The Summit Sum-up: 3 things you should know if you weren’t at Adobe Summit 2015

March 27th, 2015 by Carly Delisio No comments »

Explore the trends. Learn the tools. Meet the innovators. March 9–13, 2015 | Salt Lake City, UT


Topping the charts in attendance with over 7,000 attendees from different industries across the world, Adobe Summit 2015 was a success, to say the least.  Thank you to our partners at Adobe for hosting this spectacular week full of innovation, inspiration and interaction, which they summed up in this must-see 99 second video:


Now let’s recap!

1. New Releases:

Adobe Primetime and Adobe Audience Manager were revealed to the crowd on Day 1, as the newest additions to the growing marketing cloud. The reality of this cloud-based marketing solution is growing, and it’s growing fast. Primetime allows companies to reach their customers through ‘primetime’ television advertising with the most relevant, timely messages when integrated with Adobe Audience Manager. Audience Manager is a robust audience segmentation tool that provides a centralized data platform to aggregate audience profiles from various sources. This allows marketers to target audiences with relevant messages across marketing channels. Visit Adobe Marketing Cloud to learn more about each of their customer-reaching solutions.


2. Industry Trends:

Attendees were surrounded by the concept of Millennial Marketers and Marketing Beyond Marketing at Summit this year. The idea behind this ‘agile’ marketer is not based on age, but rather the ‘mindset’ or behavior of this generational outbreak in marketing. Companies today are growing and thriving off Millennial Marketers. These so-called future Marketers are focused on “in the moment” marketing, don’t tolerate inefficiencies, and are fluent in the digital world. They are the key drivers behind marketing’s movement beyond marketing. At Summit, a panel session was held to discuss this topic and was captured by #GetRealChat on twitter with social media experts. You can relive the conversation and learn more on how the Millennial Marketer is evolving.


61% say “Audiences are more open to marketing because it’s become a form of entertainment.”


3. Summit Extras:

Props to our partners at Adobe, who host the Summit conference each year. The focus on interaction with peers, colleagues, partners, industry experts, and keynote speakers, was clearly evident. Attending the conference is a networking opportunity in itself, but Adobe took it to the next level this year with the Summit Bash, Depot After Dark, Birds of a Feather lunch, and Community Pavilion.

“The Summit is always an exciting time for us. New ideas, new products and meeting great partners at this event year after year has really enhanced our relationships in the field with Precision Dialogue.  Our friendship and trust has accelerated our business relationships with our clients and enabled our team’s tremendous success.  I am looking forward to another successful year in 2015!” – Phil Gerolstein, Enterprise Account Manager, Adobe

We can hardly wait to see what Summit ‘16 has in store!



Can’t Take My Eyes Off These Cinemagraphs

February 19th, 2015 by Patricio Sapir No comments »

While some people might say that these are just artsy animated gifs, we can’t deny that the way these photos are brought to life is hypnotic and reminds us to the magical pictures from Harry Potter. The concept has been around for a few years, but according to ADWEEK, Facebook is going to be experimenting with Cinemagraphs in their ads.

Here are a few tips you should take into account if you are thinking about implementing Cinemagraphs in your marketing campaigns:

Creating a Cinemagraph

In essence, a Cinemagraph is an animated gif that one could create using tools like Adobe Photoshop or Fireworks. However, there are specific applications that can be used to create Cinemagraphs. Check out Flixel, an application oriented specifically to create these attractive animations in a short period of time.

Using Cinemagraphs

High Quality Cinemagraphs work well in social media sites such as Tumblr, Google + or Facebook. If you are planning to use them in emails, be careful with the size of the generated GIF. Although image size does not affect deliverability, email load time can affect your open and click rates. Also keep in mind that newer versions of Outlook (2007, 2010 and 2013) won’t show the animation. Instead, they will show the first frame of the animation so make sure your first frame has the vital information you want to display to your audience.

Testing Cinemagraphs

Using relevant and fun Cinemagraphs can make a difference on your conversions. Different reports show that using animated gifs in email increased conversions by 20%. A case study recently presented by Dell shows that by using relevant animated gifs, conversions where increased by 109%!

Make sure that you test Cinemagraphs in different campaigns and channels and that you are able to generate report on conversions in order to understand whether this strategy works for your brand.


Although one could say that this technology does not differ much from an animated gif, it does bring a fresher look to static ads, and the fact that Facebook is looking at it means that you should be ready to see more ads done with Cinemagraphs soon.

But enough of my ranting, let’s the images speak by themselves:

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How to Grow Customers with Analytical Modeling

October 27th, 2014 by Joe Kanyok No comments »

As the old marketing adage says, retaining your existing customers is much less expensive (5X less) than acquiring new customers.  Consequently, it is important to focus your marketing attention and budget on developing strategies to systematically maintain and grow your share of wallet.

Step 1: Developing a rich set of customer attributes and behaviors is a key component in this process; the goal is to develop a 360 degree view.  This knowledge provides the foundation for analytical routines and models, allowing for a better understanding of your customers. Customer attributes should be created by combining elements from as many customer touch points as possible, examples include the aggregation of order histories, contact history, website and search behaviors, demographic and other external market appends.  Below are some general categories:

  • Historical spend amounts and associated trends or velocities
  • Recency of purchases
  • Visit or purchase patterns; timing and frequency
  • Depth and breadth of products in a purchase
  • Response to promotions or discounts
  • Historical campaign contacts and responsiveness, opens and clicks
  • Channel preferences
  • Digital data such as website visits and patterns, page views and click behavior, social media interactions, etc.
  • Demographics (age, gender, household income, home value, etc…)
  • Distance to store locations
  • Competitive influences
  • Seasonal influences


Step 2: Turn these attributes into marketing strategies that help us retain and grow our customer base.  Specifically, leverage the newly defined attributes in Step 1 to generate more relevant communications and offers to our customers.

Business Graph


Analytics to enhance future campaign performance

If your objective is to maximize marketing campaign performance, one approach is to develop a two-stage model.  The first stage involves the creation of logistic regression model to predict response to a marketing communication.  The second stage is to create an ordinary least squares regression model to predict spend.

Regression Model


The combination of these two models can be used to identify the most likely responders, with the highest spend, resulting in increased value for subsequent campaigns.  There are a few implementation alternatives to accomplish your goal.  The first is to multiply the two scores together to create a joint score.  This score can then be used to rank individuals based on estimated values, which takes into account probability of response.  The second is to create a matrix using the two original scores.  The Y axis might contain the probability score, divided into quintile or decile groups.  The X axis would represent the predicted value divided into appropriate groups.  We can then calculate the response and value for each cell in the matrix and identify which to target for the next campaign.

Analytics to guide customer interactions (Retention and Growth)

Here are a few tools that can be useful in developing an optimal strategy to retain and grow your customer base.

  • Behavior pattern detection or Association Analysis;   Based on transactional purchase or web behaviors, we can discover combinations of products that frequently sell together.  Identifying these discrete buying patterns directs the development triggers or next best action contacts.
  • Develop models to predict future value or spend (e.g., next 12 months)
  • Determine current value (e.g., most recent 12 months of spend)

Understanding a customer’s current value in combination with their expected future value can guide our customer management approach.  We can identify our ‘best’ customers those that represent a significant portion of our revenue and profit streams, and subsequently focus on the needs of these individuals.   We can increase the number of contacts and tailor the offer to high value individuals.   Alternatively, we may reduce the number of contacts and offers to certain low value individuals.  Ideally, as part of this mix, is to include a forward looking view on your customer base by creating a separate treatment plan for customers with low current value but high potential value.

Life Stage


Within a next best action or trigger program, we utilize transactional or online patterns to both tailor the offer and timing to an individual.  A customers value along with their predicted response to our messages can be used to inform, adjust or arbitrate actions within our trigger framework.

Finally, we encourage test designs that include control groups, to optimize any of these growth strategies.

Transforming Audiences Into Advocates: Using Social Media Advertising to Create Brand Affinity

October 13th, 2014 by Laura Cameron No comments »

One of our online retail clients issued us a challenge: Devise and execute a social media strategy that helps us not only reach consumers who are new-to-brand, but also cultivate true ‘brand advocates’ whose loyalty to the brand will drive them to spread the word online.

Even for well-known brands, long-term customer value relies on cultivating consumer interaction and keeping interest active. While clear social media content and communication plans are essential, social media advertising programs help ensure that branded content reaches a critical mass and drives value.

For our client, we chose Facebook as the primary advertising channel to align with its existing communication strategy. Our goal was to increase post reach in order to attract new-to-brand and brand-lapsed consumers, and reinforce existing relationships with additional exposure. We also wanted to increase page likes and shares (showing engagement with our ads) and indirectly drive online purchases.

Precision Dialogue created a combination of Facebook newsfeed ads and promoted posts. Rather than taking a ‘one size fits all’ approach, we fine-tuned our ad targeting for every single piece of content to reach audiences most likely to be receptive and thus engage with the brand’s content. For example, content likely to be appealing to young parents was targeted to Facebook users who had identified themselves as parents and were within the desired age range. We created multiple targets and A/B tested their efficiency to ensure that the best-performing ads carried the most spend.

We layered in several seasonal promotions and contests and ran sidebar ads in addition to the other two formats to gain further reach.

Results for 2013 were excellent. Our paid advertising program amplified the organic (unpaid) reach of content, with total daily reach increasing from 10,000 people per day to over 70,000 – or 18 million people per year. This reach yielded 350,000 ad clicks, 175,000 page likes and 30,000 website visits. Ultimately, Facebook-referred online sales increased by 60% over 2012 – and at the highest average order value of any referral source.

Facebook 2


As was clear from likes, page engagement, post engagement, and shares, targeted Facebook advertising reached people who were interested in the brand and interacting with it. In addition, testing different targeting methods helped to provide information about the most-engaged groups of consumers, to drive more cost-effective targeting for other digital advertising initiatives.

Email and Direct Mail: Bringing the Two Worlds Together

October 7th, 2014 by Patricio Sapir No comments »

When we think about multi-channel or cross-channel Marketing as a strategy to engage customers and generate revenue for a business, it’s usually difficult to consider offline channels as part of that strategy.

But for that Marketing strategy to be successful, it’s important that our message remains not only consistent throughout every single interaction that each customer has with our brand, but that is also that is highly personalized based on different aspects of data that we have collected for each customer.

Email and Direct Mail are, among others, critical pieces of a marketing strategy and if layered correctly, they can provide a lot of value to your customer.

In this article I will enumerate the five key components to a successful integration between these two worlds:

1.     Strategy

Sounds obvious, right? The first step is establishing a strategy. Set up the goals for your marketing strategy and determine the different interactions and touch points that each customer will have with your business.  Asking yourself the following questions will help you draft this strategy:

        • Are we collecting data about the interactions that the customer has with our brand? (purchases, email behavior, website visits, etc).
        • Are we able to execute a personalized Direct mail campaign with our current Direct Mail Vendor?
        • Are we able to consolidate data from past Email and Direct Mail campaigns to decide the next best course of action?

2.     Data

If you truly want to deploy 1:1 communications, you need to be capturing customer data. If you’re not doing so already, you need a strategy in place to collect customer data. When it comes to email, you should have a preference center website that enables recipients to update communication preferences. Always remember to follow CAN-SPAM rules and offer users the opportunity to opt-in and out of communications. Remember, with this approach, you’re not blasting everyone on your list – you’re selecting recipients based on preferences or triggers that you’re establishing.

3.     Delivery

An advanced platform such as ExactTarget will help you house customer data, deliver email messages and create personalized journeys based on the data you are capturing. Here at Precision Dialogue we specialize in connecting platforms like ExactTarget with our Direct Mail Digital Variable Printing engines, to allow Marketers to trigger Direct Mail communications based on real time triggers and vice versa. For this component, you don’t need to focus only on the technology but also on the team that will execute your Marketing campaigns. This process could be a full time job for several people. It’s best to leverage a campaign management team or an agency to handle the entire coordination and execution of the campaigns.

4.     DAM (Digital Asset Management)

You have your strategy, you have your Delivery mechanism. Now the question is, where do you store all assets for Direct Mail campaigns? And can these assets be also on the same location as my email assets? A DAM such as Widen, enables companies to house all digital assets such as imagery, logos, videos and more to create, manage, share and analyze digital content. If you have a complex approval process, a tool like Widen will allow you to simplify this process with out-of-the-box and easy to use feedback functionality.

5.     Reporting

It’s imperative to track the performance of your campaigns to see how they were received by your targeted audiences. You can acquire basic reporting from your email platform that will provide basic metrics including open rates and click through rates and you can get simple tracking via coupons on direct mail pieces. However, the process of compiling all measurements into one document takes time. Combining this information in a single reporting tool will allow you to spend more time analyzing the information instead of trying to collect it from multiple sources. After you analyze the results from your campaign, it’s best to revisit the strategy and adjust the campaign if needed to achieve better results.


If cross-channel marketing is one of your goals for 2015, be sure to keep in mind that A) direct mail should definitely be included and B) email can be integrated with direct mail to optimize 1:1 customer communications.

Need help integrating these channels into your marketing mix? Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn how we can help brainstorm a plan to meet your goals!

Precision Dialogue Awarded Partner of the Year at ExactTarget Marketing Cloud’s 2014 Connections Conference

September 25th, 2014 by Marketing Team No comments »
Partner of the Year for Channel Program

Partner of the Year for Channel Program

We are proud to announce that we have been awarded the 2014 Channel Partner of the Year by ExactTarget Marketing Cloud at their annual Connections conference. The Partner of the Year award recognized Precision Dialogue as a company with high customer satisfaction that is committed to ongoing team growth while exceeding revenue generation goals. Precision Dialogue previously won this award in 2010 and is now one of only two partners to have won this award twice.

Precision Dialogue has been an ExactTarget Platinum Reseller Partner for more than 10 years. Leveraging the digital marketing platform, the Forrester® recognized customer engagement firm has achieved several accolades warranting the award’s distinction, including:

  • Partner of the Year in 2010
  • ExactTarget Consulting Partner since 2011
  • ExactTarget Referral Partner since 2012
  • ExactTarget Services 2012 Program Team of the Year
  • Dedicated ExactTarget team of more than 30 professionals with over 250 ExactTarget certifications
  • 4 certified Solutions Consultants on staff
  • ExactTarget Gold Certified in Scalable Data Strategies
  • Creators of Magento-ExactTarget integration, CONNECT and Code in Color HubExchange app, simplifying the creation and editing of HTML and Ampscript code
  • Architects of dynamic messaging solutions that deliver a unified customer experience through the email and direct mail channels
  • Comprehensive ad-hoc analytics and business intelligence services to support acquisition, growth, and retention strategies
  • Precision Experience LabSM offering usability testing, focus groups, eye tracking analysis, and optimization solutions
  • Award-winning creative team that designs and optimizes responsive mobile, web and landing pages

“Our team has, and continues to work hard to exceed our client’s expectations,” said Jonathan Hill, EVP/Chief Technology Officer, Precision Dialogue. “The ExactTarget Marketing Cloud provides a market leading platform to support customer engagement marketing and our team is proud to be named Partner of the Year for a second time.”

Precision Dialogue applies a scientific and measurable approach to their full service email marketing services. The agency has served over 75 clients and manages the deployment of more than 240 million emails on a monthly basis. Some of Precision Dialogue’s more notable clients include, Office Max, Regions Bank, Midas, Estee Lauder and Sherwin Williams.

Connections is the premier digital marketing industry conference, bringing together the most brilliant pioneers and entrepreneurs in the digital sphere, offering three-days of education, inspiration and networking with speakers from, LinkedIn, and more. To learn more about Connections, visit

Customer Experience and Conversion Expert to Present on Eye Tracking and Emotional Testing at Annual Summit

September 22nd, 2014 by Nathan Enzerra No comments »

Precision Dialogue Unveils Groundbreaking Techniques & Technology on Emotional Testing at Retailer-Focused Conference in Seattle, Washington

As famed musician Frank Zappa once stated regarding emotion, “The computer can’t tell you the emotional story. It can give you the exact mathematical design, but what’s missing is the eyebrows.” With recent advancements in research and technology this saying is no longer true. During the Annual Summit, retailers will have the opportunity to attend breakout session “Behavioral, Eye Tracking and Emotional Testing – Maximizing Insights to Improve the User Experience” in which they will learn how recent advancements in groundbreaking emotional testing technology can detect subconscious user emotional states and be used to tell the user experience story.

Cathleen Zapata, Chief Experience Officer at Precision Dialogue will be co-presenting with client Jennifer Biefel, Manager, CRM Program Management at Disney Parks and Laura McFadden, User Experience Architect at Arhaus Furniture. The trio will be presenting on usability testing, usability testing with eye tracking and emotional testing techniques.

Additionally, requested to participate for the fourth year in a row, Zapata will be one of the “doctors” providing expert evaluations in the popular “Doctor Is In: One-on-One Website Critiques” session during the retailer conference. She will be providing 30 minute private one-on-one consultations with registered retailers focused on how to improve the user experience and conversion.

“Usable websites are no longer a differentiator, but rather, an expectation by users. In order to leapfrog the competition, retailers need to not only ensure the site is usable, but that it motivates and persuades users to take action and have an overall pleasant experience,” explained Zapata. “Evaluating not only what your user’s say and do, but also, what they see and feel, allows you to identify conversion barriers and streamline the buying process.”

Cathleen Zapata is currently the Chief Experience Officer at Precision Dialogue where she manages the Research & Customer Experience division’s accounts, service offerings, lab and team. She has nearly 20 years’ experience working with clients to improve their customer’s experiences balanced with business goals to maximize ROI.

Cathy has been published in numerous industry publications including UX Magazine, BAI Retail Delivery and Quirk’s Marketing Research Review. She has worked with clients across industries including Disney, American Greetings, Four Seasons, OfficeMax, Coach, Inc., CVS, KeyBank, Nationwide Insurance and more.

Retailers will also be able to connect with Zapata and others from the Precision Dialogue team at Precision Dialogue’s booth (#1503) in the expo hall. At the booth, you can test the eye tracking and wireless EEG equipment. Precision Dialogue is the only customer engagement firm nationwide with a full suite of owned in-lab and mobile eye tracking as well as emotional tracking capabilities via EEG.

Precision Dialogue is also participating in the big prize giveaway sponsorship and will be giving away a $4,000 Apple Vacations gift certificate. Annual Summit is the digital retail industry’s premier event where thousands of executives gather with the common purpose of advancing their industry through the sharing of knowledge, experience and expertise. To learn more about Annual Summit, visit

To learn more about Precision Dialogue’s Research and Customer Experience solutions, visit

Power Your Journey: ExactTarget Connections is the Event for Endurance Marketers

September 18th, 2014 by Julie Marques No comments »

Are your marketing communications relevant, personalized, and behavior driven? Is your marketing program driven by critical data? Do you have a single view of your customer? Are you maximizing all channels?

While these are goals that all marketers aspire to, the answers for most marketers are “no.” (Or for the ultra-sophisticated, the answers might be, “not as much as I would like.”)

If we all know that’s where we want to go, why aren’t we there yet? There are many different practical reasons, but a big, less practical reason is this: As busy marketers, we rarely allow ourselves to take a step back, evaluate our programs, and strategize real-world ways to make these improvements. We may take the time to read an industry article here and there, but do we really take the time to get inspired about what is possible with data paired with the right platforms? And more importantly, how we can apply those concepts to programs we execute? (Or programs that are so amazing, we haven’t even dreamed them up yet?)

Connections LogoExactTarget Connections is a digital marketing event that allows you to do just that. It’s the premier event from the Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud. The theme for this year is Power Your Journey, and the idea here is that Connections is designed to be the perfect mix of inspiration and enablement.

Connections is unlike most industry conferences. It is not a sales pitch. It is not a big party. It features sessions for all levels of experience and for varying areas of interest (with tracks including Email, Social, Mobile, and B2B). Most importantly, each session will give you practical advice and creative strategies for how to improve your program.

Just because it’s practical doesn’t mean it isn’t also a lot of fun! There are many opportunities to socialize and enjoy entertainment. This year’s entertainment line-up includes, The Script, and DJ Casey Connor.

Connections is also known for powerful and engaging keynote speakers, and featured speakers this year include Marc Benioff (Chairman & CEO, Salesforce), (entertainer), John Green (author), Beth Comstock, (SVP & CMO, General Electric), Gabriel Stricker (Chief Communications Officer, Twitter), and many others.

The conference will be held in Indianapolis on September 23-25. It’s not too late to register! Learn more here.

Upcoming Book Release from Precision Dialogue Board Member

September 3rd, 2014 by Samantha Byrne No comments »

July 2014, a board member of Precision Dialogue; Tim McCarthy, approached the Westlake, Ohio-based marketing firm for marketing strategy and support in an effort to publicize the launch of his upcoming book release, “Empty Abundance: Finding Meaning Through Mindful Giving”. The book is a memoir of sorts, encouraging all ages to service. McCarthy hopes to inspire people to commit from their excess, or abundance, through “mindful giving”.

Empty Abundance Cover

Mindful giving is the movement that has sparked from McCarthy’s thought-provoking message in this book. This movement aims to fill the void left in many people around the world, in this particular case, an enterprise executive with great wealth seeking a greater purpose in life beyond monetary-value and a reputation in the business world of achievement. McCarthy is eager to encourage others who have been blessed, with similar wealth and professional success, to leave legacies that represent far more than materialistic goods and abounding bank accounts.

In an excerpt, author Tim McCarthy explains the theory behind Empty Abundance:

“Whether you are just starting out or have also amassed wealth, my goal in this book is merely to move you by sharing what has moved me.

If successful, this book will prove my theory that there are millions of Tim McCarthys out there: people who are doing well—or are on their way to doing well—materially, but are still looking for more from life.

I hope you will join me on this journey. I’m incredibly grateful for your attention. And so are the many people who will be served by the donation of 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of this book.”

Partnering with McCarthy on this project has ignited an abundance (pun 100% intended!) of thought, discussion and steps of action to pursue philanthropy and the idea of “mindful giving” across the Precision Dialogue campuses.

The official launch date for the novel is set for October 27th, 2014. For more information, or to collaborate, partner or get involved, visit: or follow McCarthy’s movement on social media:

@MindfulGiving on Twitter

McCarthy, T. (2014). Empty Abundance. Ashtabula, OH: Business Ghost.

Mapping the Road to Customer (and Organizational) Bliss

August 27th, 2014 by Jessica Folger No comments »

Despite handing customers the mic and giving them easy access to corporate decision makers, the vast majority of organizations are finding that customer satisfaction is low. How can that be when so many business and marketing professionals are making a conscious effort to monitor their social, digital and customer service channels…and respond accordingly?

While there will always be high-maintenance customers whose needs can never be satisfied, the root of the problem can often be traced back to “broken” organizational structures and processes that can be difficult to repair. Lack of inner-department collaboration. Disconnects between partner agencies. Corporate divisions operating in silos. A lack of unifying goals.


All of these issues create isolated experiences and disconnects for customers who typically derive value and meaning from the total experience. So what can be done to help overcome these challenges?

Precision Dialogue works with its client to facilitate the development of customer journey maps. A customer journey map is an archetype of a customer’s 360 degree experience with a product, service or company. It visually illustrates an individual customer’s needs, the series of interactions that are necessary to fulfill those needs, and the resulting emotional states a customer experiences throughout the process.


Many organizations think they have developed a customer journey map, but instead have created an ecosystem map, which is a foundational element – the first step in a larger process.

Ecosystem maps are typically created through a collaborative exercise involving key internal stakeholders, not customers or prospects, and are in turn assumptive. They are focused more on points of contact and are less customer-centric in that they do not take into consideration needs and emotional states.

While ecosystem maps certainly hold value, in many cases they just aren’t enough. A 2013 Harvard Business Review article revealed that “performance on (customer) journeys is 30% to 40% more strongly correlated with customer satisfaction than performance on touch points.”

Taking an ecosystem map to the next level requires validation through voice-of-the-customer research. Here at Precision Dialogue, that involves taking more functional and operational insights as well as assumptions gathered from key stakeholders, Chatty Cathy'sand overlaying qualitative and quantitative research learnings from exercises with target customers.

Whether you are starting at ground zero, have an ecosystem map in place, or have done some primary research of your own, Precision Dialogue has a variety of services in place to take your understanding of the customer journey to the next level. Changes in organizational structure, channels and technology can all impact the customer experience, and in turn, make a case for revisiting your customer’s journey on a regular basis!