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The Marketing Forecast Blog

How to Capture Insights That Reveal the Most about Your Customers


It’s the Age of the Customer, and it’s the Age of Experience. How are businesses today winning over audiences in an era where leveraging insights to make meaningful customer connections is the cornerstone of marketing success? They’re getting to know as much as they can about their customers, and they’re relying on advanced analytics professionals to tease out the insights they need to craft experiences and messages that count.

From embracing new tech to unifying data, take a look at some of the approaches advanced analytics professionals are using to make their marketing performance analytics more customer-focused.

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You Can't Afford to Miss Gaps in Your Customer Experience


For nearly a decade, Forrester has been conducting annual research into customer experience. The U.S. 2016 Customer Experience Index™ identified significant improvements by 58 of 319 large brands representing various sectors — from traditional retailers and hotels to the federal government. Unfortunately, the 2016 report also found that “Even though most of the CX leaders of Q3 2015—those in the top 5% of all brands—returned as CX leaders this year, they aren’t gaining ground and in some cases they’re slipping.” The mixed results — coupled with the fact that only 16 percent of customers rated their experiences with brands as good or excellent — only strengthen the argument for an audience-led marketing strategy.

By focusing on customer experience and audience expectations, you’re better able to identify where you’re winning with customers to strengthen relationships and marketing impact.

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Optimizing Marketing Impact Isn't Just Science — It's an Art

With so much focus on leveraging data analytics to
optimize marketing impact, constant references to the science behind the work of advanced marketing analysts are unsurprising. The ultimate Renaissance man — Leonardo da Vinci — recognized long ago that science informs art, and vice versa. In the “Principles for the Development of a Complete Mind,” da Vinci said, “Study the science of art. Study the art of science. Develop your senses — especially learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.”

Imagine da Vinci’s reaction to modern marketing, where science and art intertwine. The man who painted the Mona Lisa, yet also found time to fill notebooks with scientific observations, would encourage marketing analysts to break out of the data science box. It’s up to you to see the correlation between the data and the customers — and then paint a portrait that enables others in your organization to understand that vision.

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The Role Creativity Plays in Your Customer-Driven Marketing Strategy


Marketers deal with a staggering amount of data these days, but abundance of data — when applied without creativity — only leads to a flood of irrelevant ad messages that audiences ignore or, worse still, actively avoid. As CP+B chairman and co-founder Chuck Porter pointed out during a forum on data and creativity, “Data helps advertisers reach people, but the message still matters. People still want to be inspired, and data alone won’t get the job done.” So, how do you harness data and creativity to execute a customer-driven marketing strategy that speaks to modern audiences?

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Show Your CMO the Customers Behind the Data


“Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.” So says Robert McKee, a well-known writing instructor who has consulted on the subject of storytelling with organizations ranging from Microsoft and Nike to 20th Century Fox and Disney. McKee’s insights in developing a compelling narrative have inspired Oscar Award-winning Peter Jackson, and his Story Seminar is a requisite event for the writers and creative teams of Pixar, Paramount and Miramax, among others. All of these organizations benefit from the use of stories, and your business can benefit as well. The question is, “How can you present your marketing impact analytics in a way that showcases the customers behind the numbers?”

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Marketing That Financial Services Customers Expect Today


Last year, Digitalist Magazine outlined the top challenges that the banking industry faces. Consumer expectations, especially with regard to the customer experience, were named one of the top challenges, along with making enough money and competition from disruptive financial technology companies.

One option to combat these concerns is trying new marketing tactics to achieve marketing optimization and effectively reach audiences, as it provides opportunity to gain the insights and confidence needed to win new customers and build brand loyalty. Take a look at how some banks and financial services organizations are leveraging marketing to make a mark on today’s increasingly empowered customers.

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What's the Real Story Behind Your Data?

Marketing impact analytics are critical to success, but to achieve the greatest advantage from data, you need to look beyond numbers related to impact and ROI. Your data has stories to tell about your customers. As the 2015 Global Data-Driven Marketing Survey conducted by Teradata reveals, 53 percent of survey respondents attribute the growth of data-driven marketing to the growing emphasis on customer-centricity. Teradata notes, “Customers today expect—and demand—a seamless and relevant experience. They have grown accustomed to marketers’ knowledge of their preferences and anticipation of their needs. Fractured or conflicting messages from a brand make marketers seem unorganized and annoy customers, sometimes even driving them away.” That’s the last thing you want to do, which means you need to hone your ability to tease out the customer stories hidden in your data. What’s the best approach?

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Power to the People: Winning in the Age of Experience

“The Age of Experience” — the phrase sounds like a song title, reminiscent of the hippy movement of the 1960s. Ironically, the astrological Age of Aquarius shares some similarities with today’s newer phrase — namely the association with modernization, freedom, truth and nonconformity. Customers demand these traits from brands today and will take brands to task — often virally on social media — for ‘faking it.’ And nonconformity? Brands that treat customers like they’re all cut from the same cloth risk losing those customers to ones that individualize their tactics and messages.

Differentiating your business with experiences that count can help you succeed in this challenging marketing landscape and achieve marketing optimization.

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How to Make Attribution Initiatives Suck Less


“I believe things happen that can't be explained, but so many people seem intent on explaining them. Everyone has an answer for them. Either aliens or things from the spirit world.” -Harold Ramis

Attribution of a sale isn’t easy, but because we get access to clicks we find ourselves compelled to track, measure and craft stories to explain what the customer intended. Since the stories usually don’t line up with results, we see increasing frustration among marketing analysts when it comes to digital attribution.

Marketers eagerly embraced digital attribution from the start, valuing the touch-by-touch insights they gained. But increasingly, marketers are finding that those insights are only half-baked. As a result, a study by Demandbase and Wakefield Research found that 71 percent of marketers say their digital marketing efforts fail to deliver expected results and 96 percent recognize that their digital ads fail to adequately target their desired audience, leading to waste in their spending.

Take a look at the reasons that attribution comes up short — and how marketing analysts can overcome those problems to deliver better marketing performance.

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Why Marketing Leaders Care About Data

“A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.” Sounds like something you’d hear from a modern marketing leader, but it was the Greek philosopher Plato who originally wrote those words in 380 BC. Talk about a man ahead of his time. Marketers can take advantage of an incredible volume of data as long as they remember that true insights reveal knowledge about the people behind the numbers. By effectively leveraging data, you can develop a deeper customer understanding to achieve the marketing optimization needed to win with your audiences.

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