Customer Speak – A Marketing Blog from Bridgz Marketing Group

Understand Your Customers Better: Four Tips From Caterpillar by bridgzvan
June 13, 2012, 9:27 am
Filed under: Customer Rules, Marketing Theory

Today’s post comes from Bridgz Director of Business Analytics and Insight, Tim Altierand originally appeared on Marketing Profs.

Your marketing efforts are more successful when you focus on the customer—not the product—even when you sell machines large enough to move mountains.Cat Blog

When heavy-equipment manufacturer Caterpillar began selling smaller-scale machines to the landscape, construction, and agriculture markets, the company made a strategic decision to sharpen its customer-centric focus.

“Traditionally, Cat and our dealers personally know the buyers for our large-scale equipment,” says Connie LaFlamme, Cat’s marketing consultant for its Building & Construction Products Group in Cary, NC. “But for our equipment sized for use by small to medium construction firms, landscapers, and agricultural producers, we found that we had to stretch to find the right communication channels and messaging because of the expansive customer universe and a tougher competitive environment.”

LaFlamme and marketing consultant Stephanie Hetzel chose to work with Minneapolis-based Bridgz Marketing Group because our stock in trade is helping clients use data to connect directly to their customers’ feelings, attitudes, and buying intentions. The firm specializes in customer-centric marketing that builds the bridge between client and customer.

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6 Steps to Successful Behavioral-Based Trigger Marketing by bridgzvan
May 31, 2012, 10:14 am
Filed under: Marketing Theory

Today’s post comes from Bridgz Engagement Strategist, Andrea Krohnberg, and originally appeared on iMedia Connection.

It’s the marketer’s dream — delivering the most relevant message to the willing customer, at the right time, via the right channel. Achieving that dream requires a profound understanding of your customers and the capability to tailor marketing campaigns to fit their lives.

But it can be done — through behavioral-based trigger marketing. Fundamentally, trigger marketing means communicating with customers at preplanned points in time. These communications aren’t driven by dates on the marketing calendar. Rather, the customer decides when a communication occurs through prompts captured in a data collection and analysis system.

The beauty of trigger marketing is its foundational properties. With the right up-front planning and data analysis, followed by on-going “pulse checks,” it can serve as the very foundation to a marketing program. It’s always there, continuously updated, and constantly paying for itself by maintaining contact with your best customers. The payback, of course, is measurable. Continuous improvement allows you to keep migrating customers into higher-return categories and ultimately into brand advocacy. How do you make it happen? Here are six steps:

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The Context of Engagement in Marketing by bridgzvan
May 16, 2012, 7:55 am
Filed under: Marketing Theory

Today’s post comes from Bridgz engagement strategist Andrea Krohnberg.

Bridgz Perspective

The word “engagement” has a number of different connotations, from a military battle to a social obligation to a pledge of marriage.  It’s one of those words that requires context to understand its meaning.

In a marketing context, engagement means connecting with customers and then forming an ongoing relationship. But how does one successfully accomplish this? How do you engage people to maximize opportunities and turn casual customers into brand advocates? Here are four goals to keep in mind, that when achieved, will enable a business to develop more meaningful connections with customers.

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Getting Closer To Customers: Eight Ways Data Can Help by bridgzvan
May 9, 2012, 2:16 pm
Filed under: Marketing Theory

Today’s post comes from Bridgz President and CEO, Jim Bergesonand originally appeared on Metrics Insider.

Sometimes, we marketers get in our own way.  We flood people who don’t necessarily want to hear from us with a deluge of communications. Or we forget to say “thank you” to that long-time customer.

Data can be the secret weapon for getting closer to customers, understanding them and delivering the right communications to the right person at the right time. Here are eight data-driven marketing improvements any company can use to become more customer-centric:

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Four Steps to Ultimate Data Optimization by bridgzvan
May 2, 2012, 12:24 pm
Filed under: Marketing Theory

Today’s post comes from Bridgz Director of Data Services, Bob Gorans, , and originally appeared on iMedia Connection.

Optimizing DataAs the digital era evolves exponentially, organizations everywhere are recognizing the need to focus on data management. What does optimizing data have to do with marketing? Everything.

The power of data is in its ability to guide strategy, feed analytics, deliver variable content, and provide measurement via a growing number of media. If you listen closely enough, it allows you to speak directly to customers utilizing the optimal channel. With great power comes great responsibility to use data wisely.
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Doc, What Can You Do for My Marketing Headache? A Data Prescription by bridgzvan
April 25, 2012, 9:36 am
Filed under: Marketing Theory

Today’s post comes from Bridgz President and CEO, Jim Bergeson.

Many marketers feel overwhelmed by the waves of marketing “solutions” that hit them every day: new digital advertising options, new mobile apps, every surefire lead-generation scheme in the book. That torrent is enough to give a person a monumental headache.

The best prescription for helping you blunt the pain and ensure that individual “solutions” don’t also trigger “sub-headaches,” is an organization’s own data.

You could say… the “data doctor” is in.

To view data (a potentially potent headache-maker in its own right) as a prescription for marketing execs may be counter-intuitive, but data is a surefire prescription for driving customer insight, engagement, and return on investment (ROI).

Here are five reasons your company’s data can help you identify the right marketing solutions—and reach and engage your customers.
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Eight Ways Data Will Improve Your Marketing Communications by bridgzvan
April 11, 2012, 9:45 am
Filed under: Marketing Theory

Today’s post comes from Bridgz President and CEO, Jim Bergesonand originally appeared on B2C.

Filtering DataBy accident, companies seem to find ways to upset some of their best customers. You’ve heard the stories of companies sending customers emails or direct mail pieces inviting them to become a customer – when they’ve been a loyal one for years. Or asking them to check out a new product – one they already own.  Or pelt them with so many messages generated by so many databases that they say, “No thanks!”
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Trigger Marketing Made Easy by bridgzvan
April 4, 2012, 10:30 am
Filed under: Cross-Media, Marketing Theory | Tags: ,

Today’s post comes from Bridgz Engagement Strategist, Andrea Krohnbergand originally appeared on B2C.

As marketers, we strive to break through the clutter and noise that bombards customers on a daily basis, but that can often be easier said than done.

One great way to make sure your message stands out is through relevancy – the right message to the right customer, at the right time, via the right channel.  To do this you need to understand your customers and tailor marketing campaigns to fit their lives – not yours.

That’s where behavioral-based trigger marketing comes in. Simply put, trigger marketing is the concept of communicating with a customer at predefined action points in time. These communications are driven by the customer’s actions rather than a date on a calendar. For example: customer does “x” activity, prompting a tailored promotion to be sent out to correspond with that activity.

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The Interest in Pinterest by bridgzvan
March 28, 2012, 2:20 pm
Filed under: Marketing Theory | Tags: ,

Today’s post comes from Bridgz Account Manager, Janell Lathauer.

There’s a new kid on the social media block, and she’s already making a big impression. Pinterest is the Internet’s bulletin board, a place that can, as its mission statement says, “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting.”  People and businesses can post images and create theme-based collections on the site. Internet-monitoring firm comScore notes Pinterest has more than 11 million unique monthly users, and has more than doubled its audience over the past six months. The average Pinterest user spends some 98 minutes per month on the site — more than any other social platform except Tumblr and Facebook. Seems like it would be an ideal marketing tool for businesses, and it can be, if you know how to use it.

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Optimizing Marketing Channels by the Numbers by bridgzvan
March 21, 2012, 10:08 am
Filed under: Marketing Theory

Today’s post comes from Bridgz Director of Analytics and Insight, Tim Altier, and originally appeared on B2C.

Channel optimization can be a tricky business for marketers. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with a channel that has worked historically (but may be running its course). And it’s easy to become dazzled by the newest digital widget that makes an appearance.

But wait. How about choosing channels based on what customers signal they want and are therefore the most effective?

The idea is pretty simple – determine the optimal (usually meaning most profitable) allocation of marketing resources across available channels. But the data feeding channel optimization can be deceiving unless the process can be carried out to completion.

Consider a prospect, John, who shows up on a list rented by an outdoor-gear retailer. John looks like a potentially high-value customer for the retailer, so it sends him a catalog. John receives the catalog and, three days later, makes a purchase from the retailer’s online store. Which business unit gets credit for the sale: the catalog division or the web division?

In this case, it’s the catalog. Yes, the online store took the order, but John arrived there because he received the catalog. He entered the URL directly, and made his purchase. However, the retailer may assume that the catalog had no role in this sale – and thousands of others – and consider phasing out what may be an integral part of the sales process.

This distinction is a critical one, and underscores the importance of collecting and assessing data in order to channel-optimize your marketing. In a recent article in Chief Marketer, I lay out the steps for marketers to create a capture mechanism that collects hidden data in order to understand which channels are delivering the revenue, including:

Look at the big picture. Evaluate data about individual channel results through a lens that allows you to understand the true costs, true response/purchase rates and calculation of the transaction value.

Un-silo the data from various divisions within your organization. Creating a single source of truth for the data will show how customers are being acquired and grown, and help determine which channel gets credit for it.

Track costs and revenue by channel. Is the new customer hitting your site from a QR code in a magazine or from a refer-a-friend-campaign email link? Each channel program delivers revenue at a different rate.

When calculating ROI, consider the lifetime value of a customer. That first purchase alone might not justify the cost to acquire the customer.

A data-driven approach can act as an extremely effective – and ROI-focused – roadmap for channel optimization.


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