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Smarter Commerce | August 20, 2014

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Marketing Archives - Smarter Commerce

Will this 2012 Holiday Be Remembered as the Year of the Couch?

July 27, 2012 |

How many sales from a mobile device does it take to screw in a light bulb? OK, so maybe that doesn’t make sense. How about this? How many online sales from a mobile device does it take for chief marketing officers to plug mobile commerce into their overall online commerce strategy?

The answer lies somewhere between 3.2 percent and 20 percent. Let me explain.

On Black Friday 2010, sales from mobile devices reached what was then a record 3.2 percent of all online purchases. To some, this figure represented the beginning of a whole new era of shopping with consumers looking to extend their buying beyond the PC to their mobile devices. However, to the vast majority of chief marketing officers (CMO) and their teams this 3.2 percent did little more than identify mobile commerce as a blip on their radar of possibilities.

Now as a marketer, I admit I’m implying Black Friday 2010 didn’t represent a huge breakthrough for mobile commerce. The truth is, 2010 served as the inaugural year for mobile commerce, but  in a world where each dollar matters, 3.2 percent wasn’t significant enough to spur a mass of marketers to take the leap.

Marketers are a cautious group, apprehensive to shift their budgets to the  next “big channel” based solely on a six to eight week window of success. After all, how often do we witness new channels offering great promise only to falter when put on center stage? So instead, marketers waited for mobile commerce’s next act which took place over the November and December 2011 holiday. Read More

How to Better Manage Marketing to Optimize People, Processes and Resources

June 13, 2012 |

We marketers seem to be doing a very good job of making our professional lives more complicated than they should be. Consider that as a global group, we’re responsible for spending more than 1 trillion USD each year. A huge …

How to Deliver Personalized Marketing Programs that Feel Like a Service

June 4, 2012 |

It’s all in the delivery. This chestnut is as true of Lucille Ball’s screwball comedy, as it is of that FedEx package you’re literally waiting for, or of that email offer that just popped into your inbox.

The fact is …

The Marketing Transformation at First Tennessee Bank

May 29, 2012 |

It’s always gratifying to see companies using IBM Enterprise Marketing Management (EMM) solutions transform their marketing processes into an integrated, self-learning system that delivers strong ROI. First Tennessee Bank is a terrific example.

Like companies in many industries, First Tennessee’s marketing programs lacked relevance to the customer. They were poorly integrated and slow. Leads went stale, messages were disjointed and ROI was lackluster.

That was several years ago. Today, First Tennessee, headquartered in Memphis with about $25 billion in total assets, is reaping the rewards of an ambitious re-engineering of its marketing solutions infrastructure to meet the demands of the Generation C connected customer with integrated cross-channel interactions.

We recently had the pleasure of hearing an in-depth presentation on First Tennessee’s success from Tanner Mueller, the bank’s CRM marketing manager. Tanner gave a highly informative first-hand account of how First Tennessee coordinates outbound and inbound marketing at a recent IBM webinar, “How to Stop Marketing and Start Interacting with Customers.” Read More

Join the Conversation – Yuchun Lee Discusses Marketing Best Practices and Trends During Special Twitter Chat

May 22, 2012 |

During the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit 2012 – Madrid, Yuchun Lee, vice president and general manager of IBM’s Enterprise Marketing Management Group, will lead the Marketing Innovation Summit, which will bring together marketing experts and industry-leading customers …

Marketing Is in a State of Chaos

May 9, 2012 |

Though I work in marketing technology, I’ve long been intrigued by data visualization. The pioneering works of Edward Tufte, Stephen Few and others (including technology leaders such as IBM) have helped to turn visualization into an incredibly valuable tool for business intelligence and mainstream consumer society. For instance, The New York Times and Wall Street Journal run microsites that present the “data behind the news” in hundreds of fascinating charts, maps and other visualizations.

I was reminded of the power of visualization while tuned in to a recent IBM Enterprise Marketing Management (EMM) webinar with John Lovett, senior partner at the consulting firm Web Analytics Demystified. A former Forrester Research analyst, John presented an image that powerfully and accurately reflected the epic change that we as marketers are dealing with. Many thousands of words have been written about the new marketing landscape, but none communicates the change quite so eloquently as John’s diagram.

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Match the Right Message to the Right Customer

May 9, 2012 |

Decisions, decisions. They can make or break marketing success. Yet as customers and channels grow more complex, so does decision making. As choices multiply, marketing becomes more challenging than ever.

The days are past when marketers could rely strictly on …

CMOs and Social Media: Learning from Cosmetics Companies

May 7, 2012 |

“’Trying to guess what the [mass] audience wants and then trying to satisfy that is usually a bad recipe for getting something good.’”

So says Aaron Sorkin in an interview in this month’s issue of Vanity Fair magazine. Sorkin, as most everyone knows, is the writer behind The West Wing, The Social Network and the movie version of Moneyball. In the case of the quote, he is speaking specifically about the entertainment industry and how an intimate relationship with your viewers inevitably leads to a superior, more engaging product.

But Sorkin’s quote can just as easily be applied to the evolving relationship between businesses and their customers—what I call the democratization of commerce. The fact is that digitally connected customers are using a technology arsenal to redefine the nature of their relationships with the brands that matter to them. It’s wholly unsatisfying for them to engage with a brand that is simply and archaically trying to guess at what they want. These are people whose smart phones are nearly always within reach so as to more efficiently broadcast their opinions across social networks or call up the perspectives of others. By extension, connected customers expect brands to be at least as sophisticated in their use of technology, drawing meaningful insights from customer comments and behaviors, and using them to improve products, services and the customer experience for the larger group.

Consider a recent article in the New York Times about the ways in which connected customers, through their use of social media, have turned the cosmetics industry on its head. How? By turning to social networks to protest loudly and at scale when favorite products have been taken off the shelf. The Times quotes Karen Grant, a senior global industry analyst with the NPD Group, a market research company in Port Washington, N.Y. as saying that social media is “literally reshaping how the market is driven.” Read More

Free eBook: How to Use Analytics to Build Marketing that Works

April 19, 2012 |

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” So said Socrates. It turns out that the ancient Greek philosopher’s maxim is still relevant for today’s marketers. There’s no point in collecting data on customer behavior if you can’t understand what it …

Discussing Digital Strategies at Forrester’s Marketing Leadership Forum

April 11, 2012 |

There’s a wonderful scene in All About Eve where the Bette Davis character delivers one of the most famous lines in movie history: “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.”

I’ve found myself often thinking about that …