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Winning at Cross Channel Marketing: Blueshift Chosen to Lead Discussion at India Digital Summit

This week, thousands of marketers converge upon New Delhi for India’s largest digital marketing event, the India Digital Summit. Market-leading companies from across the region, like OYO Rooms, Urban Ladder, and Koovs, attend the event to learn more about the top trends and top technologies that will empower them to remain market leaders.

The topics range from marketing automation and mobile to cross channel marketing and user adoption.

This year, Blueshift has been selected to discuss how marketers can win at Cross Channel Marketing. Vice President of APAC, Dhruv Shanker, will take the stage to lead a discussion around the changing environment of the consumer and the need for more effective cross channel marketing.

Gone are the days of simply sending batch and blast emails or push notifications – that was barely cross channel marketing anyway. Today’s marketers need to look at cross channel personalization within their marketing strategy and deliver relevant, consistent user experiences across all their channels. Power machine learning and predictive intelligence will drive the next generation of cross channel marketing.

Details for the event:
India Digital Summit
Feb. 9 – 9, 2017
New Delhi, India

Dhruv Shanker will be joining the panel discussion on Thursday, February 9th at 11:20am.
Contact us if you would like to talk while at the India Digital Summit!

Top Metrics Growth Marketers Need to Know

As a follow up to our article about what Growth Marketing is, we next take a peek into the metrics that every growth marketer must measure. (Depending on your exact industry, there will be other metrics as well, which we will cover in later articles.) As a refresher, we defined Growth Marketing:

“Growth marketing drives increased user engagement, by extending the boundaries of the product into marketing channels.”

Growth Marketers Are ALL About the Metrics

We’ll focus on the first half of the definition that states “Growth marketing drives increased user engagement”. This statement is all about measurable results. In order to measure the results, we must first understand what KPIs and metrics we will use to gauge success. To say that growth marketers are numbers oriented is an understatement. Growth marketers are obsessed with metrics — they must look at deltas across time and cohorts to show growth in customer acquisition, customer retention, and customer win-backs.

How are we trending? What is our engagement looking like? How many users are we churning? How long does it take us to be profitable for each new user/customer? Am I really growing the business?

The metrics in this article will build the foundation for any Growth Marketer to be able to answer these questions. To provide order to the metrics, we will categorize the metrics through a simple series of lifecycle stages:

Activation – new prospects
Retention – drive incremental engagement and revenue from existing users/customers
Win-back – bringing churned users/customers back

 


 

Activation Metrics for the Growth Marketer

Activation is a stage reached when a user completes an action that’s indicative of getting value out of a product. What constitutes activation might be different for different services; e.g. a social app like Twitter might consider a user activated when they follow a certain number of other users within a given time-period; an e-commerce company might consider a user to be activated when they make their first purchase, or on a rolling basis, consider someone to be active if they have made a purchase in the last 6 months.

1-day & 7-day activation rates:
This metric gives a quick leading indication of how activation rates from a channel are trending. Marketers know that activation could often take months after acquiring a user, but they want a quick indicator of activation for new or recent sources of traffic. 1 & 7-day activation rates, coupled with simple data science models, can help forecast long term activation from the given cohort of users, and can be used to quickly estimate time-to-payback.

Time to payback by channel:
The amount of time it takes to recoup the cost of customer acquisition (CAC), through profits from customers. This is a measure not only of the efficacy of activation, but also of retention & monetization efforts.

Abandonment rate:
The percentage of customers who fail to complete a “conversion” event inside a single session.

Abandoner retargeting conversion rate:
The percentage of abandoners who are successfully converted based on retargeting efforts across multiple channels. Typically measured within a well-defined window of time, like 7 or 30 days.

 

Retention Metrics for the Growth Marketer

User retention is about continuing to engage activated customers so that they stay active. Customer engagement is the most important area that Growth Marketers must focus on when users/customers are in this stage. Always provide value. How do you know if you are providing value or that your users see value in what you provide? A savvy marketer will start with these two metrics:

Churn rate:
The annual percentage rate at which customers stop being active.

Stickiness:
Typically measured as the ratio of DAU/MAU, this measure if most used in categories like gaming that truly depend on daily & frequent engagement. Stickiness is a good indicator of whether customers are returning frequently.

 

Win-Back Metrics for the Growth Marketer

Users who were once active, but have since lapsed, can be won-back into becoming active customers again. This is one of the hardest ways to gain active users, since these users potentially lapsed due to the product losing some relevance for them. It’s like raising the dead, however, it must be a part of a Growth Marketer’s strategy. To measure the success of Win-Back campaigns, there is on metric in particular to focus on:

Re-activation rate:
The percentage of previously lapsed customers who become active again within a given time period.

 


 

The Tip of the Iceberg…what next?

This is not an exhaustive list. It is meant to give Growth Marketers the metrics they need to identify success and address areas of improvement. These are the foundation to being successful as a growth marketer and owning these metrics for your organization gives you tremendous insight into the health of your business, marketing strategy, and customer base.

Watch out for more posts about growth marketing, and check out our comprehensive guide here for everything you need to know about the subject.

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Driving Student Retention for eLearning and MOOCs – Part 1

In this 2-part series, we address core common issues that marketers face in the eLearning/Massively Open Online Course (MOOC) market. Below is Part 1 of the series where we cover the issues with 1st-time enrollees and then repeat enrollment (taking more courses) at a high level. In Part 2 we will dive deeper into these, as well as a few more areas that are often forgotten (HINT: Do your students feel comfortable using your platform?) This is not an extensive list nor the full extent of our research, it is meant as a starting point.


 

Whether you call it student churn, student retention, student attrition, or a number of other terms, one of the primary issues for eLearning companies like Udacity, Coursera, EdX, and dozen of others is keeping students – more importantly, keeping students coming back. The stark reality is that up to 90% of students who enroll in an online course simply don’t complete the course, and that number only gets slightly better when students have actually paid for the course.

A University in Everyone’s Pocket

With today’s perpetually connected consumer, every person now walks around with an entire university in their pocket where an aspiring archaeologist can learn about the history of Egypt or a developer can now get a nano-degree in autonomous cars. But the beauty and the pain arises quickly when one is perpetually connected: there are so many choices, so many apps and emails and messages distracting us, and finally, an expectation of personalization and individual relevance within each choice and through every communication. The end result becomes not just an ADD-like attention span, at a more basic level, people just get busy and lose track of what they have signed up for. (And like mentioned earlier, just because someone has paid, doesn’t necessarily mean someone will stay committed.)

With this rise of a greater number Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and their evolution into delivering “for credit” or certificates of completion, potential students have more choices. Students must feel they are being respected as individuals with their own education needs. They expect personalize, relevant communications at all times throughout their user experience both on and off the platform.

NOTE: One of the issues for eLearning are people who just “kick the tires” to find out what the content, site, or app is all about. In Part 2 of this series we will highlight a key strategy to better identify who those students are.


So how does an eLearning organization keep the students coming back?

How do you convert the “one-and-done”/fleeting students to a more casual student and then to the “life-long learner” that makes a habit out of taking classes and paying for courses, degrees, and certificates?

PROBLEM #1: 1st COURSE COMPLETION

Getting students to complete their first course is half the battle. Often, these students are acquired with marketing spend. And, like mobile apps and games, the “novelty” or “excitement” of an online course and learning something new wains and that dreaded retention cliff proves time and time again less than 10% of students will complete their first course. And if they don’t complete their first course, they have a statistically low chance of enrolling in another, or paying for another course or certificate.

NOTE: While this problem primarily addresses getting students to complete the first course, the same strategy and engagement tactics can be used for every subsequent course.

SOLUTION:

Build a welcome/on-boarding series that leverages multiple channels. Simply relying on emails is a sure fire recipe for failure, especially when an eLearning destination has a mobile app. Be where your students are and where they engage. If they are in the App, trigger in-app messages based on their behavior, bring them back to the course. More importantly, when they are outside the app, leverage mobile push notifications that are tailored to the exact course they are taking. Make it personalized and relevant to them. (DO NOT simply blast them with a message that says “You’re course is waiting.”).

*  Send an onboard/welcome campaign

*  Use “reminders” to gently nudge them to complete the exact course and level they are in

*  Use multiple channels like mobile, email, in-app, even SMS

*  Personalize every communication to make it relevant and resonate with the student as an individual

 

PROBLEM #2: REPEAT ENROLLMENT:

Getting students to sign up for more courses must be an organization’s highest goal to get the highest LifeTime Value (LTV) from each student. This focus helps move students from the “one-and-done” learner to the more occasional or even life-long student. If an organization runs on the freemium model, then re-enrollment is paramount to generating revenue. If an organization is pure-play paid (either as a subscription or via certificates), then getting students to re-enroll and take more courses adds that additional revenue that drives higher LTV and helps identify behaviors and attributes that can feed into the acquisition strategy.

The feeling of accomplishment from completing a course is double edged. In one respect, they feel accomplished and satisfied. They completed a course. Either they feel empowered and, hopefully, want to learn more, or they feel satisfied, and, sadly, simply move on to another activity or interest outside of the learning environment. What would you do?

SOLUTION:

Capture that feeling of accomplishment and feed them more courses. IMMEDIATELY.

Build on the excitement with timely messages triggered on the completion or even near completion of that course. And don’t hesitate. Leveraging real-time triggers makes sure that messages are sent at the right time. At the bare minimum, prompt them to sign up for more courses, perhaps with incentives or discounts. BUT, if you really want to drive retention, the simple step is to offer them courses they may like, based on browsing behavior, the subject matter of the course they just completed, or use collaborative filtering to recommend courses that others have taken who have taken this course. Tracking real-time behavior is critical.

The advanced step: (HINT: you should be doing this to stay relevant and competitive) Leverage a full understanding of how they engaged with that course (length of course, timing, subject matter, test scores) coupled with a full history of ALL of their courses taken and browsed and engaged to deliver a truly personalized set of recommendations. Be student-centric by building out profiles of every student that not only tracks static attributes like geography, gender, email address, etc, but also keeps a full transaction and engagement history of courses and even the messages you’ve sent.

Then, use multiple communication channels to message them: emails, mobile push, SMS, In-App, On-Site, even leverage Facebook Re-targeting to get them to come back with very specific recommendations. (Yes, even your advertising should be personally relevant to re-engage your students.)

*  Timing is of the essence, act quickly to re-engage students.

*  Recommend courses that others like them have taken or that they have browsed.

*  Take it a step further and build out predictive recommendations based on their full engagement history.

*  Use every channel at your disposal to re-engage them personally, even Facebook.

NEXT STEPS:

Ask yourself:

  • What are you doing today to address these issues?
  • What data are you missing to start acting on these tactics?
  • Do you have control of the data?
  • Do you have real-time data that enables fast segmentation to engage students with up-to-the-moment messaging?

In Part 2, we will address HOW to get there and uncover a few more obstacles common with student retention for eLearning and MOOCs. In addition, we’ll show you how we help Udacity drive increased student retention through these very strategies.

 

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Personalization Will Make or Break Holiday Season Campaigns

Customers demand respect from retailers. They ask simply for organizations to remember who they are as an individual consumer from a transaction and a behavioral perspective — otherwise, they are likely to purchase less frequently, or, more than likely, churn to a competitor who does understand them and communicate with them better at that individual level.

Personalize, personalize, personalize!

This has been the mantra of marketers looking to communicate with their customers at a highly relevant and engaging way. According to the latest report by Accenture covered by MediaPost:

  • 56% of respondents acknowledged they were more likely to shop at a retailer that recognized them by name
  • 65% of consumers expressed a preference for retailers that remembered their purchase history
  • 58% of respondents were more likely to shop at stores that offered relevant recommendations based on past purchases or preferences

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The need for smarter cross-channel personalization…

It’s important to point out that marketers are being asked to personalize across all channels, not just one or two. In fact, as the Accenture report highlighted, less than 50% of consumers completed a purchased based on an on-site product recommendation. The perpetually connected consumer now enters the buying cycle from a number of channels and touch points: email, Facebook, SMS, mobile push notifications, in-app personalizations, and numerous others.

And forget about flooding a consumer with a higher number of product recommendations. The “Quantity over Quality” tactic is similar to annoying batch and blast techniques used within emails by out-of-touch marketers. Filling a page or a communication with a dizzying number of recommendations only annoys and splits the buyers attention away from products that they are more likely to purchase. According to the report, almost 40% of respondents admitted to abandoning an online shopping experience altogether because of an overwhelming choice of recommendations

The “Burden of Choice” is in the hands of the brand. Brands must serve only the best recommendations to the right person built through predictive algorithms that sift through the dozens or even hundreds of “best products” that could be delivered to the consumer and transform that into the best few.

Read the full article on MediaPost.

 

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Gift Present Celebrate Party Wrapped Simple Concept

What is Programmatic CRM? [Infographic]

Programmatic CRM is a technology that enables marketers to be customer-centric and leverage real-time behavioral data to reach every customer on an individual level throughout all of your marketing channels. Bringing Programmatic CRM into your marketing stack enables marketers to finally automate the delivery of consistent and delightful user experiences on every channel with true scalability and greater results.

Reach the perpetually connected consumer across all channels at the moment they are most inclined to engage with you brand.

The building blocks of Programmatic CRM

Programmatic CRM is built up a number of key components that work together to Engage with Segments-of-One:

  • Real-Time Triggers to engage customers based on their actions
  • Cross-Channel Reach to be customer-centric, not channel-centric
  • Personalized Recommendations to tailor recommendations to user behavior
  • Dynamic Audiences for segments that update with every customer interaction
  • Measurability to deliver end-to-end reporting on engagements and conversions

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Isn’t it time you stop marketing to stale databases built of attributes and demographics?

 

Real life lessons from personalization at scale with Brian Monahan former VP of Marketing at Walmart.com hosted by BLueshift Segment of 1 marketing

Real Life Lessons from Personalization at Scale with Brian Monahan

Fresh from IRCE in Chicago, we have a video of a great session we had with Brian Monahan, former VP of Marketing for Walmart.com. During this session, Brian discussed 7 real-life issues that marketers face with current personalization technology and how to overcome them.

He shared lessons learned about deploying personalized communication across multiple customer touch points, as well as the challenges faced and opportunities uncovered driving even more growth from personalization.

Under Brian’s leadership, Walmart.com grew monthly uniques by over 50% while generating Billions in revenue to become the second largest online retailer in the US. Much of that growth was driven by the application of personalized communication.