Gary Satterfield and I go way back. We met while I was working on a marketing research project for Gary twenty years ago at a utility. And he’s since gone on to become an expert in the retail energy space and was kind enough to sit down with me and my team to talk shop. The topic of deregulation, removing restrictions in a particular industry, ran a thread through much of our conversation. This has implications for consumers – and therefore, marketers.
As marketers – and as consumers – connecting the dots between previous and future behavior is the key to appreciating a good offer when we see one. And today, that’s not as simple as recommending a fun pair of boots after I bought designer jeans. With our offices, mobile devices, and homes all connected and talking to each other, being on time and on message is increasingly complicated. I recently sat down with our CEO Michael Caccavale to talk about the challenges and opportunities that marketers can uncover when we look at the smart home market.
Marketers use many different channels to reach customers, and they’re increasingly building omnichannel strategies that can follow and engage an audience on multiple different platforms. But when it comes to the marketing tools they use, too often these solutions are siloed from one another.
It’s always shocking to find that a major retail brand doesn’t have a mobile app. Meanwhile, it’s equally stunning when a small business has built a killer mobile experience for its customers.
But when you understand the role omnichannel plays for retail and other major industries, the shortcomings of the big-box retailer are much more confounding than the smaller company’s assertiveness in building a better mobile presence.
We used to live in a world where if you wanted something the same day, you’d go to the store to get it. With same-day delivery, fast shipping, and things like drone delivery on the horizon, the days of having to leave your house to pick up something are numbered. But while logistics teams are busy developing ways to meet these demands, marketers still have some fundamental problems to solve at the top of the funnel.
How do you describe marketing mistakes? Just ask five marketing experts and you’ll hear at least 50 examples of what people do to mess up their marketing programs.
So much about marketing depends on your product or service. While every industry is different, there are some basics that apply to all industries. Often a given error is not about the tactic, but about the implementation.
Coming off of the holiday season, retailers have an opportunity to look back at what worked – and what didn’t – and refine their plans for the new year. And while the holiday retail spike can provide a lot of insight, it’s important to look at the broader view to understand the entire year. Our CEO Michael Caccavale and I took a look at eMarketer’s consumer behavior roundup and discussed some fundamental considerations that marketers simply cannot overlook any time of the year.
Marketing technology providers talk a big game about integration but few live up to the hype. More often than not, the addition of a new marketing technology to an existing program creates a new silo – a repository of data that does not flow freely within an organization but remains stagnant within a single piece of technology. But, much like kindergarteners, marketing technologies need to be taught to play well together and to share.
We’ve long known that social media is a deep data mine. It’s a space where (digitally speaking) communities gather, where people give of their personal information, and where companies can deepen their relationships with consumers through relevant content. That Facebook, our once favorite cat video- and baby photo-filled distraction from work, has become the central focus of election tampering signals a significant shift in our perception of social media as purely “social.” It is, in fact, a very powerful tool. Our CEO Michael Caccavale and I recently discussed this in more depth.
As marketers, we constantly strive to improve our results. And when it comes to learning – and proving – efficacy, something as simple as A/B testing is paramount. A/B testing, the process of using two versions of a marketing piece (web page, email, etc.) to see which one performs better, offers us the ability to tweak very small details in our programs to see incrementally larger results. But, like many marketing strategies, A/B testing can provide mixed, or even inaccurate results if not properly executed.