Customer Value: Narrowcasting vs. Broadcasting

Virtually every brand we’ve met with in the last few months is hungry for new customers, the war for the customer is on. For more on growing your customer base, consider reading “Bigger is Better, How to Scale Up Customer Acquisition Smarter” an article we published recently about how to grow your customer base. Many organizations are hooked on customer acquisition. That is, in order to hit sales plans for the organization, new customers will be required in large numbers. It’s about as easy to kick the ‘acquisition addiction’ as it is to kick any other for most brands. Try going without coffee suddenly, and see how your head feels. It’s not very different from reducing a business’s dependence on customer acquisition as a means to achieving revenue and profit targets. Organizations that need ever larger numbers of new customers to achieve growth goals eventually will find the cost of acquiring incremental net new customers can become prohibitive. Broadcast vs. Narrowcast The traditional model for advertising and customer acquisition has essentially been a broadcast approach, reaching a large audience that is generally descriptive of the customer a brand believes to be a fit. Contrast this with what is sometimes described as a “narrowcasting” strategy. Narrowcasting utilizes Customer Intelligence to understand a great number of discrete dimensions that a consumer possesses and can leverage statistical methods to validate the accuracy and predictiveness of targeting customers through these methods. The chart below, depicting the value of customers acquired through traditional broadcast capabilities upfront and over time, helps illustrate why “broadcast” strategies for customer acquisition alone aren’t enough. Broadcast Acquisition Strategies Lack...

Bigger is Better — How to Scale Up Customer Acquisition Smarter

While we’re all focused on delivering our holiday plan, every CMO I’ve spoken with in the last 3 months is focused on the same things. In 2016 “we need to achieve greater scale” –in other words, to get bigger. It would seem for sure, bigger is better. Bigger is the American way. Bigger sales, bigger profits, bigger staff and teams, bigger assortments, and bigger margins. Yes –bigger it seems is much better to CEO’s, CMO’s, and Board Members everywhere. “The Onceler” from Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax succinctly said:   “… I’m figgering on biggering” For marketers, New Customer Acquisition is the most effective way of to grow the organization “bigger.”  It’s the lifeblood of growing organizations, and is generally considered a sign of a business’s overall health. Yet customer acquisition can be resource and budget intensive, even if an solid value, and marketers require effective more intelligent approaches to achieve greater scale while maintaining budget guidance. So as you lay out plans for 2016 and how you’ll scale your business “bigger” –and hopefully better as well ― it likely makes sense to think through the most effective ways to drive scale. Leveraging Customer Data with ever increasing intelligence is the common thread from some of the best strategies I’ve worked with brands on successfully over time. Programmatic Advertising Advertising is being increasingly automated, and over time, it’s expanding across web, mobile, and now television and “over the top” television (think web based TV –where a programmatic buy may land your ads on Netflix one day soon). Programmatic display advertising is largely however a web based phenomenon. It adds data...

Channel Collaboration or Web Cannibalization?

Working with multi-channel retail organizations, we’ve experienced the frequent concern that online is competing with, or “cannibalizing” retail sales. It seems like a reasonable problem for those responsible for the P&L of the retail business to consider, same for the general managers responsible for the store level P&L. I like to do something that we “digital natives” (professionals whose career has only been digitally driven) miss all too often. We talk to retail people and customers in the stores, store managers, general managers, sales and service staff. Imagine that… left-brain dominant Data Athletes that want to talk to people! Actually, a true Data Athlete will always engage the stakeholders to inform their analysis with tacit knowledge. Every time we do this, we learn something about the customer that we quite frankly could not have gleaned from website analytics, transactional data, or third party data alone.  We learn about how different kinds of customers engage with the product and their experience in an environment that to this day is far more immersive than we can create online.  It’s nothing short of fascinating for the left-brainers. Moreover, access and connection with the field interaction does something powerful when we turn back to mining the data mass that grows daily. It creates context that inspires better analysis and greater performance. This best practice may seem obvious but is missed so often. It is just too easy to get “sucked into the data” first for a right brain dominant analyst. The same thing happens in an online only environment. I can’t count how many times I’ve sat with and coached truly brilliant web...

Re-engage Your Audience with Remarketing in Google Analytics

Remarketing (or, retargeting) is a tactic that many marketers have leveraged for some time now, and by this point all of us have probably at one point or another been “stalked” by ads from the likes of Zappos, Amazon and many others. Remarketing can be a very cost-effective, targeted way to reach people who you know have visited your site in the past, but any time people equate marketing tactics with stalking there’s cause for concern. In his talk at this year’s GACP Summit Dan Stone shared some thoughts on improved ways for advertisers to leverage retargeting. Remarketing is turning into an always-on tactic. Multiple touchpoints across multiple devices means that consumer behavior is becoming much more complex, and this in turn means that marketers have to start thinking more strategically about how and when to leverage remarketing as part of their online marketing activities. Stone says there’s three steps to doing this right: – Target the right user – Show the most relevant content – Deliver the right message at the right time, with the right context Who Should You Target with Remarketing? The key to a successful remarketing campaign comes down to segmentation. The more specifically you can define your segments, the better chances you have of tailoring a message that is relevant to that segment. So if you’re thinking about remarketing, make sure that you know what customers segments exist in your business. What Creative Messaging Should You Use When Remarketing? Now that you’ve identified your customer segments, your next task is to make sure that you’re serving them messaging that is relevant and targeted to...

The Good and The Bad of Customer Testimonials

Few things put customers as at-ease with using a brand as a testimonial from another customer. Some studies peg the boost to conversion rates at as high as 200%, though most caution that a 25-50% increase is more likely. With these kinds of numbers, marketers should be leveraging every opportunity they have to add “social proof” to their conversion process, and a good number of them have. According to the Marketing Sherpa Landing Page Handbook survey of marketers, on a scale of 1-5, marketers rated customer reviews a solid 3.5 for effectiveness. The big caveat to the testimonial subject is that as the trust level of the testimonial decreased, so did the boost to the final conversion rate. Trust, when it comes to product and service reviews, is fairly simple to quantify: Third-Party Reviews > On-Page Reviews > Video Testimonials > Audio Testimonials > Text It seems that consumers have figured out how easy it is to fake a testimonial not long after businesses figured out the same. So as the ease of fabrication increases, so too does a potential customers’ skepticism. Since it’s noticeably harder to record audio and video than type out some text, those formats get a higher level of trust, and all three “testimonial” formats dwarf in comparison to obvious user-generated reviews, both on the site in question and on third party sites like Yelp, Google Products and Places, and Amazon Reviews. For e-commerce sites, the majority of testimonials should be user generated to ensure maximum trust and foster a positive attitude towards your brand. Not all Reviews are Created Equally As with any tool,...

Increase Engagement Effectively with Rich Ads in Search

Leverage your brand name with Yahoo’s Rich Ads in Search (RAIS) served on both Search.Yahoo.com and Bing.com. Currently, RAIS are only available using exact match, exclusively for brand terms. These ads appear in the first position only at the top of the SERP above organic search results so you can take full advantage of the available real estate. Rich ads displace the standard text ads on the right, meaning, since the rich ad is the only ad displaying in mainline position, all other ads that would normally show up in mainline position would move to right rail placement. What’s more, Google currently does not have a similar offering to own the space above organic search. Rich ad campaigns are also managed in AdCenter with the rest of your paid search campaigns. They offer a variety of features including additional links, images, videos, icons, form fields and product information, all which can be used to further enhance your ad and increase engagement with your brand. Additionally, multiple ad formats are available, including links and image, form and image (useful to submit a zip code to target by geographic location), links and video, form and video, and even a unique pharmaceutical format in which there is no image option. Another benefit to using the form field is the ability to create customized landing pages targeted to specific locations, such as a store or location in that area, based on a specified data field entered by a user, and the ability to collect data about users. So far, rich ads in search average a click-through-rate (CTR) of 30-35%, which is 40-50% higher...