Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Disney Finds Magic In Reciprocity Marketing

A healthy change is taking place: Consumers are demanding that brands engage them in conversations versus one-way blasts.Disney Marketing
But for this to be effective, both consumers and marketers have to change previous behaviors.
  • Consumers have to recognize that to receive more relevant and personalized communications, offers, and experiences, they need to provide deeper personal or business information.
  • Marketers have to recognize that to competitively differentiate, they have to provide significantly more personalized communications, offers, and experiences. However, true personalization is based on much more than traditional transactional data. Marketers must earn the right to collect increasingly deeper levels of preference-based data.
How is this accomplished? With trust. According to the 2014 BrandSpark Most Trusted Awards, “Across categories when considering [a] purchase of a new product, shoppers consider it extremely or very important that it comes from a brand they trust.”
Trust is the basis for obtaining deeper engagement with customers. It is a cycle:

  • Trust makes customers receptive to a reciprocity-based exchange of data in order to receive enhanced experiences.
  • The improved customer experience reinforces trust.
  • That, in turn, enhances trust.
  • Now customers are more motivated to provide deeper additional information.
  • Marketers can now engage customers in a deeper level of reciprocity-based interaction.
  • And the cycle continues, based on ever-deepening personalization and value.
An exciting example of reciprocity-based marketing is Disney’s MagicBand bracelet app. In return for the collection of consumer data, Disney offers guests the ability to “enter the parks, unlock Disney Resort hotel room[s], and buy food and merchandise. Plus, [the] MagicBand gives FastPass+ access to all the experiences selected online.” Users of the band and app can receive an email or text message about availability of reservations or rides noted as being preferred experiences.
In terms of data collection, MagicBands link electronically to an encrypted database of visitor information. The bands contain a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip that allows for the collection of intelligence that is coupled with guest input into the My Disney Experience app and Web site (input is voluntary.) All of this data gives Disney valuable information about customer preferences, which are then used to provide high-value experiences.
The Disney value proposition is in sync with findings that have emerged from Relationship Research our firm has conducted regarding what customers expect in a reciprocity-based relationship:
Trust: The marketer can be trusted to deliver on a fundamental brand promise.
Listen: The brand will listen to customers’ needs, suggestions, and concerns.
Deliver: The brand will provide communications and experiences relevant to customers based on their individual preferences.
Key Takeaways
Following are four key takeaways for implementing reciprocity-based marketing strategies:
  • It is not customers’ responsibility tell marketers what they want. Marketers must ask--and then respond with reciprocity-based customer experiences based on feedback.
  • Competitive differentiation is rooted in the ability to deliver offers, communications, and experiences based on the exchange of deep customer data and preferences.
  • Multichannel reciprocity-based marketing addresses the customer experience across all touch points, departments, locations, and company levels.
  • A high value, reciprocity-based customer relationship needs to be maintained throughout the life cycle of the customer, not just during the points of initial sale or add-on sales. 

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About the Author:
Ernan Roman Direct Marketing's Customer Experience strategies achieve consistent double-digit increases in response and revenue for their clients, which include IBM, MassMutual, QVC, Microsoft, and Symantec Corp.

As a leader in providing Voice of Customer research-based guidance, ERDM has conducted over 10,000 hours of interviews with their clients' customers and prospects, to gain an in-depth understanding of their expectations for high-value relationships.

The results achieved by ERDM's VoC-based strategies earned Ernan Roman induction into the Marketing Hall of Fame.

Visit his blog at: http://ernanroman.blogspot.com/

Monday, October 27, 2014

One Scary Stat that Proves the Importance of Preference Management

We’ve spent a lot of time in this space talking about preventing opt-outs through preference management - the active collection, maintenance and distribution of unique consumer characteristics, such as product interest, communication channel preference and frequency of communication.

And rightly so. Anytime a customer chooses to remove themselves from all future communications – the so-called “atomic opt-out” – they are likely gone forever and represent a dangerous erosion of the prospect pool.

To avoid this, we work with companies to provide opt-down functionality that empowers customers to narrow their focus and ensure that the content they receive is timely, relevant and delivered through the appropriate channel.

The importance of preference management was driven home for me yet again when I stumbled across a surprising statistic: a recent study from the International Customer Management Institute found that 49 percent of consumers reported they would be willing to move to a competitor who provides the same product or service but in their preferred channel1.

Same product.

Same service.

The only distinction that, according to recent research, would move roughly half of all consumers from one company to the next is whether or not that company serves their channel of choice.

It’s a remarkable finding and one that underscores just how high the expectations are for personalization. Kudos to the companies that already have preference management functionality in place and find this stat to be a confirmation instead of a wake-up call.

About the Author: 
Eric V. Holtzclaw is  Chief Strategist  of PossibleNOW. He's a researcher, writer, serial entrepreneur and challenger-of-conventional wisdom. His book with Wiley Publishing on consumer behavior - Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior - hit bookstores last summer. Eric helps strategically guide companies with the implementation of enterprise-wide preference management solutions.

Follow me on Twitter: @eholtzclaw | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Holtzclaw

Friday, October 24, 2014

Course-Correcting from Early Implementation

The conclusion of five-part series that discusses preference collection best practices

Preference collection is an evolving process and is never really considered “complete.” To use a corollary to the personalized marketing mantra, the key is to elicit the right preference, from the right customers, at the right time.

The underlying framework and functionality for collecting customers’ permissions and responding to their preferences should be relatively stable; however the content and context of preference collection mechanisms must be structured to quickly change.

Sustaining agility to meet rapidly changing business and customer needs requires that solutions be constructed with “dynamic content” and the content owners (typically the business) in mind. When the content (in this case customers’ permissions and/or preferences) is in turn used to drive changes to other processes, the challenge of keeping both systems and processes in sync is compounded.

Critical junctures following preference management implementation include:

Analysis and reporting: With a useful data set in hand, companies can review customer behavior and responses and measure them against pre-determined goals. Are opt-outs being converted to targeted opt-ins? Is the business unit in question experiencing a reduction in prospect churn? Are customers selecting paperless communication in meaningful numbers?

Creative review: Based on the findings described above, it may be advisable to review screen and interaction layouts to improve customer comprehension and speed the conversion process. An example of this would be persistent bounces (site departures) from a given screen – a classic symptom of unmet expectations. Review the screen to ensure that fields and interaction points are clear and unmistakable.

Content review: Much like the design review, the preference management content must also be assessed in light of early data. The relative length and complexity of information a company solicits from a customer at a given interaction point is a typical target for adjustment. If the preference management ask is too short, a valuable opportunity is missed and favorable results are slowed. If the ask is too complicated or too long, customers will exit the interaction altogether.

About the Author: 
Robert Galop is the Senior Director of Product Architecture for PossibleNOW.