Dos and Don'ts for 2013

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Experts weigh in on making 'l3 a lucky year.
Experts weigh in on making 'l3 a lucky year.

To get readers off to a good start in the new year, we asked experts to help set their 2013 agendas in a number of areas.

Social Media...

Do develop strategies and adopt tools that will enable you to partner more closely with consumers to drive insights, ideate, and power peer-to-peer conversation. In 2013, the focus of social media marketing will move beyond listening and building a following to activation and collaboration.

Don't envision social media as a medium for campaigns. Social marketing is an always-on channel and marketers need solutions that enable them to continually build deeper ongoing relationships with consumers. 

--Brandon Evans, CEO of Crowdtap, winner of 2012 CRM Idol competition

Big Data…

Do include IT as a co-equal partner in your Big Data efforts. Technology shapes the customer experience--from delivering multi-channel campaigns to managing myriad data sources to aggregating analytics and insights. To prevail in today's world, marketers and their IT counterparts must jointly define, share, and own customer objectives, with data as the lingua franca of the business.

Don't fall for the urge to get more Big Data. Instead, aim for analyzing the Right Data. Start with a single customer hypothesis or a specific marketing goal. If you don't have the right data on hand to accomplish it, you have a "small data problem. ” You must extract more through social media, image data, geolocation data, and other sources. If you do have that data in your company but can't get at it, then you have an “analytics problem.” Knowing the difference between the two will help you home in on the Right Data.

--Wilson Raj, global customer intelligence director, SAS

Privacy…

DO make the opt-out or opt-in choice clear. Using wiggle-room language in hopes of getting a higher participation rate only confuses your prospects.

DON'T over-promise customers or prospects. Some companies go overboard in stating their commitments to protecting personal information. Most people see this as whitewash, which diminishes their trust and confidence in the message.

--Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder, The Ponemon Institute

Loyalty…

DO free your customer information from the “data ghetto”--the marketing department--and share it across the entire organization. Then every department can use it to inform consumer decisions about merchandising, product design, store locations, layout, and even pricing. We call this “Enterprise Loyalty,” and it's the first step toward placing the customer at the center of a company's purpose.

DON'T confuse repeat business with customer loyalty. A customer's repeat business may indicate satisfaction, but that does not mean the customer is loyal. Repeat business may be the simple result of a variety of practical factors: location, price, product or availability. Loyalty is when a customer chooses to stay with your brand even when an equal or potentially better alternative is available.

-- Bryan Pearson, President of LoyaltyOne and author of The Loyalty Leap

Mobile marketing…

DO integrate mobile barcode readers directly into apps. Apps create incredible brand affinity, but forcing consumers to leave the app to perform another function can hinder the consumer experience. Integrating mobile barcode readers into brand and retail apps can reduce the number of steps consumers need to go through to activate a scan and drive more interaction.

DON'T just rely on brick-and-mortar stores. Though it's not big in the United States yet, more than 300 virtual stores opened worldwide in 2012, and 2,000 are planned for 2013. Instead of waiting for customers to come to you, bring your products to customers by placing ads with QR codes where your customers are – on trains, in airports, in malls. Consumers can scan the code right there and have the product delivered to them. If your prospective customers can buy your product then and there, they are more likely to complete the transaction immediately

--Laura Marriott, CEO of NeoMedia Technologies and former president of the Mobile Marketing Association

Brand Advocacy…

DO leverage advocate content smartly on websites, social channels, and third party review sites. It increases time spent on sites and boosts conversion rates and order sizes. Advocate-generated content is pure digital gold.

DON'T focus on influencers. Many marketers are investing in influencer outreach strategies in hopes that a known name can deliver their message to a vast audience. Forty thousand Twitter followers or blog subscribers may look tempting, but don't overlook your own satisfied customers, your genuine brand advocates. Their networks may be smaller, but their enthusiasm is greater, their trust level is higher and they drive real business.

-- Rob Fuggetta, CEO of Zuberance and author of Brand Advocates


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