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Even Santa Needs a Little Data-driven Help

Holiday spending is expected to increase to its highest this season since the great recession, according to various groups and organizations. The NRF (National Retail Federation) expects sales to increase 3.6% in November and December, to $655.8 billion – surpassing the 2.5% ten-year average.

With consumers using more and more varied shopping channels, and the expectation of hyper-personalization and engagement growing, retailers often struggle to deliver the right messages to the right consumers at the right time. Data can go a long way, but only when it’s first managed, organized and presented in a way that allows everyday business users, such as those in sales and marketing, to use it in their everyday efforts to reach customers.

Santa, like most retail organizations need to leverage rich customer data for smarter engagement, to ultimately deliver – whether by reindeer or drone – a better customer experience.

Data is Santa’s most valuable marketing asset – he, and the elves need to get the right presents to the intended recipients through proper data management. For retailers, even though consumers pay for physical products from retail, the differentiation comes down to customer experience and service. Modern data management practices can help make the engagement with customers more personalized. But with the level of sensitive and proprietary data available, they also need to ensure the highest levels of security and audit for both compliance. Everywhere there’s a Grinch looking to steal or misuse data. Data breach losses and noncompliance fines, coupled with lost of confidence in brand. Look for fine-grained audit and controls for tracking, alerting and managing access and distribution of data.

A complete view of the list through reliable data. Gone are the days where Santa could just rely on a letter to the North Pole. With the proliferation of channels for interaction, getting an accurate view of not just customer profiles, but their related behaviors, transactions, and relationships has never been more critical – it aids in better customer experience, enabling you to increase sales and customer satisfaction. New data-driven applications are enabling leading retail organizations to gain a complete view of their customers, and leverage the wealth of consumer information at big data scale.

Use machine learning for hyper personalization and engagement – As Santa knows, you’re only as good or fast as your best Elf. Fortunately, artificial intelligence is quickly evolving from a buzzword to an essential component of a holistic retail data management platform – and it’s enabling retail organizations to provide more personalized communications with customers. Predictive analytics and machine learning can provide intelligent insights and next-best actions for customer engagement. Ensuring that even trainee Elves are empowered with the knowledge to succeed. But before implementing these technologies, first ensure your data is nice – naughty or incorrect data leads to misleading and poor execution.

Tools and techniques exist today to support Santa, and retail sales & marketers everywhere to deliver better customer engagement and experience. It’s definitely better to give than to receive. Have a data-driven holidays.

Personalization Meets Innovation with Video Marketing Awards Recognition

The Reltio marketing team was honored at Viewtopia’s annual Video Marketing Awards (VMA) in the category of Best Personalized Video Campaign.

We are always on the lookout for new, innovative ways to build awareness and drive interest in Reltio. As part of our outbound efforts, we developed via a top-of-funnel awareness campaign using personalized video technology from Vidyard. 

One critical element was the reliable data that needed to be 100% accurate for the personalization to work. Getting the data wrong could have the opposite effect and impact on the personalized videos we intended to send out. 

Of course we “drank our own champagne” and used our very own Reltio Cloud Modern Data Management PaaS, to ensure that the data was reliable.

The results we achieved were amazing, and the recognition at the VMAs were absolutely the icing on the cake.

Best Personalized Video Campaign
Winner: Reltio
Finalists: Veracode, Influitive

Reltio wanted a new way to build awareness and drive interest it its flagship product with a top-of-funnel awareness campaign. The company launched a personalized video campaign targeting 10,000 leads to build awareness and identify their most engaged prospects.

Results: Nearly 30% of all individuals who opened the email clicked through to watch the video. That marked a 10X increase in click-through rates compared to their average marketing campaign. Reltio is now launching a second personalized video campaign as part of its account-based marketing effort.

Managing the Highs & Lows. Reliable Data & Recommended Actions Conveyed in a Simple Card Game

Earlier in the year I published a post titled “Don’t Gamble with Your Data. How to Stack the Cards in Your Favor.

The premise was a simple one, just like playing blackjack without reliable data, your business decisions are a gamble, regardless of the analytics and visualization tools you’ve invested in. Most applications and data warehouses end up operating on inaccurate data. BI and analytic tools still require you to sift through mounds of irrelevant data to find what you need. And process-driven apps like CRM, don’t encapsulate the best practices or offer recommended actions of what to do given even the most common scenarios.

The concept resonated, especially at a conference in Las Vegas where we handed out custom 52 card decks and engaged attendees with a game in which if they drew out the card they guessed the won an Apple Watch. Given the odds, we were shocked that we had 2 winners in a row! See “Random thoughts, Predictive Analytics and Apple Watches

Given the popularity of the competition we decided to go digital and the talented Engineering team put together the game below and found at reltio.com/highlow

The game became yet another popular hit at tradeshows. The premise is simple, guess if the next card will be higher or lower than the current face card. Keep going until you get it wrong. The game keeps track of the cards that have been dealt out, and a click of the “recommended action” link suggests, based on history and statistical probability whether the next card will be higher or lower.

We featured the game on iPads at our booth, and gave out the URL https://www.reltio.com/highlow so that anyone could play on their mobile phones. The competition was so intense that two attendees continued to play through the weekend after the conference, sending us emails as they bested each others’ scores. In the end the winning number of consecutive guesses was 23. The all-time high is currently at 32!

The game … and we’d like to think our actual Reltio Cloud product was so popular that we were trending according to the Zignals monitors at the event.

We were told by attendees who came by the booth that it was refreshing to get an explanation about a complex topic like data management through a simple interactive game. Easy to understand, easy to use, with all the smarts and complexity taken care of by the platform. Keeping it simple is the best way to get your message across.

What do you think of our https://www.reltio.com/highlow game? Can you beat 32 in a row? Feel free to share some of the marketing ideas you’ve seen to explain complex technology concepts.

The Ever Elusive Customer 360

Most organizations have recognized that attempting Customer 360 within a CRM application is a road to nowhere.  CRM cannot be the single-source-of-truth for all customer data. Companies still spend tons of consulting time, add dozens of fields to the lead, contact and account objects, install multiple add-on applications in the hope of getting there. Although some people have bought into Master Data Management (MDM) as a panacea, others still keep trying to push the boundaries of CRM. There are many reasons why. Most would say they aren’t able to afford the cost, complexity and IT resources required by traditional legacy on-premises MDM tools.

Top three reasons that come to my mind as to why extending CRM for Customer 360 doesn’t work are:

1.       The assumption that my Customer 360 view is same as yours – No it’s not. 360 view does not mean that dump all the customer data into one application page. It is more about the context than about the content. It is about providing all the relevant customer information to the user, based on user’s role and the task at hand. So, the 360-degree view for a sales rep visiting a client is different from 360-degree view of marketing manager doing segmentation for a campaign and is different from a call center agent trying to resolve a service issue.

2.       Ever increasing sources of data – The Customer 360 view is evolving, expanding – never static. It’s not just the customer profile and interaction data. Now we also want to include information from financial, logistics, support, and training systems. We also wish to understand customer preferences, relationships, sentiment from social networks. And we want to capture location data and data from connected devices. Capturing every single piece of information in CRM for a complete Customer 360 view is not a viable option. CRM is not designed for that.

3.       Duplicate and inaccurate data – Today’s CRM systems provide data cleanup to some extent. For high volume data management with cleaning, matching, merging, unmerging, verification of data while maintaining full audit trails, status, and lineage, where compliance gets into the equation, CRM falls short. With multiple high-velocity data streams, it is very hard to keep up with data maintenance. Data quality is the biggest issue that any sales and marketing department has. Moreover, many medium to large organizations have multiple CRM systems, so creating a single view of a business entities across CRM systems becomes challenging.

Although many acknowledge the value, MDM hasn’t fulfilled the promise either. Apart from the fact that it is expensive and complicated, it leaves the transactions and insights to other systems. Many MDM systems have not yielded the business value commensurate with millions of dollars in investment. We need to think beyond traditional MDM to get to a true Customer 360.

Imagine a Modern Data Management Platform as a Service that eliminates the complexity and helps build industry-specific, role-specific contextual data-driven applications, quickly. Specially designed to consolidate data from all internal and external sources, applications built on Modern Data Management platform support an infinite number of attributes and relationships, and provide contextual, personalized insights using big data scale analytics, enabling a Customer 360 that meets the role and goals of the user requiring the information.

What are the issues you come across that prevent you from having a realistic Customer 360 view? Would love to hear from you.