IntroductionsJames Bunting - MD for Communicator Corp – best email experience I’ve ever had and why = potentially use an example from a salescycle recovery email Lyndsey Hepple – best email experience – maybe draw on one she has sent – CHANEL?
We are currently swimming in a world of data.According to the BBC’s Horizon program earlier this month human beings have created more data in the last 3 years since the start of time.Yet in the 2012 DMA Email benchmarking report 27% of marketers had cited a lack of data as a constraint to achieving their email marketing goals.Like it or not BIG DATA is a hot topic - and Big data is ultimately about the smart use of data to drive a business. There are two kinds of data: data about your business, and data external to your business that you can create value from.And it’s that external data that we as marketing professionals get excited about. External data is the data relating to customers and prospects which is more valuable than product numbers and figures or finances
So if there is this wealth of data and some clear issues around relevancy then how can we use data effectively?Well data is only as useful as the insight it provides. Here are some quotes from a former CEO and HP and the inventor Thomas Edison about the importance of using data effectively.
As marketing professionals we have access to so many sources of data:Prospect and customer contact dataTransactional and geographic dataBehavioural dataSocial dataData from preference centresCampaign level dataIt’s becoming an endless stream.what’s important about data is making sure that at every opportunity you collect it and store it in the right way. Sometimes its as low brow as a handwritten competition entry or as high tech as a server log URL from your website.
Well to use this data effectively, we need to store it somewhere, that’s where ‘systems’ come into play.CRM systems, ecommerce systems, back office systems all store the kind of data us marketers need to deliver our communications.
Data is the key not only to insight but that insight is what allows us to deliver fully integrated and automated communications.What do we mean by automated? Well, its all good storing our data in one ‘system’ and using another to send our communications. But what if they could actually work together. That’s where integration comes in. Allowing the connection of these systems must be the final piece of the puzzle? For some it is. But for others the real sweet spot is when you can utilise this integration to make everything hands off or automated. And that’s where things start to get interesting.
This influx of data has let to two distinct problems for marketers – the first is that consumers face an information overload.And the fact that one of the sources of messages relevant to consumers as individuals, the mailbox, is now packed to the brim with communications from every organisation they ever interacted with, and some that they didn’t.
But with so much data out there and a crowded market full of ‘in your face’ messages it is easy for marketing professionals to become complacent and follow the crowd by sending batch messages hoping that they stick.So the second major challenge then becomes - how do you stand out from the crowd and create campaigns that inspire and engage?
So to re-cap, Utopia for us marketers means that we have this wealth of data, held in systems that all talk to each other – lets call that integration, and those systems send our marketing messages to our customers automatically.That’s what we’d all like and in typical Blue Peter style here’s one we prepared earlier.
(Passed over to Lyndsey) Thanks James,Before we talk about what data driven communications mean for customers let me give you a little background on the Co-operative Travel.Well, they’re one of the UK’s largest Independent travel agent, taking care of travel arrangements for over two million passengers every year. They operate over 300 high street travel agencies, as well as a specialist business travel division. We’ve had a long running relationship with the company and have worked more closely over recent years in their own respect since 2010
We started working on the Co-Op’s Pre-departure campaign early this year.The campaign had the key objectives of encouraging customer engagement, enhancing the customer experience and to promote the ‘up-selling’ of any additional products, relevant to their holiday destination. The campaign is made up from a series of six automated, fully-optimised emails, taking the customer through the journey from the booking stage to welcoming them home from their holiday or short break. Now imagine you’re the customer, we’ve all been there, booking a holiday. James talked about the challenge for consumers to sift through the digital mire, nowhere is this more prevalent than the travel industry.You’ve finally finished the analysis of where you can jet off to for that most precious of things, the two week break. You’ve finally booked up and closed the 35 tabs you had open in Google Chrome. So sit back relax and count down the days till you hit the airport bar at 6am!
So‘ 7 days after you booked up to go to Malta with Co-Op Travel and you receive the first in a series of emails entitled- ‘The Countdown to your holiday starts now’. The email pulls in the data from the Co-Op’s data systems to populate the booking reference along with details of the customers holiday.What’s really clever about this first email is not just the data driven content of a booking number, or the personalisation in the email but based on the customers destination, the hero image. It’s the first thing they see when opening is tailored to where they are heading off to. So here’s a lovely picture from Malta. If I was going to Paris for example im pretty sure we can all guess what image I’d see, and if I’m going on a cruise with my grandparents (only joking all you young cruisers out there) then I’d see an image of a ship.The image is dynamic content, taken from a data table held within the communicator platform.
In each of theemails the customer receives different cross sell products depending on what's available at their destination and what they have already purchased or not. So only customers who haven't rented a car as part of their booking would see this cross-sell as it’s not relevant to a customer who already has.
As it gets closer and closer to the holiday, the communications count down.
In this email, additional dynamic content taken from the data tables used to generate these emails, there is cross-sell of excursions relating to the customers holiday destination. As you might expect with all the emails, one of the main calls to action is to share the holiday socially, in this case via facebook and twitter.
This wouldn’t be a digital communications presentation without an obligatory social media image, so here are two, the Co-Op Travel facebook page and their twitter account.
If you click on the Twitter link on each email your tweet is pre-populated - personalised with the holiday destination
And continuing the social networking theme, the final the final email in the campaign is sent once the customer has returned from their holiday, contains a link to review the destination on Trip Advisor. As well as a cross-sell to promote the use of Co-Op Food vouchers. I’m sure we all agree that there is nothing worse than coming home to an empty fridge.
The result The Co-Op now have a campaign, that delivers automatic emails that previously had to be delivered manually by the marketing team.Unfortunately we can’t go into specifics around results of this campaign but what we can tell you is that the relevancy of the information provided in the emails means that the open rate is 27% above industry average. Results also show open rates for the first pre-departure email are over 100%, indicating that recipients are re-visiting the campaign multiple times. What cant be measured so accurately is the offline effect the communications have on the rest of the Co-Op’s business as a result of their integrated cross-sells.Or the increase in levels of advocacy and loyalty that are driven by the delivery of such relevant communications.Pass back to James
So how do we do this?Here comes the science bit:The Pre-Departure campaign works as a fully automated service, meaning that once the initial booking information has been uploaded into the CRM system, the client then takes a ‘hands off’ approach.Seamless integration pulls the data through from the CRM system to Communicator®, automatically starting the customer off on his or her email journey and saving our client’s time and resource. One of the things you’ll notice about all the emails is that its just one template, the content is pulled through as the customer receives the 6 automated messages as part of 1 campaign. So 1 campaign is no longer 1 email sent with a generic purpose, the whole campaign is a sequence of data driven communications.And finally, the campaign template used has been designed to be responsive. That means it renders correctly on any device, we’re finding that more and more of our customers require guidance on designing their email templates for mobile.
So a little bit more about us,Communicator Corp was formed in 2003 with a single goal – to ease the process of managing marketing campaigns. For the last decade we have served marketers to help them build, longer, more profitable relationships with their customers through the use of targeted, relevant communications. We specialise in focusing on data driven communications by helping our customers to
Winning is everything.Data driven communications mean you can integrate all of your systems seamlessly and automate your communications.This means that you win and more importantly your customers winOn your seats we left a copy of the Co-Operative case study.
Any questions?We’re exhibiting at stand E6056 just outside of the theatre
Your customers deserve data driven communications, Communicator Corp
Your Customers Deserve Data Driven
James Bunting & Lyndsey Hepple
“The goal is to turn data into
information, and information into insight”
CARLY FIORINA, FORMER CEO OF HP
“The value of an idea lies in the using
THOMAS A. EDISON, AMERICAN INVENTOR