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 …

Swift Shifts in Marketing Spend Aren’t Enough to Stem the Amazonian Tide

Note: A version of this post originally appeared in Marketing Land. After decades of trying to fill a brand’s proverbial leaky bucket — continually flooding it with acquisition dollars instead of plugging the holes with retention spend — marketers are finally turning the tide. According to a recent Gartner survey of CMOs, marketing leaders are now …

How Amazon Is Minting a New Generation of Customer Data-Obsessed Companies

Note: A version of this post originally appeared in Forbes. No brand is safe from the awesome power of a superior customer experience. Consumers — particularly young ones — have shown that they will rapidly shift loyalties to brands delivering an overall experience that is more personalized and easier to use, both online and offline. Amazon’s …

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 …

Intimacy Issues Are Tearing the Heart Out of Your Customer Relationship

Note: A version of this post originally appeared on The Future CMO Club website. Want to think less like a marketer and more like your customers? Put yourself in their shoes. One terrific way to know someone better is playing the Never Have I Ever Game. You’ll quickly find there are experiences that most all of …

3 Ways That 1:1 Marketing Will Disrupt Holiday 2017

What do marketers have in common with kids at Christmas? What do marketers have in common with kids at Christmas? For one, we’re inexorably drawn to the latest hot thing. For the kids, there’s always a must-have new toy, like Hatchimals or fidget spinners. And for marketers, it’s usually the latest tech trend, like chatbots …

Hey, Marketers! 3 Retailers to Rip Off This Holiday Season

Amidst record numbers of store closings, can you name three retailers (other than Amazon) that are likely to have plenty of inventory and traffic this holiday season? Our surveillance turned up three brands that look ripe for ripping off: Sephora, Home Depot and Best Buy, all of whom competed in categories that showed above-average growth …