Key Segmentation and Personalization Tips for the Holidays

Oct 19, 2021 12:00 pm1:00 PM EST

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Key Discussion Takeaways

Do you want solutions to increase engagement and reduce your abandoned cart rate? How can you enhance data collection for greater returns this holiday season?

It’s no secret that the pandemic created a push toward digital marketing. With more online sales and limited in-store experiences, how do you digitally engage in a meaningful and effective way? These days, data analytic tools play a significant role in offering numerous opportunities to work on segmenting with more depth. By using accurately collected data, you can improve your engagement and marketing campaigns to drive the value of your brand beyond purchase — and decrease your abandoned cart rate.

In this virtual event, Aaron Conant sits down with Jordan Brannon, President at Coalition Technologies, to discuss best practices by accurately acquiring data analytics to focus on your target audience this holiday season. Jordan talks about tracking methodologies to scale, using segmentation and personalization strategies to funnel sales, and building a roadmap to success through better email and SMS platforms.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

 

  • Jordan Brannon introduces the role of SEO and paid platforms in marketing campaigns
  • How will iOS 15 impact personalization and segmentation?
  • Why examining the accuracy of behavioral, demographic, and personal data is essential
  • Jordan discusses utilizing cookies for a higher conversion rate
  • Using segmentation strategies to close gaps in sales
  • Why you should gather API data with a purpose
  • What are some best-performing segments Jordan recommends?
  • How to apply VIP data segments to improve engagement and conversion
  • Generating incentives through ad campaigns to establish life-long consumers
  • Jordan talks about avoiding challenges with the upcoming holiday season
  • How can negative segmentation be helpful?
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Event Partners

Guest Speakers

Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Jordan Brannon

Jordan Brannon

President at Coalition Technologies

Jordan Brannon is the Co-founder, President, and COO of Coalition Technologies, a top-ranked, full-service SEO and digital marketing firm. With 20 years of experience working in eCommerce, Jordan helps D2C and B2B brands succeed in the eCommerce and digital marketing space. Jordan and his team at Coalition have helped propel over 1,000 businesses forward across various industries. Jordan has a bachelor's degree in political science, human rights, environmental sciences, and computer science from the University of Washington.

Event Moderator

Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Jordan Brannon

Jordan Brannon

President at Coalition Technologies

Jordan Brannon is the Co-founder, President, and COO of Coalition Technologies, a top-ranked, full-service SEO and digital marketing firm. With 20 years of experience working in eCommerce, Jordan helps D2C and B2B brands succeed in the eCommerce and digital marketing space. Jordan and his team at Coalition have helped propel over 1,000 businesses forward across various industries. Jordan has a bachelor's degree in political science, human rights, environmental sciences, and computer science from the University of Washington.

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Discussion Transcription

Aaron Conant 0:18

Happy Tuesday everybody hope everybody's week is off to a great start. My name is Aaron Conant. I'm the Co-Founder and Managing Director of BWG Connect. We're a networking and knowledge sharing group 1000s of brands who do exactly that we network and knowledge share together to stay on top of the newest trends, strategies, pain points, whatever it might be that shaping the digital landscape as a whole, I connect with, you know, somewhere between, you know, 20 to 40 brands, I guess a week now, just to stay on top of those trends would love to have a conversation with anybody on the line today. You know, that's a couple of things is, you know, not only how we network and now share together, also how we get the topics, the calls as a whole, as though we'd love to have that conversation with anybody if you got 30 minutes to set aside. Also, if you need any help with partner selection, we got a shortlist across the board, from everything from Amazon's address, consumer paid media, SEO, whatever it might be, don't hesitate to reach out, we can I just asked a lot of brands in the network to generate review top service providers across the landscape. So we're able to provide that. A couple housekeeping items as we get started today. Number one is we're kicking this off at three to four minutes after the hour. And just so you know, we're gonna wrap it up with three to four minutes to go in the hour as well. So just know, as we're any of you plenty of times to get on to your next stop being late. The other thing is, we're placing people on mute. If we don't do it, the system will do it automatically and randomly. And so we just do it ahead of time. It's still though if you have any questions couple options in his star five a handle go up on the screen here, we can unmute you, we can bring you in, you can ask any question you want. The other side is you can't come off mute, maybe there's some background noise, feel free to just email me at any point in time parent Aaron@BWGConnect.com. And we can get those questions answered. And that's, you know, even an hour if the call tomorrow next week, I would say don't hesitate to shoot any of your questions then, based more than happy to get you an answer from the network, we can usually do it in under a day or so. So with that being said, this is a unique holiday season that's coming up, lots of twists, everything from, you know, increased scrutiny from you know, the CMOS and Chief Digital Officers on where spend is and what performance is going to be like to inventory issues to actually, you know, the iOS 14.5 and 15 updates, tons of crazy stuff going on in this space as a whole. And so a lot of focus on segmentation and personalization throughout the network. And so we got some great friends, partners supporters, the network over Coalition Technologies, they come highly recommended from a ton of different brands in the network. And Jordan is a great friend and partner for years now ready to jump on and kind of give us an overview of what they're seeing across you know, the all the different segments that they're dealing with, and all the different client base that they have, but also answers any questions that we can throw out. So Jordan before we got to kick it off, if you want to do a brief intro on yourself and Coalition Technologies, that'd be awesome. And then we can kind of jump into the content of the call today.

Jordan Brannon 3:24

My name is Jordan Brannon. I am president co-founders the coo, at Coalition, we are a leading digital marketing agency focused on eCommerce brands. And most often that is established small businesses up through fairly mature mid sized and small enterprise. So we cover a pretty good range of territory, we mainly do focused on website experiences, although we have some great marketplace focused teams, but really sort of what we're best known for is helping develop and market columns or similar tlds. For for brands, to their audiences. We've been working with the BWG network for several years now and have the chance to participate and contribute and a knowledge share. We're big into being able to practically demonstrate what we do and what we know, as a way of adding value.

Aaron Conant 4:21

Awesome. Yeah, so let's see. So Jordan, we're, we're jumping into I was kind of saying at the beginning of this out of the norm, you know, in a variety of ways, right and in that's the season that's coming up as well is completely different than we've seen it before, but also a lot of what we've talked about in the past a huge interest in SEO as a whole and so even this is you know, a different conversation that we've had in the past SEO, platform selection. Usually we dial into those. We as I noted, just been getting a lot of requests for conversation around, you know, segmentation and personalization tips for the holidays with all this other stuff. That's going When not, you know, if you're looking to improve over 2020, which was obviously an anomaly, and everything that shaped last season, product availability, everything that's going on, you know, why do you see, you know, if you decide is this something that you're seeing routinely as well, in why you see this, you know, topics important in in timely, we'd love to get your thoughts on that. Yeah,

Jordan Brannon  5:22

I mean, it's, like you said, we've spent a lot of our time in these conversations focusing in on two areas where we're really well known. One being SEO, and the other being sort of our knowledge of the eCommerce platforms, and then which is appropriate for which brand. But you know, I think, you know, frankly, those two topics are maybe, you know, better suited for other times of year, mid late October is, is hard time to develop new sales funnels or shift eCommerce platforms unless it's offseason for you. And so, you know, we certainly do a good deal of work in SEO and paid advertising. And, you know, it's a big focus area for us. And, you know, in general, you know, with 30 days till the sort of key selling events, is just as harder to kind of run a new campaign or launch a new campaign that has a big impact. And so, you know, kind of, like you touched on a lot of our eCommerce brands are up against to the 2020 numbers, which, you know, for many were strong, you know, given the shift to eecom, exclusively, and sort of the slow rollout of retail reopening. And so now they're, they're trying to look at ways to improve on performance. And I think one of the areas where you can really yield the substantial results in a short period of time is through a greater focus on personalization and segmentation type inside of your marketing campaigns. And so, you know, any of these activities, they really, you know, their emphasis on existing audiences, existing channels, really can ease the burden of trying to eke out a better performance or significantly improve on what you did last year, you know, that a lot of brands are facing.

Aaron Conant 6:59

So when we talk about, you know, personalization and segmentation, a lot of the conversations that I'm having with brands across the board on strategy in those, those areas, you know, we're talking about email marketing SMS, there's been a big push into, you know, this new digital age, direct mail or symbols, print on demand and extension of your email marketing, stay a bit of social media thrown in for good measure, you know, that kind of the path that you think we're going to have today?

Jordan Brannon 7:29

Yeah, probably a little bit, I think we'll, we'll hopefully be able to touch on some specifics for each of those channels. You know, I think also, you know, we probably, you know, we'll want to touch a little bit on some of the best practices and just sort of remind brands that these types of techniques do go back centuries, literally, in advertising, you know, personalization, and segmentation are not new things, sort of some of the applications are, but ultimately, these are sort of tried and true advertising and sales, and, you know, customer support, customer service, you know, type of opportunities that are quite old, and, you know, things of value in them isn't necessarily, you know, only channel specific or only particular technology specific.

Aaron Conant 8:10

When, when you talk about personalization and segmentation, you know, I see, you know, sometimes these, these terms are just thrown around out there. from your standpoint, you know, you're working with a ton of brands, how do you, how do you work with them? How do you explain this to them? Because from a different strategic approach going to each, right, what's your differentiate? What's that overlap?

Jordan Brannon 8:33

Yeah, I mean, I think from an overlap, you're probably the easiest explanation I've heard. The one that I like, is that you know, personalization or personalized marketing is the ultimate form of segmentation. Meaning if I if I can put sales marketing collateral in front of you, that is specific to you, and I've created a segment of one, there's, there's sort of this umbrella gang of terms in there. You know, of course, increased personalization often comes with increasing time commitments. And so you know, that can lack saleability. And we can sort of transition from, you know, personalization, insight experiences and marketing experiences and content to you know, segments as a way of, you know, not putting too much of a bandwidth burden on marketers to you know, you know, who maybe would otherwise try to maximize opportunities for personalization so I think the intersection of where you can share some of your personalization personalization efforts profitably across the group is where I think sort of we see segmentation is existing awesome,

Aaron Conant 9:34

super, super helpful and just a reminder for those if you have questions along the way, just hit star five hand will go up on the screen here we can unmute you or you can always email them to me Aaron aaron@BWGConnect.com had a question come in around iOS, you know, you know 15 impact of open rates and how that may you know, touch on you know, holiday segmentation strategies as a whole. You I don't know, if you have any thoughts on that, or, you know, if you think we're gonna, we're gonna weave into that as a whole. Yeah, I

Jordan Brannon  10:05

mean, you know, as it maybe is a byline, certainly this sort of iOS 15 updates are going to have a pretty big impact overall. And I think it's, you know, if you're already set up well, with segmentation heading into sort of the rollout and adoption of iOS 15, you're in a pretty good spot to use some of that segmentation and personalization efforts in the past to do some comparison to really understand the impact. You know, so there's sort of the limitation on email opens not being tracked. There's the hiding Apple Mail user IP addresses, which is another impact. And then also, certainly the disposable email addresses is potentially another, you know, kind of area of impact for, for email marketers, who are maybe seeing a lot of their, their numbers sort of gets skewed. And so we typically are, are working with customers to try and close some of those gaps in terms of tracking and reporting and under, you know, understand sort of, you know, how they're skewing their metrics. And, you know, you know, I think certainly this is, it's worth doing, now doing the hard work now, because, you know, Gmail will probably follow suit at some point with some of these things. And that will, you know, cover, you know, 70% to 80% of, you know, the the email market out there when we have those two to kind of tied up. So, that will hopefully touch on some things like that today. But I think, you know, immediately for brands that are looking down the barrel of iOS 15, you know, really look at sort of comparative data periods. So if you have good tracking and reporting setup, you have suppose solid segmentation already, again, sort of doing some comparisons, specifically between the two in terms of list growth, list performance, will typically start to give you some of the first actionable steps as to, you know, how you need to change your strategy, if at all,

Aaron Conant 11:51

awesome, super, super helpful. So, dive in, and do you know, keys for personalization and segmentation specifically, for the holidays here. You know, if we're going to love to hear if you have a starting point, this year to kick off with a new client today, you know, they come in, they say, Jordan run with this, you kick them off, you've got only a few weeks to spare, I would love to hear what, what you kind of kick off if you're taking notes today. And they're going to hit reset, what does that look like?

Jordan Brannon  12:21

Yeah, I mean, if we're kicking off, and this is sort of, you know, an initiative that you're wanting to push on more, maybe you have kind of covered some other campaigns and you know, have an area where you can ship some time. First, I'd make sure that you're really critically examining the accuracy of your data. In a sense, the one of the big things that can undermine great segmentation, great personalization is just poor data, poor data collection, or you're just not connecting data through from an eCommerce platform or a form to your marketing platforms. And so it starts there. And then I, you know, when you're sure that the data you're already getting, as, you know, accurate, reliable, then I started to look at, you know, what other data you can be gathering for personalization and segmentation efforts, you know, we typically are looking to collect demographic data, behavioral data, personal data, you know, tied to individual customers, and looking for ones that are most relevant to, to our customers. And it's the demographics, I think most of us, you know, understand age, age, range, gender, income information, geographic data, you can also gather information on race or ethnicity, income, you know, education, employment status, role of employment, you know, some of those things can can can come into play a behavioral data, you know, engagement rate, what types of content users are engaging with, what their purchasing behavior is, you know, and there's actually a lot of ability here, even with some of the restrictions, we're seeing to expand your behavioral data set. And so anything that's an area that worth worth investing in, make sure you're collecting more. And then personal data, certainly, you know, is is, you know, things that are specific to that consumer, we do a lot of beauty and fashion. So skin tone, fit, skin type, body shape, face shape, you know, fit preferences, material preferences, color preferences, you know, it, you know, there's usually a number of these sorts of personal data points that you should be gathering just based on your particular industry, you know, can be vehicle making, making model type, things like that, that you're able to then start to use. And I think, you know, we've seen I think, with just a lot of our prospective clients, or first conducting our initial strategy sessions with them, they either are very shallow on what they're gathering outside of just sort of the stock template and things that you know, most email marketing platforms provide, or they are gathering more data, they just haven't really done anything with it in terms of building segments. So that's, that's usually sort of our step one is make sure you're collecting the data, make sure the data is reliable, and really be thinking about how you You can use that data. Awesome, quick

Aaron Conant 15:01

question comes in, or are you using like on site surveys? You know, to gather some of this information?

Jordan Brannon 15:07

Yeah, sometimes, yeah. So certain types of audiences are going to be more engaged with, you know, a survey or an interaction opportunity. And so be thinking about that, you know, it's actually one of the distinctions we will use, as we start to look at more engaged audiences is as surveys become more actionable, more participated in and so we may take a behavioral segment focused on site engagement pages, you know, browse number of purchases, how much they're opening your email campaigns, clicking through on your email campaigns to your site, and starting to use that to feed into sort of other you know, opportunities, like, hey, putting a survey in front of this segment, is going to be more effective, and may actually help advance them towards the purchase.

Aaron Conant 15:58

Yeah, I love it. I mean, just, we're at this point of a digital 2.0. Now, right? Where the standard way of gathering and holding and reacting to data is completely changed, right? I mean, in with that, right? If you are ingesting tons, and tons and tons of data, don't always know what to do with it, they're trying different things. Do you see brands like over emphasizing, you know, one form of data demographic, behavioral, personal versus the other? Or do you find that color three, all three are kind of getting either ignored or not used correctly, or not blended together? We all got tons of data. I mean, we just don't know really what to do with it? or who to apply it to? Or then how to personalize a segment. So yeah.

Jordan Brannon 16:43

Yeah, no, I mean, I yeah, it's a great point, I want one thing I would just maybe the prompt for digital marketers in general is we need to start thinking like apple, like Facebook, like others out there who, you know, you know, obviously, apple, sort of this big privacy champion with these rules, except most of them don't really directly apply to Apple, you know, and so Apple is collecting data about your spending habits, and you know, what you're using Apple wallet and pay and what you're doing with your mobile device, where you're going location tracking, the tracking is enabled for, you know, a lot of Apple applications. And so it just sort of, you know, like, it's a, you know, do, as I say, not as they do sort of thing. And, you know, so really, there is sort of, I think you need to be mindful of sort of the first party data you can be collecting, you know, maybe to your questionnaire and I say that a lot of brands invest more in what I call shallow behavioral segmentation, because that's what was easiest to come by, and sort of, you know, a cookie dependent society, when we're we're sort of, you know, dependent on, you know, Facebook, and others to sort of give us a cookie, which is then communicating to their publishing platform, and that advertising platform and, you know, sort of giving us some basic behavioral sort of opportunities. And so, you know, I think we've got to move past pretty basic remarketing campaigns that are just really built on very crude behavioral metrics. You know, maybe an example of maybe segmentation is geared towards customers who had previously viewed a product, most of us have seen something like that come up in our feeds, you know, maybe, you know, advertisements geared towards people who previously purchased people who added items to their carpet in checkout. So the typical abandoned cart efforts, you know, still or things like that, that they're valuable segments, but they also are often very broad. And they don't necessarily address the reason for that segment existing in the first place. You know, why is why is someone viewing a product without purchasing it? You know, what happened that sort of interfered with that purchasing decision? And why are they adding items to their cart without checking out? The I think with, with all of our privacy restrictions, and sort of that increasing cookieless rolled there, there is just numerous opportunities to work on segmenting with more depth than be sort of shallow, behavioral, you know, targets, and really sort of using our segmentation to produce more meaningful value, then, you know, trying to get a slightly better conversion rate, or a better return on adspend. or slightly better, in average order value.

Aaron Conant 18:59

Yeah, but if we pull that just a little bit, that's register a little bit like, what, right, what are some of those opportunities, but I think I completely agree with you, I think what COVID did is, you know, it poured all this attention on to digital in a lot on the digital marketing. But what it also did is import a lot of eyeballs onto it, and then a lot of scrutiny. And while there's, you know, semi scrutiny from executive teams, that is kind of, you know, they don't quite understand it. So the scrutiny is kind of like a little off base. There's a lot of really smart people who started digging into it, and finance teams and you know, started saying, hey, there's a lot of attention here, we really need to make this work. And so, you know, anyways, we'd love to hear like, kind of some of those opportunities that you're talking about as we dig to the next level. Right? That's where we're going. Yeah.

Jordan Brannon  19:54

It's I think that's sort of as a great, great question. You know, if we can we can get sort of very space focused on what are the opportunities For me, what is the reasoning behind this segment and we really start to come up with some interesting solutions and some marketing campaigns that are different than what we've run before and can be very effective. You know, you're just sort of Top of Mind with sort of the the Netflix, you know, watch something now we were just sort of produces put something random up in front of you based on your viewing history and likes, you know, the sort of recognizing that there are people who, you know, in a segment on Netflix, or just browsing endlessly, and you know, will waste 30 minutes not watching program, because they can't find somebody like, and so, you know, being able to sort of use your segments to, you know, whether it's behavioral or demographic, or, you know, personal information based that to start sort of playing out those opportunities is great. So I always say, start with the bottom, you know, what is what is sort of at the end of those segments, you know, answer some of those questions I had presented before, you know, if you have a segment that's based on non converting customer groups, leverage that segment, figure out why they didn't convert, you know, usually there is an opportunity to use that then to inform a broader experience for the rest of your customers that improves your conversion rates and can improve performance broadly. So depending on the size of the brand, in the size of their audience, we'll use sort of a mix of different possible techniques to dig in further. I mean, if someone had asked earlier in one of the questions, you know, you can certainly always ask you to put a survey out for people, you know, why didn't you buy from us? What was it that kept you from submitting the order, you know, exit intent pop ups, you know, follow up email, you know, some sort of other, you know, ad campaign, you know, running on a Facebook platform that's sort of geared towards someone who did abandon their cart, instead of just asking for them to come back and buy the item they didn't buy before. maybe ask, Why look for, you know, customer experience sort of updates, you know, you know, can I take this audience that didn't purchase that, you know, didn't engage too much, and does a content change or a page experience update make the difference? You know, there's something technical here, you know, from a website or or platform that we're not seeing that could be standing in the way of our conversion, you know, use it as sort of a test audience to sort of help improve site and content performance, you know, look at your product catalog, is there a product that's a better fit for this audience that we're not showing them? Are we missing something in the market right now, is there a pricing or inventory issue here, or maybe, is this funnel really not geared and built properly is the sort of the bottom of the funnel not a good match to the top and is there some other changes or updates, we make that you know, to their product catalog to, to that'll have a better outcome. So I see a lot of segments threat segmentation strategies from from competing agencies, we have a fair bit of competitor research. And they often tend to sort of dial in on the sort of simple mindset that if someone visited your site and didn't buy, a second visit is all it's going to take to change someone's mind. And that's, you know, pretty shallow. And I think that's why a lot of those sort of, you know, those acquisition campaigns just don't go as hard as they could. And so using your segmentation strategy to close gaps in your sales funnel, or your approach to marketing approaches, really a powerful opportunity for most brands. And so especially now, you know, we're going to see higher traffic volumes, so you can get more data more quickly. And so you can make those pivots and have a bigger payoff as a result here in quarter four.

Aaron Conant 23:12

So I'm taking notes, if I summarize, you know, that this first point, this first point here, take a look at segments, you do have to figure out why they exist in the first place, right? And then make a decision, like, why do I even have this then optimize in response to, you know, the hypothesis or discoveries? That's Yeah. Yeah. I mean, maybe that's my try tries his mind coming through with hypotheses and all but anyway, so that's, that's dead on.

Jordan Brannon 23:42

Yeah, yeah. I mean, you know, why do I have such a large abandoned cart audience? Why are so many people look at these products and leaving the site, you know, once you sort of narrow down some of these, these causes, you're really using that segment in a great way. And not only is it more effective for remarketing, but it's also not just blind remarketing opportunities where I'm, you know, throwing more randomness up in front of someone who wasn't, you know, compelled to purchase or engage with whatever the activity was in the first place.

Aaron Conant 24:11

Awesome. I love it. So another question that comes in, I think it's in regard to this is do you see a rise in platforms like a content square that are analyzing on site behavior? Like taking off traditionally, they've been incredibly expensive? I'm gonna add a little bit to the question, right, traditionally, they've been incredibly expensive, but you know, the ones that are monitoring on site behavior, and you can see where it's breaking, or why people are leaving, and you see more and more people just starting out for those because we've gotten to this next level.

Jordan Brannon 24:38

Yeah. And there's also you know, some some great free solutions out there, you know, at certain scales, so depending on the size of your brand, there's there's certain opportunities that are, you know, that you can use some of these sort of user experience, you know, tracking sort of methodologies and yeah, they are, they're increasingly important for all scales of brands. all sizes audiences, you know, you know, from a free, you know, sort of free model, you know, we use clarity for customers on the smaller side of things, and it scales quite well for enterprise brands as well, Microsoft clarity, and there's just a range of products like that that are in the market. And so you really can dig into it. And again, usually, if you sort of look at these segments, you can not only develop the hypothesis as to what you're doing with, you know, maybe paired with something like a, you know, content square, you know, hot jars, where there's subsidiaries, or clarity, but you can also start to develop solutions, that you can then use that same segment to test against, right and, and so you have this really sort of awesome way of closing the loop. And, you know, if you're using this as a first party approach, instead of relying on a third party, ad network to do that for you, the data becomes a lot more useful across all marketing channels. And so there's really a big upside to it. So on

Aaron Conant 25:55

the topic of data, then love it. And thanks for that. Just reminder, everybody who's joined had an awesome conversation with Jordan, Brandon, from Coalition Technologies, great friend, partner, supportive network, you have any questions? You know, this is around key segmentation and personalization tips for the holidays. If you have any questions whatsoever in this space, just email them to me, Aaron aaron@BWGConnect.com you can always hit star five, we can unmute you and bring you into the conversation as well. But does he keep going down? He brought up data there on the topic of data, what sort of information would you recommend brands, you know, begin to gather from customers now, for later use knowing there's new developments coming down from Apple or Google or whatever, you know, this used in personalized marketing campaigns or segmentation? I think, especially with this high traffic season coming in, it seems like there's an opportunity to get in inordinate amount of data that you can collect a personalized. Yeah, yeah.

Jordan Brannon 26:56

I mean, and again, it's a part of this is that, you know, one of the gaps that we're seeing closed is that without a lot of customization, custom development, brands have the ability now to gather this data, relatively simplistically, I and again, you know, if you can't, there's a question mark about sort of your technology stack. You know, and so I mean, if you're kind of thinking, I don't know how to do that, I don't know where to go, I don't know how to pull this off. But maybe we can talk about that separate from the call. But, you know, usually, again, there may be some just some issues or gaps in your technology stack. But you know, so from us, we are typically looking at, you know, capturing name, if it's a direct to consumer audience, you know, even actually, in b2b birthday can be a strong sort of focus group, you learn about sort of the age ranges of your purchasing customers, online product preferences, favorite colors, or if there's sort of other key product distinctions, you know, kind of learning those things, you know, location, gender, who they're shopping for, why someone is shopping? What sort of putting them in the market? What's the need that's driving it? You know, for some of our brands, you know, we'll do commercially oriented data gathering, you know, what company are they working for, what's the size of the company, region of focus specializations, or emphasis areas within a particular vertical, we have a client who does b2b pet supplies on the big commerce platform. And their segmentation is a mix of personal and demographic data and commercial business information. You know, as a platform, big commerce as you know, again, speaking to text back, this is a really strong native customer group different driven feature sets and they're doing some some great things with their customer segmentation API's, which support you know, better email, SMS, and you know, market channel segmentation efforts. Um, you know, if you're on Shopify or WordPress, you know, maybe want to talk about plugins and things like that as a better solution. But sort of back to the point of what data to gather, you know, I would say, maybe, maybe avoid gathering the data without a purpose, you know, sort of start with the data that you plan on using, you know, think you can use effectively and meaningfully, I'd also sort of be careful about gathering data that is, you know, more sensitive PII, unnecessarily, you know, things like birthdays, as an example, we see a lot of brands grabbing everybody's date of birth, which is, you know, kind of a nice, you can send them a birthday gift or discount. But you also are now holding on to something that is considered pretty sensitive in most, most regions in most jurisdictions. And so, you know, consider if you really need to have the full date of birth, or just the day and month, or even just the month, you know, if you can kind of cut back on what you're hanging on to this sensitive, maybe there's a way of, you know, having a higher, higher standard of protection for your customers and less liability for you. Kind of on that point, we had a client who collected the full data verse to help with demographic data. But then we dumped the day and the year after we compiled them, just so we were left with first month only, you know, for marketing efforts and things like that. So, you know, again, something to be mindful of as you're collecting data.

Aaron Conant 29:53

Awesome, love it. So another question comes in, you know, with the clients you do over there, do you find them you know, getting pushed back Back from, you know, customers on the site to supply the data.

Jordan Brannon  30:05

And actually, it's surprisingly No. So one of the couple thoughts there, one, don't require it, you know, so if you want to sort of really push a lot of your customers into a abandoned cart sort of experience, you know, make them leave very quickly as require a lot of unnecessary data, you know, we usually say, you know, start lead with the most important day that you really want, and make sure you're capturing it, even if there's not necessarily a submission, you know, sometimes brands will make the mistake of requiring that, you know, someone complete the 12 step form. And that's an all of the data sort of gets passed through the marketing platform is usually not necessary, you know, kind of look at, you know, hey, if I do, you know, if I capture to get three form fields filled out, let's make sure that's passing through to our marketing systems. And so focus on what's really necessary. Most customers are aware that brands are gathering this information and the way they decide if they're okay with you having it or not, as if they give it to you or not. And so, I would say, you know, most customers are actually more comfortable giving data than brands usually expect. And then the key there, I think, is really, once you have it, use it responsibly, and, you know, avoid forcing people to give too much data, they don't have to or shouldn't

Aaron Conant 31:22

know, I mean, I think that makes sense, especially the younger demographic, you know, by more and more and more and more aligned, right, and how much has gone Is there a little bit more different, they're okay with you using the data, as long as they gave it to you, if they're giving it to you, that means they like your brand in the first place. So just jumping back, you know, to kind of continue that conversation where some ways of using, you know, the segments you were talking about, that you found to be effective.

Jordan Brannon 31:48

Now, obviously, approach tends to be sales, you know, and you know, in testing, you know, sale that is more closely aligned to an individual user, meaning it's personalized is more likely to convert. There's some great platforms out there and some things we've been able to do with looking at UGC content where someone's giving a favorable review to a particular product, and then personalizing a follow up campaign that you know, recommends another product based on a favorable review of prior product, you know, so you can really make them very personal. You know, and I think, you know, certainly you can broaden those out to sort of focus on different audience segments and so but I think most marketers are wanting at least one segment focused sale at any given time, right, it's probably not not much news to people here I'd say on top of that, you know, I'd be looking at using your segments as an opportunity in your data to improve engagement with marketing campaigns and drive value beyond just the purchase from the segments I think is really a great area where you can do a lot and I think a lot of brands aren't doing enough. So you can spend some time extrapolating and inferring what some of these segments mean you know what you can you know, other value you can get from them kind of an example you know, hypothetical if you've got like a healthy percent of your menswear brand shoppers are female and they're older you can take some guesses around whether they are shopping for older children or for significant others perhaps based on the styling or type of garments or purchasing you know, maybe plan your content calendar around some of those assumptions and run some tests you know, trial gifting oriented campaigns around the holidays that may be related to the expected intent and audience maybe again and run a survey campaign just to ask people to confirm your assumptions directly and offer maybe a small gift certificate or something that that adds value you know for a future shopping experience later.

Aaron Conant 33:40

So you know, what are some of the best performing segments that you work with your brands to develop now there are certain ones out there that hey these show up over and over and over again and it's worth going after you know people are developing the strategy and the back end and they're trying to take notes here.

Jordan Brannon 33:57

Yeah, I love VIP segments. I don't see that brands really doing them or defining them you know, I think this is probably one of my ones and VIP segment can be different from brand to brands. But I think typically there is a lot of value in creating several tiers of VIP audiences that you can plan marketing campaigns for, you know, if you you know, we will usually have a VIP segment it's based on you know, purchasing frequency, maybe the dollar value of purchase, maybe sort of the lifetime value of their account. You know, high potential audiences, those of customers who seem like they should be strong purchases, but that aren't using sort of a VIP focus or special exclusive targeting towards them. One of the ones that I love so Paris is sort of looking at micro influencer opportunities you can look at, there's some tools that allow you to understand the the social audience sizes of your different customers and you protect micro influencers who are in place already, you know, if you're in a b2b segment, that's sort of more your focus, you know, you can look at, again, creating some VIP groups based on employer based on the size of the company that they're working with a size of distribution footprint. Another really great one for VIP segmentation, if your b2b is a role in the company, so kind of, you know, looking at, you know, do I have something that's aimed at the C suite, or directors Do I have something that's aimed more at sort of, you know, local managers, in planning some VIP segment campaigns here, I will sort of note, you can segment within the sort of VIP segment, right. So it's, you know, they don't need to know that you that they are tier three of your VIP customers or audiences, you know, for all intents and purposes of your campaigns are going well, they'll think of themselves as tier one and extra special and important to you. And that can really help to drive some some great areas of growth.

Aaron Conant 35:59

Also, so a quick question that comes in, like, are you segmenting? You know, are there other similar? Let me just read this exactly. Are there other similar VIP? segmentations? Are you breaking down the VIPs? Buy different levels, which is kind of what I think you are getting there. Right? So yeah,

Jordan Brannon  36:17

yep. And you can have multiples, right? So you know, inside of your behavioral inside of your demographic inside of your personal sort of segments, and maybe some overlap between them, you know, have some tiered VIP strategies, you know, so you don't, you know, I think, again, most brands we see that are coming in, we're doing the audit for we do a complimentary audit for BWG network called participants. And a lot of the ones we're talking to aren't doing something on the VIP front, really at all, or they're doing just one very simplistic thing based on one specific metric, lifetime purchases, you know, size of purchase, purchasing a particular product. And so, yeah, I think segmenting inside of that VIP group that, you know, splitting it based on demographic data, personal data, behavioral data, you can start to really get some really awesome campaigns, you know, and again, kind of going back to one of my earliest points, I think, you know, do what you have time for, and it's better to sort of collect and segment the data, you know, and you know, pick sort of higher value areas to focus on. But you know, as you have more time, these are areas where you can really eke out some pretty meaningful gains over no 2020. If you're if you're kind of working.

Aaron Conant 37:27

Yeah, just to keep rolling on that question guy, I get leads we do for those VIP segments. What are some of your

Jordan Brannon 37:32

targets? Yeah, yeah, conversion opportunities, you know, that these usually the easiest to come back to. And that's the one that you know, you said, if people are getting a lot of pressure from the CMOS, you know, those conversions tend to sort of be the, the one that are most in front of everybody's face. But again, I think look for opportunities to take your VIP segment, turn them into brand advocates, you know, help build brand awareness, get your VIP segments to produce content for you help with product launches. You know, I think one of the keys of the VIP segment is really ensuring that the people know they're in a VIP segments and trying to make that seem as meaningful as possible. You know, we found that it takes two to three exclusive email offers or messages to really make people believe that they're part of something that is more exclusive. And then sort of see improved engagement and conversion type metrics from sort of a normal list or segment. You know, the more important to customer feels in that VIP segment, the more likely they are to offer additional value on the brand's behalf. So if you can really make them feel like they're special, you can get more than just a purchase from them. I had been talking to someone in a call strategy call and they compared you know, sort of that idea to the Lula rich documentary I don't know if anybody's watched that on Netflix was mentioned earlier. It was trending for a little while. A lot of the company structure there was a built around creating opportunities for customers of the brand to earn their way into VIP tiers. I think they use titles like mentor or or trainer or something like that. And so the whole idea was to take customers and use these sort of VIP type segments and turn them into people who are not only still buying, but people who were ultimately doing other things for the brand. And so I just maybe as a caveat, Aaron's not advocating that people listening today started MLM more pyramid scheme. But it doesn't hurt to take some of those really effective strategies that have allowed those brands to generate billions of dollars in sales for over decades, and then apply them legally and responsibly elsewhere.

Aaron Conant 39:39

So, I mean, while we're on this subject, right, mlms right. Any ideas from Lula row or other labs that are legal and effective from a segmentation or personalization perspective? Yeah,

Jordan Brannon  39:55

yeah. caveated question. I see I hear your voice. Um, yeah, I mean customers love gifts, you know, if you if you have a high spending customers segment, sending them something personalized with a thank you message is a really powerful way to cement your brand connection to them. And I'd make the distinction that free gifts with purchase are not the same thing, what I'm talking about here, a lot of brands are doing campaigns with those. But if you're tracking spending, and you see a customer who's crossing a certain threshold of lifetime spending or spending within the past year, doing something where you send a meaningful gift, and the thank you token code and go a long ways towards turning that customer into a brand advocate, you know, I would point to the use of segments to generate sales and marketing content for your brands is another opportunity, you know, to look at kind of a takeaway, if there is one from some of these MLM efforts, you look at sort of the success story of Lula row a lot of that is tied to Facebook Live and getting customers to get on social media and sell the product to other customers and sell the brand to other customers, you know, in practice sort of looking at that sort of not as an MLM, you know, we have a lot of our brands who are getting great successes look alike audience campaigns, where they're taking customer data. And then building audiences that share similar characteristics are targeting paid ads, even more powerful than that is actually getting audiences to build your audiences for you. And so, you know, take a VIP or highly engaged customer segment that you that you have run a campaign with prizes, or some sort of rewards and incentives to have them generate content for new ad campaigns for your brand. You know, given the volume of content customers want to see online from brands today, this can be really effective, cost saving measure to generate a lot of great reusable, trustworthy, advertising ready content. It can also turn off some really creative ideas to market your product, and help you better understand, you know, maybe why people are buying from you.

Aaron Conant 41:45

Now Love it. Love it. Great, great ideas here. You know, given the upcoming holiday season challenges, right? Is everything from not just getting inventory and shipping fulfillment. I mean, there will probably be another cut off date from UPS, FedEx, that's kind of what we're hearing right now. Maybe it's December 14 10th and 14th. dish. Is it sounds challenges across the board? Are you seeing or can brands use personalization or segmentation to help avoid a lot of frustration for customers? You know, and with their own targets the whole?

Jordan Brannon 42:21

Yeah, yeah, for sure. I mean, if you're expecting to see some issues with your product, inventory, your stock levels, you know, getting things in in time getting things out on time, you know, ensure that you've got segments tied to browsing behavior, purchasing behavior, personal shopping preferences, and having those set up and running now will really help you avoid some big missed opportunities.

Aaron Conant 42:39

Yeah, no. I agree. I mean, I think it's, it's going to be another crazy year, I thought people thought, you know, might have thought it would have been different. It is different, but a little bit easier than last year. You know, so on that, on that note, how can you use that data to avoid customer frustration, or disappointing sales? I mean, that's the next step. Right?

Jordan Brannon  43:01

Yeah, yep. I mean, I, there's a few creative campaign ideas that you can operate with that goal in mind. You know, I think at first, you really want to make sure that you're beginning to build those segments today, putting the tracking in place that would identify behaviors that are relevant to this personalization, or the segmentation. Now, once you have that data collection, going, start looking at Campaign opportunities that are going to keep those customers engaged. And me going back to that first idea of tracking, you have to be communicating outside of just marketing department. interest, as some of you're very aware of that others of you are not, you get so caught up in sort of the marketing efforts that you forget about, you know, fulfillment and warehouses and shipping and operations and all those things that are happening behind the scenes, and they often really dictate our success, or failure. And so make sure you're communicating around some of the expectations other departments have, just so you're sort of understanding what sort of tracking where that needs to be going. Once you have the data collection going, start looking at Campaign opportunities that are going to keep those customers engaged. Some things that we've had good success with already with some of these challenges, pre order campaigns, if you know you have an arrival date for some inventory, get the word out to that audience that's interested in it, now they're interested in the pre order, or maybe wanting to preorder would be willing to preorder at some of our clients have sold through their order on order inventory, and then we're able to place reorders in time to get more product out for the holidays. And so it's been kind of fun, we've been able to see some instances where product wasn't arriving until late September, we've basically had all that purchased out with pre orders. And then we're able to get, you know, more orders into their suppliers before the holidays now and so they weren't depending on sort of this inventory, which essentially is already gone. And it really allows them to grow. So, you know, again, kind of think about pre order campaigns is a great way of helping communicate across departments. And a lot of customers are really engaged with those sort of knowing that they get early access first access can be really, really strong. Kind of again, on that same point, early access campaigns. If you have inventory that is arriving, you're not doing pre orders for Get a notice out to some of those VIP segments or people who behaviorally were interested in those products first, you know, advertise that as early access sex that really does have a strong sort of click through engagement and purchase rate. We've also done some belated holiday or belated gift giving sort of sale. There's a fairly strong gifting flow that happens after a big holiday event, but a lot of gifts are exchanged. Actually, after you know, Christmas or Christmas Eve, a lot of gifts are changed after Valentine's Day, after some of these big events, and brands sort of get so caught up in getting things before to certain customers that sort of being able to say like, Hey, you know, as you're getting closer to these cut off dates, you know, December 14, if that happens, you know, having some advertising specifically geared towards I won't be here in time, you know, can be helpful for, you know, actually getting people to buy who are planning on getting together with their family on the New Year's holiday to do a gift exchange. You know, another option is that I would just sort of highlight not directly related to segmentation, we've seen a lot of uplift, when we have free gift wrapping, you know, offered that then allows people to ship directly to gift recipient recipients. So if you're not currently thinking about that, as part of your checkout experience, you know, is this a gift is this going to a customer, you want to send a message having a card or having something like that in place can really really help speed things up?

Aaron Conant 46:25

No, I love it, right? Because you're you're carving out one whole step of the shipping right now just shifting to you to pass a reset to somebody else. The Hey, get this wrapped up. I love it. So for me this on its head a little bit. Any segments that you don't recommend advertising, you know, to during the holidays? Are there any ones that you'd back off from? Or is it still full blown? Everybody's fair game during that everybody

Jordan Brannon  46:48

gets everything? Yeah. Now, negative segmentation is also you know, really powerful tool. So sort of flipping this on the head, like if you've got segmentation, you know, what are the negatives, when when do I not want to send to somebody, it's one of the, you know, we spent most of the call today last 15 minutes and talking about who to send to, but the negative segmentation is really powerful. So I would say, you know, if you have people who have recently purchased, you may want to pull them out of your sort of campaign cadence, you're stalking sale after sale, it can sort of cheapen the brand, they've already made their recent purchase, they may become uncertain about that purchase. It can create customer service issues that are hard to keep up with, with everything else that's going on. You also see higher unsubscription rates from those customers, when you're sort of hitting them on sale after sale after they made their purchase decision. Make sure you're cleaning a list your list but don't tend to unengaged contacts, you don't want to have deliverability issues. If you have low engagement subscribers who are still sitting in some of these bigger lists or segments that you're hitting, that can be really bad for the holiday season as can be hard to track down. You know, we're kind of good when that campaign rather than, you know, just sort of kind of blasting everybody all the time, including those low engagement customers.

Aaron Conant 47:56

Yeah, what are so you mentioned winback campaigns, like, what are some good wind back campaign tips?

Jordan Brannon  48:03

Yeah, you know, I recommend a two to three part automation series, you know, you don't want to have to have a lot of sort of effort put into these, you can AB test them pretty well, when you're sort of using a recurring campaign, you know, show off what's new in your inventory, maybe a new feature on the site, like a loyalty program, maybe a new collection, maybe is deeper than normal discount, or just a different type of discount, like a free gift with purchase to get unengaged customers to come back, you know, include a shorter time windows, so 30% off for the next 24 hours only just to create some urgency. And then you know, again, at the end of the day tag, unengaged consumers, if they're not getting through that automation list without re engaging and then clean them out, you know, you don't need to keep them inside of your list of maintenance drivers.

Aaron Conant 48:46

Are you tying this in then like these capabilities, I'm hearing a lot you know, it emails and SMS, I know this, you know, digital direct mail platforms that have popped up or it's almost like I said at the beginning, they call it get is the like a direct mail service provider, it just plugs into your CRM as a whole. Like, are you seeing like these capabilities tied to your selection of eCommerce platform, ESP SMS marketing platform as a whole?

Jordan Brannon 49:13

Yeah, definitely. I mean, I think a big step one for us, as an agency is getting our eCommerce merchants onto the appropriate email or SMS platform. before we're doing a lot on the campaign front. You know, you're sort of building a roadmap for success when you do that, you know, better email and SMS platform is going to give you clear data, more functionality, better integration to your site and marketing channels, and all of that, you know, really an important part of getting the right thing going.

Aaron Conant 49:37

Do you have favorites, right is where say, Hey, what do you prefer? puts you on the spot?

Jordan Brannon  49:45

Yeah, I think we would probably say, you know, our preferred platforms are Klaviyo and omnisend. You know, both of them offer SMS, which, you know, which is nice because then you get sort of the integration of SMS into your flows and automations that can help with retargeting. We also know for SMS explicitly exclusively will partner with them attentiveness is usually our preferred platform. But again, I tend to like sort of having the integration of email and SMS together. You know, I like using clay vo if that's already an email provider, I'll use them for SMS too. And same with omnisend. Just because it's easier to read those two strategies together, Klaviyo has more robust segmentation, personalization options, template building, and a lot better reporting than on the Send, but on the sentence is improving quickly, and it tends to be quite a bit less expensive. So if you're sort of looking at a good cost, you know, cost effective alternatives. Klaviyo, that's a great place to go. Both are a big step up from MailChimp. You know, on the Send also has push notifications within a browser, which maybe doesn't, that can be sort of a nice upset, maybe you have multi step forms. When we talk about sort of that data gathering effort, you can also do a B testing on your forms to help collect more customer data. omnisend is a bit lighter on sort of form functionality. But you can tie in like a Gravity Forms or just you know, to help enhance some of the data collection you can do through through omnisend. And I think both are improving pretty rapidly. So we kind of like sort of working with companies that are investing in future growth too. So I think that's sort of a good way to go. So I see we're

Aaron Conant 51:21

literally right at time here we said we'd kind of wrap up with three to four minutes to go. You know, obviously, you know things you know, for your time today, your great friend, partner the network. Thanks for being so open to sharing across the board. Again, anybody you want to follow up conversation with Jordan, just let us know, you're looking for help in any of these areas whatsoever. The great friends and partners support us with ton of brands in the network. But you know, any kind of closing comments as we wrap up here.

Jordan Brannon 51:45

We would love to have a chance to speak with you. I mentioned this. Earlier in the call we do a complimentary audit and improvement plan for BWG Network participants. So, you know, certainly we'd love to help you understand how you can implement some of these for your brand this holiday season.

Aaron Conant 52:00

Awesome. Well again, yeah. Jordan, thanks so much for your time today. Thanks for being such a great friend and partner of the network as a whole. You know that you know, maybe we'll make sure we connect you with anybody after the call. I hope everybody has a fantastic Tuesday and a great rest of the week. Everybody stay safe and look forward to having you at a future event. Thanks again Jordan, already. Take care everybody. We'll be alright. Bye bye.

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