Tim Glomb, VP of Global Content for the CM Group, is no stranger to hard work. In fact, at the time Loyalty360 spoke with him, Glomb was his 18th consecutive day on the road, with nearly no end in sight. With a background in brand marketing, plus several years as a tour manager for rock bands such as Mötley Crüe and Everclear, Glomb brings well-rounded expertise to his role in developing content for the Data, Marketing and Loyalty platform company.
Loyalty360 CEO Mark Johnson caught Glomb between meetings and spoke about the company’s recent merger with CM Group and what marketers can do to connect with their customers and drive brand loyalty on a tight budget.
CM Group’s Cheetah Digital is an enterprise marketing platform trusted by some of the top names in loyalty including Starbucks, American Airlines and Del Taco. The unique technology platform is a one-stop-shop for customer engagement and enables marketers to collect actionable data across the entire consumer lifecycle. The native single platform approach combines data from all points along the customer journey – POS, transaction, SMS, email marketing, loyalty – into one place so that marketers can analyze, personalize and most importantly, act quickly.
The Cheetah Digital platform joined the CM Group with a merger earlier in 2022, and the team is excited to be a part of the “home for every marketer.” Whereas the original tech platform was designed with large enterprises in mind, within CM Group, the company can service all businesses, from independent “mom and pop” stores to global corporations.
Glomb explains, “Whether you’re a small enterprise with five locations, then you grow to 50 or 500, you can stay within the CM Group of suites.”
Zero-party data is priceless
CM Group recently published some thoughts regarding how marketers can better allocate their spending post-pandemic. In today’s economic climate, businesses are cutting the fat, so to speak, and looking for ways to spend less without losing market share.
The solution comes down to zero- and first-party data, understanding the customer on a personal level, and using that understanding to provide relevant communications. Leaning on inferences is no way to connect with an audience, and third-party data is not only expensive and becoming more difficult to collect, it cannot give a brand that inside-look at its customer base that is so crucial to providing pertinent content.
Glomb defines zero-party data as “data declared directly from a consumer right to your brand.”
Not only does moving to zero-party data protect a brand from the challenges of cookies and privacy regulations, it builds a true relationship with the consumer. Plus, by using owned channels such as targeted email, it greatly reduces spend. There is no need to spend more on an advertising budget to reach the audience when the audience is already actively engaged.
But how do brands entice consumers to share zero-party data? The answer lies in value exchange. If a consumer sees a perceived value, such as a reward, discount or prize for providing personal data, they are much more likely to share that data. In fact, according to Cheetah’s Consumer Trends Index, from 2021 to 2022, there was a 73% increase in people willing to exchange personal psychographic data for value.
Glomb cites an example with a sporting events brand that successfully implemented a zero-party data strategy using the Cheetah Digital platform, by offering prizes and rewards for answering a survey. As a result, 60% of that company’s database is now filled with its competitor’s audience, and more importantly, with that audience’s opinions on the competitor’s product. It gives the company an advantage it could never get through traditional advertising channels.
“It’s the holy grail of a marketer when you have your competitor’s audience in your own database,” says Glomb.
In addition, that company went on to gain a 50% market share lift in twelve months, increased sales by $3.3 million and reduced marketing spend by $1.3 million.
Make more with what you have
In today’s economy, advertisers are witnessing disruption like never before. Brands are tightening their belts, as are consumers, which adds new challenges for companies looking to connect with their customers, especially when both parties are on a tight budget.
The answer lies in retention and loyalty. “When things get tight, make more with what you have,” says Glomb. “Focus on the customers you have now.”
With an established customer database, brands would do best to dig into that data to learn everything they can about their customers to create a first-class experience that keeps them from going elsewhere. Conducting surveys is a low-cost way to understand why customers choose one brand over another, and what customers are looking for in a product or brand experience.
Retention can be done inexpensively through email marketing or an SMS platform to keep a connection with customers. As an owned channel with no fluctuating rates, it is a very cost-effective channel to implement and personalize.
Loyalty is the second part of the equation. To build true loyalty, brands need to reward customers for interacting with the brand, not just for making a purchase. This can be done by recognizing them when they mention the brand on social media, when they visit in-store or online, and when they open the app. Any one of these touchpoints is an opportunity for a reward and recognition.
Recognition goes a long way
Every year, Cheetah Digital conducts research with 5000 global respondents for its Consumer Trends Index study. This year’s study showed a 45% increase in people who wanted to be recognized by the brands they like. Recognition is a no- or low-cost strategy that is easy to implement with minimal labor. Recognition can be as simple as a retweet or sharing a customer’s post on social media.
The report also showed a 58% increase in consumers who want early access to products or exclusive content. This is another no- or low-cost strategy for nearly any brand to implement. Plus, recognition, early access and exclusive content are prime ways to earn emotional loyalty.
Rewards do not always have to be based on a transaction. “Think of ways to further the relationship,” Glomb emphasizes. “Listen to your customers.”
Only ask for what you can and will activate instantly
The more data brands can get directly from customers, the better. Brokering or buying data and relying on third parties is no longer viable.
“We’re better than that,” says Glomb. “We need to be more creative as brands and build real relationships.”
Investing in zero-party data and providing a true value exchange gives companies that 1:1 contract with their customers. Opting in to data collection negates the privacy regulations and gives brands the ability to personalize communications from the first touchpoint all the way to brand loyal advocates.
“It’s just a better way to market,” says Glomb. “It’s anchored in relationship marketing which is what we are focused on solely here at CM Group.”
While collecting first- and zero-party data is imperative in today’s customer loyalty strategies, the biggest challenge is knowing what to ask. Many businesses make the mistake of thinking the more data the better; however, the most important advice is to only collect data that can be acted on instantly.
One of the best ways a brand can utilize zero-party data is by responding immediately with a personalized email using not the customer’s name, but the information collected. For instance, in an online survey where respondents choose whether they prefer A or B, follow up instantly with an email that (1) uses the respondent’s preference in the subject line and (2) recognizes and/or rewards the consumer for completing the survey. Businesses see a 77% open rate on emails when the data point is in the subject line.
Glomb summarizes, stating, “Do not get greedy. Do not ask too many things. If you aren’t using it, it wastes their time. If I asked you, do you love steak? And you said, ‘No, I’m a vegetarian,’ and I immediately invited you to a barbecue where I’d be grilling out lots of steaks, I’d be a jerk. Don’t be a jerk. Ask only the things that you are going to use when you go to market.”
CM Group will be hosting its annual free Signals event to learn more about how brand marketers around the globe are driving loyalty and engagement. Registration is now open for the series that runs October 24-28th.
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