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Social media plays an ever-changing role for marketers. The strategy’s strength is in the ability to humanize your brand by engaging with the consumer. And engagement leads to conversions. How to stay current as social media changes is a key discussion point at Portada Council System meetings. Learn how Portada Council System’s leading brand marketers offer solutions to keep ahead of social media’s evolving role.

Kick-off Facts 

  • SMS or messaging apps are on the rise with 41% of travel marketers planning on implementing this in the near future. (Sojern)
  • Three out of five travel companies are using chat for customer service with 28% actively using or experimenting with AI technology. (Phocuswright)
  • The majority of marketers (77%) are using one or more social media platforms but only 48% have a positive ROI from these strategies. (Impact

Three Social Media Challenges for Portada Council System Members

1. Managing Brand Reputation and Trust

Related comment: “Your customers don’t necessarily trust Influencers (since most know they are being paid). It is better to win them over organically.”

Social media make it easier to discredit a brand. Companies should try to turn these experiences into something positive.

2. Training Staff to Provide Consistent Customer Service

Related comment: “Right now, the front line staff is composed by people who are not prepared enough for the job.” 

We have to make all messages coincide across roles in spite of the emphasis of each area.

3. Increased Complexity and Cost of Social Media Strategies

Related comment: “It is vital to understand the way each platform works.”

Even though the reach is there, it’s getting gradually more expensive.
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 Social Media Opportunities Identified by Portada Council System Members

1. Don’t Forget About Traditional Marketing Channels

Globally, travel marketers see Facebook (30%) and Instagram (28%) as the most effective tools for targeting new audiences contrasted with only a 4% rate in connecting with loyalty members. (Sojern)

Related comment: “We are losing sight of traditional communication channels that are still alive and reaching a more traditional target.”

A recent eMarketer study shows a 122% median email marketing ROI, a number 4x higher than other digital marketing channels. (LYFE Marketing)

2. Humanize the Brand Voice and Keep it Consistent

Related comment:Every role matters, and each one can influence the whole in a different way.” 

Practical example: The CEO could humanize the message and community managers should have a “tone of voice” that coincides with the company’s values.

When the head of the company is an activist, this helps the brand’s reputation.

3. Give Staff the Skills to Handle All Types of Social Media Feedback 

Related comment: “Strive for accuracy and timely answers when addressing customers’ comments on social media.” 

Practical example: Provide appropriate training to the social media team so they know how to handle messages with different objectives: communicating, positioning, selling, etc. 

Make sure the whole organization has the same culture and train staff to deal with social media’s evolving role.

4. Use AI to Boost Your Customer Service 

Research from Salesforce shows an anticipated 143% increase in the use of AI for customer service teams over the next 18 months. (Salesforce)

Practical example: Using an algorithm that answers immediately on social media without the customer noticing it’s a chatbot. Instead of having hundreds of people answering, a company could hire less high-profile employees to do it right.

When the algorithm can’t solve an issue, there’s a seamless transition to a human specialist.

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.

 

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.

What: Meltwater’s Ana Hoyos, Latcom’s Valentin Bueno, and WeWork’s Ana Cristina Rivadeneyra discussed how they are using data and technology to build market share in Latin America at Portada Miami’s key insights panel: Marketing Tech in Latin America: The Opportunities Ahead.
Why it matters: Excellent data is essential for creating content that connects with consumers in LATAM, and brands shouldn’t shy away from partnering with technology providers to reach their goals in the region, according to speakers at participating in the panel on marketing technology in Latin America.

It’s “harder to get data in Latin America,” and even more difficult to build, according to Latcom CEO Valentin Bueno, a speaker at Portada Miami’s panel Marketing Tech in Latin America: The Opportunities Ahead. “We need to create our own data. The work is to build the data with the client. There is no one size fits all,” he told #portadaMIA attendees.

Using the right technology is also key, according to Ana Hoyos, Director of Meltwater Latin America, and also a speaker on the panel. She told attendees that brands shouldn’t be afraid of finding the right technology partners when marketing in the region.

You really need some sort of tool, and you need to use technology to help you leverage all of the data that is out there.

“There is a lot of data, so using the right technology and not being afraid to partner with the people that can give you the actionable insight,” is very important, Hoyos emphasized.

WeWork entered the region just two years ago, and panel speaker Ana Cristina Rivadeneyra, senior marketing lead at WeWork, said WeWork has developed its own listening tool to better understand WeWork’s customers in the market. The data gathered is used, in part, to determine the architecture and construction of WeWork’s work spaces in the region.

Partnering and Organization

Panel moderator Alejandro Clabiorne CEO of PHD Latam asked the panel participants to discuss their organizational approach to task of leveraging data and technology to reach consumers in the region.

“There are no barriers between tech and marketing,” at WeWork, Rivadeneyra said.

Meltwater places a lot of focus on AI, and works with companies that can help it “integrate data science into our daily operations,” said Hoyos. It’s important to educate customers who use Meltwater’s media monitoring and analysis services about the importance of data measurement and analytics, she said.

“Everyone needs to adapt. Everyone is on the boat,” so we want our clients to know “you don’t want to be left behind,” she told the #PortadaMIA attendees.

Latcom takes a partnership approach with its clients in the region to build data and systems than can guide its customers’ business decisions and planning, according to Bueno.

 

Technology and Data Insights

(L to R) Ana Cristina Rivadeneyra, Ana Hoyos, Valentin Bueno, and Alejandro Clabiorne.

When helping Microsoft launch out-of-home advertising, Latcom relied on technology to understand consumers’ behavior, Bueno said. After reaching a full understanding of the complex ecosystem of devices used by consumers in Latin America, content was tailored to fit those devices—which is often the mobile phone.

“Technology challenges everyone. We chose a complex task: how to use data to reach audiences that are difficult to reach,” Bueno explained.

Meltwater helps its customer Santander, the international banking brand, monitor its reputation in Latin America, said Hoyos.

“We create analytics that give them trends and insight. There is so much data. You really need some sort of tool, and you need to use technology to help you leverage all of the data that is out there,” Hoyos said.

Using the right technology and not being afraid to partner with the people that can give you actionable insight is very important.

“The most important thing for Santander is to understand the perception of its brand using data from traditional news and social channels,” Hoyos explained.

Meltwater uses AI and data science to track three million documents daily and organize the information to make sense out of it.

“What we have done is focus a lot on AI and companies that can help us integrate data science into our operations,” she said.

We are introducing a bi-weekly summary of the most exciting recent news in marketing technology and trends. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

Phrasee’s AI-powered Copywriting Tool Attracts $4M in New Funding

Investors will pour U.S. $4 million into the digital marketing software company Phrasee to power the expansion of its Artificial Intelligence tools that help brands like Domino’s and Virgin write better subject lines for emails. Brands also use Phrasee’s tools to write more effective Facebook and Instagram ads. The new funding will help Phrasee, based in London, to open offices in San Francisco.

Facebook is reportedly building a stand alone shopping app for Instagram, sources tell the media outlet The Verge. The app will allow Instagram users to use the app to buy goods from merchants they follow. Instagram is keeping mum about the new shopping platform. According to Facebook, there are 25 million businesses with accounts on Instagram.

Artificial Intelligence is rapidly changing how brands create content. The Tel Aviv firm Bidalgo has a new AI-powered tool that measures KPIs for the different elements of creative content, including words (messaging) and images (including video). MediaPost also reports that McCann Erikson Japan has launched the world’s first robotic creative director that analyzes key elements of past award-winning ads to then develop new ones.

The retail customer analytics firm Custora has won $13.75M in new financing for its software that uses Artificial Intelligence to help retailers segment and better understand their customers and as a result provide more personalized offers. Retailers also use Custora’s machine learning to analyze the impact of discounts and price points and forecast the lifetime value of each customer.

Investments in mobile advertising increased by 25% in the second quarter of this year compared to last, and more and more brands are choosing to place their ads within mobile apps, according to PubMatic’s Quarterly Mobile Index for 2018. In just the last year, spending on mobile video ads has increased by 239 percent, with a 688-percent year-over-year increase in advertising within mobile apps, the PubMatic release said.

The online flower delivery company Telaflora is using Artificial Intelligence to match offers to individual customers’ desires and preferences. Using AI tools from Bluecore and Custora, Teleflora succeeded in matching customer data with products to increase year-to-year sales by 50%, according to ClickZ.

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