Consumer Holiday Expectations Are In

Consumer Holiday Expectations Are In

By David Daniels, CEO and Founder – The Relevancy Group

This week we had our annual Consumer Holiday Behaviors and Attitudes Webinar which was as always was sponsored by Zeta Global. The event was full of data and featured excellent discussion and insight from Zeta’s Tim O’Leary.  You can watch the webinar on demand here.

Some of the interesting findings include:

  • Consumers utilize email every day, 89 percent of them are checking their email daily. Email remains our digital fingerprint and shows no sign of being replaced by other communication modalities.
  • Mobile dominance is increasing. Forty percent of consumers state that their primary email device is their mobile phone and 26 percent state that it is their primary online shipping device. Retailers must ensure that their messages and websites are optimized for mobile viewing.
  • Self-gifting is up year-over-year from $264 in 2017 to $279 in 2018. Retailers should be utilizing BOGO offers and messaging that encourages to be self-indulgent.
  • More consumers intend to shop on Cyber Monday. Eighteen percent report that they are going to do most of their holiday shopping on Cyber Monday which is up about ten percent from last year.
  • Women are more engaged on themed shopping days, nearly half of women state that they will do most of their shopping on Black Friday as opposed to 39 percent of men. Fourteen percent of women say they will do all their holiday shopping on Black Friday.
  • On average consumers will comparison shop across three sites; but 20 percent of consumers state that they don’t do any comparison shopping. On the webinar we discuss the reasons why that is, one of them being the impact of Amazon Prime as increasing spot for buyers to go to.

There are many more findings, tactics, and tips including how to leverage mobile real-time data to improve the customer experience.

Tune in and check out this wonderful webinar.

Wishing you success this holiday season!

All the best,

David

 

Specialized Services: Email Marketing Agencies are Crushing It

MQ15_coverOver the past several weeks, we at TRG have been deep in the weeds researching our soon to be published 2018 Email Agency Buyer’s Guide, and this year’s participants include some of the absolute best and brightest in the space. Agencies in the guide this year include BrightWave, DEG, Inbox Marketer, Trendline Interactive, and Yes Marketing.

Our process includes detailed questionaries completed by each agency, ninety-minute demos during which agencies present their best work, and reference calls with a handful of clients which yield valuable customer satisfaction data. We are still working to synthesize and analyze the data, but what we’ve seen to date has been extremely impressive.

This year we invited agencies to show us their best stuff while maintaining a focus on three primary themes: strategy, data, and analysis/measurement. Like the competitors currently battling it out on the field for the pennant, these agencies have been going deep. The research will highlight how these agencies are driving home runs for their clients in the form of serious business value and positive customer experiences.

The research will be available for our Research Subscribers and direct purchase. Vendor profiles will be in the next issue of The Marketer Quarterly.

Kicking Off Dreamforce

df18-during-headerDreamforce kicked off in earnest yesterday, grinding traffic south of market down to a crawl, and ushering in a series of exciting announcements about Salesforce products and services.

At the top of the list was news about Salesforce Customer 360 which “comprises a set of powerful platform services that will enhance data management across Salesforce apps and provide instant access to consistent, reconciled customer data.” This sounds very much like functionality being offered by many of the Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) we reviewed in our recent CDP Buyer’s Guide, and I am very much looking forward to learning more.

Also on tap yesterday was big news about a new strategic partnership between Salesforce and Apple, with plans to redesign Salesforce mobile apps to more fully embrace iOS and plans for new tools that will allow Salesforce developers to build their own native apps with a new Salesforce Mobile SDK for iOS.

Today is all about Einstein, with the Einstein AI keynote, and a series of in-depth conversations focused on Artificial Intelligence. Addressing topics like “How AI Has Changed the Future of Work,” “How AI Will Drive Business Transformation,” and featuring an “AI Dreamtalk with will.i.am,” audiences today will hear a lot about how Einstein can help them drive business objectives.

If you couldn’t make it to SF this week for the conference, you can tune in to much of the content via live broadcast here, and I’ll be following up with another post after the conference that highlights the best stuff.

 

What to Make of Adobe’s $4.75 Billion Acquisition of Marketo

What to Make of Adobe’s $4.75 Billion Acquisition of Marketo

My first thought is the value. This is a lot of cash to jump into another cloud that is crowded by B2B marketing solutions. But then I think that many of them have yet to integrate such a solution across the marketer and advertiser experience (I am talking to you Oracle).

Below I enumerate why this deal makes sense from my market analyst point of view. To be clear, I am not, nor does The Relevancy Group (TRG) provide a financial analyst perspective. That is, we are not offering investment advice.

1) Adobe is a winner, they have a process to satisfy clients. In our most recent ESP Buyer’s Guide – Enterprise edition they received client satisfaction awards in deliverability support, technical services, and omnichannel marketing. Customers we spoke with had high praise for the Adobe technical teams and remarked that “implementation has been a ten out of ten,” and that they “anticipate [our] needs ahead of time.” Marketo clients you are going to be fine. The company that has a cloud called “experience” respects, embraces this client-oriented culture. The experience will likely be an upgrade for you.

2) Adobe does acquisition and integration better than most. Earlier this year they jumped into the commerce cloud with the $1.7 billion purchase of Magneto in May. This commerce platform is ripe for the Adobe Sensei framework and every element of the Adobe Experience Cloud. Integration is coming. I can’t say what I saw, but I can say it was impressive.

3) It is not about B2B and B2C but is about what B2B is Missing. If you have read my book, seen me speak or just overall – I see everyone as a client and we all have journeys, events, experiences and things that could trigger us. Some like Eloqua and Responsys did an awful job of competing internally as to who had the best automation. I realize there is a true B2B element, I am talking about Account Based Marketing, but this is just a way to say that we are all as an industry moving to individualization. As people, we don’t have different buying or online expectations as a consumer or a business operator. We have the same respect for relevant experiences. Adobe’s win here will be if they can utilize the best aspect of that platform – but the real value upside is to sell all those 5K plus Marketo B2B clients all the other elements in Document, Creative and Experience Clouds. I believe Adobe can do this better, certainly in comparison to Oracle.

4) For the Buyer, This Completes the Adobe Cloud Picture. Adobe can now tick the front office, traditional CRM off the capabilities that they used to rely on partners. They have always done well in Financial Services and industries where capabilities that define Marketo are necessary, but they did so through a tapestry of partners. This will combat vendors such as Oracle when they pitch and throw in their email capabilities (formerly Responsys) for free to sway a deal. Adobe’s more robust offering will have new implications for their partners, some of which that go to market with a blended bag of partners. It will be most interesting on how this is received in their partner and agency channels.

Congratulations to Adobe and Marketo, as stated we believe that this is an upgrade that will benefit Marketo and Adobe clients alike.

Until next time,
David

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.

Why Your Email Marketing Deliverability is Suffering

Why Your Email Marketing Deliverability is Suffering
By David Daniels

Imagine you are a telemarketer, a sales rep, a call shark that dials for dollars and smiles on every call. Now imagine in this role that 20 percent of the numbers you dial ends in a tone and a phone call statement that says, “You have reached a number that is no longer in service….”

frustrated marketer

This is the experience most email senders face daily and it has negative impacts on their core business objectives. The issue that most marketers encounter is that many of the email addresses on their list are, in plain speak, garbage. They are no good and there are several reasons for this, fraud, bad actors, bots and well, you must download and read this research piece.

Why? Well, here at The Relevancy Group, we figured out that those that are utilizing verification and multi-method hygiene win with revenue and inbox placement repeatedly.

Don’t believe me? I wrote the paper and conducted the research that was sponsored by Webbula.

Read it now and get the recipe to improve your inbox placement.

The Relevancy Group releases their Email Marketing Buyer’s Guide and Issue 17 of The Marketer Quarterly

The Relevancy Group releases their Email Marketing Buyer’s Guide and Issue 17 of The Marketer Quarterly

BOSTON – March 19, 2018 – PRLog — The Relevancy Group, a leading market research and advisory firm today released “The Relevancy Ring – ESP Buyer’s Guide, 2018 – Enterprise Edition.”  The research evaluates six enterprise EPSs (Email/Everychannel Service Providers) including Adobe, Cheetah Digital, Epsilon Agility Harmony, MessageGears, Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Zeta Global. Vendors are evaluated on customer satisfaction, product functionality, services capabilities, innovation, and breadth.

The massive 38-page report also provides details on every aspect of vendor selection and market analysis on email marketing trends as well as deep inspection of the platforms evaluated.

The Relevancy Group CEO and Founder, David Daniels said, “This is our fifth annual ESP Buyer’s Guide and this year the Relevancy Rings are specific to each vendor which measures their functionality and satisfaction against participant and industry averages. The functionality highlighted relate to three key themes that are most important to enterprise marketers. They are — Automation, Analysis/Attribution, and Real-time.”

Some of the research findings include:

– ESP continues to mature from Everychannel to Experience through the enablement real-time contextual-rich information that mechanized the delivery of an improved customer experience. This data-driven approach to automation across every channel can embody location, preference, behavioral, attitudinal and other data important to the customer experience.

– AI and machine learning are a fixture in many ESP solutions. The ability to leverage machine learning to improve offers, predict the best journey, automate data integration, and simply take over tasks that a marketer used to have to do are present in many of the enterprise ESPs that we reviewed.

– Progressive profiling had related to capturing customer preferences over time. Now in the age of site tags to capture customer signals and apply AI/machine learning, it is possible to target and segment customers at the individual level in real-time. Many marketers and ESPs are moving to an approach that utilizes real-time data and automation to deliver highly relevant individualized experience

The Relevancy Ring – ESP Buyer’s Guide, 2018 Enterprise Edition is available for purchase at $2495.00 and is included in The Relevancy Group’s Research Subscriber Series.

An excerpt of the research is also included in issue 17 of The Marketer Quarterly, the digital magazine, and app for marketers by marketers. Register to get a free subscription to The Marketer Quarterly online or via the MQ app for any iOS, Android, and Amazon.

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