Kicking Off The Conference Season

13719563_10154600766338322_8207156853734719452_oIndustry analysts attend a lot of conferences. We participate in a wide range of industry events, vendor events, and trade shows of all sorts. Sometimes the travel and long days are rough, but the tradeoff is exposure to new technology and access to the people who built and use it, which is highly valuable no matter what business you’re in. As I work with David to plan our 2019 event schedule, here are a few upcoming conferences that are on our radar and may be worth considering for you.

  • Dreamforce – September 25-28 – If you haven’t already booked your hotel room for this year’s Dreamforce, you’ll likely be staying in Sacremento. The city of San Francisco will be overrun next week for the largest vendor event of its kind; if you’ve never been, you should consider it for next year.
  • Email Spotlight – October 10 – Hosted by BrightWave, this single evening event coming up in Atlanta will feature 15+ leading email vendors and is sure to be excellent [David will be participating].
  • Email Insider Summit – December 9-12 – Produced by MediaPost and hosted at the beautiful Stein Eriksen Lodge in Park City, Utah, this is a great place to connect [and re-connect] with many of the top minds in the space; always plenty of cocktail and chairlift time.
  • Email Evolution Conference – April 24 – 26 – David and I have been attending and participating in EEC since its inception and it has always been an excellent event. This year will be the first in Savannah.
  • EiQ – March 3 – Billed as ‘The Intelligent Email Gathering,” David and I have been in attendance and participated in previous years and the conference has been excellent. Certainly worth considering if you’re near Atlanta or hungry for great content.

I’ll be checking back in with a more complete list as we plan our schedules and you can always check our events page for up to date info on where we’ll be.

 

Trendline + Inbox Pros

For TRG BlogExciting news crossed the wire this morning with the announcement that Trendline Interactive has acquired Inbox Pros.  Trendline has been featured in every email agency buyer’s guide we have published and has always impressed us with the quality, depth, and breadth of the services they offer. We also have great respect for Chris Arrendale and the team at Inbox Pros who have a proven track record and a stellar reputation.

This move adds top shelf deliverability, privacy, and compliance services to the Trendline Interactive menu, making them that much more attractive to enterprise marketers looking for a comprehensive services solution.

Enterprise marketers today need to be strategic about deliverability, privacy, and compliance, as they juggle data between programs, systems, and countries, and having these types of services integrated with their agency team, could make a lot of sense for many. We’ve also noted that delivery rates have been trending down over the past several years, and have advised senders to allocate more resources towards deliverability data and services.

We’re looking forward to talking more about this partnership in our 2018 Email Agency Buyer’s Guide which will be publishing in Q4.

 

Webinar Wednesdays are Back!

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After a brief summer hiatus, Webinar Wednesdays will be back on September 5th with a much-anticipated broadcast sponsored by RedPoint Global. Steve Zisk from RedPoint will join David and me to dig into some of the key findings from our recent research on Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) and explore some key customer use cases.

As my last several blog posts indicate, I’m extremely excited about the CDP landscape at the moment and will do my best during this webinar to articulate exactly why.

If you have any specific questions you’d like to address during the webinar, feel free to reach out to me in advance, and please join us next Wednesday [register for the webinar even if you can’t make it live; we’ll be sending all registrants a copy of the research and a link to the webinar recording].

Wishing everyone a wonderful Wednesday!

Sensei in Adobe Campaign

Adobe Summit 2018 - Day 1

David and I have been writing a lot over the past year about the ways in which artificial intelligence and machine learning are helping marketers more easily drive more positive customer experiences at scale, and we’re bullish on many of the vendors that are enabling.

Yesterday Adobe announced several innovations in Adobe Campaign that caught my eye; not all are in production with clients yet, but several of the capabilities leverage Sensei and illustrate how AI can help drive efficiency and efficacy for marketers.

Yesterday’s announcements included: AI-based send time optimization, Sensei driven segmentation based on predicted customer engagement, and new dynamic reporting capabilities that leverage the Adobe Analytics’ Analysis Workspace. Additional updates include multilingual push notification functionality, a new drag-and-drop email creation tool, and increased throughput and delivery in Adobe Campaign.

Check out the Adobe news here, and stay tuned for much more on AI to come from TRG in 2018.

The ABCs of CDPs Part III – “How?”

In the third installment of our introduction to CDPs, we’re going to take a high-level look at how enterprise marketers use CDPs by examining the specific data sources that they are integrating with them.

[We’ll dig deeper into the topic in a webinar scheduled for September 5th @ 1PM ET; please join us then if you’re interested in learning more.]

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  • CRM Data – As the cornerstone of many marketer’s data-driven marketing efforts, CRM data and CRM systems top the list as the most integrated into CDPs for both B-to-C and B-to-B marketers. Customer Profiles and Demographics – Integrating customer profile and demographic data is critical for marketers across verticals and sectors. A primary benefit of the CDP technology is the ability to efficiently manage these assets.
  • Customer Online Spending – Online spend data, especially when updated in real-time, is highly valuable for most marketers. The ability to normalize and syndicate this data to other systems is important to both B-to-C and B-to-B marketers.
    Customer Service/Support Information – Service and support data is often dynamic and can live in a wide range of systems. Those marketers that integrate into a CDP make the data readily available to key customer stakeholders.
    Website Behavior – Another cornerstone for many marketers, real-time website data can be some of the most valuable when targeting users with personalized messaging.
  • Email Marketing Response Data – Email response data is underutilized in many marketing organizations. But over one-third of B-to-C and B-to-B marketers who have implemented a CDP, feed it with email response data.
  • Digital Advertising Response Data – By efficiently integrating digital response data into their CDP, marketers across sectors are better able to monitor the efficacy of paid media efforts and attribute sales to the channels and campaigns that drove them.
  • Customer Offline Spending – To gain a complete picture of the customer journey and to more accurately measure marketing effectiveness, nearly one-quarter of B-to-C and more than 25 percent of B-to-B marketers integrate offline spending.
  • Mobile Behaviors, Including App Utilization – As more marketers conduct more commerce through mobile apps, this data has become more critical to marketers of all stripes.
  • Previous Marketing Offers – The artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms that drive some of the data orchestration and personalization from CDPs are informed by data from previous marketing offers. The timelier the information, the more useful/effective.

Join us on September 5th to learn more and download a copy of the research here.

The ABCs of CDPs Part II – “Why?”

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Yesterday we answered the question “What is a CDP?” Today, we dig into “Why?”

What factors have fueled the growth of the CDP space and why are data-driven marketers increasingly turning to CDPs to help them drive core business goals and positive user experiences?

The graph above highlights the top reported tactics enabled by a CDP and does a good job of answering our question.

  • Individualized email personalization: Sixty-two percent of marketers across business verticals who have implemented a CDP use it to help drive individualized personalization in email. The email channel, which is responsible for driving upwards of 20 percent of total revenue for many brands, was once primarily a broadcast channel with marketers “blasting” messaging out to large segments of lists. Today, due to the availability of rich customer data, marketers can hone each message to be individually relevant to each recipient. This hyper-relevance drives significant lifts in response rates and business results from the channel.
  • Addressable advertising: Opportunities for addressable advertising have never been more plentiful and are now extending beyond the web to television and offline opportunities. But the efficacy of addressable advertising is highly contingent on quality and the availability of the customer data that informs it. Fifty-five percent of those who have already implemented a CDP use it to help drive audience selection and measure addressable ads. CDPs can also give marketers better visibility into the value of different types of customers and therefore help them hone and optimize customer acquisition cost benchmarks/limits.
  • Real-time targeting: Messaging and advertising that reaches the intended target at precisely the appropriate time has a much greater chance of driving intended behaviors than messaging that is delayed, batched, and/or deployed at a scheduled cadence. To execute highly relevant campaigns at these precise moments, 53 percent of marketers who have a CDP use it for real-time targeting. “Speed of data” is critical to these marketers and the data agility that a CDP affords is a key towards reaching the right target, at the right time, with the right message.
  • Optimized customer experience: Forty-nine percent of marketers with a CDP use it to drive personalized website experiences. One of the primary benefits for many marketers that leverage a CDP is the ability to progressively profile website visitors based on various identity management mechanisms and to serve them content that is most relevant based on known and inferred attributes. This functionality is critical to marketers across business verticals but especially so for those in media and publishing who may offer mixtures of free and paid content [i.e.: five free articles a month]. CDPs can help identify users in real-time and serve them the appropriate content. Overall, this greatly improves the customer experience.
  • Targeting optimization: Retargeting site visitors, cart abandoners, and other prospects with messaging in other channels is a highly utilized tactic by almost all online marketers. It is generally easy to employ, is relatively low cost, and often generates higher response rates than other campaigns. Most marketers who retarget at scale, however, do so inefficiently. This often creates negative customer experiences, because these marketers continue to retarget customers, with the same offer, even after they have made the purchase. Forty-two percent of marketers use their CDP to help them suppress online advertising based on purchase data, and 27 percent change the ad or offer based on purchase or behavior data. By employing these tactics, marketers with a CDP can drive much more effective and efficient media spend.

Tomorrow we’ll take a look at “how” marketers are using their CDP – what data sources they connect and what benefits they gain by doing so.

For more detail, download a full copy of the research, or check out excerpts in the new issue of The Marketer Quarterly.

 

The ABCs of CDPs Part I – “What?”

I’ve spent the past three months digging into Customer Data Platforms – speaking with marketers who use them and examining the vendors who supply the technology and services to enable them. Over the next three days, I’ll share some of the key findings of our research and answer some key questions about the role of the CDP in the enterprise marketing stack.

In Part I, “What is a CDP?”

In a relatively short period of time, Customer Data Platforms have carved out a dynamic, new, and expanding space for themselves, within the enterprise marketing stack. Although the term was coined as early as 2013, it is primarily over the past 18 months that vendors have embraced the moniker and marketers have realized the distinct value proposition that a CDP brings to the table.

CDPs enable marketers to:

  • Join and Combine Data – Marketers who are facing increasing volumes of useful customer data are increasingly turning to CDPs to help them join and integrate these often disparate and unnormalized customer data sources to make them more easily available for marketing applications – targeting, personalization, measurement, to name a few.
  • Create and Manage Profiles – CDPs can help marketers navigate the waters between known and unknown users through various probabilistic and deterministic identity methods. This enables CDPs to stitch together user profiles to more accurately identify and address people as individuals across channels and devices.
  • Enrich and Augment Data – While primarily focused on first-party data, CDPs can help marketers enrich data on a continuous basis by incorporating a variety of sources and efficiently augmenting these to ensure accuracy and usefulness to other systems across the enterprise.
  • Syndicate and Activate Audiences – CDPs help marketers identify the appropriate customers and prospects to address through both paid and organic methods across online and offline channels. By using a CDP to inform audience selection and content recommendations, many marketers can individualize more campaigns at a more precise level, driving increased response rates and more efficient paid media spend.

The Relevancy Group defines Customer Data Platforms as data management solutions specifically designed for marketers that enable a view of the customer that is:

  • Holistic: Able to interface with and encompass the wide array of data sources available to marketers today.
  • Integrated: Able to map and tie those diverse data sources together seamlessly, accurately and cleanly mapping to individual people and their journeys.
  • Persistent: Providing an ongoing, evolving, always-available, always-updated data stream over time.

Put more succinctly, CDPs are HIP. The final definitional element of a CDP relates to control. A CDP gives the marketing team full mastery of data usage, control, and security. That includes determining who within the organization has access to the data integrated within the CDP, and whether and how that data gets leveraged externally.

CDPs are driving efficiency and efficacy for marketers across business verticals; in Part II of this series, we’ll dig deeper into the specifics of how and why.

If you can’t wait until then, click here to download a copy of the research right now, and feel free to follow up with me directly for an analyst inquiry if you do.