Posts Tagged ‘CRM’

Greed

Even the largest businesses in the world will never be so big that they can afford to not look after their customers and more importantly loyal customers.

Apple act as if they are exempt from this rule by increasing their product prices unnecessarily, changing the dock connector resulting in millions of customers having to fork out an extra £25 for an adaptor which doesn’t work properly, updating your iPhone OS results in having to pay to update your MAC OS in order for both to stay compatible, forcing customers to only use Apple based software and then finally not allowing customers to access the most common apps such as Google Maps.

All of these things have one thing in common – Apple first, customer second. Having billions in cash reserve is not enough, they want more and more and more.

Most of those key issues could have been avoided eg. If Samsung changed their dock connector then they would have given an adaptor in the new handset box FOC, Apple could have given customers a free MAC OS upgrade with the new phone, price new handsets competitively – Sony now have the most premium smartphone on the market at the cheapest price (within the high end range) with the Xperia Z (video below) and new beautifully crafted Xperia Z1.

Once you’re with Apple you won’t move I hear you say, times have changed and there is an abundance of high end choice for the consumer at a reasonable price. Many customers are getting fed up and clearly turning to alternative products such as Google / Android, Samsung and Sony as you can see by the chart below.

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You only have to look at a few of the latest revenue trends for some of the largest brands on the globe to realise how quickly things can change for the worse such as Nokia, Blackberry, Microsoft, Dell and HP.

Many believe that Apple will end up like Blackberry and Nokia in the next 10 years. I tend to agree unless they adapt to change.

computer-thief

Can we place a pixel across your whole site and we’ll give you free customer insights? Can we place a pixel on each stage of the user journey so that we can optimise towards all site traffic data?

These are two very common questions which originated from traditional ad networks and still lives on even though technology has evolved.

If you ask a marketer if they could target anyone in the world with advertising with no restrictions, it would no doubt be their competitors customers.

I am fortunate enough to have bought display remarketing campaigns targeting competitor customers in the past. This was when I worked across the largest hotel chain in the UK at an ad agency via an ad network. That level of targeting, special offer creative and high frequency reaped rewards as you’d expect.

Marketers spend £millions a year on advertising and driving quality traffic can be expensive, so the last thing they want is a competitor just simply remarketing all of their users who visit their site either through FBX or display.

Fortunately this can be avoided if marketing deploys a strict policy that they only allow media pixels to fire on an attributed basis, yes some partners might say that they’d need all data to optimise but when you weigh up value vs. risk, it’s simply not worth it. Optimising on attributed traffic only is good enough for third party ad partners.

On the analysis front eg. Google Analytics, Click Tale, Quantcast etc. it’s a case of applying a bit of logic, experience and research so then when deploying tracking / pixels on site, your data will not be sold in a data exchange or given to a competitor for remarketing. When it comes to big blue chip companies like Facebook, Adobe and Google, there’s no need to hesitate about data security because if it gets out that they’re selling your data then it would be disastrous for them. Whereas the likes of Quantcast who are very well known for giving you FREE customer insights just for placing a pixel across your whole site, is one of those cases where big red warning lights should appear because in this world nothing is really for free and the likes of Qantcast make money from using your data.

Having a strict cookie / tracking policy is safe and advisable but by not having one could cause your market share to decrease as your competitors steal your customers.

You don’t walk across a busy road without looking in either direction so think twice before implementing code on your site.

Not enough

Scenario: Revenue has been declining for years and the CEO is pointing the finger at acquisition marketing to grow business. Planners are very familiar with this scenario.

I wrote an article recently that all programmatic buying should be in-house, but if a brand is expecting that this alone will solve a decline in revenue, then they need to wake up and smell the coffee.

With ad spend over £15bn / year in the UK alone, this brings a lot of hungry salesman to your door insisting that their product is the best and that you should invest, which puts pressure on CEO’s and CMO’s to potentially waste a lot of money testing out the same option over and over again or testing out an option which only has a 1% chance of working to key KPIs. Also accepting a post-view window across their display buys as default because they’ve been constantly told that ‘the flashy banners are driving all organics’ is something which gets banded around often. With that amount of ad spend floating about also brings an opportunity for large sums of money to change hands under desks without the brand (if it’s an agency) or without the investors finding out.

Just because there is more hype than ever when it comes to advertising eg. programmatic buying, DSP’s and trading desks, it doesn’t mean that focus and investment should divert away from other core business areas. Many CEO’s feel that obsessing about acquisition marketing is the way forward because of the simplicity of delivering an ad which a potential customer can click on in conjunction with hundreds of salesman saying that this is the answer, but for those who are keen to work backwards – finding out why high value customers are leaving feeding this back into dev and marketing, developing products across all devices, looking at CRM and key promotions are the ones who will survive and therefore be able to afford a significantly higher CPA than competitors, giving the trading desk plenty of ad options which competitors cannot afford to buy.

If all of the below areas work together to achieve a common goal then the long term consequence of this will be shown in bottom line results and staff retention rates in a positive way:

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It was really nice to read Marco Bertozzi’s article the other day where he used a personal example to demonstrate that spending money on advertising isn’t the only way of generating revenue and growth.

Listen

You have a eureka moment and you start building out the infrastructure for product, website and staff.

The product flies off the shelves and life is good. Customers are happy, customers are spending on your site and you’re living the dream.

As the business expands it produces more risk to ‘issues’ across key business areas which effect customers such as product stability, CRM / customer service and product development especially when linked to different platforms. As time goes on, competitors pop up trying to attack your weak points offering a viable alternative and the ideal solution would be to have had long term business strategies in place to cover all areas which could be at risk of those ‘issues’ appearing, resulting in customers not having a good reason to go anywhere else.

Many businesses only have short term strategies which apply temporary fixes and patches resulting in those ‘issues’ appearing in full view to customers.

The 21st century has brought customer opinions and voices which are not only expressed across the globe but also across all channels especially social media and forums instantly within seconds to millions, so no longer does a customer have to write a letter to complain or stay on the phone for hours, customers are now in the driving seat not the brand.

Those businesses who closely monitor, analyse and engage with their customer feedback especially their high value customers will avoid getting annihilated, emmbaresed and shown up in front of millions as well as having to pay high acquisition costs to convince new customers that they have changed.

Brands need to stop thinking that they know better and start believing the classic saying that ‘the customer is always right’. Yes, not every single customer is right and you don’t need to add every piece of feedback to the business agenda, but apply logic to constructive feedback and where a clear trend appears apply it to the relevant business area.

Not only are your high value customers willing to give you an abundance of ideas on how to improve, but you only have to give a tiny gift away to get vital feedback to improve business, which in turn once implemented will give you an abundance of organic new customers compared to the expense of having to use ad budget to acquire those new customers.

On a similar note, it’s also not acceptable to put a product on the shelf when based on customer feedback post launch is clealy unfinished. A brand should never be in this situation, especially with so many tools available which would give you the feedback you need in order to build the ultimate product which meets demand prior to launch.

So when you’re lying on the beach seeing the cash flow, you need to remember that if you don’t listen and look after your customers, you can lose them significantly quicker and in greater volume than you can aquire new ones and that is certainly not what investors like to see.

Cookies

Firstly you need to have access to a DSP and have adserver container tags across your whole site. When implementing the container tags, it’s essential to pass back as much data through the custom variables as possible eg. age, gender, bucket amount, revenue, customer loyality type.

Container tags should be placed across each site / product page and then a tag from homepage throughout the whole conversion process to the sales thank you page. Also a tag across the current customer login section is required.

Now it’s a case of building up your CRM database within the DSP. A pixel within the DSP represents a targeting segment to be included / excluded such as:

  • Main acquisition homepage
  • March 2013 microsite landing page
  • Car Insurance homepage
  • Home Insurance homepage
  • Quote confirmation page
  • Logged in
  • Deposit confirmation page
  • Business awards landing page
  • Affiliate landing page
  • CRM email – non converting
  • Males
  • Age 25-34
  • Gold customers

Once your pixels have been created in the DSP, it’s a case of implementing them within the adserver container tags using the existing variables which have already been setup. This will allow you to setup basic scripts to conditionally fire the pixels to match the segment. To increase cookie volume, implement separate pixels across all of your CRM emails also.

The tech part is out of the way and now you just need to setup all of the relevant strategies in the DSP including / excluding the newly created CRM segments accordingly.

As new product pages, websites, microsites and CRM email campaigns get created, then the same process needs to take place in order to keep the cookie CRM database updated.

As the cookie database is held within a DSP such as MediaMath, you can deliver the CRM campaigns across ad exchanges, yield optimisers and FBX.

Retargeting

Excitement hit the ad industry when Google announced that they will provide advertisers with the ability to retarget their paid search ads through display advertising via DBM.

The exitement was short lived for a couple of reasons 1. DoubleClick didn’t understand what you could actually do resulting in mis-selling to clients and 2. You can only retarget from the search ad click and not from search ad view.

Remarketing search traffic by keyword has been around for years so there is really nothing new here.

If you haven’t got the ability to already do this internally through referral data, then it should be added to the display bid managers agenda on a low priority. Low priority, as data suggests that the ‘extra’ retargeting media cost on top of the already high paid search CPCs, doesn’t yield a positive ROI for the majority of keywords.

Currently the likes of Facebook are coming out with new ad formats which are in demand by the bucket load that work. In order for Google to compete, then they really need to bring out more thoughtful product initiatives which clients demand, such as remarketing paid search ads on the view, now that would be something special!

With the official release of DoubleClick Digital Marketing along with recruiting some high profile candidates from agency land to sell DDM, this hopefully means that future product updates will bring greater value to clients.

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With such huge global reach and engaging ad formats, Facebook has now become a very powerful CRM tool.

Similar to display CRM, this activity would usually fall under the programmatic buying team. When thinking about what strategies to setup, it’s always good to discuss them first with the central CRM team.

Facebook CRM should run across both Facebook Marketplace and FBX. You can still use a consistant strategy structure which would be in line with display – remarketing site visitors who didn’t get passed the first conversion step, remarketing those who drop off during the conversion process and remarketing those who have converted (current customers).

For FB Marketplace you will need to rely on the CRM team heavily to provide an up to date list of email addresses by segment / strategy as targeting is by email addess (custom audience targeting). This can then be used for including / excluding at time of strategy setup. As well as targeting by email you can also target your existing FB fan base within Marketplace. The good thing about CRM across FB Marketplace is that you can deliver ads across all formats including mobile install ads.

For FBX, this is all cookie based so you can mirror the display setup 1-1. You can only deliver basic ads across the news feed and ASUs for FBX.

When it comes to post click performance, all clients will notice a dramatic improvement vs. display CRM (+250% CTR and +350% click to pixel / conversion event) but for CRM campaigns it’s all about having up to date bespoke creative, a reasonable freq. cap and bid to match the segment. Also it’s essential to have exposure across as many channels as possible for CRM and all of this is a priority over performance.

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Using a DSP on a self service basis lets you set your own rules and strategy structure therefore site remarketing strategies should be completely separate from prospecting. It’s essential to separate them as the KPIs and strategy between prospecting and CRM are so different (similar to brand and generic search) – it’s a classic way of how a lot of ad networks used to over represent the real prospecting display results by including remarketing strategies within prospecting campaign results.

From remarketing site visitors who have bounced, to remarketing high value customers, the set-up should be bespoke to the segment. The further you get in the user journey, the less cookies there will be allowing you to be able to afford to be more aggressive as there’s less risk of budget getting out of control, also the further your customers get in the journey, the more you want to keep them (as their value increases):

Let’s start with remarketing people who have visited but not registered their details – a tight frequency should be implemented and reasonably low CPM.

Dependent on your user journey you should then split out your remarketing strategies by segment (which should all be list in your cookie CRM database) eg. Age, gender, country, product, user level – as the segment becomes more valuable to your business, the frequency cap should be loosened and CPM increased.

As well as the media strategies, the likes of creative and ongoing promotions are crucial for success in this area – it’s not going to help serving your high value customers banners telling them to sign up again or promote an out of date offer. A reminder of what’s currently available, what’s just launched, cross sell, RAF, special offers and what’s coming soon are the basics.

Remember, the harder you work on CRM and generally looking after your customers to avoid them leaving, the more you can afford to pay for new customers which has a positive effect on the incremental volume you can drive (referring to the classic volume price curve).