Director, Marketing and Marketing Operations, Yes Lifecycle Marketing
As the date For GDPR to come into force, closes in, global organizations are hoping to get as much information as they can on how they cope with the upcoming disruptions. AI and Machine Learning could be a potent tool to help companies sail through the post-GDPR era. To understand what the biggest impact of GDPR on the tech industry would be, especially on the B2B Marketing and advertising sectors, we spoke to Ivy Shtereva of Yes Lifecycle Marketing.
Tell us about your role at Yes Lifecycle Marketing and the marketing technologies you work with?
I’m the director of marketing and marketing operations at Yes Lifecycle Marketing where I’m responsible for multichannel strategy and implementation across email, database, web and social media channels with a focus on lead generation through data-driven content strategies. On any given day, I can go from implementing email and deliverability strategies to developing and testing data rules to supplement front-end reporting.
Yes Lifecycle Marketing is a single solution provider that helps mid to enterprise-size brands deliver relevant communications across all channels. We help marketers connect their cross-channel customer experiences by leveraging technology, data, analytics, creative and strategy to enable brands to achieve their goals.
Define your ‘Ideal Customer’ Profile for Actionable Insights?
To create an ideal customer profile, marketers need robust, up-to-date data that gives them a 360-degree view of their customers and the unique combination of customer attributes – be it demographic, behavioral, psychographic, etc. Let’s take customer age, for example. Consumers today span a handful of generations that are defined by vastly different experiences and preferences. Marketers must understand these nuances in order to optimize their audience’s experience and maximize their engagement and conversion rates. For example, Millennials are more likely than any generation to have made a purchase on Amazon in the past month (79 percent), followed by Generation X at 69 percent. With this in mind, retailers could adjust their communication to Millennials who are likely shopping for similar products on Amazon.
With a deeper understanding of their audience, marketers can adapt their communication style, content, frequency and more to nurture customer relationships and drive more conversions long-term. Seventy-four percent of brands say they want to be “data-driven,” but only 29 percent are actually successful at connecting analytics to action.
How do you see contemporary trends in Email Customer Experience disrupting the martech ecosystem?
Mobile email, message personalization, and AI are the factors that will affect the martech landscape the most because they are instrumental in the way customers experience emails. In 2018, the smartphone will continue to be the most dominant device not just in terms of email opens and clicks but also when it comes to email-driven orders and revenue. In the last year, smartphone orders accounted for 46 percent of all email-driven orders, registering an increase of 33 percent year-over-year (YoY). Additionally, mobile conversion rate (orders per click) reached a new level in 2017, arriving at an average of 3.3 percent – the same as desktop conversion. With the rise of mobile, bridging the gap between mobile and desktop average order value (AOV) should be a priority for email marketers because that is where they have the most potential to increase revenue.
Another factor that can impact consumer behavior and disrupt the martech ecosystem is personalization, especially as marketers focus on real-time, cross-channel personalization. Nine in 10 marketers report they do not have the capabilities to personalize marketing content in real time but that consumer demand for this type of complex personalization continues to rise.
Thoughtful personalization goes beyond addressing customers by name. It is about tailored content and understanding customers’ needs. Artificial intelligence (AI) is one way for marketers to optimize personalization because it automates (for lack of a better term) our understanding of customers and paves innovative pathways to reach them more intuitively. AI will continue to provide more personalization options through machine learning which can help create deeper connections with consumers.
What is preventing marketers from prioritizing the in-store channel in 2018?
In 2018, marketers must move past their reliance on stereotypes about consumer segments. The majority of marketers think they already know what different audience segments want and expect. For example, it’s common for marketers to believe that Millennials and Centennials have ditched physical stores in favor of ecommerce, but the truth is younger consumers still value a good brick-and-mortar experience.
Additionally, marketers are laboring under a common misconception about the value of brick-and-mortar. In a recent survey, eighty-two percent of responders didn’t rank in-store among the top three most influential channels for consumers. This is a missed opportunity, especially for those targeting Centennials and Millennials. The survey also found that 81 percent of all consumers value the in-store experience when researching a purchase. And nearly one in five (18 percent) Millennials and Centennials say they are loyal to brands because of quality in-store experiences. Furthermore, 30 percent say they shop with retailers other than Amazon because they enjoy the in-store experience.
What are your predictions about using ‘Audience Insights to Inform Marketing Communication Strategies’?
The premise of “knowing your audience” is simple but the challenges are countless: too much data, too little data, limited resources, lack of sophisticated tools, reliance on broad generalizations or stereotypes, and much more. The most straightforward way to tackling these issues is investing in technology that simplifies data collection, streamlines data analysis and insights development, and facilitates campaign execution across channels. If marketers have the right tools to effectively target their audiences based on attributes such as gender, purchase history, income and/or generation, they will be able to deliver more personalized and relevant communications to their customers. They can use data insights to test different subject lines, headers, featured products, and even images that cater to distinct subscriber attributes.
What would be the biggest impact of GDPR on the tech industry, especially the ones dealing with B2B Marketing and advertising?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new data protection legislation that was designed to change the way organizations across the European Union (EU) approach data privacy. It is intended to protect all EU citizens’ and non-citizen residents’ information and to give them control over their own personal data. This has far-reaching implications for all marketers because, unlike other regulations, GDPR will extend to all organizations that come in contact with any consumer who is European or is located in Europe. With the country of citizenship not being a commonly collected data point, marketers will be at risk of incurring GDPR penalties because they will not know which guidelines to follow with individual consumers. The implications for B2B brands can be significant because B2B companies, particularly in technology, represent consumer brands with large databases that might span different geographies and nationalities. It is often the vendors that are responsible for ensuring compliance with new regulations such as the GDPR, so being ready to make necessary adjustments to complex processes involving customer data is instrumental in alleviating risk.
How does Yes Lifecycle Management plan to solve these challenges?
On one hand, GDPR makes data privacy a brand issue and empowers consumers to manage their own data the way they see fit; the regulation gives consumers more flexibility and control over how their information is handled which ultimately means more authority. On the other hand, some of the GDPR clauses that are most beneficial to consumers – such as data portability or the right to erasure – require a person’s identity to be verified before they can be carried out. In addition, some of those clauses are fraught with inconsistencies and might create a number of logistical issues when it comes to implementation and liability. The way Yes Lifecycle Marketing is solving these challenges is by creating multiple solutions to meet client needs and best practice documentation that addresses the needs of each client program.
How do you leverage data science and AI/ML capabilities to better leverage data and analytics?
There are different ways to use data science and AI/ML capabilities to better leverage data and analytics. At Yes LifecycleMarketing we primarily focus on the Machine Learning aspect of AI as there are clear ways it can advance the automation of personalization, segmentation, and insights today. With the constant rise in new AI companies, it can be difficult to determine who is genuine which is why we believe email technology has to be flexible enough to integrate with any AI tool. Most importantly we believe that marketers must master the basics of personalization before incorporating AI.
Thanks for chatting with us, Ivy.
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