At Manthan, we’re always interested in anything related to marketing or analytics. So when we learned of the American Marketing Association (AMA) Analytics with a Purpose event, we signed up.
A few members of our team attended and returned buzzing about the rich content and case studies presented during the conference. I spent a good chunk of my morning speaking with Sherri Schaffroth, Director of Sales, regarding her observations and and takeways:
Joanna: What did you learn at the Analytics with a Purpose conference?
Sherri: The conference was jam-packed with interesting marketers and content. With numerous academics and professional practitioners in attendance, I had so many interesting conversations. There were three distinct presentations worth noting, including a key note from the Chief Data Officer at Wells Fargo and presentations from marketing leaders at The North Face and Bi-Lo Holdings.
An echoing theme throughout the event including the growing pressure on marketers to prove their contribution to business growth. In particular, as A. Charles Thomas, Chief Data Officer at Wells Fargo stated, “ (Marketers) have business pressure to continually do the following: (1) ROInvestment (2) ROInteraction (3) ROInvolvement (4) Demonstrable performance (5) Optimize continually." What’s amazing is that four out of five of those activities are related to the marketer’s value to the organization (ROI or business performance), while the fifth is all about improvement. It really reflects the mounting pressure on marketers today to show results.
Joanna: What is the role of analytics in alleviating this pressure faced by marketers?
Sherri: When thoughtful marketers apply data-driven insights to make business decisions, that’s when the marketing organization can achieve better results. Ian Dewar, CRM & Loyalty Manager at The North Face gave a presentation on how the business is using data and analytics to better engage their customer base. According to Dewar, “Analytics today is a hybrid of predictive and persuasive human decisions with data guidance.” That data guidance drives the loyalty program at The North Face, where the business looks to build emotional connections with its consumers through carefully crafted rewards and relevant messaging. With data-driven insights driving marketing decisions, The North Face was able to see results such as higher average order value and increased repeat visits.
Joanna: So the goal is to leverage analytics for better customer engagement. Did you hear any case studies related to any other major trends in marketing, like personalization?
Sherri: The key to personalization is relevance. I sat in on a case study presented by Kim Smithers, a Senior Manager of Sales and Marketing at Bi-Lo Holdings. The segment was about Winn-Dixie’s foray into new neighborhoods and how the business leveraged behavioral insights to ensure that new store openings were successful. Smithers referenced an interesting Gartner prediction – by 2015, companies that focus on integrated processes for local marketing enablement will increase revenue by 15-20%. Bi-Lo took this prediction very seriously in planning their new store openings. Hyper-local media was used to ensure that marketing was relevant for the potential local customer base. As a result, with the last three new store openings, Winn-Dixie observed the most successful store openings in 10 years.