According to a VoC Research study conducted by Ernan Roman Direct Marketing in May of 2013, over the last six months, consumers have shifted from being passive recipients of push marketing to selecting companies that engage, listen to and act on input from them.
In a nutshell, old school personalization is simply not cutting it anymore. Consumers now expect that companies will be using the data they know that companies are collecting, to drive communications.
During a presentation at Internet Marketing Week this past Tuesday, Roman, President of his namesake consulting firm, talked about these findings with Jeff Howell, Director of Subscriber Communications and Engagement/CRM, SiriusXM and Welington Fonseca, VP of Marketing for Gilt Groupe. Roman defined the “Reciprocity of Value Equation,” which essentially states that consumers recognize that in order for companies to access their info, they must share that info with those companies. And they are doing that – happily.
Fonseca shared some examples of how Gilt Groupe’s customers are sharing info and how Gilt has taken that data and transformed its marketing efforts. For example, many of Gilt’s customers told the company that they often did not know where they would be at noon EST, the time when Gilt’s daily flash sales launch online. Customers said they would like to know ahead of time if a brand they love is going to go on sale so that they could be sure to be at a computer at noon. Gilt took that info and decided to add a personalized email to its communications. Customers whose data show an affinity to a particular brand (i.e. they have shopped the brand in past sales, they have browsed sales of that brand, they have wait-listed items in that brand) now get an email the night before a sale, alerting them that their favorite brand will be on sale the next day. Even with this added communication, Gilt’s email unsubscribe rate has stayed flat, and its conversion rate increased two to five percent.
Howell gave an example of how SiriusXM took into account its customers’ preferences and launched a special Kenny Chesney concert only for its subscribers to honor their loyalty. The company marketed the concert through targeted efforts and engaged users in a dialog on social channels. Selected subscribers, based on loyalty, were called and invited to the concert personally by SiriusXM management. The company saw a great response, with customers writing in saying things like, “Thank you, thank you! It is great to see SiriusXM give back to its customers. I’ve been a subscriber since 2004 and I plan to continue my subscription if opportunities like this arise from time to time.”