Smart marketing still hinges on humanity, not technology

Note: A version of this post originally appeared in MartechToday. Remember what life was like before we had smartphones? We scrolled through inches of white pages without a thought, carried impossible-to-fold maps wherever we traveled and never left home without pocket change. Now it seems as if we think everything would work better if it were …

Why Customer Data Is Trade Marketing’s New Currency

Note: A version of this post originally appeared in Forbes. Endcap displays, temporary price reductions, circular ads… Trade promotions aren’t sexy, but they still get the lion’s share of marketing dollars, accounting for nearly 44% of packaged goods companies’ 2017 marketing budgets. Initially popularized by CPGs as a means to drive short-term sales and market share in …

The Most Under-Tapped Marketing Opportunity: Existing Customers

Note: A version of this post originally appeared in Forbes. Call it “The Retail Apocalypse.” Call it “The Amazon Effect.” Call it what you will, but the facts are plain: the retail industry is in crisis.  Bankruptcies are skyrocketing, and Amazon is gobbling up market share and expanding capabilities at a nigh-unbelievable rate. Some consider the current shakeout …

3 Foolproof Tricks to Identify Your Customers This Halloween

Every day is Halloween for brands who can’t recognize their customers. Failing to identify customers across devices and channels is like failing to identify Halloween revelers obscured behind masks and makeup. If you don’t know who you’re engaging, you have no context for interaction, and the conversation inevitably takes a frightful turn. But every day …

3 Tactics for Brand Survival in the Age of the Customer

We are all living in what Forrester Research famously proclaimed “The Age of the Customer.” But some brands are living better than others — for that matter, many are just barely hanging on. The Age of the Customer heralds a decisive, disruptive shift in the balance of marketplace power. Consumers now control relationships with brands, not …

Winning with CX, Part 1: How Top Brands Improve Convenience

There’s no such thing as “convenient enough.” As fast as we learn to swipe instead of type, or tap to pay, we’re already looking for a faster, shinier option — or complaining about why it doesn’t exist yet. Who could possibly can keep up with this unending demand for faster, more hassle-free customer experiences? Guess …

Another Big Idea for Marketers from Mary Meeker’s 2017 Internet Trends Report (Part 2 of 3)

Venture capitalist Mary Meeker just released her annual review of internet trends, and Signal has distilled her slides into a few big ideas for marketers. You can read about our first big idea here: Customer Conversations Beyond the Keyboard. Our second big idea is: The Intersection of Addressable Advertising and Customer Identity Ownership. What’s happening? …

How to Build Brand Infatuation with Your Customers

Everyone has a favorite brand — those go-to companies that we rely on again and again to find what we want and buy the things we need. We can’t even imagine living without them. Of course, we do business with many brands, not just our favorite ones. Sometimes we’re attracted by an ad or special …

4 Fatal Flaws in Traditional Approaches to Customer Identity Resolution

I overheard the following lament from a B2C marketer the other day: “We want to run more customized ads to our best customers, to make each message they see from us seem more relevant. But onboarding our customer data with multiple vendors is so time-consuming. Plus, the match rates aren’t great, and we don’t get …

Do You Value Customers for a Lifetime or the Life of a Campaign?

New coats in August, sandals in April: American marketing activity and consumer shopping behavior have long been dictated by the calendar. Marketers scheduled campaigns week by week to align with holidays, school schedules and other time-fixed events. But shopping has now joined TV and work in the land of time-shifted behavior.  Consumer shopping habits have …