A Few Effective Ways To Use Closed-Loop Data

closed loop data

Closing the loop in business means the sharing of lead insights between sales and marketing. It promotes collaboration between the two parties via CRM systems and automated reporting. Gathering closed-loop insights that are useful is the first step in the process and that can be tricky, especially when numerous leads are arriving from multiple sources.

Without closed-loop data and reporting, budget decisions could be made based on inaccuracies and that’s a waste of resources.

Forbes contributor Kimberley A. Whitler discovered that companies in China – which relies on mobile technology more than the West – have nudged closed-loop marketing up a level by mastering consumer insights beyond the standard criteria. They have done this by focusing on first-party data which, “enables companies to understand actual behavio[u]r.”

The best ways to use this data for the benefit of both ends of the funnel is to take a page from their book and concentrate on ways to produce more customer behavioural data.

Tracking tags are highly useful when you know where to put them, closed-loop data can provide much-needed clarity. If a social media source is providing the most qualified leads then amping up the tracking of consumer activity within that forum is useful. Discover, what content is really working.

Closed-loop data is detailed enough that it also can capture real-time shifts in behaviour, including changes in pain points. Customer pain and need are often synonymous, pinpoint their frustrations by paying attention to what they’re asking, clicking, reading and downloading the most.

Additionally, the data can reveal insights that may fight against existing personas and open up an entirely new revenue stream.

We all know that a thorough use of buyer personas is essential to audience targeting. Data with both sales and marketing input can create personas that include the most current challenges they face.

Closing the loop is a process every commercial and marketing team should be utilising, it’s about using the data the right way and fuelling existing systems with the best there is.

Via: Forbes

A Few Types Of Call Tracking For Marketing

marketing call tracking

In an age where we speak to AI systems called Alexa and Siri, the expectation is that this kind of process will transfer to consumer service.

Instead, calls are the new frontier in consumer communication. Why? Because humans still want to talk to other humans, especially when there’s a high-value purchase involved. Advertising and marketing firm, BIA/Kelsey “projects 169 billion mobile calls to businesses by 2020, driven by smartphone penetration, high commercial intent, and the natural handoff between mobile engagement and phone calls (i.e., Google “call” buttons).”

With the knowledge that the future shows a large amount calls arriving from multiple sources and digital ad spend increasing annually, brands need to find a new way to measure this influx of call data to fully optimise ROI and better understand exactly which touchpoint is generating the most revenue. 

Call tracking contains an array of measurements that can help paint a complete picture for marketing teams and tackle the data coming their way, here are a few that deliver.

Session-level tracking

Session level tracking is broader and uses paid search keywords to collect data during a 1 to 12-hour session. From there a dynamic number will be assigned to one session, any calls made during the session will be attributed to the keyword source.

Why is it useful?

For large companies that run multiple ad campaigns at the same time and have busy call centres, session level tracking makes it easy to target and prioritise audiences while also collecting information on where they arrived from.

User-level tracking

One prospect/user can arrive at multiple destinations before picking up the phone and in order to build an accurate customer journey and digital profile, you’ll need to collect as much data on one subject as possible. Each user is given a unique ID upon entering a specific website and with that, it is easy to collect data via; acquisition channel, sessions, user journey and revenue generated. When they return to the website, the exact number appears for them again. It helps build an entire customer history.

Learn more about implementing user-level tracking in your stack here. 

Why is it useful?

User level tracking is revolutionary. It allows sales and marketing teams to better understand their customer base individually – as in they are able to establish relevant conversations and an environment of personalisation based on a single user’s experience.

Via: BIA Advisory Services

Why Brand Success Means Cultivating Your Community


At its inception, a company pitches its core product ad nauseam, believing fervently in its potential to boost revenue and change buyer’s lives. It’s in that honeymoon period of development that a brand wants the general public to find them attractive, fun and dare we say, sexy.

Straying from the core product

What often happens, as with human relationships, is the first blush eventually fades and once said bees are in the honeypot, there is no need to continue to cultivate that interest. A common example of this is Facebook, whose core product is the “social network.”

Initially, It was sold as a place where people could come together as a digital community, but still create a snapshot of intimacy.

It started that way but as it morphed into the social behemoth it has become, turning that massive collection of personal data into revenue is Facebook’s new flavour of the month — leading to a loss in engagement from its once sole interest, real people.

“The fundamental confusion with Facebook is that it increasingly talks about itself as a community platform, but that is not the reality,” Benji Vaughan, chief executive at Disciple Media told The Guardian. “Do users feel part of a community when they are there? I have reservations about whether they do. Facebook’s core purpose is to sell targeted content to individuals. All its issues begin there.”

Maintaining the community 

As we move into the age of chatbots and neural networks, it seems robotically imitating humans or viewing them as merely data sources are becoming more important than actually helping their flesh and blood counterparts. “Sometimes the limitation of AI just reflects the lack of knowledge of the people who implement these solutions: they might not know much about the business operations and products and are sometimes glorified coders,” writes Data Science Central. A clear indication that technology always begins and ends with human beings.

When it comes to how digital enterprises interact with their human base, a growing trend to fix the overemphasis on data acquisition is personalisation. Putting the value of customer data back into improving the customer experience has proved to be fruitful. “The Harvard Business Review states that personalisation can reduce extra costs by 50%, lift revenues by 5-15%, and increase the efficiency of marketing spend by up to 10-30%,” says Digital Marketing Magazine.

Also, the value of community is inarguable. A southern African humanist philosophy called “Ubuntu” is centered on this concept. “It is a demand for a creative intersubjective formation in which the ‘other’ becomes a mirror (but only a mirror) for my subjectivity,” describes Michael Onyebuchi Eze in his book, Intellectual History in Contemporary South Africa.

Staying true to this sense of community, seeing a buyer base as a reflection of a core product is a proven key to both increased retention and conversion. A great example of this, when Coca-Cola decided to put people’s names on bottles as a part of their “Share a Coke” campaign, they saw an increase in US sales for the first time in ten years.

Cultivating the consumer interest that grew a product in the first place could be the secret to success and finding technology that can help with that is ready to be utilised.

Via: The Guardian, Digital Marketing Magazine, Data Science Central, Marketing Tech News. 

Here's How To Strengthen A Brand's Verbal Identity

On average businesses in the UK spend around £116,000 on “tone of voice” development, meaning that brands are just as interested in defining the way they sound as refining how they look.
One company that has aced verbal branding is Apple. A substantial portion of people on earth can identify the voice of Apple’s intelligent personal assistant Siri, whose original American female voice is borrowed from flesh and blood human and not whipped up in a computer. Apple recognised our need for human interaction, even if we’re only talking to our smartphone.
That reliance on smartphones is increasing; upcoming generations are leaning more into self-service than ever before. But, for more demanding queries or more expensive purchases, callers want to hear another person.
So what does this mean for the future of verbal customer service? “There’s so much noise in the world, and you’ve got a very small window to initiate a conversation with people. If people aren’t interested in what you have to say, they’ll go elsewhere,” Fred Perry’s brand director Rob Gaitt told Marketing Week.
Fully utilising the time a company interacts with customers after initiating a conversation is a hurdle for any enterprise, because no two callers are alike. Here are some ways to make a brand’s voice heard.

Making the call-centre standout

A caller emotionally connects with a brand the moment they pick up the phone to interact with an agent. No pressure. Robotic legacy tech just isn’t going to cut it anymore; callers want to know that if they’re making the jump to put receiver to ear — it’s going to be worth the time. Every word should be on point. “[It’s] 80% good writing principles and 20% [what] we can own in our writing style that makes us distinctive,” explained Jon Hawkins, former head of brand language at BT and founder of Honk to Marketing Week.

Get a head of brand language

Having someone’s single vision guide a brand’s voice isn’t a bad idea. Brand identity must stay consistent to maintain caller loyalty. Humans, man; we’re all far more comfortable with the familiar, and the best organisations know that.
“Sixty percent of global consumers with Internet access prefer to buy new products from a familiar brand rather than switch to a new brand,” says Nielsen.

Sophisticated analytics

After engagement, understanding the metrics behind what worked or didn’t between caller and agent is essential data in this algorithmic age. The future of CX means that content finds consumer and not the other way around, integrating the right technology into a verbal communication system is a great way to ensure that no discourse data is wasted.

The whole concept of “verbal identity” is still relatively new, it was only introduced into the marketing sphere some fifteen years ago by marketing consultant and author John Simmons, yet its become mighty useful for brand growth since. Its success could be attributed to the simple idea behind it; what do you want to say?
Via: Forbes, Marketing Week, Nielsen

Why Your Customer Engagement Must Become ‘More Human’ In 2017

Successful digital transformation starts with the basics – better conversations with your customers.

I have one business prediction for 2017. Actually it’s less of a prediction and more of an opportunity.

Businesses that thrive this year will have strategies to ensure their customer engagement becomes more ‘human’.
Technology continues to drive huge impact on the ways in which we deliver great customer experience but cloud software still can’t pick up on the specific mood of a customer.
Consumers expect you to deal with them as individuals with distinct needs. For complex or big-ticket purchases they have questions that they want answered before they’re prepared to reach for their credit card. They want to know that you’re listening and treating their questions personally and as a priority.
Technology entirely unsynced from a human connection between customer and vendor will only do half the job. And doing things by halves – delivering bang-average, industry standard experiences where algorithms allow you to get it ‘almost right’ – will be the thing that renders many brands irrelevant.
Consider three separate but related statistics that tell a scary story for consumer-facing businesses.
According to a recent study by West Unified Communications poor customer experience in the UK alone costs businesses £234bn a year.
Meanwhile, Accenture contends that 66% of consumers have recently switched brands due to bad customer service. More alarming perhaps is that of that 66%, more than 80% of respondents said there was something simple their original vendor could have done to prevent them from switching.
Here’s the third statistic: the Havas Meaningful Brands survey spoke to 300,000 consumers in 34 countries in 2015 and reported that people wouldn’t care if 74% of all brands disappeared for good tomorrow.
In other words, no business has a God-given right to survive.
What’s more, if your customers, each of whom sees themselves in a segment of one according to Trendwatching’s Five Trends For 2017, can’t see you working up a sweat to perfect their personalised experience, they’re willing to put you out of business.
It’s worrying. Especially as, and this is purely my contention, most businesses haven’t defined for themselves what really good customer experience really looks like.
Many businesses who think they do know often end up finding that they haven’t been ambitious enough in defining it. Either that or businesses make the mistake of standing still while they try to figure out who should own customer experience internally and how best to execute it.
Meanwhile, customer expectations do anything but stand still. They evolve. Your customers continuously judge you against their growing expectations for what is possible. That means whatever experience you’re delivering today probably won’t be acceptable tomorrow.
All this is costing you countless revenue. If you’re anything like the industry average, 98% of your online customers leave your website without doing anything. Each one of them is a potential sale.
Why are they leaving? Why did they come to your website in the first place? What did they want to see and why didn’t they stop long enough to engage with you? Do you know?
Maybe you just didn’t make it easy enough for them to ask their particular question via your website. That question may have opened up a conversation that would have turned a visitor into your customer.
Few things are more powerful in helping chart the future of a business in such uncertain times than hearing a customer’s question.
Few things are more powerful in driving customer satisfaction than being able to respond to that question in a timely and relevant manner.
As the industry explores better customer experience there is plenty of talk about customer-centricity. Being customer-centric means building your entire business around what is best for each customer.
Most companies instead build their business processes around delivering their product as cost-effectively as possible while driving shareholder returns. Similarly their customer experience is moulded within a framework that their teams and departments find convenient to deliver.
They figure out their strategy and use technology to deliver it. This algorithm-driven customer experience is good rather than great. Such a shortfall will be enough to kill you in 2017. Consumers won’t stand for good when they’ve experienced great elsewhere.
The opportunity we all have in the coming 12 months is to make our customer experience delivery instinctive, intuitive, flexible and personal.
Successful businesses will connect with customers. Context will be everything. They’ll match each of their customer’s curiosity, commitment and concern for finding them the best deal and correcting any mistakes. In short, the best of customer experience in 2017 will feel human.
In the marketing industry we’ve spent much of the recent past years talking about digital transformation. Defining it is hard. Executing it is much, much harder.
If you don’t know where to start with your digital transformation programme then simplify.
Begin with your customers.
Go back to basics. Have more and better conversations with them. Get human.

How to implement a seamless Lead Nurturing strategy

You’ve probably put a lot of effort into building that leads database. However, research suggests that, even when it comes to qualified leads, more than 50% of leads aren’t ready to buy on the day they first convert on your site. That’s why lead nurturing is one of the most important processes that will help you make the most of your available leads and create a sales funnel with the least amount of leaks.
Here are a few tips from Freespee to enhance your ‘Lead Nurturing’ process
Know what stage your lead is at
It is important to set guidelines about where to place your lead in the marketing funnel. There is no hard and fast rule for lead classification, but take your sales team into confidence when you discuss this part of the strategy. Create clear definitions that suit your business so that you know how your sales funnel looks. You can then alter your marketing campaigns to target that part of the sales funnel that needs more attention.
Assign a probability for your lead
Assigning a probability of conversion for every lead that is passed on to Sales is always a good idea. This means, you are telling Sales that out of the leads that have been assigned, those with high probability of conversion might be a good place to start. Assigning a small number can save a lot of time for both the Sales team and for the prospect.
Align all the teams and stakeholders
Lock your Sales, Marketing, Customer Service and Product Development teams in a room and don’t let them out until they come up with a process that commits them to well-defined roles and responsibilities. Involving everyone to decide on an action plan for each stage of the sales funnel gives a lot of clarity to the whole process and ensures that the customer is not ignored at any given point in time.
Update lead status regularly
Whether you generate 10 leads or 10,000 leads every month, regular reports are all always important. When responsibilities are shared, activities at every stage are not visible to everyone and this can leave a lot of place for doubts and discord in the process. Ensuring reports are generated and circulated to all stakeholders to understand the movement of the leads through the funnel will surely make the process a lot smoother.
Use marketing automation wisely
Today’s CRM and campaign management solutions are sophisticated and flexible, but it is still important to remember that the process that best suits your needs and those of your customers must take precedence. In other words, let the process decide on the marketing automation. At the same time, automated lead nurturing should be considered a must-have. You’re qualified leads will buy eventually from someone and you have to make sure that you are still on their minds when they are ready to choose.
Lead source capturing
Understanding the contact and campaign history associated with every lead is vital. CRM and marketing systems should seamlessly combine data to deliver a comprehensive activity history for everyone you interact with. It will inform future sales conversions and provide valuable details for defining future campaigns. Ensure that your systems make it easy for Sales to pick up hot and qualified leads from marketing and that Sales understands the most significant trigger events which qualified the lead. Also make a connection between the online and offline activities of every lead. This will give complete clarity about your lead source to you as a marketer and to your Sales team.
By taking steps to coordinate people, processes and tools to manage leads, marketing leaders can accurately measure and maximise marketing investments.

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