Hansa Marketing Services Blog

Customer Acquisition: How to Attract the Right Customers

By Roy Wollen, President, Hansa Marketing Services.

New customers are either loyal advocates in training or a hole that will drain company resources from the moment they land in your database. Taking the long-term view of customer acquisition programs will give you tools to identify both types.

Avoid those Pesky One-Time Buyers

The sad truth in our industry is that most new buyers never blossom into loyal fans and customer advocates. In fact, the majority of new customers never even buy twice.

Active vs. Inactive BuyersDifferent offers, channels, or seasons attract a different crop of new buyers. You would think it would be relatively simple to predict who will blossom and who won’t. We certainly put a lot of resources into marketing communications from welcome kits to catalogs to e-mails - you name it.

It’s as if all one-time buyers are the same, receiving the maximum throttle of our attention until we run out of gas (perhaps one year into the relationship). Then, those customers who don’t buy again are slotted into the re-activation programs for next year, like my old Earth, Wind, and Fire cassettes that ended up in the discount bin of the record store (ok, I’m dating myself).

Naturally, not all one-time buyers are the same. The trick is to recognize who will become your customer advocates, buying across channels and promoting your brand to friends and colleagues. But with only one or two days’ worth of history, how can you separate out promising first-time customers from the run of the mill, coupon-toting switchers, who’ll jump ship the moment a sweet offer comes from your competitor?

Attract the Right Customers

Using a customer database, you can turn back the clock to analyze what happened to new customers, say, two years ago or even last year. These buyers were “new” once and will provide wonderful clues as to what your company did right. Those individuals who buy again are evidence of what works. Those that remain one-timers give you clues for what to avoid.

What should you look for in your database? Here's a table of clues new buyers may provide.

Dimension

Examples

What to Look for

Original Channel
TV versus Retail versus Direct Mail versus Online
Each channel will attract a different crop of new buyers.
Source (online) - Search engine (Google, Yahoo, etc.)
- Type of match (exact, broad)
- Type of keyword (generic, brand, discount, big ticket)
- Day of week and day part (when they searched or converted)
- Landing page (what content pushed them over the edge?)
- Affiliate program that generated this new customer
Search engines and affiliates excel at generating new buyers, but don’t promote loyalty on their own.

Do you know the Lifetime Value of online-generated buyers?
Source (offline) - Mail versus Point of Sale
- Type of list (compiled, co-op, response, subscriber, modeled)
- List select (hotline, female)
- Type and number of list matches (match to rental)
Expensive lists may pay off in attracting repeat buyers, but is it worth the cost?
Original Date Day, month, and season of first purchase (even time of day) Look for radically different behavior for customers acquired during holiday periods (i.e., less loyal).
Original Product - Number of items and number of different departments?
- What product or service was purchased in which combination?
This is one of the best predictors of repeat purchasing and loyalty. Make sure you don’t get overwhelmed with SKU level details.
Original Amount Related to original product The higher the expenditure, the more likely a repeat purchase. Customers who are at twice the average should get a “thank you” phone call.
First Out-of-Stock Experience - Was the item in stock?
- If it was on back order, how long did it take to fulfill?
- Was the merchandise kept or returned for exchange or refund?
Customers are more put-off by how you deal with out-of-stock issues than the initial problem.
Original Order - Presence of sales promotions (e.g., free shipping, coupon, $ off)
- Point or mileage earning bonus
Full-price buyers are indicating their desire for your product/service, not their affinity to a “deal”.
Geography - Distance to store, dealership, or branch
- County size and population density
- Geo-demographic cluster
Some clusters simply work better, particularly if they are situated in or out of a trading area.
Demographics Life stage indicators (age, income, children’s age, home ownership, etc.) Sometimes, demographics are very powerful, but you don’t need to overlay your whole database to gain insight.

Improve Your Customer Acquisition Program

The long-term view of your customer acquisition program is a job for a customer database. Without one, success is solely measured on response rate and initial sales - not activations, repeat purchases, renewals, and loyalty. This leads to binge acquisition, where an acquisition manager is rewarded for simply bulking up a customer database. That’s a roller coaster ride with giant spikes of acquisition that may not go anywhere.

The real success is not getting customers to go from 0x to 1x (no purchase to one purchase), but from 1x to 2x, then 2x to 3x+. The paradigm shift here is to focus on the best customers, then build customer acquisition programs around finding more of them. This starts with 3x+ buyers and works backwards. 

To improve your customer acquisition program, here's what you should look for:

  • Velocity: Average time it takes new buyers to order a second time.
  • Product Affinity: The kinds of products purchased on the first order and in what combination, then what was purchased next.
  • Context and Influence: For b2b marketers, what else is happening at that site? Are there advocates to refer to? For b2c marketers, what else is happening in the household?
  • Initial Offer: Bribery, premiums and discounts will often lead to high response rates, but will attract a disproportionate amount of 1x buyers.

New customers acquired during promotional binges will bloat your customer database. Acquisition programs should attract the right customers.

Customer Acquisition

Recommendations for Success

Beyond sheer increases in database size, today’s best marketers focus on the value of new customers and measure value over the long term. Here are some recommendations:

  • Study what happens after the acquisition event using facts from your customer database to guide you to the best new customers.
  • Explore “clone” models that identify your best customers and track back to how to find more of them.
  • Acquisition roller coaster. Resist the urge to get swept away by acquisition programs that produce high numbers of new buyers and stellar response rates, but become a drag on company resources after the initial sale.
  • Track strategic segments. Reward acquisition managers for their ability to attract the right kinds of new customers. Establish profiles of who the target audience is based on Lifetime Value and attrition studies using empirical facts from your existing customer base.
  • Keep your customer database clean. Duplicate records mean there are genuine repeat buyers masquerading as several one-time buyers. This causes over contacting and irrelevant communications (“Welcome” message to repeat buyers). These experiences will annoy your loyal fans and cost you money.
  • Partner with your broker. Share your acquisition campaign results and Lifetime Value (LTV) work as input to their recommendation engines. Don’t accidentally dismiss sources with mediocre response rates but spectacular repeat purchasing and LTV.
  • Standardize your source codes to codify your acquisition decisions. This will have a huge reward when you analyze what happened over time and which ideas paid

 

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Tags: valuable customers, customer data, analytics

Building a Better Product: New Options for Conjoint Analysis

By Dan Llanes, Director of Analytics, Hansa GCR.

Listen up product managers, researchers, designers and marketers. No matter what product or service you are designing and selling – there is a better way of narrowing down what is important to your buyer.

Conjoint AnalysisCompanies face the continual search for which product/service options best meet the needs of the market. Techniques commonly used include flat-out guessing, focus groups and simple surveys. The preferred method has always been Choice-based Conjoint Analysis, or CBC. The CBC exercise walks respondents through choice sets between various product/service attributes in a randomized fashion. The result is deep insights into a respondent’s decision-making criteria.

Despite its widespread use, there are potential problems. Namely, the randomized choices may all fall outside the realm of what’s important to the respondent’s ideal, making the selection less realistic. In addition, a respondent will answer a choice-based question in a few seconds. Not so when actually considering a purchase.

Why Adaptive Conjoint is Better

There is a better way – Adaptive Choice-based Conjoint Analysis, or Adaptive CBC. This design is far more stimulating and engaging, providing a better experience for the respondent. Further, it mimics the actual buying experience, including realistic pricing scenarios for upgrades and a greater focus on a subset of optimized features that are of greatest interest to the respondent.

Adaptive CBC gives respondents a “build your own,” or BYO, exercise to introduce the attributes and levels. Unlike traditional Choice-Based Conjoint, Adaptive CBC can fine-tune future choice sets based on answers to the BYO exercise. Next, a screening exercise gives respondents the ability to highlight “must-have” or “deal breaker” features, further personalizing the product configurations shown.

Specifically, this new technique allows for the following:

1) Design a conjoint exercise that allows for a much longer list of attributes and levels than traditional approaches.

2) Build a more accurate decision set via a multi-stage exercise where respondents ...

  • Build their own product/set of features
  • Tell us what is out of bounds/not in their consideration set
  • Run through a tournament exercise showing products that are most likely to appeal to a specific customer

3) Factor price into feature levels whereby expensive add-ons are fairly (realistically) priced

Through a sophisticated set of analyses, an astounding amount of information is obtained. An added bonus is that Adaptive Choice-based Conjoint Analysis is a strong tool when used on small samples; sample sizes deemed too small to be reliable through standard CBC.

How You Can Benefit

Now, product managers, researchers, designers, marketers and all sorts of other interested persons can know which attributes and levels are most and least appealing, as well as the degree of price elasticity for their product/service. The next generation of product/pricing design is here, and with it the ability to optimize your bottom line.

There is far more to Adaptive CBC than the scope of this blog. My colleagues and I have been using CBC for over 15 years, so naturally we’re excited about this! Stay tuned for future blogs on this topic and join us for our upcoming webinar.

 

Learn how to identify features of your product/service that matter most to customers, and thereby impact revenue and profitability. Fill out our form to watch the webinar, now or later, and receive your free PPT download instantly.

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About the Author: Dan Llanes is the Director of Analytics at Hansa GCR and specializes in the development of analytic plans catered to the specific needs of each client’s organizational objectives.

His expertise covers a broad array of methodological techniques including linear and non-linear modeling, conjoint analysis (CBC, partial profile and adaptive), maximum differential scaling, market segmentation and perceptual/brand mapping. For the past 12 years, Dan has helped craft and execute research designs and analyses for industry-leading B2B and B2C clients.

Prior to entering the market research field, Dan taught Quantitative Research Methods at Penn State University and published peer-reviewed articles in Social Forces and Social Science Quarterly. Dan can be reached at dllanes@hansagcr.com.

If this is your Marketing Automation, you’re probably doing it wrong

This is part 1 in a 2 part series about marketing automation and trigger events.

Campaigns are nice to have, but they don’t mean anything; they’re not important to customers. Customers go through a continuing process of making purchase decisions. Marketers are the ones who said ‘this is the campaign, it’s going to start here, it’s going to end here.’ Now, you as customers have to fit yourself into this campaign idea.

-- Professor Don Schultz, Northwestern University

When I check my phone in the morning, I usually have at least 15 marketing emails from various companies.  I wouldn’t mind if the messages I received were relevant, but most of the time they are examples of bad marketing automation.

Verizon emails me about a new phone even though my upgrade is over a year away. West Elm emails me about a couch sale, even though I bought a couch (from West Elm) a month ago. These emails were probably automated marketing communications, which were set up without looking at me as a customer; at Hansa, we call this “let’s just message everybody” practice “batch and blast,” and it’s the wrong way to implement marketing automation.

The perception many marketers have is that email is basically free, however that simply isn’t the case; just because there are minimal monetary costs doesn’t mean that there isn’t a customer cost. Here are three potential consequences of over-communicating with customers:

Customers ignore messages

In his article “Mastering New Automation Approaches,” Robert Brosnan of Forrester summed it up best: “Rather than serving contextual relevance, [marketers] deliver death by a thousand cuts.” The graph below is from real client data. This company is implementing marketing automation; however it is using the same volume to communicate with each of its customers, even though many of these customers have become less interested over time. By communicating with all of their customers as if they are the same (even though they are not), the company is hurting short term ROI as well as customer lifetime value.

Marketing Automation Chart Example

Money is left on the table

From the end of December through the beginning of February, Banana Republic sent me about 20 email coupons/sale announcements. Subject lines ranged from “save 40% today, 3 hours only” to “last chance for 25% off” (it wasn’t my last chance – two weeks later I had the last chance to save up to 40% off). Banana Republic has conditioned me to wait for coupons, therefore I just wait for the next coupon rather than pay full price. Even worse, I am essentially being trained to think that maybe Banana Republic’s products aren’t worth full price; if the products are that good, why are they always 30% off?

Campaigns are analyzed, but customers are not

I recently had lunch with a friend of mine who handles marketing automation for a large CPG company. She shared with me that whenever an email is sent, the client always asks “what were the demos? Did moms read it?” The company doesn’t know whether or not their customers made a purchase, just if moms read the email. Even worse, this company has plenty of customers who aren’t moms (I’m one of them). By focusing on demographics and not customer behavior, this company is potentially losing money as they don’t know what actually happens after the email is sent.

These are just a few of the challenges and potential consequences of “batch and blast.” Stay tuned for the second part of this series; I will explain trigger events and marketing automation and tell you how you can use your database to effectively communicate with your customers based on what they do.

 

To learn more about Marketing Automation, watch this exclusive, hour-long webinar on Trigger Events and download a copy of the 30-page PPT slides. Fill out our form to watch the webinar, now or later, and receive your free download instantly.

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About the Author: Ed Jaffe is Director of Customer Intelligence at Hansa Marketing Services, and his focus is on marketing technologies that solve business problems.

Ed has consulted with large B2B and B2C retail marketers and has implemented multi-channel CRM programs governed by customer behavior and lifetime value.

Prior to joining Hansa, Ed earned his master’s degree in integrated marketing communications from Northwestern University. Ed Jaffee can be reached at ed.jaffe@hansamarketing.com.

Click Data is Not Customer Focused, and Vendors Want It that Way

By Roy Wollen, President, Hansa Marketing Services.

Clickstream Data

How do you take control of click data when your vendors want to make things more complicated? Clicking behavior is complicated enough. Customers click on both paid and organic search listings. Customers use browsers and mobile devices. Customers ask their social community for buying advice. When they land on your website, their navigation provides clues as to how interested they are in your brand. The bloated weblog that gets produced from all of this is a mess. It’s voluminous, redundant, noisy and much too granular to make business decisions in its raw state.

What you need is a way to make things simpler – to understand the customer prior to the sale.  You need a way to determine what to offer new customers, what to say, what to feature, how to ensure a good brand experience.

Some vendors thrive on the complexity of clickstream data as a way to keep the conversation about the media. They go to great lengths to prove that their medium works. Digital display ad vendors show you how conversions are higher after customers see a series of engaging banner ads that literally demand attention (to get them out of your way). Paid search vendors want you to focus on keyword matching tactics and plans to throw a wide net to grab prospects as they shop online.

Take control. Connect all this clicking behavior to the customer database. I look at the subsequent sales of online customers when I evaluate marketing effectiveness. My approach looks at three-, six- and twelve-months after the conversion. Here's the template:

Customer Clickstream Data Analysis Template

I connect everything I know about my online marketing to this template. Sure, I still care about open rates, clickthrough rates, revenue per click, viewthrough rates, return on ad spend and all of that. I can add data that vendors can’t when I evaluate the effectiveness of online programs because I can access the customer database such as:

  • Whether the customers are new to the brand, new to a category, new to this channel
  • How much customers spend on their conversion and whether they used a coupon
  • Where customers are coming from, what they clicked or searched on prior to landing on my site
  • How much clicking went on before the conversion (which can be substantial in b2b)

When I look at revenue, I almost always break it down to subtract ad costs, discounts, cost of goods and so on to arrive at net margin.

Let me be fair to vendors. The good ones are curious about what’s working and you’re bringing them a way to see what happened after the conversion, so I do share % new and subsequent sales numbers. In return, I want them to come back to me with data-driven recommendations. Out of all the clicks, I’m looking for customers that will become loyal to my brand, and that includes buying offline when the vendor doesn’t get a commission.

 

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About the Author: Roy Wollen is president of Hansa Marketing Services and an expert in database marketing as well as marketing performance management.

With his prior roles at Database Insight, Inc. and Direct Marketing Technology/Experian, Roy brings over 20 years of analytics and marketing systems experience to clients in numerous industries.

Roy has a Master of Science degree from Northwestern University's Integrated Marketing Communications program and is an adjunct professor at DePaul University in Chicago. Contact Roy Wollen at roy.wollen@hansamarketing.com.

Is Customer Experience Mapping for You?

By Kathryn Stevens, Client Services Director, Hansa GCR.

As far as you know, your customers use the processes you provide for communication, in-person transactions, online purchasing, or order placement successfully. When you take the customer pulse with satisfaction polls, you generally don’t see any completely unhappy customers. The limitation here rests with "as far as you know."

Customer Experience Map

If you listen to the undercurrents, you may have some nagging suspicions that all is not well. Customer service reps may tell you that your customers can be anywhere from mildly upset to completely hostile after a transaction. The flow of online orders, such as for takeout lunches or tickets to your events, has been going steadily downward in recent months. Customers indicate they are not willing to recommend your services to friends or relatives.

How do you figure out how well your customers progress through your processes and what they really feel after interacting with your company? The answer: Customer Experience Mapping.

Talk to Multiple Customers

First, you need to talk to a good cross section of customers. For example, if you only talk to the customers who completed a brief online survey after a purchase, you’ll know what goes into completing a transaction. But what about the customers who leave without making a selection? Or those that abandon their selected items before completing the transaction? You need a complete picture of customers who started into the process, whether they completed it or not.

To dig a little deeper, here's another set of customers you may want to investiate … What about customers who appear to be using your processes regularly—like online orders for takeout meals—who suddently disappear or start ordering less frequently? You need to know whether they found a better alternative elsewhere, of course. However, you also need to find out the specific touchpoint in your process that stopped working for them. Your website may be too slow or too difficult to access. Pinpointing a source of disenchantment and looking at multiple customers who encounter the same problem will tell you a lot about retaining customers.

Look at the Flip Side

Much of what I’ve mentioned here is rational: something works—or it doesn’t; you have merchandise that people like—or you don’t. But you don’t have the full picture until you’ve looked at the flip side of the coin. Here are some hypothetical questions to consider:

How do people feel about doing business with you? Did the 20-minute wait on the phone to reach tech support or customer service upset your customer enough that they’re looking for alternatives? Or even if they reached someone quickly, did that someone seem disinterested and unwilling to help? Or did the phone connection suddenly drop out in the middle of the conversation, necessitating another call? In the store, did the customer find the perfect gift for Mothers’ Day, stand in line and get waved off because the computers went down and store personnel couldn’t complete the transaction?

You need to ask yourself questions at every point in the process. Any of these situations, and the way they are handled, can elicit an emotional reaction that may make or break your relationship.

Map the Customer Experience

Customer Experience Mapping allows you to look at a real cross-section of customers and walk a mile or two in their shoes. You'll be able to answer key questions, such as:

  • Where did things go well?
  • Where did the customer see a breakdown?
  • And how did each aspect of the interaction make them feel?

You’ll be looking at your processes from the outside in - where the customer lives - not just from the inside out - where you might think you have done all you can to make a customer's experience positive and conducive to continuing the relationship.

If you're questioning your customer experience or noticing increasing drop-offs at various touchpoints within your processes, take time to map your customer experience.

 

To learn more about Experience Mapping, watch this exclusive, hour-long webinar and download a copy of the 30-page PPT slides. Fill out our form to watch the webinar, now or later, and receive your free download instantly.

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About the Author: Kathryn Stevens is the Client Services Director at Hansa GCR. If you would like to discuss this article with Kathryn, please feel free to contact her by email at kstevens@hansagcr.com.

Hansa GCR is a full-service market research agency that prides itself on understanding the customer voice and translating that voice into winning strategies. It offers best-in-class, qualitative and quantitative research in areas relating to Customer Relationship Equity, Brand Strategy, Market Assessment, Sustainability and "Green" Insights, Product/Process Innovation, and Emerging Market Entry. For further information about Hansa GCR, please visit www.hansagcr.com, contact services@hansagcr.com, or call +1 503.241.8036.

Hansa Marketing Services and Hansa GCR are part of R K SWAMY HANSA, an emerging global group with 1,100+ professionals offering Creative Communication, Market Research, Data Analytics, Brand Consulting, and Interactive Services.

Living a Qualitative Lifestyle with Ethnographic Research

By Julie Meyer Asp, Sr. Project Director, Hansa GCR.

I get paid to meet up with people I don’t know. I set up these rendezvous at bars and restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques, and sometimes at people’s homes. These brief encounters give me amazing insight into people. And they should: I am an in-field qualitative researcher.

Encounters with Reality

Ethnographic Market Research ImageRecently, my encounters changed my team’s and my client’s assumptions about a new product that bridges the world between personal accessory and technological device. The change started during a meeting with a 35 year-old male (an early adopter of technology) at the fine jewelry department in Bloomingdale’s.

This tech-savvy guy didn’t shop with a list of specs or buy his “only brand” as he’d told me in our previous conversations. He started the way I had expected; he picked up and carefully reviewed all of the products. That continued until one sparkled and glittered in just the right way. I could see it in his eyes; he’d found the right one. He’d fallen in love. He bought with his heart. And he loves the product he bought.

Almost all of the men I met with on this series of shop-alongs were similarly drawn to something heart-driven during this point in the purchase cycle. When they saw the product—the right product – what they’d said earlier didn’t matter.

This ethnographic insight revealed potential purchase drivers and pitfalls at the point of purchase—some of which my client could address before a consumer enters a store. From these shopping trips my team created a checklist of possible communications and design areas that would reinforce the new product and its brand before the point of purchase.

Adding some Anthropology to Marketing Methodology

Our ethnographic approach added richness and complexity that traditional research methods do not always reveal. For researchers accustomed to quantitative surveys and conversations viewed through one-way glass, there is something profound about observing respondents in their natural habitats, where they live, work and play.

In my experience, respondents are often surprised at the end of a shop-along when we play back things they said in the initial survey or pre-shopping interview. I’ve heard “Wow, I did say that, didn’t I?” in one form or another many times. In traditional forms of qualitative and quantitative research, contradictions like this rarely surface.

These respondents are realizing their actual behavior during the shopping experience didn’t line up with what they said they would do when thinking about it ahead of time in a more detached, purely cognitive way. That’s why it’s so valuable to do an ethnographic check as a part of the fact base for making customer and marketing decisions, including new product launches, customer experience design/redesign, in-store marketing communications, floor staff sales training, etc.

While it's not associated with the typical marketing approach, ethnographic research is still very much research. The participants are carefully recruited and each encounter is well documented. There is also far more to this work than purposeful observation. A full cycle with a respondent typically includes:

  • An initial survey
  • A pre-shopping interview
  • Communication during the experience
  • An immediate post-shopping debrief
  • At least one follow-up conversation   

Ethnographic explorations of customers like this custom shop-along project give us a view of consumers in their real worlds where they are influenced by their senses (sights, smells, sounds) as well as by their interactions with people (and, in some situations, devices and machines). The results add context to why they prefer one product over another, or choose to pay more for a brand, or simply to understand what factors of brand loyalty ring true at the cash register. The goal is to suspend our assumptions at minimum, but also to add richness and complexity to our understanding of customers. Often our ethnographic market research goes beyond just adding richness but actually validates our traditional research findings.

Combining Different Research Methods

We all know, but sometimes we forget—we must view every point in the purchase cycle to gain a full understanding of how customers actually make their decisions and how they feel about those decisions afterward.  

Consider getting a full-picture review of your customers. Are you making assumptions? Can you include both deep quantitative analyses and deep ethnographic analyses of respondents to better understand them?  Combining different research methods often is the best way to get the full story. Consider following a quantitative survey focused on behaviors and attitudes with deep qualitative research to test assumptions and further understand why customers are motivated.

 

About the Author: Julie Meyer Asp is the Senior Product Director at Hansa GCR. If you would like to discuss this article with Julie, please feel free to contact her by email at jasp@hansagcr.com.

Hansa GCR is a full-service market research agency that prides itself on understanding the customer voice and translating that voice into winning strategies. It offers best-in-class, qualitative and quantitative research in areas relating to Customer Relationship Equity, Brand Strategy, Market Assessment, Sustainability and "Green" Insights, Product/Process Innovation, and Emerging Market Entry. For further information about Hansa GCR, please visit www.hansagcr.com, contact services@hansagcr.com, or call +1 503.241.8036.

Hansa Marketing Services and Hansa GCR are part of R K SWAMY HANSA, an emerging global group with 1,100+ professionals offering Creative Communication, Market Research, Data Analytics, Brand Consulting, and Interactive Services.

Consulting on Marketing Dashboards: Get the Insider's Top Ten Tips

By Roy Wollen, President, Hansa Marketing Services.

If you’re responsible for marketing dashboards, you know you’re off to a bad start if you hear people say: So what? That’s nice to know, but what do I do with it? It’s pretty, but what’s next?

Business people are already inundated with numbers. To help you cut through the clutter, let’s discuss some pitfalls to avoid and top tips for developing marketing dashboards. But I will start by telling you the main takeaway: it’s not about creating cool gauges and dials, it’s about solving business problems.

Dashboards require planning. Dashboards embed actions. Dashboards have champions that socialize the work. This doesn’t happen because of a cool gadget.

Avoid These Pitfalls

Campaign dashboards have one purpose: they report on what’s working. Consulting on marketing dashboards through the years, I’ve learned to watch out for a few things. Learn from my experiences and pay attention to avoid these pitfalls:

  • Don’t stumble on definitions
    • Have you worked through any debates about methodology?
    • Does everyone agree on the definition of “Sales” and “Margin”? 
    • Have you worked with Finance versus inventing your own financial formulas?
  • Add value, not just numbers
    • Provide call-outs and explanations
    • Tell the story: What was the point of a given campaign? How did it perform?
  • Associate actions with results
    • How would you reallocate the marketing investment?
    • What should you do next?

Marketing Dashboard Examples

At Hansa Marketing Services, we consult on developing and optimizing marketing dashboards and will show you a couple in-house examples. Here is a dashboard we created for a client that illustrates different discount levels, audiences, and marketing tactics.

Campaign Analyses Marketing Dashboard Example

Dashboards that mix campaign results with transactions, products, and customer counts are called "health of the program" dashboards. Here’s an example:

Health of the Program Dashboard Example

Marketing is all about the customer, and customer dashboards tell a story about who’s buying. Effective dashboards bring the campaign data into context. It’s not about clicks; it’s about customers. 

Why is consumer data so important? Campaigns don’t buy, people do. Customers see brands, not channels, and don’t care who gets credit for the sale.

The best marketing dashboards mimic the customer lifecycle. The trick is to watch how customers journey through the dashboard, like they journey through their relationship with the brand, then take action. 

When consulting on projects, my dashboards take a longitudinal view. I track customers as they enter or leave segments, and each movement can trigger a communication. The strategy is up to you; use the marketing dashboard to report on what’s working from a consumer’s perspective. Here’s an example:

Customer Dashboard Example

 

The Consultant’s Secret

From my consulting experience, I’ve developed a list of top ten tips to help you create your next marketing dashboard. Use these tips to start solving business problems. 

10 Tips for Effective Dashboards

  1. Plan effectively. Know your audience, get their buy-in ahead of time, survey them afterwards
  2. Vet the numbers
  3. Don’t be afraid of MS Excel
  4. Show screenshots of the creative when reviewing campaign results
  5. Drill down for more detail; but aggregate up for an overview
  6. Less is more; don’t use gauges and dials indiscriminately
  7. Put numbers into context (e.g., trends, YoY comps, benchmarks)
  8. Leave space for commentary, reactions, disagreements; start the ball rolling with recommendations
  9. Tell a story; don’t be boring
  10. Everything should have an associated action

 

To learn more tips from our marketing dashboard expert, Roy Wollen, watch this exclusive webinar, "How to Create Dashboards that Don't Sit on a Shelf" and download a copy of the 40-page PPT slides. Fill out our form to watch the webinar, now or later, and receive your free download instantly.

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About the Author: Roy Wollen is president of Hansa Marketing Services and an expert in database marketing as well as marketing performance management.

With his prior roles at Database Insight, Inc. and Direct Marketing Technology/Experian, Roy brings over 20 years of analytics and marketing systems experience to clients in numerous industries.

Roy has a Master of Science degree from Northwestern University's Integrated Marketing Communications program and is an adjunct professor at DePaul University in Chicago. Contact Roy Wollen at roy.wollen@hansamarketing.com.

Master the RFP Process: Start with your Needs Analysis

By Roy Wollen, President, Hansa Marketing Services.

roy

The Request for Proposal (RFP) process should always begin with a definition of success.

How many RFP processes have you written or answered in your career? I think I’ve been lucky; I’ve worked with hundreds. Sounds fun, but I can always tell the ones that are really just templates.  There's practically no effort invested. They most likely came from procurement departments shopping for the best price. These don't inspire people to put their best foot forward.

From my experience, the best RFPs begin with a solid understanding of needs. While the needs analysis is a project in and of itself

If you don’t begin with this analysis, watch out! The pitfall is you relinquish control to the vendor. Don’t forget that they are eager to visit you, whip out a spiffy demo, and have you fall in love with a pretty (inter)face. The RFP process is neither a technology showcase nor a procurement exercise. My point: Make sure you do a needs analysis before you send out the RFP., you must allocate the time to evaluating and clearly defining what you are looking for in a vendor.

As an example, imagine you’re looking to outsource your customer database. Any engagement should begin with a discussion about what you would gain by outsourcing in the first place. In this case, I feel there are five overall competencies I’d be searching for in a vendor. I’ll use these as the basis for my needs analysis:

  • Expertise and stewardship in managing data 
  • Deep experience in marketing campaign implementation
  • Analytical capabilities if needed
  • Dashboards, reports and smart tools to provide query access (not just for power users)
  • Strategic consulting and advice bundled in, no extra charge (really)

Remember, each of these capabilities includes key ingredients, so structure your needs in detail. If you do the work, your needs analysis will not sit on a shelf. It will pay off before the first vendor presentation, solidify senior executive support, and give you something to go back to after the solution is implemented. This puts you in the driver’s seat. 

Continue with Hansa's 9-Step Process

After you articulate your requirements, what are the next steps? Here is an outline of my nine-steps for a successful RFP process:

 

  1. Needs Analysis
  2. Strategy Development
  3. Create RFP
  4. Collect Vendor Replies, Initiate Interviews, and Complete your Scorecard
  5. Due Diligence
  6. Financial Analysis and ROI Assessment
  7. Risk Analysis
  8. Negotiations
  9. Vendor Selection and Contract Signatures, including Service Level Agreement

 

RFP Analysis Whitepaper: Download Now

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About the Author: Roy Wollen is president of Hansa Marketing Services and an expert in data-driven marketing.

With his prior roles at HP, Bloomingdale's and Experian, Roy brings 25 years of analytics and marketing experience to clients in numerous industries.

Roy has a Master of Science degree from Northwestern University's Integrated Marketing Communications program and is an adjunct professor at DePaul University in Chicago. Contact Roy Wollen at roy.wollen@hansamarketing.com.

Customer Experience vs Customer Service - Learn the Difference

Customer Experience 3.0

A Hansa Thoughticle™, by Wayne Marks.

How we view brands and the customer experience is governed by paradigms, or mental models, if you prefer.

The brand model, for example, goes something like this: The brand is this “thing” or idea that represents the essence of what the company stands for.

For many companies, managing the brand means marketing communications – conveying the brand value proposition to target audiences. Indeed this communication has expanded in recent years with the advent of social media. But, we still manage brands as if we were advertisers pushing messages out to the receiving audience.  As Seinfeld said so well, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

Meanwhile, we have our customer experience paradigm. Now, everyone uses “customer experience.” It has become the new paradigm in corporate speak. But, for many companies, customer experience means customer service. If we equate customer experience to customer service, we can manage it by putting someone in charge of it. This fits neatly into organizational structures. This is customer experience 1.0.

Customer Experience 1.0:

Customer Service

There is another paradigm of customer experience that recognizes it is more than customer service. Indeed, it is the composite of all the ways in which customers interact with a company’s products and services.  This is customer experience 2.0.  

Customer Experience 2.0:

What customers feel, think, and sense as a result of the composite interactions they have with you.

The next shift in the paradigm, however, needs to recognize that the experience is the brand from the customer’s view. The company needs to look at the brand and the promise behind the brand as the core of everything that needs to be driven into the customer experience. This is customer experience 3.0.

Customer Experience 3.0: the Integrated Brand & Customer Experience:

The purposeful delivery of your brand promise into the comprehensive
set of ways that customers interact with you.

 

Customer Experience 3.0 Whitepaper: Download Now

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About the Author: Wayne Marks is president of Hansa GCR and a nationally known expert on customer experience and brand management.   Wayne Marks

Wayne brings over 30 years of research and consulting experience to clients in numerous industries.

He has worked with Fortune 500 clients to implement branded customer experiences, deliver the brand promise, research customer needs, develop new products and segmentations, implement new business strategies, and generate customer loyalty.

He is a frequent speaker on customer and brand loyalty and the impact of emotions on customer behavior. Contact Wayne Marks at wmarks@hansagcr.com.

Moving Beyond a Commodity-Provider Mindset

Can utilities develop new products to drive opportunities with small businesses?

Magazines and newspapers are buzzing with articles on energy-conserving products for consumers, such as electric vehicles, solar power options, and zoned temperature controls. But how can utilities take advantage of the buzz? Portland General Electric (PGE) wanted to find out.

Small Business Storefront 1.03 300x240

PGE theorized that ductless heat pumps can offer constant comfort to small businesses without the cost or hassle of a major HVAC overhaul.

PGE engaged Hansa GCR to conduct research with the small business market—ranging from a tattoo shop to a winery to a dog daycare to a printing company. Research explored their current needs, their perceptions of the ductless heat pump product, and the hurdles they perceived in adoption.

Hansa found that while small businesses want the cost savings associated with a ductless heat pump system, they are wary of buying the product without fully exploring the adoption costs.

Secondary benefits point to customer and employee satisfaction. If a work environment is too hot or too cold, uncomfortable employees will complain – and customers will simply leave. Neither scenario is ideal for business.

The graphic below explains how small businesses perceive the benefits of the ductless heat pump.


Benefits 1.0 300x186

To make a purchase, however, they really need to know more about the product’s performance. To understand ROI and make a purchase decision, small business decision makers turn to subject matter experts and utilities for guidance. This is a positive and eye-opening finding for utilities, as illustrated below.


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While small businesses want to hear about ductless heat pumps from unbiased parties such as nonprofits and other business owners, over a quarter of them listen to utilities. This further reinforces the fact that utilities have the opportunity to influence purchase decisions for small businesses.

How did this research translate into a go-to-market strategy for PGE? By applying what they learned from Hansa’s research, PGE can develop go-to-market plans to:

  • Target segments of interested small business customers
  • Prioritize the most compelling product benefits in marketing programs
  • Develop materials and resources to help small business make decisions about adopting the product
About Hansa GCR

Hansa knows utilities and understands that utilities must do more with fewer resources. Hansa applies leading edge research techniques including ExperienceBoards™ and Experience Mapping, among many others, to help utilities understand these and other pressing issues.

Recent Hansa research initiatives specific to the utility industry include:

  • Understanding power outage experiences to drive customer satisfaction
  • Evaluating billing statement preferences to improve customer usability
  • Defining customer motivators to drive participation in energy monitoring programs
  • Advising on improvements to customer self-service channels to reduce customer service costs for utilities

To learn more, contact Wayne Marks, President, 503-241-1103, wmarks@hansagcr.com or Julie Meyer Asp, Sr. Project Director, 503-243-4435, jasp@hansagcr.com.

Hansa GCR is a full-service market research and consulting firm. Looking through the lens of the customer experience and applying psychological principles of human motivation, Hansa offers best-in-class research in areas relating to Customer Relationship Equity, Brand Solutions, Market Assessment, Green and Sustainability, and Product/Service Innovation. Hansa GCR is part of R K SWAMY HANSA, an emerging global group with 1,100+ professionals offering Creative Communication, Market Research, Data Analytics, Brand Consulting, Interactive and Healthcare Communication Services.

For further information about Hansa GCR, please visit us on the web at www.hansagcr.com, contact us via email at customresearch@hansagcr.com, or call us at +1 503.241.8036.