DMA's Annual Global Event for Data-Driven Marketers

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The Future of Credit Cards: Intelligent, Mobile, Local

Anyone who gets regular credit card offers in the mail knows that the competition in that market is steep. Banks and credit card companies are aggressively competing for wallet share. Sure, a rewards program might incentivize some customers to spend with one specific card. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t two or three other cards that offer the same rewards system – or better.

In order to really become the dominant brand and the go-to card provider for every consumer, financial institutions can benefit from offering intelligent, mobile and localized offers that are exclusive to the card and relevant to the consumer’s lifestyle. In effect, that means building a more personal relationship with consumers and ensuring that the rewards are there exactly when and where they need them.

This goes to the most basic principle of direct marketing: build relationships by offering a personal experience. Today, mobile apps provide banks and credit card carriers with an unprecedented opportunity to directly offer consumers the rewards that work for them, at the right moment and in the right location. Here’s how.

The Card-Consumer Relationship

The traditional relationship between credit cards and consumers is simple. The consumer makes a purchase with the card. The rewards quickly stack up. Eventually, the consumer calls or goes online to redeem the rewards. But those offers aren’t necessarily relevant to a consumer’s needs, so there’s not as much as an incentive to go out of their way to spend more and build up points.

To create more relevant offers, banks and credit card companies have started to offer rewards through mobile applications. That can help consumers keep track of when they’ve earned enough points to cash in a reward. But even if a credit card carrier can send a mobile message to consumers about a new TV they could buy with 50,000 points, the app doesn’t offer consumers the easiest way to get that reward. Knowing that you could buy a TV with your points is a nice feature, but knowing where to buy that TV is just as important.

What if, instead of showing consumers that they were eligible for the reward on a smartphone, they would get a notification that they reached 50,000 points and could redeem those points for a TV at a Best Buy just one mile away?

Financial institutions might know when consumers are eligible for rewards, but they still don’t know enough about a consumer’s location. As mobile becomes the go-to payment platform for more people, location needs to be a number one priority.

Pushing, Pulling and Rewards

Direct marketing has always been about location first and foremost. If you don’t know where your customers are located, you’ll never know what’s most relevant to them. It’s sometimes difficult for banks and credit card companies to deliver on that personal touch, but, thanks to mobile applications, it’s becoming possible. An app that makes use of location intelligence can bring direct marketing to the next level.

There are two primary functions of a financial institution’s mobile rewards app when they’re empowered with location functionality: pushing and pulling. In the push model, banks and credit card companies send out relevant offers to consumers who have location services enabled on their phones. So if you’re passing a Starbucks, the app could send a push notification to your phone that offers five times the amount of points if you purchase a coffee there.

Likewise, maybe you’re shopping in a mall. Once you enter the mall, you might be near a Macy’s and your credit card companyr could offer you a $1 credit if you spend $10 or more at the store. In this way, apps can push relevant offers to consumers and become everyday tools that can help consumers shop smarter and save money.

On the other hand, consumers can also choose to “pull” offers from the app. That means accessing the app for nearby and relevant offers. So if you’re looking for restaurants, you could consult with your bank’s app to see if there are any rewards for eating at nearby establishments.

The capabilities of push and pull offers on mobile apps are dependent on powerful location intelligence technology. Consumers are far more likely to redeem rewards if they’re sent at a relevant time and for a business that’s right around the corner.

But financial institutions have to ensure that those offers really are right around the corner. Many mobile apps use geofencing technology that places a radius around the consumer’s location. A radius can detect nearby businesses… but it wouldn’t necessarily know whether the shop is a half-mile around the block or a half-mile on the other side of a busy highway.

An app that consistently delivers rewards notifications, but doesn’t take into account geography, traffic or buildings, will end up getting ignored by consumers. For example, a push notification about an offer for a Starbucks coffee is great – but not if the Starbucks is on the other side of a river.

Traditional geofencing technology relies on a radius to show locations to users, but, to really show consumers the most relevant locations where they can use their cards, the geofence has to be an irregular, dynamic shape that takes into account barriers, buildings, geography, walking and driving distances and traffic.

Without location intelligence, direct marketing on mobile devices is impossible, and banks and credit card companies have to rely on retail branches and call centers as direct touchpoints with customers. But, with location intelligence, financial institutions can build ongoing, individual relationships with customers that can turn a credit card into a proactive savings and discovery tool every time they’re out and about.

Join me in San Diego on Monday, October 27, for my special Fast Forward session, “Contextual Marketing 2014: The Power of Location Intelligence Data.”

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In Search of The Omnichannel Card Prospect

Margaret Vaughan, SVP, MasterCard Advisors, MasterCard

The future of cardholder marketing is omnichannel; but all too often issuers are omnichallenged. As issuers plan their strategies for 2015, two trends are converging. Customers are still receiving and considering direct mail in addition to other media to engage with new card offers. But they’re responding in increasing numbers via digital channels. Issuers need to adapt their marketing efforts to meet those customers at the various channels in which they interact with card offers.

As set out in our new white paper “How Issuers Can Get, Keep and Grow The Omnichannel Customer,” omnichannel marketing is designed to convince customers to take action regardless of where they are. Issuers can use it to encourage a variety of outcomes from customers such as acquire a credit card, use a prepaid card, sign up for additional banking services, or simply get their online newspaper subscription paid with their credit card.  Direct marketing in today’s world is a key component that makes up omnichannel marketing. Using it effectively in online, mobile and offline environments will drive positive results.

According to research from Mintel/Compremedia , almost 27 percent of all US consumers still receive at least one credit card offer per month via mail. The company’s research also shows that 43 percent of all customers (both acquisition and retention) receive an offer via digital communications, 25 percent by direct mail, 15 percent in-person and 17 percent by phone or other channels. In terms of response and application, 52 percent apply online, 18 percent by mail, 17 percent by mobile, 8 percent by phone and 6 percent other channels. Therefore, for credit card issuers this demands the need to have an online application process that is easy to access, easy to complete and personalized.

Before starting that program, understand that it’s important to distinguish marketing strategies for new and existing customers. An acquisition program technically means the customer has no current relationship with the issuer. Attracting and converting customers that currently have no relationship with your bank still starts with direct mail, but it no longer ends there. Direct mail is the lead acquisition channel for financial marketers.

However, digital solutions for the new customer are critical for the overall customer application experience and for conversion. The landing page messaging must be consistent with the media (direct mail, email, etc.) that triggered the offer, and customized for the consumer. The days of filling out multi-page paper forms with pen and ink are nearly over. Consumers today enjoy the ease, responsiveness, and speed of selecting products with as few mouse clicks as possible.

To make that application process as easy and secure as possible, and conducting a “path analysis” is the crucial first step. Direct the customer through the app process. Make it obvious as to how to begin the application process and to complete the application, and make it as frictionless on tablet or mobile as it is on a PC, or on paper.

To get maximum return, these and other issues should be examined, prototyped, and subjected to usability testing, at least every 6 months before launching your campaign. Learnings from these efforts will also inform and enhance subsequent marketing efforts. Have an online application that will keep your prospect engaged to hit submit – and apply for the card.

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What does color say about YOUR brand?

See how brand colors can affect sales and customer satisfaction rates for not only your brand, but even brands like Walmart and Target!

In her latest article for DM News on Color Psychology and Sales, DMA2014 speaker Jeanette McMurtry outlines some fascinating research on how a brand’s color palette can impact sales and customer satisfaction. Read all about it, HERE!

Whether your brand is red, blue, pink or purple and anywhere in between, you will gain some insights as to how your color palette could be impacting your sales and customer satisfaction rates!  Call Jeanette anytime if you’d like more information on Psychology Based Marketing and custom workshops to help your brand get emotionally relevant through color, persona, messaging, engagement and much more.

Jeanette will be speaking on this and other psychology based marketing topics during her presentation: Triggering the Unconscious Mind for Unthinkable ROI on Tuesday, October 28 at 3:15 PM.

Register today and we’ll see you in San Diego!

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DMA to Showcase Marketing ‘Genius’ in Fast Forward Session  

The DMA International ECHO Awards – which will be bestowed Tuesday night (Oct. 28) at a gala hosted by Chris Hardwick – reflect the world’s best and brightest in data-driven marketing. For the first time in (at least recent) DMA Conference history, three campaigns from among the winning entries will receive their own airing ahead of the award ceremony.

No one knows what these campaigns will win – but each is so compelling, that the conference program couldn’t wait.  We sat down with session moderator, Brad Epstein, marketing strategist and consumer healthcare consultant, who is a member of the DMA International Awards Board of Governors.

DMA:  The Fast Forward session is titled “Data-Driven Marketing Genius: Google, Xerox and an International Film Festival.”  Are there similarities between the winning campaigns that caught the judges’ collective attention?

Brad Epstein:  Absolutely! The ECHOs seek out breakthrough strategy, irresistible creativity and outstanding results. Nail all three and word gets around among the judges.  That’s exactly what happened this year with these three campaigns.

DMA: All of the top entries seem to have a “Wow!” factor — is that “wow” mostly in strategy, creative or response, or combination of all three?

Epstein: Different judges have different “wows.” Some judges go straight to the produced tactics to be wowed because they believe the magic is in the execution. Some like to read the market situation and strategic approach first and get wowed by an unexpected approach to an old problem. The results can provoke a “wow” too – because if a reported result matches up to the judges’ scrutiny, it definitely can generate attention.

 DMA:  What “takeaways” will attendees get from the Fast Forward Session, “Data-Driven Marketing Genius: Google, Xerox and a Foreign Film Festival” (Monday, Oct. 27, 11:45 am PDT) [To click on the link, a free registration with Vivastream is required.]

Epstein:  Inspiration and ideas you can take back to the office! You’ll see two incredible examples of omni-channel marketing that delivered an amazing ROI and the most extraordinary mobile marketing campaign I’ve ever seen!  The judges were astounded.

And here’s a sneak peek in the video above!

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The Next Generation of Talent

Terri Bartlett is the President of Marketing EDGE,  a nonprofit organization whose mission is to Educate, Develop, Grow, and Employ college students in the field of marketing. We sat down with her recently to chat about the session she’s leading at DMA2014’s Strategic Summit later this month, and took back some amazing insights on The Next Generation of Talent: What Marketing Organizations Require Today & Tomorrow. Terri and a panel made up of human resource leaders and a leading academic will discuss the challenges  of the talent requirements needed in the marketing field, while also taking a close look at the characteristics organizations must have in order to be attractive to employees of all ages.

Check out the full interview above for more great insights from Terri– like why she views flexibility as an absolute MUST in today’s constantly changing marketplace.

To learn more about the invitation-only Strategic Summit and Terri’s panel, click HERE.

To see if you qualify for a complimentary pass to the Strategic Summit, click HERE.

To register for DMA2014, click HERE.

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Predictive Marketing, Digital Intelligence, & Today’s Consumer

Suneel Grover is a Senior Solutions Architect of Marketing Analytics, Visualization, & Customer Intelligence at SAS—and he’s speaking at DMA2014 later this month on a whole bunch of hot topics. Analytics, Digital Intelligence, Experience Management, Business Communication… the list goes on! Check out his post below for a sense of what insights Suneel will bring with him to DMA2014, and then register for the show so you don’t miss out on the real thing!

Suneel is speaking as part of our Analytics, Digital Intelligence, & Experience Management Pre-Conference Workshop on Saturday, October 25th and Sunday, October 26th. He’s also addressing the Fundamentals of Marketing in a session titled  Marketing Analytics, Business Communication, and the Art of Interpretability.

Haven’t registered for DMA2014 yet? We’ve got just the right incentive. We’re offering a special registration discount to all of our loyal blog readers: Enter code AN610 when registering and you’ll get $300 off 2-day packages and above. Get to it and register today!

Today’s Consumer

Today’s consumer can access an increasingly wide range of media and online information in addition to their traditional offline shopping behavior. Due to the falling costs and increasing availability of smartphones and mobile devices, they are also exploring digital channels and mobile apps. This is driving multi-channel experiences and diversified media usage – often in parallel with higher expectations regarding their personal needs and preferences.  As a result, consumer marketing is becoming far more complex and time-dependent. The structures, processes, and systems currently in place in many companies are not able to deal with this omni-channel phenomenon. Valuable information is either lost not fully exploited – primarily due to the absence of central data management and control.

Digital Intelligence Enables Predictive Marketing

We are living in the age of the consumer, where consumer obsession is the new frontier of competitive differentiation — scaled and fueled by insights. Traditional web analytic practices cannot deliver the necessary digital insights to optimize the experiences of the newly empowered consumer. Today’s data-driven marketers must extend their digital analytic practices far beyond the limitations of web analytic practices to address:

Fragmentation of channels – Consumers who cross touch-points insist on harmonized outreach across these channels, raising the bar for marketing execution and analytics. Although the Web remains important, it no longer tells the entire consumer interaction story. Mobile, social, and video engagement continue to grow at a significant rate.

Multi-device consumers – In the United States, half of all online adults are “always addressable,” meaning they own and personally use at least three connected devices, accessing the Internet from various locations multiple times per day. To understand these consumers and the context of each interaction, marketers require analytics that provide transparency on users’ devices, locations, usage patterns, and preferences.

Predictive marketing analytics – With the increasing velocity of consumer interactions, marketers must complement traditional strategic analysis capabilities with advanced predictive analytics. Current web analytic methods produce isolated, backward-looking reports and dashboards, often delivering insights that are too late and lack clear actionability. In today’s digital world, you must be able to keep pace with your consumers and react to trend-shifts in consumer behavior.

As defined by Forrester Research, the term “Digital Intelligence” means:

“The capture, management, and analysis of data to provide a holistic view of the digital customer experience that drives the measurement, optimization, and execution of marketing tactics and business strategies.”

If you notice, I underlined the word digital within the quote above. If you remove it, doesn’t this definition look very similar to any marketing department’s analytic mission statement over the last ten years? The only thing that has changed is the digitization of society. As marketing organizations become more familiar with the opportunity of digital intelligence, senior business leaders will direct web & customer analytic teams to work together. However, in many cases, these projects will struggle to get off the ground due to a clash of approaches & culture. Obstacles will include:

Data types – Structured vs. unstructured data streams, known vs. anonymous audiences

Skills – Data scientist/data miner vs. web geek/digital analyst

Analysis – Advanced analytics vs. “good enough” analytics

This cannot be understated. The intersection of advanced analytics and digital analytics has arrived, and the resources who support both of these areas will need to work together. It is long overdue, but change is not easy.

Web (and social) analytics have typically supported descriptive and diagnostic analysis (i.e. What happened?). Digital intelligence aims to address predictive and prescriptive analysis (i.e. What will happen? How can we make it happen?). To begin on this journey, organizations will need to rethink how they collect data from digital sources (first party vs. third party), normalize digital data for the downstream purpose of predictive analytics (and not simply summary reports and dashboards), and subsequently execute on the promise of prescriptive marketing processes through optimized outbound and inbound interactions.

Interactions with consumers cannot be dictated by silos, but with an integrated decision-centric approach that enables the understanding of constantly-changing consumer behavior to bring insights in line with the structure of the corporate mission. By balancing analytic insights, business rules, and data-driven actions, modern marketers can be more agile operationally in consumer contact situations. Ultimately, the customer experience is the priority, and our ability to be relevant and adaptive at the pace of the consumer will differentiate us from our competition.

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It’s our mission to save Downton Abbey!

Those who follow the show know that in the fictional English countryside, the future the Crawley family home and its surrounding village rests on changing business practices. The new generation just can’t do things as they’ve always been done or they risk everything.  At WGBH, Boston’s public media organization, we face much the same challenge.

If we don’t continue to evolve our marketing practices and supporting technology, we risk declining revenues and shrinking audiences that could ultimately result in fewer programs produced. That in turn risks other public media stations’ ability to raise funds in their local market because, in addition to MASTERPIECE, WGBH produces over one-third of the PBS prime-time schedule.

People have many choices when they contribute to their public media station. They can respond to direct mail, call in during a pledge drive, set up a sustaining gift or even donate their car. Our challenge was that we needed multiple systems to track many of our interactions.  Worse, we were too easily creating duplicate donor profiles and couldn’t easily see how some donors interacted with us overall. A person who donated a car may be the same person who called in to donate during a science program, but if we couldn’t resolve those actions to a single person, it was difficult to really leverage that information.

So we took action. We started with roundCause built on a Salesforce platform and then added RedPoint Global.  We now have a technical ecosystem that not only stores our information, but allows us to truly drive strategy and manage our program. By having a single view of each constituent, we have a better understanding that a single person may watch Arthur in the morning with their child and then listen to our classical programming during the day. We can then market to that person appropriately.

So far the results have been fantastic. Immediately upon combining all of these tools, the RedPoint tools and team helped us identify 80,000 duplicate donor accounts.  Cleaning them up is saving us $100,000 in annual mailing costs. And, in our first year with the new technology, our member renewal rate is up 10% while renewal giving is up 11%.  These are solid results and we look forward to more as we fine-tune our systems and our messaging.

Hopefully, this means you’ll be able to see more of how your favorite residents of a beautiful Yorkshire country estate are getting on.

Intrigued by the insights above? Join George Corugedo, CTO and Co-founder of RedPoint Global Inc. and CateTwohill, Director, Technical Product Development at WGBH Educational Foundation for a special session about how Big Data Helps Keep Downton Abbey Alive for Its Fans. It’s going down on Monday, October 27th from 2:45-3:30pm as part of Nonprofit Day at DMA2014! Register today and secure your spot at the hottest marketing conference to hit San Diego this fall.

Just as importantly, don’t forget that Season 5 of MASTERPIECE’s Downton Abbey begins on January 4th on your local PBS station!


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