When writing these articles, I want to provide insight while trying to keep the topic engaging and entertaining. Sometimes the points are lost in the fun. In my last post I discussed progressive profiling as a tactic to learn more about your customers over time. And while the idea seems to have a wide exposure, I did receive a number of inquiries about exactly how to use progressive profiling. So I thought I would do just a true how-to on progressive profiling: no cute song titles, no random quips or quotes.
Multichannel strategies have served marketers well by providing multiple channels on which marketers can engage and interact with their customers, such as email, social, web, brick-and-mortar storefronts, mobile and call centers. Typically, these multichannel engagements have happened in a non-integrated manner, with different departments managing different channels, often resulting in siloed, disjointed messaging and responses. There was a time when that was sufficient, but that's not now. Today's consumers are cross-channel to the core, moving seamlessly and simultaneously across all channels to engage with brands.
The Black Friday/Cyber Monday holiday shopping kickoff focuses attention on sales, but this annual surge in retail volume also creates an intelligence windfall that, for data-driven email marketers, can actually represent a more important revenue opportunity.
Most e-retailers have a lot of products -- but whether you sell 10 skus or 50,000, your product catalogue pales in comparison to the number of potential customers you have. Unfortunately, each of these potential customers is (1) only likely to be interested in subset of the products you offer; and (2) at different levels of readiness to purchase.
For this post, I thought of this quote by Winston Churchill: "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." The interesting thing about polarizing topics is, it's never as cut and dried as you think. There are some topics that simply will never resolve with a consistent opinion, some that create a lot of noise, yet primarily focus on common conclusions, and some which, as Loren McDonald noted, are just "definitional."
I'm not talking about the design concept that breaks up masses of content with strategically placed open spaces, although that's an excellent idea. Instead, "white space" is my term for breaking up a continual flood of promotional emails with an occasional message that says more than "Buy-buy-buy."
Questions about progressive profiling have been cropping up repeatedly in my recent meetings with brands. Some brands are currently leveraging the tactic and are looking for ideas on how to optimize it, while others are just dipping their toe into the pool and looking for tips on how best to get started. In my last post, we discussed the power of email as a relationship channel -- so now let's extend that analogy a bit to the act of learning progressively more about a customer or subscriber.
Lately I've been noticing more and more examples of poor cross-channel marketing and just downright bad customer service when it comes to digital transactional messaging. Here's my own story:
Every holiday season is a little different when it comes to retailers' email marketing. Here are a few ways this year's has changed from previous seasons:
My mind tends to go all over the place when I reflect on the email business. What's happening with the ESP (email service provider) landscape? How are marketers shifting how they use and measure email? What is the consumer impact on email trends? Where will the budget come from to justify all the innovation being developed?