Woman peering into a box

Let me start by saying: I’m all about the data.

I’m an advocate of one-to-one marketing. I think behavior-based targeting is an essential part of the marketing mix. And, I’m certain that machine learning and other forms of AI will become so core to marketing as to be a virtually invisible element of areas such as personalization.

But, please, marketers, I implore you: Don’t get so caught up in all that contextual personalization has to offer that you overlook the art of discovery.

Continue reading

breakfast sandwich on bagel with egg bacon cheese

Good morning! One bacon, egg, and cheese or two?

That’s how I’m welcomed whenever I walk into Andrew & Frank’s Deli in Astoria—even when it’s more like lunchtime than breakfast hour. And, believe me, this place has far more frequent customers than me. Even so, the guys who run the deli know my favorite order, and know there’s an equal chance I’m getting breakfast just for my daughter (long after I’ve eaten) or for both of us.

That’s the kind of one-to-one experience many marketers strive to deliver at scale, and that Don Pepper and Martha Rogers, Ph.D., predicted would be reality—at scale—in The One to One Future. For years, Don and Martha’s message changed the outlook and career direction of countless marketers. Based on recent conversations I’ve had, it still does. In fact, to me, one-to-one marketing has never been more possible, relevant, and in this time of ever-rising customer expectations, vital.

Continue reading

Blurred city scene

CX is a whirlwind of change.

  • Personalization is improving areas such as marketing communications, promotional offers, and recommended next-best actions.
  • AI and machine learning in marketing (e.g. retargeting) and service (e.g., chatbots) is helping companies to provide more relevant experiences.
  • Vendors impacted by business model changes such as the growth of the subscription economy and by disruptive competitors are increasing their focus on customer success to improve retention.
  • Mobile is spurring and supporting the growth of proactive service and support.
    And so is AI.
  • Customer journey mapping is experiencing a resurgence, buoyed by new supporting technologies and access to more and better data.

These are just a handful of the trends impacting customer experience leaders and their organization’s CX practices.

Continue reading

When it comes to marketing, creativity and data are inextricably linked.Marketing is data AND creative

Two areas under the spotlight in marketing today are creative and data. In the past they were often dealt with in silos: The stereotype was that the creative team worked on projects such as gut-based branding and ad campaigns, while the data analysts focused on tasks such as market mix modeling and segmentation—rarely collaborating on campaigns. Today creative and data are two sides of a coin that double its value.

jamie-gutfreund

One marketing leader who’s a proponent of the creative/data partnership is Jamie Gutfreund, global CMO of Wunderman. During her upcoming session at DMA’s &THEN 2016 conference in Los Angeles she’ll be pulling back the curtain on trends to watch in 2017 and beyond. I caught up with Gutfreund jetting between meetings and asked her for a preview.

Continue reading

When brands focus on the experience rather than on the product, customers respond—with their dollars and their loyalty.

bradrencheratadobesummit

“We’re no longer in the business of selling products; we’re in the business of selling experiences,” Brad Rencher boldly asserted during the 2016 Adobe Summit opening day keynote session. “Products are just along for the ride…. This is our new reality.”

Continue reading

I was recently honored with a Silver Apple lifetime achievement award in marketing. Here’s what I had to say.

lightbulb

The Direct Marketing Club of New York hosted its annual Silver Apple Awardslast night. The lifetime achievement award honors those who have contributed greatly to the direct marketing industry over the course of their careers. I was fortunate to be among this year’s honorees.

I’m so ecstatic about receiving the award I want to share the moment with all of you. So, here, my acceptance speech:

Continue reading

Digital disruption is here; customer insight can help companies be disruptors instead of being disrupted.

businessman_w_lightbulbs

“Digital disruptions are threatening business norms,” Shar VanBoskirk asserted during her keynote at Sailthru Lift 2015.

But far too many businesses are unprepared for this new digital reality, said VanBoskirk, VP and principal analyst at Forrester Research. According to Forrester, 79% of e-business professionals surveyed think that their CEOs have a solid plan in place to become truly digital businesses. “What keeps us from being digital is that we don’t know how to disrupt ourselves,” she said.

Continue reading