Marketers Speak out on Data, Email, and the Customer Experience

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What are marketers talking about? In large part, how data changes everything.

Occasionally something said grabs you and makes you really think—or rethink an approach you take. I hear many of these at the conferences I attend and during discussions I have with marketing executives from brands and vendors alike. Here, a roundup of recent thought-provoking comments, quips, and quotes. Of course, data is the prevailing theme.

“The concept of first-party data is essential to customer acquisition, but just as important is third-party data to get additional attributes about best customers, and then go out to find lookalike best customers at scale…. Marrying first- and third-party data makes the data so robust, and gives us a 360-degree view of our customers. –Lisa Archambault, head of demand gen marketing, Zappos.com

“Data-driven marketing is a $156 billion economy. Responsible data-driven marketing is a force for good…. Consumers and policy makers need to learn that they get great value from data. The more customers can tell you what they want and they get it in return, the lightbulb goes on.” –Rachel Nyswander Thomas, executive director, Data-Driven Marketing Institute & VP of government affairs, Direct Marketing Association

“Comedy Central is a comedy brand, not just a TV channel…. How we view ourselves has changed our marketing; we're marketing a brand, not a TV show. It used to be that everything was about getting people to tune in…. Now,  we're marketing franchises. –Don Steele SVP, fan engagement/multi-platform marketing, Comedy Central

“Email brand protection is not just a security concern, it must be enterprisewide. New technologies like DMARC reduce fraud, improve email program performance, and rely on mature authentication mechansism like SPF and DKIM that are hard to game. ISPs like DMARC, too, because it protects users' inboxes from unwanted mail.” –Dennis Dayman, chief privacy and security officer, ReturnPath

“So many retailers are missing the opportunity for storytelling online. I built my business by telling stories through photos. –Sophia Amoruso, founder, Nasty Gal

“Customers are not just waiting for you to shove an offer in their face; there's a journey they go through. You need to understand where they are in that journey. What you can do with data is model out where they are in the journey and move them along. It might not be a sale; it might be more information or taking an advantage of a promotion they haven't used yet.” –David Edelman, partner and global co-leader, McKinsey Digital, marketing and sales, McKinsey & Co.

“Email dwarfs every other digital channel. It drives four times more traffic around the Web than other channels do, including search.” –Dela Quist, CEO, Alchemy Worx

“Tough competition? Oh, boo hoo! Don't whine about the competition, be different and better. Be meaningful to your customers.” –Ken Schmidt, marketing authority, speaker, and former director of communications strategy, Harley Davidson Motor Company

“There's a wholesale shift in how companies are trying to engage customers. The term customer engagement is being tossing around because it's so noisy out there that customers tune out. Marketing now requires a new model of customer engagement around conversations, not campaigns. [People] buy from Amazon because ‘they talk to me based on my behavior, not a segment like me; I buy and say thank you.' Everyone wants to market like that. And now the technology exists to do one-to-one. We can all market this way now. It's a paradigm shift, a different mind-set than pushing offers. It has to be about personalization.” –Sanjay Dholakia, CMO, Marketo

“With the amount of data we're collecting we can provide a customer experience more relevant than ever before.” –David Gudal, CMO, Storkie Express

“Marketers have to stop using last-touch to measure conversion.” –Scott Knoll, CEO, Integral Ad Science

“Our core demographic is men 18 to 34, but our customer isn't just guys—it's people with a data-discovered affinity for a specific item.” The James Franco roast, for example, attacted women who know him from his appearances on a soap opera. –Don Steele SVP, fan engagement/multi-platform marketing, Comedy Central

“Familiarity breeds trust. So, market more, not less.” –Dela Quist, CEO, Alchemy Worx

“If you don't test you don't grow. Adopt a nonstop test-and-learn ethos. ” –David Edelman, partner and global co-leader, McKinsey Digital, marketing and sales, McKinsey & Co.

“Data governance and protection is marketers' responsibility, too. What are you willing to do to protect the value of data?” –Rachel Nyswander Thomas, executive director, Data-Driven Marketing Institute & VP of government affairs, Direct Marketing Association

“It used to be that you'd compete on brand or price or product—and those will always exist—but we're entering the age of differentiation based on customer relationships. That will give companies a huge competitive advantage.” –Sanjay Dholakia, CMO, Marketo

“Connect your marketing and tech teams to make the best data-driven decisions. Together they can tie your disparate data together and leverage it. You're held back from harnessing data only by not having those conversations.” –David Gudal, CMO, Storkie Express


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