How do you determine which products should be sold to which customers through which channels? Is your head spinning yet? We get it. It’s a pretty daunting task for marketers to figure out.
Fortunately, Bluecore offers a unique automated marketing platform to help retail brands make decisions in real time, based on massive data sets, across several channels.
“Our mission is to empower ecommerce marketers and help them discover their best customers and keep them for life,” Matthew Limeri, Manager, Sales Engineering at Bluecore said.
“Retail today is undergoing a huge disruption, the biggest we’ve seen in decades. Customers are shifting from offline to online and Amazon is an ever-growing presence.”
“That being said, we also see this as an opportunity to delight customers by redefining the shopping experience using things like data science and arming marketers with the ability to respond to their customer demands in real time.”
With so much opportunity on the horizon, we set up a call with Limeri to talk about Bluecore’s latest investments and find out why he believes “personalized marketing” is the future of retail.
Email: A powerful marketing channel
Founded in 2013, Bluecore’s backbone is in email marketing. According to a 2016 report by Bluecore, 68% of consumers say email is still their preferred channel to engage with retailers.
“Bluecore collects and combines customer identity data, the product catalog, and onsite behavior in order to generate retail triggers and personalized audiences for remarketing communications,” Limeri explains.
Within these personalized audiences, Bluecore also provides deep insights to identify:
- Audience health
- Predicted customer lifetime value
- Which channels an audience can be reached on
- Customers’ likelihood to take certain actions
Why did Bluecore decide to expand beyond email marketing?
“In the beginning, Bluecore was primarily focused on personalized retail triggers on the email channel. But due to customer and industry demand, we have expanded to additional channels including paid social, search, display, and onsite.”
“It’s crucial that retailers have the ability to pivot and deliver a marketing message on different channels. Recently, we’ve seen a lot of success with our Audience Insights, which helps retail brands identify high value customers and use them as a seed for look-alike models in acquisition channels.”
That said, Limeri confirms that email is still very much a foundational piece of retailer’s marketing efforts.
“The first customer identification brands capture is often an email address – so naturally retail brands want to communicate with their customers via email.”
“What we offer is a way to analyze not only their email behavior but also which actions they are taking on the retail brand’s website. Once we know where we are able to target them and what products to show, we can start to weigh the channels that drive the highest engagement and revenue.”
“For us, it’s all about expanding your customer knowledge to find out where you should reach them based on how they are saying they want to be talked to.”
Can you provide examples where this has been a success?
Absolutely, two clients come to mind including: Vineyard Vines and Steve Madden.
“Using our predictive category affinity model and the reach of promotional campaigns, we not only targeted people who previously purchased from Vineyard Vines, we were also able to expand audience size as well as engagement of that email by including folks that we know also have an affinity toward that category.”
“The big theme with Steve Madden is that they wanted control back in the hands of the marketing team. We provide lots of technology, but the theme is always ‘easy to use’ and ‘marketing friendly.’”
“We gave Steve Madden’s team the ability to build audiences and emails quickly – reacting to customers’ actions in real time (which they could not do previously).”
With the holidays just around the corner, what are 3 recommended advertising tactics for retail brands?
From planning to executing your holiday marketing campaigns, there’s a lot that needs to get done in order to make the most of a season when consumers are primed to make purchases.
According to Bluecore, this year it’s all about personalized marketing, for example:
- Use last year’s holiday customer data (as well as the current, live customer catalog and customer behavior) to create individualized gift guides.
- Based on your customer activity now and in the past, target holiday shoppers on paid channels like Facebook and AdWords & increase bids on holiday search terms.
- Segment customers by the type of product(s) that they purchased last year. Bluecore uses “identified product category affinities” to build shopper personas (for example people who spend a lot or are considered multi-item buyers).
Want to know more? Check out Bluecore’s recent blog post: “5 Retail Holiday Marketing Campaign Ideas”
Q. Any predictions for 2018?
“In 2018 (and beyond) we predict a typical marketer will worry much less about the operational and execution of creating campaigns and instead focus most of their time and effort on developing and iterating on newly defined strategies, which is a required shift to make in order to compete in the new retail landscape.”
As far as Bluecore initiatives, next year:
1) The first is around leveraging AI to work for the marketer by surfacing and presenting actionable marketing opportunities. It’s all about AI making suggestions on what to do via a new (or existing) campaign, but it needs to be very actionable as well as measurable.
2) The second is around further accelerating the time to market for new campaigns and strategies. There’s a big focus here on providing many more ways to streamline your typical marketers workflow be it in our tool and beyond.
For more information on Bluecore, email [email protected]