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Picture your "typical" sports fan - body paint, tailgating, banners on the car, and so on. You can easily imagine that person as a brand evangelist. Now think of someone you know who loves to read. Would you ever put the sports fan and the book lover in the same "brand evangelist" category? It turns out you can and the common thread for making it happen is customer intelligence.
Joe Torczon from Scholastic Books and Anthony Perez from The Orlando Magic with Hillary Ashton from SAS.
SAS's Hillary Ashton moderated a discussion at the Premier Business Leadership Series between Joe Torczon, Director of Marketing for Scholastic Books and Anthony Perez, Vice President of Business Strategy for the Orlando Magic about turning customers into brand evangelists with customer intelligence.
I learned just how similar book publishing can be to marketing a sports franchise, and interaction beween the panelists made for a great session with plenty of takeaways.
The bottom line is that creating brand evangelists takes into account the customer journey, taking a digital marketing approach, carefully using data and metrics, and striving for the elusive 360-degree view of the customer. Here are the highlights:
The customer journey
Scholastic Books' customers most often are children and adult teachers or parents that also bought Scholastic Books as a child. They also publish the Harry Potter series of books in the United States and other well-known titles, but Read More
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Considering the large investment every organization makes in people, the impact of hiring and retaining talent can’t be overstated. With the pace of change facing most marketing organizations, what I see specifically is the need to find and retain people that are innovative, agile and anything but complacent. A tall order? Perhaps – but not impossible.
Teams in any organization are made up of individuals – they have talents and skills that offer great potential to leaders that can translate that potential into great execution. And those talents and skills come packaged with feelings, hopes, aspirations and a whole rainbow of other emotions. So once you have talented people, it’s very important to keep your team motivated and inspired.
Based on that, it’s no coincidence that Mark Jeffries decided to kick off the Premier Business Leadership Series with the idea that there are 3 keys to retain top talent. He called them the “3 R’s of talent retention:”
Mark says there is plenty of research that shows that people value recognition almost as much as their paycheck. The paycheck pays the bills and funds the family vacations, but the recognition is what motivates and inspires. So how do you recognize? He offered 4 examples of recognition and assigned point value to each: Read More
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As technology has changed the way people communicate, do business and generally lead their lives, CMOs have shifted their strategies to lead data-driven marketing in ways that maximize new opportunities and mitigate new risks. As the second in a two-part blog post, I’m sharing the recurring themes I’ve taken away from the most recent Argyle Executive Forums CMO Leadership Forum in Philadelphia.
Just as leading marketing executives have:
- Started with a desired vision of the company in the mind of the customer,
- Focused on being informative, and not annoying or creepy, and
- Re-thought metrics, the questions being asked and adopted techniques like data visualization.
They’ve also led data-driven marketing in ways that meet internal pressures to show ROI and external pressures to be relevant. Some of the other recurring themes in the panel discussions and in the conversations during breaks included these:
Recast the dynamics in the C-suite Read More
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I have a challenge for you - guess which of these three email offers below are what I consider "sloppy marketing." Base your decision on these demographics- the recipient is a 50-year old married male with two kids at home, has stable employment, is a homeowner with a good credit rating, active in social media, and is an active volunteer in the community (Boy Scouts, PTA, etc.).If you answered all three - you're correct! And I shared all 3 of them with friends on Facebook and Twitter with appropriately sarcastic commentary. I really have nothing against the providers of these three services, but they were delivered to the wrong person for whom no time is the right time.
In the case of offers #1 and #2, I just couldn't imagine how they might consider me a target for those services unless they did no targeting at all. I suspect the latter, which to me is inexcusably sloppy marketing. Read More
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I recently had the pleasure of moderating a panel focusing on the top of Marketing Operations, which included Kim Collins of Gartner, Cedrick Shelly of State Farm Insurance, and Stephan Nobs of SAS.
This panel was extremely timely as we move into the coming year and hear so much about the topic of marketing accountability. Fortunately for SAS, we are poised to help customers tackle issues they may face around marketing accountability, operations and other marketing process related topics with a lot of the marketing operations solutions that we provide.
So let me touch on a few key points that were made during the session:
Optimizing the marketing fulfillment process leads to greater marketing accountability.
We began the session talking about Gartner’s five competencies of MRM – Planning and Financial Management, Creative Production Management, Reporting and Analytics, Marketing Asset Management, Marketing Fulfillment. While all of these competencies are important, one question posed to Gartner's Collins was this – “Which competencies will experience the most future growth and why?” The discussion headed directly towards the marketing fulfillment competency.
The key message we heard was that optimizing the process of marketing fulfillment – that is the processes necessary to receive, service, track, and fulfill requests by the marketing department – will lead to a more accountable marketing organization. If we can track the marketing process at a more granular level – using visual workflow and approvals – we can hold parties and resources more accountable to the creative process. If we can track financials associated with marketing fulfillment and understand those financial implications – we can hold marketing more accountable to the funds they are spending from creation through to consumption. If we can manage how marketing assets are being used, versioned, and distributed – we become a more accountable marketing organization. Read More
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The results of my test don't matter. Yes - those are actual recent searches of mine.
Who doesn't love a side-by-side taste test? You get to choose for yourself - awesome! For me, the ultimate taste test is the Pepsi Challenge (Pepsi Cola vs. Coca-Cola), a key feature of the "Cola Wars" since 1975. It's very simple and very effective - even for the audience. So for tech giant Microsoft to take on the dominant search engine Google with it's own Bing search engine, the side-by-side test drive opportunity at the heart of the "Bing it On" campaign was a natural.
It should be no surprise that the Bing it On campaign was planned for multi-screen execution, which I found to be fascinating. Well, the marketing lessons from Microsoft's Bing it On campaign apply to any multichannel scenario, so here are the four main lessons I learned:
Map the customer journey.
Starting and ending with the customer seems so basic, but it's critically important if you want to be effective across multiple channels. Here are some tips for making it happen:
- Physically map out the multiple exit and entry points.
- Rationalize your calls to action in context of the overall goal. And understand that the same call to action on every channel is not necessarily the right move. For each channel, try to find the sweet spot - the overlap of what the customer wants to do and what you want them to do. Read More
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It’s very telling that every Walmart greeter has an inviting phrase emblazoned across the back: “How may I help you?” That simple question and the presence of the greeters in the stores speaks eloquently to the customer-centricity of Walmart, which has been instilled in their organizational culture from the very beginning by their founder, Sam Walton.
What’s interesting about that customer centricity is how their EVP and CMO Stephen Quinn describes its central role in driving innovation at the retail giant. As business over the decades has transitioned through the manufacturing era, the distribution era and the information era, we are now undeniably in the customer era.
The customer is the boss
Want proof? Look no further than the improbable success stories of Gangnam Style and Duck Dynasty. Gangnam Style is the song and video global smash of 2012 – which sprang out of Koren pop music with a silly, strangely compelling dance and video. Duck Dynasty began as a quirky reality TV series in the USA based on the daily issues and antics of a family of duck-call manufacturers in small-town Louisiana. Still doubtful? Quinn says that WalMart sells “hundreds of millions of dollars” of Duck Dynasty-themed merchandise in its stores. Hey! That’s “SI-rious” evidence right there, if you ask me! No marketer could have ever promoted their way into that kind of success – it happened organically because customers were the ones who made the choice.
For Quinn, it isn’t simply about customer centricity, but it’s also about how that viewpoint informs an enterprise growth strategy and channeling the resources to make it happen. Read More
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How do you feel when someone is talking at you? It's not quite the same as someone talking to you, is it?
When someone talks to you, they might be using your language or even matching your rhythm. By contrast, someone talking at you seems like they're more interested in what they want to say and less on what you want to hear. Talking at your audience creates a communication environment where the transmitter jams the receiver, so even if a two-way exchange is possible, it's not inviting the exchange.
Unfortunately, much of business communicaton today falls in the talking at bucket.
We recently had two colleagues that lead teams of writers talk to our marketing department about conversational communication. Mary Ann Hickland and Brock Pierce shared examples that show how communicating conversationally equates to writing something the way you might say it. It’s a key ingredient of content marketing, and how you build a relationship with customers. In other words, to engage customers, you talk to them - not at them.
Part of their presentation included a 10-step guide to conversational writing. I'm very happy to share it below because I found it helpful. I hope you agree! Read More
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Have you ever tried to find something quickly in a book? Say it's a book you've never read before - how do you approach it? You look first for the table of contents, right? We've all done it hundreds of times - if you scan the table of contents, you should quickly figure out what chapter or pages to turn to for what you need.
So how does that apply to marketing you might ask? Well, think of data visualization as a way to get a nice table of contents on any data set. You can scan it and quickly draw some conclusions, and then zero in on what you need. You get good insights more quickly that let you make confident decisions at the speed of your market. It's really that simple.
Using data visualization is a way to see data graphically within a business context so you can understand it better. It can help you easily spot hidden patterns and trends, which lets you quickly figure out where you need to dig deeper. For marketers, that can mean getting more quickly to key answers, such as:
- Finding which messages are best suited for different customers.
- Knowing whether time of day or day of the week are more important for certain offers.
- Figuring out how which activities have the lowest impact - so you know where to cut if you're asked.
Click on the video below for more details. In just under 2 minutes, you can see a quick story that illustrates the power of data visualization for marketers:
If you'd rather see it spelled out in a paper, download "Why Marketers Need Data Visualization" and read it at your leisure. Either way, I hope you'll quickly see what a difference data visualization can make for marketing.