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  • June 28, 2013

Interact 2013 London: Bringing the relationship era across the pond

Over 450 of Europe’s top marketing professionals gathered at Responsys Interact 2013 London to hear about the latest advances in cutting-edge digital marketing.

“Consumers are driving marketing behaviours.” This was the catalyst statement at this year’s event. Scott Olrich, president of marketing & platform, described the inherent conflict whereby marketers try to achieve scale, while consumers strive for personalisation. “Usually it’s a trade-off. Now, in the relationship era, the consumer can feel like you know their name and preferences, while wide reach remains possible.” Introduced by an all-star line-up of Responsys customers and marketing industry heavyweights, hundreds of marketers discussed and debated this theme via live Q&As and interactive sessions. Here are some highlights, but first check out the re-cap video:

Loyalty loves data

Vicky Garfitt, digital marketing manager at B&Q and Jessica Rose, customer communications manager at Pets at Home, explained how New School retail marketers can get to know their customers in the digital era. Both companies have hit the 1 million members milestone for their loyalty programmes, unlocking valuable data and developing customer relationships in the process to drive long-term engagement.

Focus on your ‘Inbox Relationship’

In an environment where customers are demanding more relevance, we heard from Responsys’ Gavin Sherry and Mike Knott about how behaviour becomes the driver. What does this mean for the marketer? Harriet Mitchell, behavioural marketing manager at RS Components showed how abandoned baskets can give you enough data to target customers with relevant communications. This campaign alone has increased conversion rates for RS Components by 7% and boosted incremental sales by a stratospheric £1m. Meanwhile, through similar abandoned cart targeting, click-through rates for New Look reached 35% (up from 21% through usual browse analysis and targeting).

Analytics reveals answers

Next up, Responsys’ Claudia Foster was joined by Anders Kristensen of Fitness World and Rasmus Houlind of Magnetix for an afternoon breakout session on using analytics and insights to optimise the customer journey. Not only did the audience learn that Danes are particularly interested in fitness, but participants of the session were also kept on their toes as Rasmus asked them to participate in a real-time quiz through the Interact App, based on data from Fitness World’s member base. By using analytics and mining customer data, Fitness World can guide members through a fully interactive, personalised experience based on behaviour, all with the aim of motivating users to continue their fitness regime. The result was two-fold – a decrease in churn and some very funny and endearing responses (or excuses) from customers about why they haven’t visited their local gym recently...

Relationships are experiences

It’s all about communication and compromise, said Rob Brosnan, a senior analyst at Forrester Research, in the final session of the day. In the relationship era, he explained, marketers no longer run a campaign – they create an experience. The experience has three components: taking a customer on a journey, giving them decisions (not just rules), and creating interactions for them (not just profiles).

Go where no man has gone before

Will Whitehorn, former president of Virgin Galactic, wrapped up the day’s proceedings on a high note, taking participants on a virtual journey through the creation of the commercial space travel industry. Richard Branson, he told us, built the company on the foundation that anything is possible. Keep it simple, and keep everything branded!

In just over eight hours of sessions, everyone who attended Interact has left with a better understanding of how to approach the new relationship era, and an appreciation for its central role in today’s future of customer communications.

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