Emotional Testing: A Deeper Understanding to Improve the Customer Experience

July 8th, 2014 by Kelly Canfield No comments »
Cathleen Zapata, Chief Experience Officer

Cathleen Zapata, Chief Experience Officer

Nicholas Michel, Research & Customer Experience Analyst

Nicholas Michel, Research & Customer Experience Analyst

Join us as we discuss a groundbreaking methodology into gaining customer insights. Emotional testing, done via cutting-edge EEG technology, allows researchers to track how your customers actually feel and their levels of engagement in real time. Understanding how customers emotionally respond to your website, direct mail piece, email, video, store or branch experience, product interaction or a different channel will refine and perfect the overall customer experience with your brand.

In this webinar, we will provide an overview of emotional testing technology and methodology, discuss what types of insights you can gain, and share why deeper levels of insights are important in creating marketing communications that encourage customers take action.

Register Now

Lessons Learned from Shutterfly’s Recent Email Error

May 16th, 2014 by Laura Liatti No comments »
Shutterfly's email mistake

Shutterfly’s email mistake

“Congratulations on your new arrival”

A very thoughtful subject line, but one that I wasn’t prepared to see in my inbox Wednesday.  I found myself thinking back to my morning and taking a mental headcount of the breakfast table.  My husband had already headed out for the day so there was me, my kindergartener and my (technically) newest arrival who will turn 3 years old in July.

We’re all human, and let’s face it, we make mistakes every now and then.  However, taking important steps to mitigate as many errors as possible in an email marketing campaign will pay-off, and also alleviate potentially public apologies down the road.

Unfortunately, Shutterfly  received a lot of negative attention for their email error, but there are ways to ensure your email campaigns are developed and deployed correctly, if you review each of these checkpoints:

  1. Data Accuracy – Data driven campaigns can only be valuable if you have the right data attached to your customers.
  2. Email Content – Copy and images should reflect the original email design and a thorough spell-check should be completed.
  3. Coding Accuracy – A well-designed email with compelling call-to-actions won’t get you very far if your links are broken or your email isn’t rendering properly on a mobile device.
  4. Deployment Details – Sender profiles, subscriber lists, exclusion lists, …..every detail of the send should be thoroughly reviewed against the specifications for the deployment or you can risk sending to an incorrect audience or having the right audience receive the wrong message.

Documenting each step in your review process and creating checklists will also help alleviate potential errors and help build confidence in your team to press that “send” button to thousands or even millions of subscribers.

Need help in reviewing your email quality testing processes, but don’t know where to start? Check out our Slideshare presentation on “Email Quality Testing Best Practices” as we expand on the key items you should review in your email campaign before deploying to a live audience:

 

And not to brag, but as for me and my “new arrival,” we are happily sleeping through the night.

 

Attaining Lifecycle Marketing Success with Drupal

May 15th, 2014 by Patricio Sapir No comments »

The ultimate digital experience is that one that begins anywhere, from any device, and continues constantly, making every single person the protagonist of your story and engaging them in a way that generates not only revenue for your business, but also new opportunities to learn about your customers.

Around 10 years ago, marketing technology implementations and purchase decisions were “an IT thing.” Today, with the introduction of great innovations in technology, the panorama has expanded to start becoming more of a “business thing.”  And that shift has affected the way marketers think about Lifecycle Marketing and how to leverage the power of these technologies to improve the way they do business.

 

What is Lifecycle Marketing?

Lifecycle Marketing (or Customer Lifecycle Marketing) refers to any type of marketing effort that addresses your customer’s needs as they change over time.

There are 4 main phases to conduct a successful Lifecycle Marketing experience:

  • Attract: Make your customers aware and interested in your brand
  • Onboard: Your customer evaluates and purchases your product
  • Engage: Using personalized communication, customers feel part of your brand
  • Retain: Your customer is now a loyal customer and will pass the word about your brand (This is where social media shines!)

In order to ensure that you are fulfilling these phases correctly, you need to make sure that all the channels that are part of your strategy stay consistent throughout the customer journey. Make sure that not only your content and your branding are consistent, but that the steps in your campaign are followed in the right order by the different communication channels.

Attaining Lifecycle Marketing success in a world with many communication channels can be challenging. When the time comes for you to decide what technologies will be part of your strategy, it will be crucial to find a platform that is flexible, scalable and easy to integrate with other marketing tools. This is where Drupal fits perfectly.

What’s Drupal?

drupal_logo-blueDrupal (/ˈdruːpəl/) is an Open Source Web Content Management System (CMS) created in 2001 by Dries Buytaert as a message board, but gained popularity in 2004 with enhancements by its community until today where approximately more than 1.5 million sites are managed by Drupal including The White House, Harvard University, Beyoncé, ExactTarget and others.

Why Drupal?

  • Open Source: It’s free to download and start working with.
  • Highly Customizable: The open module architecture that supports Drupal, allows you include any type of integration or functionality into your website. There are more than 15,000 community free modules available for Drupal so if you needed something, someone probably built it for you.
  • Easy to Use: There’s no programming language knowledge needed to setup and maintain a Drupal site.
  • Flexible Framework: Drupal is agnostic to the way your website looks. I mean, take a look at the examples I gave above: Beyoncé, The White House…
  • Community: Drupal is supported by a community of more than 30,000 members making it easy to get an answer when you are looking for issue resolutions or recommendations.

 

Drupal in Lifecycle Marketing

As I mentioned, Drupal is a great solution for your Lifecycle Marketing strategy due to its flexibility and ability to adapt to your customer needs. Here are some tools and features that can be included in a Drupal website to reach success:

Acquia Lift

Acquia Lift simplifies personalization, empowering marketers and site builders to build immersive and automated personalized digital experiences. With Lift, you can setup multiple personalization rules for logged in and not logged in website visitors and track conversions based on these rules. Lift is a product offered by our technology partner Acquia and is getting a lot of traction in the Web Content Management world.

CRM and Social Media Integrations

Drupal has backend integration with most popular CRM and social media platforms such as Salesforce, Sugar CRM, Facebook or LinkedIn. This will allow you to capture and understand your customer insights and generate loyalty through social media. You can find and integrate these modules in the Drupal.org website to get started.

Capture Insights

Drupal’s core functionality will allow you to review how your customers behave in your website. You can extend that functionality by leveraging website analytics inside the tool such as the Google Analytics module. If you are hosting your site with Acquia, you will also get access to extended site analytics to understand your customers’ behavior.

 

Conclusion

Marketing Technologies selection and implementation has become a key responsibility in the role of a marketer and a success factor to a Lifecycle Marketing campaign. Thanks to the flexibility and scalability of Drupal, businesses can now create unique multi-channel experiences to attain Lifecycle Marketing success.

Precision Dialogue has comprehensive expertise in developing and implementing marketing strategies for clients in a variety of industries. From ExactTarget, to Adobe Campaign, to Drupal, our technology background is continues to grow as we work hard to support marketing solutions that drive ROI. Contact us today to learn how we can help increase your bottom line: info@precisiondialogue.com or call 877-332-9222.

wearegoingLastly, Precision Dialogue will be sponsoring DrupalCon 2014 in Austin next month where we will be showcasing our user experience testing devices (eye tracking and wireless EEG) and Research and Customer experience processes, so swing by our booth (#923) if you are there too!

Precision Dialogue Wins 2014 Communicator Award for Magento Developed Website

May 14th, 2014 by Kelly Canfield No comments »
Bon Vital website

Bon Vital website

Congrats to our digital marketing teams who were awarded a 2014 Communicator Award in the health category by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts for their work on the Bon Vital’ website redesign.  The Silver Award of Distinction recognizes that the Bon Vital’ website exceeded the industry standards of excellence in quality and achievement that are displayed throughout the most professional work found on the web. The Communicator Awards is the leading international awards program recognizing big ideas in marketing and communications.

Bon Vital’, a leading manufacturer of professional massage therapy and spa products, enlisted the help of our team to update the eCommerce website leveraging Magento Enterprise. The new site features an interactive display for Bon Vital’s skincare products which supports their overall mission to provide high quality organic products for healthcare professionals. Leveraging Magento Enterprise, we seamlessly integrated Bon Vital’s back-end ERP system while enabling licensed therapists to purchase and utilize training materials that qualify for continuing education credits. Additionally, our Inbound Marketing experts applied search engine optimization throughout the site.

“We are honored to receive this prestigious award from an esteemed group of judges,” said Stephen Kidwell, eCommerce Practice Director of Precision Dialogue. “All of our Magento website redesign projects are comprehensive with a primary focus on the end user. It’s gratifying to receive this recognition for the effort our team practices in delivering compelling websites for our clients.”

Founded in the 1980’s, The Communicator Awards receives more than 6,000 entries annually from companies of varying size, making it one of the largest awards of its kind in the world. The prestigious award program is sanctioned and judged by the International Academy of Visual Arts which is comprised of an invitation-only group of marketing communication professionals from around the world.

With more than 15 years of experience in eCommerce development and design, we provide comprehensive eCommerce solutions focusing on the Magento Enterprise platform. Every Magento implementation is infused with search analytics and usability best practices, ensuring websites are optimized for ultimate conversion. To learn more about our eCommerce services, visit www.precisiondialogue.com/services/digital/ecommerce-solutions.

Opinion Centers America is Now Part of Precision Dialogue

May 2nd, 2014 by Kelly Canfield No comments »

Precision Dialogue announced that it has acquired the assets of Opinion Centers America, a marketing research company headquartered in Cleveland with services including focus groups, participant recruiting, phone interviews, surveys and data analysis. Opinion Centers America’s staff will relocate to Precision Dialogue Marketing’s location at 905 Corporate Way, in Westlake, Ohio and join the Research and Customer Experience division under the leadership of Cathleen Zapata, Chief Experience Officer.

Precision Dialogue is an analytics-driven customer engagement firm that improves marketing ROI using consumer insights to help clients reach the right audience through personalized, relevant multi-channel messages. Precision Dialogue’s Precision Experience LabSM is a user research facility that enables clients to observe consumer behaviors and decision-making processes through usability studies, eye tracking, neuro feedback via wireless EEG and more. Opinion Centers America is best known for providing best-in-class recruiting services for focus groups and market research studies for a wide variety of brands in numerous industry segments. The company will continue to provide these services under the Precision Dialogue banner at the Cleveland location.

“We are excited that our legacy of providing a highly rated focus group facility and top-notch recruiting services for industry-leading brands will now be taken over by Precision Dialogue – a firm with a solid background in providing customer engagement strategies for brands,” said Kent Maffett, retiree and former owner of Opinion Centers America.

The demand for Precision Dialogue’s Research and Customer Experience services has grown exponentially as more clients look to leverage their customers’ insights to create more relevant experiences. “Acquiring Opinion Centers America and bringing their staff on board adds considerable depth and experience to our research and customer experience team,” commented Tom Ragen, Precision Dialogue CEO. “This transition will be seamless and swift, as Opinion Centers is a natural extension to our already existing market research offerings.”

For more information on Precision Dialogue and their Research and Customer Experience offerings visit, www.precisiondialogue.com.

How Social Advertising is Shaping Up in 2014

March 7th, 2014 by Ashley Buhrman No comments »

Keeping up on the new social advertising tools throughout the year will be crucial to being successful in 2014. Below is a list of the social platforms with advertising programs that plan to change as the year progresses:

Twitter

As Twitter continues to evolve their advertising programs, companies should invest into this growing platform.  It is estimated that Twitter will hit ad revenue of $1 billion in 2014. To achieve this, they are working to help companies gain more followers and increase engagement on their platform through various advertising options.  Such as, enhancing their promoted accounts to appear in timelines; offering Tailored Audiences (remarketing) and true “broad match” for keyword targeting.  Companies can leverage these new updates to increase their relevant follower base.

twitter1

twitter2

Facebook

Facebook announced that it will eliminate sponsored stories on April 9th. This means that domain and open graph sponsored stories will no longer appear on users’ timelines and marketers will need to look to other advertising opportunities.  So, in place of sponsored stories, Facebook is adding social context next to all ads.  This will include stories that your Facebook friends have read and pages they have liked.  In all reality, it is the same concept as sponsored stories.

facebook

Another game changer in Facebook advertising has been the auto-play video ads.  The tricky part about advertising through these ads is that they do not have sound unless a user clicks on them, therefore advertisers should strive to get their message across without sound. It has been rumored  that the cost of a 15-second auto-play video ad ranges from $1 million to $2.5 million.

Pinterest

Promoted pins are changing the way companies are reaching out to their customers on Pinterest.  Pinterest is making promoted pins appear just like any other pin so that they do not become obtrusive to users. However, this can be exceptionally hard since promoted pins blend in seamlessly amongst other pins.  As marketers, we have to think of creative ways to posting content to pinners so that our pins appeal to our target market.

 Pinterest

 

Instagram

Instagram is still testing advertising with a few brands such as Levi’s to gauge users’ feedback. Instagram allows users to hide ads by clicking on the “…” button and encouraging them to provide feedback on why they hid it.  Instagram advertising is still managed through an account representative with a minimum buy.  Due to the closed nature of current advertising not much is being said on the progress or future of the advertising campaigns.  My expectation is that one day Facebook will look for ways to incorporate Instagram ad buys into the current Facebook ad buying platform. However, for now it seems that they will continue to slowly roll out ads and monitor user feedback.

 instagram

It is important for marketers to stay ahead of the curve on these social advertising trends in 2014.  Your competitors will be adapting to these new updates so be sure to explore the different social advertising offerings to maintain a competitive edge.

Creating Immersive Digital Experiences with Acquia

March 6th, 2014 by Kelly Canfield No comments »

Acquia_LogoTo support the continuous evolution of web technology while delivering integrated digital experiences, Precision Dialogue is proud to announce its partnership with Acquia to enhance the marketing firm’s Drupal web development offering.

Acquia provides an open cloud platform, developer and operations tools, and enterprise-class support for Drupal — the open source digital experience platform. Drupal has surged in popularity among enterprises because it offers agility and flexibility for organizations to create digital experiences that unify content, community and commerce.

“Acquia Cloud is our preferred cloud platform for developing dynamic enterprise websites for our clients using Drupal,” stated Patricio Sapir, Director of Interactive Development. “Our agile methodology, combined with Acquia’s Drupal-tuned cloud environment, enables us to develop and manage websites that bring content, community and commerce into one seamless digital experience to deliver more conversions and increased revenue.”

Precision Dialogue’s website development approach is an adaptive, ever-changing, collaborative process between the client and the Precision Dialogue project team, comprised of designers, certified developers, search marketing strategists, and usability experts. Together, they work as one team to plan, design, and execute every task needed for a website development project to be successful. The end result is a state-of-the-art, sustainable Drupal website containing immersive digital content that is viewable on all digital devices.

“Acquia provides the world’s best cloud platform and expertise for Drupal to help Precision Dialogue create high-quality sites for their clients, designed to deliver engaging digital experiences,” said Joe Wykes, Vice President of Global Channels at Acquia. “Drupal uniquely provides organizations with the freedom to build digital sites that integrate key features and systems to improve user experience and drive increased conversions.”

At the core of all Precision Dialogue’s methodology is a User Centered Design approach – a process that is grounded in uncovering a deep understanding of the end user. Leveraging the company’s usability lab and market research facility, Precision Experience LabSM, experts gather user feedback to drive and refine the design and development throughout a project’s lifecycle. Precision Dialogue’s diverse and talented staff ensures that every project benefits from an agile, user centered design approach.

For more information on Precision Dialogue and its web development offerings, visit http://www.precisiondialogue.com/services/digital/web-content-management.

The Gmail Unsubscribe Tool Explained Simply

February 25th, 2014 by Patricio Sapir No comments »

Starting this week, Gmail is introducing a new unsubscribe mechanism that will allow a subscriber to be removed from email communications by clicking on a link that will be located next to the sender’s email address.

The Gmail Unsubscribe Tool Explained Simply

The Gmail Unsubscribe Tool Explained Simply

 

When you click on this link, you will be prompted to confirm if you want to unsubscribe from all emails sent from this sender.

How does this work?

When you click on this particular unsubscribe link, Gmail will contact the email sender engine to request you are removed from all email communications. Note that this request might take up to 3 days to be processed, as it will be the responsibility of the email sender to unsubscribe you.

This link doesn’t really replace the Unsubscribe link that you would usually find in the footer of an email, but it provides a different way to accomplish the same action without having to dig into the email to find this link.

Why is Google doing this?

The Google team explains that this mechanism will help subscribers to stop getting emails that they could be considered as SPAM – they realize that subscribers get buried with emails they really don’t want to receive anymore.

How does this feature impact Email Marketers?

If you are a good marketer, you shouldn’t be worried. As a marketer you will always want to send relevant messages to your subscribers in a timely manner. And, if your subscribers want to unsubscribe from your messages, you should provide them with an easy mechanism to do so. This new tool also helps with subscribers reporting your emails as SPAM. An additional mechanism that allows them to unsubscribe from your communications will help with your reputation as an email sender.

Hyatt Legal Plans Case Study: Creating Rich Web Experiences with HTML5 & JQuery Mobile

February 13th, 2014 by Kelly Canfield No comments »

We are all targeting the always on, always connected customer, therefore it is imperative for all web experiences to be optimized for mobile and tablet usage. HTML5 is the latest standard for HTML which is designed for users to easily view a website on any device. Applying JQuery (a cross-platform JavaScript library) with HTML5 gives developers flexibility to design while delivering users a rich web experience across any device.

In this webinar, learn how we helped our client, Hyatt Legal Plans create an engaging experience for their information portal leveraging technologies such as HTML5 and JQuery Mobile. We will also share how rapid prototyping tools helped the team test and deliver a mobile website project successfully.

Register Now

 

Presented by:

Jennfier Gaglione, Associate Marketing Director, Hyatt Legal Plans

Jennfier Gaglione, Associate Marketing Director, Hyatt Legal Plans

Pato Sapir, Technical Architect

Pato Sapir, Technical Architect, Precision Dialogue

Donna Kaminski, Interactive Project Manager

Donna Kaminski, Interactive Project Manager, Precision Dialogue

Top 5 Digital Marketing Trends for 2014

February 5th, 2014 by Jenna Hunger & Kelly Canfield No comments »

The trend of increased customer engagement will continue to be top of mind in 2014. Just when companies feel they have achieved a holistic marketing approach, new technologies enter the marketplace that further transform the way we interact. It is imperative for brands to take advantage of emerging marketing strategies in order to create the most meaningful, results-driven dialogue. Below, we share our predictions of the top 5 digital marketing trends for 2014 and tips on how to align your marketing goals to meet the industry’s trajectory.

 

1. Content Marketing and the Need for Aggregation

With more social media sites, more retailers offering a variety of email messages, and sharable content, there is an overload of digital content everywhere on any device. There is a tremendous need from consumers to organize and aggregate this content so it’s easier to consume. A driving force behind breaking barriers is content! Just take a look at Gmail’s tabbed inbox, separating personal and promotional emails automatically in consumers’ inboxes. It’s just a friendly reminder to marketers that in order to get noticed in the inbox, messages must be personalized and relevant to each individual’s needs. Marketers have less time to make an impact. Be on the lookout for social media platforms such as Vine and Snapchat to rise in 2014. Vine gives users 6 seconds to make an impact whereas Snapchat gives you 10. How can you compete? Send shorter messages, offer quick promotional codes (such as free shipping), pick images over text and lastly, be authentic! Read how Wet Seal made an impact leveraging Snapchat.

 

Snapchat Case Study

16-year-old beauty vlogger, “MissMeghanMakeup” took over WetSeal’s Snapchat account for two days.

 

2. Mobile Marketing: From Wearables to Where to Shop

With mobile spending accounting for almost a quarter of 2013’s US eCommerce spend, it is safe to say it’s not going anywhere, in fact, it’s on the rise. Beacon technology, relatively fresh to the marketplace, offers the capability to function as a GPS for indoor locations.  Marketers are using Beacon to analyze foot traffic patterns, promote special offerings, guide customers specifically where they want to go and tailor marketing messages to their target audience’s taste and preference. For now, Apple seems to be leading the pack with their self-branded iBeacon, but other brands are utilizing identical capabilities through Beacon technology to implement location-based marketing. In addition to Beacon, we expect wearable devices will be an increasing trend in 2014 – not just owning them, but marketing through them as well.  For example, devices like Google Glass, the Nike Fuel Band and the combined cell phone-wristwatch may market to their users in an innovative way this year.

Brands Using iBeacon

Who’s using iBeacon?

 

Mobile-optimized sites and mobile/tablet apps remain to be most prevalent in the world of mobile, but these are just a few things to look out for.  Your site must be optimized for mobile. If you’re already optimized for mobile, maybe this is the year you consider developing an app

 

3. Getting to Know Social Advertising

Social advertising is one of the few tactics in social marketing that you can quantify and provide your boss with measurable results. ExactTarget reports that social ad spending will grow to $11 billion by 2017. Make it your marketing resolution to pick one social platform and execute an ad campaign. Keep in mind that there are changes and updates on the horizon to several platforms advertising offerings. For instance, Facebook plans to eliminate Sponsored Stories on April 9th and will continue to streamline their advertising offerings based on their users’ feedback. As for the other platforms, Twitter will be partnering with Epsilon to offer highly-targeted Promoted Tweet campaigns leveraging CRM data, while Instagram’s sponsored posts and Pinterest’s Promoted Pins are beginning to take flight. Need help measuring success? Look into social advertising platforms such as Marin Software, Social.com or Kenshoo which can help you manage, optimize and measure ad campaigns.

 

4. True 1:1 Marketing Will Soon Be the Only Way

With today’s technology, it is remarkable to see brands who continue to settle by marketing to the masses. We keep hearing how data-informed, targeted messaging increases engagement, response and conversion with your prospectives and customers. A few takeaways to consider? Start with customizing your email program. Believe in the power of the Abandoned Cart Email – and if you’re already doing that, use the insights on your customer base to segment and deliver unique, relevant offerings. Incorporate this strategy in an omni-channel approach.

Ulta's abandoned cart email.

Ulta’s abandoned cart email.

 

Another way to personalize content is with the digital variable print capability: a technique which elements like text, graphics and images may be changed from one printed piece to the next, without stopping or slowing down the printing process, through using information from a database or external file. See how we have helped clients do this within their direct mail programs.

Digital Variable Print example

Precision Dialogue leverages Data Variable Print for Chevy and GM.

 

 

5. Digital’s Role in Omni-Channel

Omni-channel is the hottest buzzword in the marketing world and everyone seems to have various definitions. We are defining omni-channel as “multiple channels of customer contact, but managed in an integrated manner.” With mobile and tablet penetrating the marketplace like never before, consumers are always connected and always on. Therefore, it’s imperative for marketers to deliver consistent brand experiences across channels. We recommend that marketers invest in customer journey mapping to understand the steps customers take when engaging with your brand. Also, don’t be afraid to drive consumers in-store with location based marketing with mapping technology such as iBeacon.

 

So, there you have it! If you would like to learn more about our top trends, please watch our webinar recording on-demand. We’d love to hear your predictions for digital marketing in 2014, please write them in the comments section below.