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The Modern Marketing Blog covers the latest in marketing strategy, technology, and innovation.

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Overcome Intelligent Tracking Prevention 2.0 Impacts with Streams

You may have heard that Apple recently released Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) 2.0 which blocks 3rd-party cookies in Safari and other web-kit enabled browsers on iOS and Mac OS in an attempt to address privacy concerns. Mozilla also announced that the next version of Firefox will block 3rd-party cookies by default. With these changes, plus the availability of cookie blocking plugins for all other browsers, it’s time for marketers to reconsider their use of 3rd party tracking cookies. Any capability relying on these cookies, like DMPs or some retargeting products (including Oracle Responsys’ Rapid Retargeter), will start to see a drop-off in the number of website visitors being tracked.  But don’t fret. At least for the retargeting use cases, the solution is to use 1st party cookies. While 3rd-party cookies traditionally were able to keep track of a wide pool of known visitors due to its cross-site tracking ability, the recently announced changes diminish their utility. This makes solutions relying on 1st-party cookies the preferred method for tracking visitors – like Infinity Streams in the Oracle Marketing Cloud.  Streams captures web activities supporting the same retargeting use cases as Rapid Retargeter, including browse abandonment and cart abandonment, plus a whole lot more.  While Rapid Retargeter was mostly designed to accommodate traditional retail websites, Streams was designed to be industry-agnostic.  Marketers can define their own retargeting use cases and pass whatever information is relevant for their business need. For example, a bank that relies on a web form to collect information about their customers requesting current mortgage rates can use Infinity Streams to identify those who started but did not submit the form and then send a follow-up email to encourage them to complete the process.  Infinity Streams is a powerful tool that can take your retargeting abilities to the next level. For more information on Infinity Streams and how it can help your business, please reach out to your Account Management team.

You may have heard that Apple recently released Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) 2.0 which blocks 3rd-party cookies in Safari and other web-kit enabled browsers on iOS and Mac OS in an attempt to...

Customer Experience

Collision Course; Marketing Can’t Achieve Customer Centricity On Its Own

For marketers and customer service professionals, customer experience has always sat at the very core of their role in driving greater value for organisations. However, according to the Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey, the recent surge in adoption of AI and chatbot technologies means some 60% of UK CIOs report leadership teams are now also looking at IT for support.  Of course, to keep customers happy and loyal, all organisations need to figure out how they can keep up with the customer experience standards set by industry disrupters – and make the necessary internal changes to ensure it happens sooner rather than later. Where marketers and customer success teams might once have assumed ownership of the customer experience, they are now expected to share it, and play well with other departments being brought into the mix. So what does this mean? Ultimately customer experience (CX) has always been at the centre of the organisation. What’s changing is its practitioners. In today’s market, CX practitioners come from all different parts of the business and must work cohesively to ensure the outcome is a seamless journey through on and offline channels. Delivering this invites challenges not only in how teams are restructured and realigned with each other, but also how the wider organisation understands its purpose as a business and reports on its performance as such. Here we consider some of the chief barriers facing organisations looking to drive greater value through enhancing the customer experience. Competing priorities According to the recent report published by the CX Network on the Global State of Customer Experience, competing business priorities are now the number one challenge for customer experience practitioners when it comes to increasing the customer-centricity of their organisations. Sales, for example, is a traditional area where sparks might fly with one team focused solely on short term financial results and the other looking at longer term trends and customer satisfaction. Crucially, this is no longer the age of the seller – with the birth of assistance technologies, the required mindset is one of guidance.  Equally, where IT might have seen its role as simply to ‘keep the lights on’, it is now an integral part of creating one, single record of all interactions between a brand and a customer that now range from online to social media, from customer support to chatbot.  Senior buy-in Another second key challenge identified by CX Network in keeping customer experience on top of the agenda is a lack of buy-in from the top to the bottom. With that is a lack of understanding from senior internal stakeholders in regards to their responsibility and impact on the customer experience.  Customer experience is the responsibility of everyone within the company. Getting CEO level support to involve everyone from the initial start of a CX programme is key to cultivate companywide customer centricity, bringing everyone on board to share a common understanding.  Rip and replace With senior leadership buy-in, the route map for customer centricity can be drawn in any conceivable way. Importantly, rather than embarking on a rip-and-replace mission, it is important decision makers understand how CX can complement the current culture to enhance the business’s competitive edge.  After all, the unique identity of a company is often crucial to its success. But, the culture does indeed need to accommodate to customer expectations, aligning to actually fulfil feedback where possible. This change must be driven from the top and rooted in the awareness of the value of CX – how it benefits client loyalty and the bottom line. The CX and ROI relationship Another perceived barrier is the absence of connecting the CX programme to tangible and measurable business results. Having clearly defined objectives and tying them to business results are key to keep CX a high priority initiative.  However, treating people only as rational actors where information, clicks and purchases are the only currencies of a brand interaction will likely not end well.  Instead, viewing every step of the customer journey as an opportunity to strengthen a mutually beneficial partnership, and designing the experience to trigger positive emotions, will endear customers and the people they happily recommend to the brand.  As an added benefit, a more fully human approach can boost the job satisfaction of everyone on the brand side as well, making stars of brand managers who understand the need to engage people more fully as human beings It is up to customer experience practitioners to disband outdated roles to ensure marketing, sales and IT align to, with, for, and around the customer. Balancing the flexibility of practitioners to deliver positive emotions, rather than hard results, with the need for sustainable, profitable change around the customer is a fine line. Go too far and the initiative falls down, but executed well, the business levels the playing field with market disruptors. Check out our free guide to streamlining your customer experience. Discover how top-notch customer experience can help you move away from a short-lived, campaign-centric approach. http://  

For marketers and customer service professionals, customer experience has always sat at the very core of their role in driving greater value for organisations. However, according to the Harvey Nash/KPM...

Customer Experience

Consumer Loyalty - 5 Ways to Make Your Customers Fall in Love With You

Tasnia Khan, Product Strategist, Oracle CX Today’s empowered consumers have never had easier access to information, but also have never been harder to reach. That’s not stopping companies from trying to cultivate loyal customers, who can advocate for and differentiate your brand, giving you a competitive advantage.  When a negative Yelp review prevents customers from checking you out, it’s time to do things differently. A loyal fan will “buy more, visit more, be less price sensitive, follow your advice, and recommend you.” They can help you acquire more customers, increase revenue, customer lifetime value, and be a differentiator in your industry So why is loyalty so hard to build and maintain? Well for one thing, loyalty programs have oversaturated the market.  The average American belongs to over 10 of them. That’s 3.8 billion individual loyalty program memberships! Let’s face it - consumers are no longer brand loyal – they’re loyal to their needs in the moment. They may join programs of brands they like, but they’ll only be loyal to brands that offer them relevant rewards and keep them engaged with the right interactions, in the right place, at the right time. To build a loyal customer base, brands must remain relevant and retain their customer’s interest, otherwise they are a click away from being forgotten. I’m here to give you some good news about opportunities to build loyalty that spans the entire customer experience journey, from marketing and commerce and service and social engagements. Here are 5 ways to differentiate your brand and keep your customers coming back for more Personalize, Personalize, Personalize Personalized experiences are now table stakes among retail brands. Consumers want to feel like you know them. They want to feel special and remembered, and may be willing to buy more when they receive hyper-personalized experiences. Build personalized loyalty programs to please them, and then you’ll build trust. Trust will lead to more opportunities to upsell and cross-sell. Consumers have high standards and want the same personalized experiences they would get if they walked into a store and were greeted by a personal shopper. To achieve this, companies need to leverage data to gain a full view of their customer so that they can identify preferences and anticipate their needs for all in-person, online, and mobile interactions. This hyper-personalization is what customers are looking for, and drives impulse purchases, increases revenue, yields fewer returns and increases loyalty. Personalization doesn’t have to end with a sale. Consider changing your customer service conversations from textbook answers to a contextual and tailored conversation with a customer through email, live chat, or even a chatbot. Use AI to connect the dots (and bots) Consumers engage with your brand from infinite combinations of channels. This results in an overwhelming amount of data to interpret. Personalization is easier said than done! This is where AI helps you understand the consumer journey, connects all of the data, and finds the missing links so that you can provide your customers with the hyper-personalized experiences they desire. AI analyzes information and finds patterns that feed your systems so that they constantly and intelligently recalibrate in real time to anticipate customer needs and serve the right content to optimize the next step of the customer journey, empowering innovation and growth. Encourage omnichannel interactions The vast majority of today’s digital consumers use multiple devices to make their purchases. Mobile is emerging as the preferred path. Customers move in and out of the customer lifecycle fluidly. They still expect brands to maintain the context of their previous interactions, regardless of channel. But, too often, businesses focus on separate experiences: in store, online, and mobile. These distinctions create disconnected information which lead to a disjointed customer experience. Instead, brands should integrate all of their customer data to give consumers more control and more convenient ways to shop, while seamlessly moving among their preferred channels. Just look at Nordstrom, Starbucks, and Southwest Airlines – brands that realized early on that providing a seamless omnichannel experience was the best way to stand out from the competition. Think of creative ways for your loyalty members to earn and redeem points across channels.For example, they could like or post pictures on social media with a specific brand hashtag, visit stores, or try sample products to earn points. Allow promotions and points to be redeemed across channels so that customers can choose the method that works best for them. Build emotional connections Most loyalty programs offer member discounts and coupons. However, a customer that’s just there for the discount isn’t truly engaged. Building loyalty requires fostering emotional connections, not just transactional ones. Companies need to foster experiences that promote loyalty of value, where consumers feel like they are truly part of a community. Per the Harvard Business Review; “The most effective way to maximize customer value is to move beyond mere customer satisfaction and connect with customers at an emotional level – tapping into their fundamental motivations and fulfilling their deep, often unspoken emotional needs. That means appealing to any of dozens of “emotional motivators” such as a desire to feel a sense of belonging, to succeed in life, or to feel secure.” How can your loyalty program eliminate friction from the customer experience and build value? The opportunities to build value can vary tremendously from industry to industry.  For example, a grocery store could offer a cooking class for loyal members, while an airline might promote a trip redemption. There are different ways to incentivize behavior, whether that features gifts with purchase, gamifying a redemption experience, or helping consumers decide what to purchase. Focus on the full experience, not just the process of earning points. Look to solve a customer’s problems before they happen. Be there for them as more than just a coupon code and you’ll build lasting loyalty. Don’t forget the logistics While not the most exciting part of customer loyalty, logistics are a defining element in the customer journey. Logistics ensure that customers are supported every step along their journey. Don’t overlook inventory, shipping, forecasting, and delivering the right product to the right place at the right time. The second that a package gets lost, an item is cancelled because it’s actually out of stock, or a hotel room isn’t ready for a traveler – your business risks losing loyalty and trust. As we saw above, the traditional channels of engagement are changing. Your brand should be easily reachable to discuss logistics. A good way to do that is through social media. Customer service interactions over Twitter have increased 250% in the last two years. Social media is essential for fostering loyalty and emotional connections. Ensure your representatives are available and armed with the knowledge to handle questions about the logistics on all channels. Emerging technologies can help streamline your logistics. For example, use AI to improve forecasting. IoT can improve inventory visibility and get products delivered to customer more efficiently. Make sure that these technologies tap into your organization’s broader network, integrating with consumer data to provide seamless experiences. In this day and age, you need to figure out what the customer wants in the quickest way possible, without any hassle on their side. Providing superior, connected customer experiences is how to build loyalty and outdo the competition. Price is no longer a differentiating factor for businesses. Customers expect you to know what they want, before they even show up. The customer evolution makes it imperative for businesses to ensure they are reducing customer effort and deploying emotional connection strategies to improve loyalty. The path is clear – customer loyalty means brand advocates, higher revenue, and customer lifetime value. Rise to the top of the pack during the customer evolution by creating loyal customers who can’t wait to interact with you again! Related - Read 3 Ways to Build Customer Loyalty Check out this infographic for a snapshot of how to drive loyalty in an era of empowered consumers.        

Tasnia Khan, Product Strategist, Oracle CX Today’s empowered consumers have never had easier access to information, but also have never been harder to reach. That’s not stopping companies from trying...

Cross Channel Marketing

How Ads Keep Generating Revenue After Campaign Ends

By Michael Anderson, data scientist, Oracle Data Cloud Let’s say that after three months of running an ad campaign, it finally comes to a close. The numbers are in, the ads stopped running, and your targeted audience is no longer seeing your brand as part of that campaign. Logic would say that an unfortunate side effect of a campaign ending is that revenue for the campaign ends, too. Our data science team is here to show you how the revenue generated by an advertising campaign does not end with that campaign. In fact, 53% of a typical campaign’s value is derived from additional consumer spending up to 12 months after a digital campaign ends. How can this be? We’ll walk through our research, which includes some stats that might surprise even the most experienced marketer. In the January 1978 issue of the Harvard Business Review, Nariman K. Dhalla paints advertising as an inherently long-term investment—marketers have known this forever. Dhalla writes, “Sales revenue is not generated immediately in a lump sum”—rather, it “flows like a stream over time.” With that in mind, let’s explore why data is the key to unlocking the potential of that statement. What’s Lift Got to Do with It? In marketing terms, we define “lift” as the increase in sales in response to an ad campaign.   An ad campaign generates lift in two ways—a lift in sales or a lift in penetration. Penetration lift during a campaign is derived from new buyers or existing buyers purchasing “out of cycle,” that is, after the campaign has ended.   Often, sales lift is used as a primary key performance indicator (KPI), but this view alone can underestimate the full effect of penetration lift on sales. Additional value is accrued when the change in behavior driven by the ad continues into the future, long after the campaign has run its course. Any additional increase in sales during months 2-12 after that campaign ends is referred to as “long-term value.” Long-term value (LTV) contributes significantly to the value of a campaign. Because LTV is defined by continuous consumer spending over time and is independent of additional ad spend, it can have a substantial impact on Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). How Data Can Help Marketers Understand Long-Term Value It’s true that brand loyalty decays exponentially over time—that’s a straightforward concept. Here’s what I mean:   For an advertising example, let’s say the rate of decay is 0.7. This means that 70% of the buyers from an ad campaign will buy the advertised product again in the future, then 70% of those two-time buyers will buy for the third time, and so on. This process continues until the effect of repeat buyers is negligible (in this example, after 12 months, only 1.3% of buyers will purchase again). To model this behavior, Oracle Data Cloud uses a Markov model on past-purchase data to estimate two decay curves: 1.    The first curve estimates how ad-inspired/incremental buyers will buy in the year following the campaign. 2.    The second curve estimates how those households will buy if they did not see the ad. Long-term value is calculated as the difference between those two estimated curves. (Get more in-depth with Markov chains in the below video). In our study, we selected 107 campaigns since the implementation of long-term value measurement in early 2017 and compared short-term vs. long-term value estimates. We discovered these three key results: The full impact of long-term value is dependent on many factors, such as the purchase frequency of a product and brand loyalty. A shorter purchase cycle means more opportunities for repeat sales, and brand loyalty increases the chances that the consumer will choose your brand again. Advertising is positioned to influence both of these factors by reminding the customer to use your product often and by building brand loyalty. To learn more about how your ads can drive long-term revenue, contact us on the Data Hotline. Michael Anderson is a data scientist at Oracle Data Cloud, focusing on using data to create actionable insights and best practices for the ad-tech industry.

By Michael Anderson, data scientist, Oracle Data Cloud Let’s say that after three months of running an ad campaign, it finally comes to a close. The numbers are in, the ads stopped running, and your...