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E-What’s Next For Brands – Leveraging MarTech

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Roberto Muñoz, Head of Loyalty Travel at Puntos Colombia manages a joint program between Colombia’s largest bank Bancolombia and Latin American retailer Grupo Éxito. Prior to his current role, he was a strategist for Aeroméxico’s loyalty program Club Premier. The brand marketing leader shares key insights about digital channels for loyalty marketing with Portada including how tech and digital channels enable companies to engage and gain new customers and keep them happy coming back.

Interview conducted by Alejandra Velazquez

Roberto Muñoz, Portada, e-mail marketing
Roberto Muñoz, Puntos Colombia @puntoscolombia

Technology plays a crucial role in enabling marketers to do a better job. In fact, 84% of executives surveyed by Accenture agree that companies are using technology to weave themselves seamlessly into how people live today. 

“Technology helps us to segment audiences. It sparks activation” Muñoz says, adding “Technology provides us the data to develop the right targeting strategies. That way, we keep captive users interested and lure in new consumers via their passion points, like travel, fashion and entertainment. The challenge is recruiting customers that actually interact with the brand, not just sign their name on a list.” But nothing matters if the information isn’t properly documented. The challenge is tracking customer data and applying it correctly in order to serve your marketing strategy. A department that manages and filters big data correctly is always a must.

But nothing matters if the information isn’t documented properly. A department that manages and filters big data correctly is always a must.

Digital Channels: E-mail Marketing is Still an Effective Tool

“Digital channels are key to bring new customers into our loyalty programs. You can target specific audiences by sending key messages. 85% of our customers say they read our news through e-mail marketing. I’ve heard many experts talk about the death of e-mail marketing, but our numbers show the contrary,” Muñoz asserts.

Segmenting information via e-mail is the only thing that ensures the client remains active in your program.

According to Muñoz, segmenting information via e-mail is the only thing that ensures the client remains active in your program. Many strategists say “leave your most valuable customers alone, you don’t want them to get bored. I think when you’re really involved with a brand, you don’t mind how often they contact you. You know you’ll get relevant content eventually.”

…Social? Not so much

“Social network strategies are too focused on massive audiences. We address and recruit a very small percentage of users on social networks. Some programs only want users to click here and then to subscribe to a given program and get an immediate benefit. However, out of all users who sign up, a tiny percentage will actually become involved. You invest a lot of money and end up with a handful of users akin to your brand. One time in Aeroméxico we set a goal to sign up one million new customers onto our base. But in the end, less than 5% of those clients were actual travelers. The rest had been “bullied into it” by the hoards of ads we’d purchased on digital.” 

You invest a lot of money and end up with a handful of users akin to your brand.

Three Ways to Get Customer Feedback

Reliable customer feedback is also an important piece of Puntos Colombia’s strategy for using digital channels for loyalty marketing. Muñoz has developed three ways to approach customers:  direct meetings, focus groups, and surveys.

“High-profile customers get invited to breakfast or lunch to offer their feedback and opinions about the program. Nothing is as valuable as having customers tell you how they feel in person. We have a very direct style of approaching customers. The director of the program may have a sit down with customers and explain what they can and can’t do about their non-conformities.”

They also have focus groups conducted through third-party researchers. Because when consumers don’t know they’re speaking directly to a brand, it helps them give unbiased feedback. Last but not least, there’s surveys. Many valuable customers take the time to respond and are often rewarded with incentives like additional points. The incentives help ensure they are interested in giving their honest opinion.

Reliable customer feedback is also an important piece of Puntos Colombia’s strategy.

Roberto Muñoz, Head of Loyalty, Travel at Puntos Colombia, will be one of the dozens of brand marketing innovators present at Portada Miami on June 4, 2020. If you are interested in participating in Portada Miami and/or in Portada’s networking and knowledge-sharing platform with brand marketers please contact us here.

Engaging customers in a multi-channel world is one of the most challenging tasks for brand marketing decision makers today. According to a study conducted by Salesforce, 27% of retail and consumer goods marketers describe their channel coordination as generally siloed. Effective multi-channel marketing is a key discussion point at Portada Council System meetings. Learn how leading brand marketers in Portada’s Council System find solutions to multi-channel marketing challenges.

Kick-off Facts 

– According to a study conducted by Salesforce, 27% of retail and consumer goods marketers describe their channel coordination as generally siloed, and 33% describe it as dynamically coordinated.

Only 9% of marketers currently engage customers across multiple channels on a consistent basis (DMA/ANA).

– Compared to single-channel shoppers, customers engaging in multi-channel strategies spend 3x more. (Pure360)

Three Multi-Channel Marketing Challenges for Portada Council System Members

1. Choosing the right channel(s)

Understanding the right channel for individual consumers depending on factors including demographics. We have to serve our customers in the channels they want to be served.

Related comment: “Although customers are multi-channel, one platform made them pull the trigger”
Practical example: If a company only offers a call center as a means of customer service, it excludes all the customers who prefer fully digital transactions over interacting with phone operators.

2. Having channel-agnostic customer engagement tracking technology

Having advanced technology to track the consumer through different platforms while delivering the same message and service quality independent from which channel is being used.

Related comment: We only track consumers’ behavior online, but we can’t track their offline activity.

3. Adapt messaging across various channels for delivering a consistent consumer experience 

People interpret the message differently according to each channel. Platforms should be handled in the right way.

Portada Council System

If you are interested in joining the Portada Council System, our year-round knowledge sharing and networking platform, find out more here or contact us here if you are marketing services supplier and here if you are a brand marketer.

Four Solutions Suggested by Portada Council System Members for Better Engaging Your Customer in a Multi-Channel World

1. Make sure technology is on your side. New tools are there; they should be an enabler, not a barrier

Portada Council System

Take your multi-channel customers to the cloud so that all touchpoints converge there. Whether online, on the phone, or at the kiosk, all the data is on the cloud.

2. Use attribution models. Make sure you know where clients are really coming from

Get to know  your customer by looking at their behavior and offer an experience that really fits their lifestyle persona.

3. Look at customer purchases and service requests as two different models

We should not mix the two messages; one is selling and another is customer service.

Practical Example:
An airline knows when a passenger has had a bad experience during their previous flight. A flight-attendant has the information about this passenger on a subsequent flight and offers an apology.
Caveat:
AI can help, but bear in mind privacy issues. (AI like Alexa listens to private conversations to generate purchase intent)

4. Make sure consumers know that the brand is a long-term provider

Make sure the customer knows that we as providers can actually take into account their lifelong value as a customer, unlike intermediaries which are entirely price-driven.

 

2020 opportunities

If you are interested in joining the Portada Council System, our year-round knowledge-sharing and networking platform, find out more here or contact us here if you are marketing services supplier and here if you are a brand marketer.