Reevaluating and Adapting Marketing Strategies in a Pandemic World 

By Alison Lindland, SVP of Strategy at Movable Ink

The events of the last year and a half have irrevocably changed the marketing world by forcing an expedited digital transformation, and now millions of industry professionals are left wondering how to adapt their strategies to a pandemic world. This past October, Movable Ink hosted its second annual (Re)Think Conference, a free, two-day virtual event for marketing leaders and practitioners to convene to discuss the key issues impacting their industry and how to adapt in 2022. Brands and Movable Ink partners, like American Express, Lenovo, Orbitz, and Michaels Stores, gathered to share insights into their digital marketing strategies, how to leverage data to generate bold, 1:1 content at scale, and how automation can not only drive production efficiencies but increase revenue at the same time. 

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Here are a few highlights and takeaways from this year’s event:  

Making the Most of Your Data

Data activation has been at the forefront of marketers’ minds—it’s the key to their success and, at the end of the day, it’s what resonates with consumers. But for it to inspire consumers, it’s crucial brands are able to translate data into highly-tailored and relevant experiences—content is what drives action. Speakers from At Home Stores, Lenovo, and Message Gears discussed new strategies to leverage data, as well as their perspectives on how zero- and first-party data influences their personalization campaigns, drives newfound creativity, and delivers meaningful communications that translates value into revenue. At a time when customers expect every interaction to be personalized, attendees walked away with lessons on how to meet customer expectations by using data to create eye-catching personalized messages.  

Ben Gilbert, Director of Marketing Technology from At Home Stores outlined how his team thinks creatively about data to bring emails to life and drive customer engagement for companies of all sizes and industries. A few methods his team has found success with include creating email banners to retarget customers based on their shopping behavior, using location marketing tools to encourage customers to visit their favorite store, and pulling customer reviews into emails dynamically, which drove a 19% lift in clicks and increased customer engagement. 

Saving Time and Adding Value with Marketing Automation

Consumers expect timely, relevant, and personalized communications in their inbox and marketing automation holds the key. Throughout the sessions, brands such as Michaels Stores, Schibsted, and Orbitz spotlighted how automating personalization not only saved them substantial time during the pandemic but proved to be a gateway to more revenue. They shared how using automation increased personalization and relevancy, leading to higher conversions and reduced unsubscribe rates among consumers. Speakers also discussed how to implement personalization at scale and ways to build dynamic, modular email templates that automate 1:1 personalized content for each customer. In his session, Wes Albaugh, Manager of CRM and Personalization at Michaels Stores, credited automation for the brand’s ability to deliver approximately 22 billion dynamic pieces of content per month, creating a tailored experience for each customer. 

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Partner Integrations

With more stringent privacy protections—Apple’s iOS15 updates and a cookieless future on the horizon—marketers now have to lean on their existing customer data to meet individual customers’ needs. Unfortunately, as data lives siloed across different marketing technologies, this can be a difficult task for marketers. That’s where data and partner integrations can help build out the complete customer profile, so marketers can quickly reach their customers with relevant content. 

There is an overwhelming amount of customer data available, and integrating it from various platforms gives marketers comprehensive knowledge of customer behavior and preferences (i.e., frequented stores, abandoned carts, product searches, and more). Using the data collected from websites, POS (Point of Sale) or CRM (Customer Relationship Management Platform), marketers can create thousands of personalized communications for each consumer. Whether they’re just starting with data consolidation or want to complete their marketing programs, marketers can easily create meaningful customer experiences and achieve notable results by tapping into data and partner integrations across the tech stack. 

This year’s event was an opportunity for marketers across the globe to discuss the events of the past year and a half, as well as how to keep up with the evolving industry. Marketing leaders and practitioners left with the tools and knowledge to activate data and create unique customer experiences, personalize across channels, and convert new customers into loyalists—all through the power of data. For additional insights from this year’s (Re)Think, all sessions are available on-demand by registering here

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