Recently I had a conversation with Jack Androvich, who will be keynoting at our Customer Intelligence Forum in Los Angeles on April 18th. Here are a few key takeaways from this conversation. If you are a CI professional, a marketer who cares about the role of technology in your job, or a technologist serving marketers, you will find the conversation enlightening.
1. Jack, marketing operations functions tend to have a broad mandate; can you tell us the role of marketing operations at Autodesk and how you defined the mandate for this function?
For just over a year, we’ve been writing a stream of research around customer loyalty programs. Loyalty is “en fuego” right now, and it’s an exciting time to be covering the technologies, services, and analytics that support these programs. To make things even more thrilling, we just published The Forrester Wave™: Loyalty Program Service Providers, Q1 2012.
This is Forrester’s first evaluation of loyalty program service providers. We screened more than 30 companies that build and manage loyalty programs but narrowed down the field to Aimia, Brierley+Partners, Epsilon, Kobie Marketing, Maritz, and Tibco Loyalty Lab. These players demonstrate market momentum, offer a full range of loyalty services to support the entire loyalty life cycle, and generate strong customer interest.
Our assessment consisted of executive briefings; reference calls and online surveys of user companies; and a 60-criteria evaluation. These criteria included the vendor’s approach to loyalty strategy; technology offering; integration capabilities; program management services; and analytics and reporting services; as well as the strength of their roadmap and vision for the future of loyalty.
Forrester clients can read the full report to see how vendors ranked, including scorecard details and the ability to customize the evaluation criteria with personalized weightings.
A few weeks ago, Zach Hofer-Shall led a tweet jam on social influence. It garnered such a good response that we decided to take another Customer Intelligence approach to the #IMChat. But this week -- at 2 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, June 14th -- we’re going to talk about a different hot topic: customer loyalty.
Personally, I would consider myself something of a loyalty program junkie. I sign up for lots of programs and willingly share loads of information about my preferences and interests. But in my experience, most loyalty programs don’t do much with that information. I get discounts and accrue rewards, but the offers are rarely customized to my interests or past transactions.
In this tweet jam, I want to get a sense of your experience with loyalty programs. More specifically, we’ll address the following questions:
What are your favorite loyalty programs? Why?
What makes a loyalty program unsuccessful?
What is the impact of social media on loyalty?
What role do you see gamification playing in loyalty?
In recent inquiries and discussions with clients about intelligence-driven loyalty, my researcher Emily Murphy and I have gotten a lot of questions about gamification. Specifically, how they should — or shouldn’t — be incorporating it into their loyalty programs and strategies. Gamification is a pretty hot buzzword right now, and no matter what industry you’re in, you’ve probably noticed it being thrown around. Broadly, gamification is the application of gaming principles to a traditionally non-game activity in order to drive a desired behavior. As it relates to loyalty, gamification provides a way for marketers to encourage loyalty members to engage and to share information about themselves. For example, earning rewards points and badges for sharing products with friends on Twitter, filling out a poll about customer preferences, or checking-in on foursquare and Facebook Places.
Teradata announced today that it was entering into an agreement to acquire Aprimo, a privately held enterprise marketing platform company, with a strong focus on Campaign Management and Marketing Resource Management (MRM). Coming on the heels of the acquisition binge by IBM who acquired Unica, Coremetrics, and a bunch of other analytics and data management companies, we can safely say that marketing automation and campaign management solutions are up for grabs.
I was briefed by Teradata and Aprimo executives on the rationale for the acquisition. They expect the deal, valued at US$525 million, to close in Q1 2011. Now this is an even greater premium than IBM paid for Unica. So besides this being a very happy holiday season for Aprimo executives and the board, what does this mean for marketers, CI professionals, and competitors? Here’s my take on the deal:
Signals Teradata’s seriousness about the application business. Clearly all the data that drives Teradata's revenue isn’t enough. This acquisition signals a belief that Teradata views the business application space as critical to drive the utilization of the enterprise data warehouse. The fact that Aprimo has a strong on-demand marketing software business isn’t lost on Teradata either.
Strong complementary fit. In my experience covering this market and helping CI professionals select marketing technology, I rarely see Aprimo and Teradata compete in the same deal. Aprimo is always a better fit in B2B, mid-enterprise, or process management focused deals while Teradata TRM is a better fit in high-volume, retail-centric, or analytical campaign management propositions. So the coming together of these companies means strengthening the other’s weakness. In addition, they share some marquee clients like Walmart and Dell, which always helps.
We surveyed over 150 marketers and customer intelligence professionals on their use of campaign management solutions. I just published our findings from this study in a report focused on trends in cross-channel campaign management. While some of the findings were not a surprise, the study revealed many interesting data points that are worth revisiting. Some of the key trends the study revealed were:
Marketers focus on longer term relationships - over 40% have stayed with the same provider for more than 3 years.
Marketers use a few key channels like email (84%), direct mail (66%), and web site (55%)
Integration capabilities and costs as the key selection drivers when it comes to cross channel campaign management solutions.
Some of the more surprising data points include:
Despite the renewed focus on retention, few marketers can claim to be skilled at managing customer churn.
While the majority of the respondents were not net promoters, few were actually inclined to switch providers. Why not? High switching costs and tight integration with vendor solutions make it hard for marketers to unravel existing implementations.
Marketer satisfaction and dissatisfaction is hard to pin down. Marketers were all over the map on their thoughts about their solutions. Broadly, the highest levels of dissatisfaction were with contact optimization, online/offline integration as well as inbound/outbound integration.
If you are marketing practitioners using a cross channel campaign management solution, I would love to hear your thoughts on your solution.
This Monday I had a series of calls with marketers evaluating campaign management solutions. After the economic slowdown I am starting to see a steady renewal of interest in marketing technologies. The questions ranged from: "How is campaign management different from marketing automation?" to "How much do the various modules cost to implement?" to "What's the on-demand market look like?". But by far the most commonly asked question was about the integration of outbound (batch) and inbound (real-time in the context of the interaction) marketing programs.
Sounds simple right? Most marketers would say that they use some notion of
value when they target customers. I think there's more to this topic. First,
most marketers use likelihood of response as a predictor far more often than
value. A recent conversation with Tim Suther of Acxiom got me thinking about targeting techniques. Here's my take:
Generally most marketers have three approaches to onsite targeting.
Omniture acquires yet another solution to complement a growing application set for interactive marketers. Last week Omniture announced that it was acquiring Offermatica. I can’t say that I am surprised by the announcement. Omniture had signaled its intent to aggressively pursue its vision of an integrated solution for online marketing with its acquisitions of Touch Clarity and the announcements of SearchCenter and the Genesis platform in the last year. At that time we thought it was a good idea but Omniture needed to – 1)integrate multiple acquisitions 2) handle a large and growing network of partners and 3) learn to compete in new markets. While these imperatives remain true today, two additional themes become particularly relevant. The need to: 1) harmonize the platform around one single data collection and optimization engine and 2) convince the partner network that they intend to collaborate on integrating their tools. The second theme is particularly challenging – What signals is Omniture sending its burgeoning partner network when it cherry picks point solutions like Offermatica?