run."
We’re going to literally make note of it and hand it to the next salesperson or pop-up window that stalks us.
“The value is in the visit, not just the sale,” insisted Lipson. And if anyone has the analytics to prove it, it’s SAS.
Virginia Gibbons, the author of the article, reached out to Lipson after the conference to get his thoughts on the energy, topics and freebies at the SAS booth. Keep reading for the full interview between Gibbons and Lipson. Read More
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Gartner just recently released its Magic Quadrant for Marketing Resource Management (MRM) report –where SAS was named a leader. SAS attains this "Leader" distinction by quantitatively outpacing 15 out of 16 other vendors on both our completeness of vision and ability to execute. The graph to the right shows SAS' continued movement toward the upper-right-hand portion of the Leaders quadrant.
This result is great validation for SAS and comes on the heels of a string of other equally strong rankings from industry analyst firms, such as Forrester and Gartner in categories such as cross channel campaign management, campaign management, enterprise marketing software suites, and integrated marketing management.
This specific announcement is a strong endorsement by Gartner of our leadership in software that assists companies in the management of marketing resources, operations and processes. SAS continues to distinguish itself as one of the only vendors in the market rated as a Leader across the full range of customer intelligence disciplines, including: marketing planning, customer analytics, and campaign management & optimization.
“SAS is a Leader in MRM
for its broad and robust set of MRM capabilities across the five competencies, and
for its vision for next-generation MRM capabilities.” Read More
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Think about what makes you shop at the same place over and over again. Is it attention to detail or the fact that you're always remembered? What makes a good customer experience, regardless of channel?
Darren Stoll, Group Vice President of Marketing at Macys.com recommends these three guidelines for retailers:
- Think about the customer, not the channel. “Customer centricity demands omnichannel thinking,” says Stoll.
- Shop her way. “Frame everything around what she loves and what experience she expects,” says Stoll.
- Use a strategic + tactical customer lens. “If I know the customer has activities they want to accomplish, I know what I need to produce to guide and inform her visit,” says Stoll.
Stoll discussed the omnichannel strategy for Macys.com at The Retail Big Show in New York City last month.
“There’s tremendous power in having all this information about how a customer interacts with us,” he said. “But it’s still early days.” Capturing data and figuring out how to best leverage that data to improve the customer experience will only continue to grow in importance for retailers.
Learn more about the different expectations shoppers have for different channels and find out what data points alone can change the way you think about smartphone activity by reading the full article, "The value is in the visit, not just the sale."
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Healthy skepticism is a part of human nature - it's probably an involuntary defense mechanism that has been refined as we've evolved as social beings. And in today's world of scripted "reality" TV shows, internet hoaxes and celebrity "farewell" tours, healthy skepticism can help you quickly steer clear of things that waste your time (always a good thing).
Marketers are no strangers to skepticism. Our friends in sales never think we're doing enough, while our friends in accounting may think we're doing too much. And everyone has their own idea on how we can be doing things better. So what to do?
Few things are more powerful to sway a skeptic or to quickly make your point than visualization - literally allowing them to "see to believe." Visualization is particularly useful for decision-making with big data because it allows you to quickly see patterns and redirect your efforts based on the analyzing the whole data set and not a random sample that's extrapolated.
You don't believe me? See for yourself in this online demo of SAS Visual Analytics applied to customer analysis. The demo shows a great example of how you can analyze your sales and marketing performance to find how to improve your marketing through forecasting, goal seeking, scenario analysis, decision trees, path analysis and other analytic visualizations.
SAS Visual Analytics is a powerful way to enhance your customer intelligence. It lets you quickly get your own data, pinpoint issues and paint the picture so you can answer your own questions - or address your skeptics.
Either way you're in the driver's seat, and there's no better place to be.
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Just this week, I had a whirlwind experience with three customer loyalty programs that left me scratching my head
(and not necessarily feeling loyal):
Loyalty Experience#1: No value
The other day, I went out to dinner with a friend of mine. The restaurant we went to is part of a small group of local restaurants. When the check arrived, our waiter asked us if we had signed up for the reward program. Well, I had, but it was something like 10 years ago.
- Waiter: “Do you know what phone number it’s under? I can look it up that way.”
- Me: “Uhhh….no. I have like a bunch of phone numbers and I don’t remember which one it might be under.” (And I don’t care enough to have you run through all of them JUST to give me some points.)
- Waiter: “Well, do you want to sign up again?”
- Me: “Sure?” (Nooooo!)
I’m not sure what I thought would happen next. I didn’t really care about the points or rewards – I only go there a couple of times a year; and after all, I deliberately unsubscribed from their email list no less than two weeks ago. The waiter hands me an iPad: It’s dark in the restaurant, it seems there are a hundred questions, and I don’t have my reading glasses. But I signed up again, and now that I think about it, I don’t remember which phone number I put down. Shoot, now I’ll have to unsubscribe from that email again.
Actually, loyalty programs for small businesses can have a big payoff. Repeat customers and word-of-mouth marketing from your loyal customers can drive more traffic in the door and help you compete against larger competitors. But don’t be pushy and don’t ask your customers to give you too much information, especially if you’re not clear on how that information will be used. Read More