The Good in Bad Customer Reviews


EveryonesACritic-cover-cropOnline reviews trump advertising, in-store advice and friends when it comes to researching gadgets on, contractors on Angie’s List, getaways on TripAdvisor and finding out why Yelpers think that “hot” new restaurant is a flash in the pan. No matter where you look these days, #EveryonesACritic. New York Times bestselling author and online consumer behavior expert Bill Tancer says feedback on these sites is fertile ground for learning how to keep and win customers. Continue reading

Boost Your Marketing Intelligence

A new report from and Forrester Research titled “The State of Retailing Online 2013: Marketing and Merchandising” highlights fantastic career opportunities for analytics-savvy marketers in the retail industry:

“Forty percent of the retailers surveyed said they had open positions for marketing analysts, more than any other open marketing position.”

As more companies focus on measuring campaign results and optimizing their marketing spend, I suspect marketing analysts in many industries will have decent job security for years to come.

Marketers’ timing couldn’t be more perfect given the pace of innovation in marketing analytics – the subject of a new, two-part eBook series titled “Marketing Intelligence: 8 Ways to Boost ROI and Profits” (published by PivotLink, a client). Inspired by thought leaders they work with at top retail brands who are transforming the marketing discipline from an art to a science, the books are a great resource for CMOs, marketing analysts, digital agency pros – any measurement fanatic who wants to delight customers and amp-up their marketing IQ. Download your free copy here.


PivotLink_eBook1cover_sBook 1 explores what Marketing Intelligence is and how it helps you give customers what they want (including tips to get them back if you didn’t give it to them the first time).

Book 2 is for anyone with a CMO who’s screaming “Do this, now!” (without reinventing the wheel).

Nice to see PivotLink providing these resources for smart marketers and enthusiasts who want to get ahead of the curve on the emerging Marketing Intelligence space.


Who’s Wooing Your Best Customers?

[Cross-posted from Retail Analytics Now.] For marketers who need more motivation to get inside the heads of omni-channel shoppers, a new infographic in the January 2013 issue of RIS News is chock-full of inspiration.


RIS’ “trendagram” illustrates the gold to be discovered in the customer data hills. Citing Empathica, Aberdeen Group, Forrester Research and others, RIS presents nine reasons why customer analytics is sizzling in 2013.

Several stand out:

  • Social media’s impact on brand awareness: 50% of customers have tried a new brand due to a social media recommendation (point 1)
  • Customers are sharing more data: 55% of retailers use real-time customer data capture at the point of sale. (point 4)
  • Marketers have a serious customer intelligence gap: Less than half say existing data allows for effective customer segmentation, and only 36% describe customer information as “robust.” (point 7)

Marketing’s challenges courting their “besties” is no secret, so this list of nine could have easily rounded up to 10 (or more), including a stat I like from the RSR Research report, “Making the Case for the CMO” (download). Of the top five challenges retail marketers identified in implementing their strategies, four of them underscore the lack of advanced customer analytics tools to measure and drive marketing effectiveness.

RIS sums-up the Customer Analytics infographic by saying:

“Retailers are realizing that knowing more about their shoppers can be the key to building relationships and boosting sales.”

Notice they said, “are realizing?” Just how many are discovering this “new news” about targeting their best customers? Quite a few based on a recap of NRF 2013, “Retail’s Big Show,” (#nrf13) by Steven P. Dennis. His post (a great read!) suggests you’re already late to the multi-channel party if you’re just now waking up to something the big guys in retail figured out years ago.

Ok, so let’s talk about those “big guys.” You know, the ones with gobs of money and marketing resources and IT people you wish you had to automate and integrate all your one-off marketing systems? Yeah, those guys.

This came up on a recent call I was on with Joe Dalton, Chief Product and Marketing Officer at PivotLink, and an industry analyst. Joe was describing how analytic applications have been right-sized for marketers at companies that don’t have unlimited resources or time. Instead of spending 10 times more on on-premise applications and playing the waiting-game, he said they can subscribe to analytic applications like those unveiled by PivotLink at NRF that are tailored for marketing users, integrate with leading marketing automation systems, and crank out customer insights quickly.

He also said something that really grabbed my attention – and RIS News’ editors as well – talking at NRF about the marketing’s technology imperative. Alongside quotes from the CEOs of Walmart and Container Store in the article “Epic Stuff Overheard at NRF 2013,” Joe said:

“Retailers are always wondering about what or even if they should be investing in technology. Let me put it this way, as you go through your budget process keep in mind that you are not going to out-invest Amazon.”

Big guys beware. Stories are emerging in segments like specialty apparel e-commerce that show marketers are mobilizing. With sophisticated (and affordable) Cloud solutions drawing actionable insights from big data, they’re about to woo your best customer.