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Driving CX Excellence Through Cross-Functional Collaboration: An Interview with Erica Simmons

This week, we had the pleasure of speaking with Erica Simmons, a seasoned customer experience leader currently heading up CX efforts at a rapidly growing tech startup. Our conversation delved into Erica's unique background straddling both technical support and customer-facing roles, the importance of cross-functional partnerships in driving CX improvements, and the evolving role of data in prioritizing and tackling customer pain points. Here are the key takeaways from our discussion:

Leveraging Data for Exceptional Customer Experiences: An Interview with Candace Wallace from Relias

In today's data-driven business landscape, understanding how to harness the power of information is crucial for driving growth and delivering outstanding customer experiences. We had the pleasure of speaking with Candace Wallace, the Chief Customer Officer at Relias, a workforce education company focused on the healthcare space. Our conversation delved into Candace's career journey, the key data Relias tracks to gain customer insights, and how they leverage that information to drive real business outcomes. Here are the highlights from our discussion:

Driving Better Outcomes Faster: An Interview with Michael Heffelfinger from DryvIQ

This week, we had the pleasure of speaking with Michael Heffelfinger, the Chief Customer Officer at DryvIQ, an unstructured data management company. Our conversation delved into Michael's extensive background in leading customer experience organizations, the evolving data challenges facing enterprises today, and the key metrics and strategies he employs to deliver exceptional outcomes for DryvIQ's customers. Here are the key takeaways from our discussion:

Leveraging Customer Insights to Elevate the B2B Experience: An Interview with Hannah Hoyle from Funnel.io

This week, we had the pleasure of speaking with Hannah Hoyle, a Scaled Account Manager at Funnel.io, a leading marketing analytics platform. Our conversation delved into Hannah's unique career journey, the challenges of managing a large book of customers, and the critical role that customer data plays in delivering personalized, high-touch experiences at scale. Here are the key takeaways from our discussion:

Connecting the Dots: How Social Media Sentiment Mirrors Growth at Shake Shack

While eateries like Red Lobster and Rubio’s are going bankrupt, a fast food chain with New York origins has sat in a relatively stable position for a couple of years now: Shake Shack. Last week, I analyzed how a brand’s Instagram engagement could potentially correlate with their stock price. This time around, I decided to look at how sentiment observed on social media could influence the growth of sales on a quarterly basis by doing a quick experiment on Shake Shack.

Unlocking Growth Through Proactive Churn Analysis: Secily Selert, Shogun

This week, we had the pleasure of speaking with Secily Selert, the Head of Customer Success at Shogun, an e-commerce experience platform that powers storefronts for over 20,000 brands. Our conversation delved into Secily's unique background spanning journalism, PR, and customer success, her rapid ascent into CS leadership roles, and her philosophy on leveraging churn data to drive proactive retention strategies. Here are the key takeaways from our discussion:

Predicting Express's Bankruptcy: The Warning Signs in Their Social Media

A lot of brands fail to understand that social media engagement doesn’t only rely on the quality of the content you’re posting. It more importantly relies on how customers feel about your brand in general. Express recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. But if you had just quickly scrolled through any of their social media pages, this announcement wouldn’t actually be too surprising.

Amplifying the Voice of the Customer Across the Organization: An Interview with Colin Crowley from Maven Clinic

This week, we had the pleasure of speaking with Colin Crowley, the Vice President of Customer Support at Maven Clinic, a leading virtual clinic for women's and family health. Our conversation delved into Colin's extensive background in CX leadership, the evolving convergence of B2B and B2C customer engagement strategies, and the critical importance of establishing strong feedback loops between customer-facing teams and the rest of the organization. Here are the key takeaways from our discussion:

Temu vs. Alibaba: How Temu Triumphs Through CX

Over the past decade, Amazon has been the crystal clear frontrunner in the e-commerce industry. But just a year ago, the Chinese company Temu launched and has since nearly matched Amazon in number of users, slowly but surely eating away at Amazon’s market share in the US. The question is, how did a practically brand-new company with a not-so-new concept win over millions of customers in just one year? And will they be able to keep these customers around long term?

Unpacking Data-Driven CX: Insights from Simone Silva (CX Consultant, Prev Head of CX @Whirlpool)

We recently spoke with Simone Silva, an expert in customer experience and quality with an impressive 16-year tenure at Whirlpool. We learned a lot about how Simone thinks about the customer experience, and in particular we delved into the critical role data plays in understanding and improving it. Simone shared many valuable insights and practical examples from her experience, highlighting the importance of a multi-layered approach to data analysis and the potential for unstructured data to uncover hidden opportunities. Here are some of the highlights from our discussion:

Uncovering Painpoints: Mapping Wayfair's Customer Journey Through Sentiment Analysis

Ever since the pandemic hit, consumers have turned even more so toward prioritizing convenience and price. Even for industries like home furnishing, which has historically drawn the majority of its sales from brick and mortar purchases, people feel more comfortable than ever picking out furniture or decor online, rather than in person. Wayfair saw this window of opportunity and took it. But running a fully online brand for furniture has proven to be harder than expected.

Unpacking Customer Experience at Meta's Reality Labs with Pegah Valeh

Recently we had a conversation with Pegah Valeh, who leads the customer experience and analytics program at Meta's Reality Labs division. Reality Labs is on the cutting edge, covering virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality and Meta's vision for the metaverse, including Horizon World. It was fascinating to learn about her team's data-driven approach to understanding the customer experience. Here's what we discussed:

A Case Study on Under Armour: Identifying Brand Weaknesses Using Sentiment Analysis

You may remember that just a few years ago, Under Armour was considered one of the biggest sportswear brands in the world, valued at over $5 billion and equivalent to frontrunners like Nike and Adidas. Now, the company is facing exceptionally weak sales, a valuation sliced in half since its peak, paired with a single-digit stock price that’s been on the decline for the past decade. But why?

Building a Scalable Customer Support Program: An Interview with Jordan Hooker from Tavolo Consulting

This week, we sat down with Jordan Hooker, the founder of Tavolo Consulting, a firm specializing in helping early to mid-stage startups build world-class customer support programs. Our conversation delved into the key pillars of an effective support operation, the importance of data-driven decision making, and how to future-proof your customer experience as you scale. Here are the key takeaways from our discussion:

The Key to Sephora’s Omnichannel Success: Making Every Touchpoint Personable

Sephora shattered glass ceilings by surpassing a record of $10 billion in sales in 2023. And it’s no surprise when we think about just how well Sephora has been building out their omnichannel experience over the years. When it comes to customer experience, there’s no doubt that Sephora is a clear leader in the industry. Sephora doesn’t just meet customer expectations — they go above and beyond to connect with their customers and make every touchpoint personable in a unique, exciting way.

Optimizing the End-to-End Customer Journey: An Interview with Sarah Nohe, Founder @ Special Sauce

This week, we had the pleasure of chatting with Sarah Nohe, a customer experience expert with a unique focus on the restaurant and hospitality industry. Our conversation delved into the complexities of understanding and optimizing the customer journey across physical and digital touchpoints, the challenges of data consolidation, and the untapped potential of personalization in the restaurant space. Here are the key takeaways from our discussion:

From Browsing to Bingeing: A Customer Journey Fueled by Netflix’s Value Proposition

Everyone is talking about Netflix — and for good reason. Just a year ago, Netflix began to really crack down on password-sharing. And while users were infuriated and threatened to cancel their subscriptions, the opposite ensued. This quarter, Netflix ended up adding 9.33 million new subscribers to their customer base — 5x their results from last year. And while there are lots of reasons it played out this way, one underlying reason this decision didn’t negatively affect their CX journey too badly was because this decision actually aligns very well with their overall value proposition.

Punching Above Your Weight: An Interview with Courtney LeBlanc at Willful

This week, we had the pleasure of speaking with Courtney LeBlanc, Senior Customer Support Manager at Willful, a Canadian online platform that enables users to create powers of attorney and last will and testament documents without the need for a lawyer. Our conversation delved into how Willful leverages a small but mighty support team to deliver empathetic, efficient service to customers navigating a complex and often emotionally charged process. Here are the key insights from our discussion:

Fine-Tuning UNIQLO's Customer Experience: From Good to Great

It’s majorly impressive how smoothly UNIQLO has adapted to the overseas market — global expansion is a task most brands tend to struggle with. And while their products are great, their product line isn’t necessarily the main reason for their success. The truth is — UNIQLO does a fantastic job of utilizing data to fuel its customer experience strategy — so much so that it’s allowed them to connect their physical and digital touch points in a seamless way. BUT there’s always room to improve, and here’s how.

A CX Dilemma: Why THE YES Struggled to Select a Segment

If you’re an avid Pinterest user, you might have noticed that over the years, their algorithm for personalizing users’ feeds has become more and more precise, making it all the more addicting. You probably wouldn’t have guessed that you have THE YES, an AI-powered shopping app, to thank for these improvements. In 2022, Pinterest acquired THE YES, but before this acquisition, THE YES was on its way to revolutionizing the average shopper’s customer journey and experience. But turns out — making a perfectly personalized shopping experience for every single user was no easy feat. So let’s break down one particular challenge they faced getting their platform off the ground.

Listening to Customers: How Sentiment Analysis Can Refine H&M's Customer Experience

When competing in the same industry as Shein and Temu, a brand like H&M must do one of two things to survive: 1) match these competitors’ prices (which is near impossible) or 2) justify higher prices. And in order to justify higher prices, H&M has had to do a lot more than simply improve the quality of their clothing. For them, it’s all about customer experience. And while H&M’s customer experience initiatives have been receiving tons of hype from investors and shareholders, there’s a bit of disconnect between the opinions of customers and investors.

Unlocking the Voice of the Customer at PTC - Steve Davenport

Last week we had the opportunity to chat with Steve Davenport, who leads Voice of the Customer (VoC) initiatives at PTC. PTC is an enterprise software company that provides solutions for digital transformation across engineering, manufacturing, and service operations. Given their focus on enabling customer success, it's no surprise that VoC plays a critical role. Here's what we learned.

How ERA brings last mile analytics to any data warehouse via DuckDB

Have you ever waited for a dashboard to load for so long that you forgot what you were even looking for? I think we all have. It can be incredibly frustrating (especially if your organization is using Redshift…).

Turning the Tide: How Outdoor Voices Can Rebuild by Prioritizing Retention and Personalization

Outdoor Voices, a loved outdoor apparel company, recently made the decision to close ALL physical retail stores, all while barreling toward bankruptcy. Unfortunately, their reckless spending decisions caught up to them this year, and a once very successful apparel brand suddenly ran fresh out of cash. So let’s look at how their marketing efforts contributed to this unfortunate turn of events and what they can try to do to make a comeback.

Building a World-Class CX Operation from Zero: An Interview with Emily Stubbs

As a CX leader, what do you do when you're tasked with building out customer support for a company that hasn't even launched yet? We sat down with Emily Stubbs, who is currently doing exactly that as she stands up the CX function at Aerflo, a new sparkling water hardware startup. Emily shares her playbook for learning a new product inside and out, building a knowledge base from scratch, and using data to proactively surface customer pain points.

Predicting The Next Customer Purchase Day To Improve Email Campaigns

Predicting the next time that a consumer is expected to buy a product allows you to make well timed offers that boost conversion. Here's how to do it.

Fresh Ingredients, Stale Retention: HelloFresh Confronts High Customer Churn

Just this year, HelloFresh was fined £140,000 for sending over 79 million emails and 1 million SMS messages that violated privacy regulations. More specifically, HelloFresh had not been given direct consent from a huge chunk of their customers to constantly send marketing content to their inboxes but continued to do so anyway. And the truth is — not only were these aggressive marketing tactics unauthorized, but they weren’t exactly effective toward reducing churn either. In fact, HelloFresh has historically had huge issues with customer retention — seemingly more so than Blue Apron. So just like we did for Blue Apron, let’s break down why.

Snowflake Cortex

Snowflake have launched an LLM function feature, they call it Cortex. The idea is it lets you create a new column with a plain old SQL expression, which makes it super flexible. It's in public preview, so anyone can try it out.

In Focus: How Warby Parker Redefines CX through Digital-Physical Integration

Warby Parker is just one example of a digitally native brand that is absolutely demolishing the game, with revenues up over 12%, average revenue per customer up 9.3%, and their total customer base up over 2% in just 2023 alone. Rather than focusing on e-commerce alone, Warby Parker opened over 230 stores used primarily as showrooms for their products. Using stores as showrooms rather than the primary point of sale also means they can open smaller (and therefore more inexpensive) stores in larger volume. This method of balancing e-commerce with physical retail has been more than successful for the brand. But this isn’t the only way they’ve been able to intertwine the digital customer experience with the physical customer experience.

A Conversation with Josh Kernan at Catalant

Last week we had a conversation with Josh Kernan, who is a VP and Head of CX & Marketing at Catalant Technologies. Catalant is a fascinating business一they run a platform to connect businesses with top-ter freelance consultants. Think an ex CMO or ex-VP of Supply Chain that has gone into independent consulting and is running 6 month projects for Fortune 500 companies.

From Hype to Hurdles: Farfetch's Battle for Attention and Loyalty

To understand the reasoning behind the price increases in the luxury industry, we first have to understand what makes luxury, luxury. And it’s clear that at the center of it all, exclusivity is a major component of any luxury good or service. To make a product or service exclusive, it should be a) limited in supply and b) difficult to acquire. Because the supply for luxury goods is typically very limited, demand often surpasses supply, and as a result, prices continue to shoot up. And a lack of exclusivity is exactly why Farfetch, an e-commerce space for luxury brands, didn’t perform nearly as well as expected.

The Power of Segmentation Analysis

In the dynamic landscape of business, understanding your audience is crucial. Picture this: you have the key to uncovering the complexities of consumer behavior and preferences. This key is none other than the transformative field of segmentation research! 

How to Stop Losing Sales: Taming the Cart Abandonment Beast

So, you've got an online store, and you're pumped about it. People are adding stuff to their carts, but after a little while...poof! They vanish without completing their purchases. What happened? This phenomenon is called Shopping Cart Abandonment, and this article will cover what this metric is, why it’s a big deal, and how you can prevent it.

Redefining Retail: Walmart's AI-driven Winning Streak

For the past 8 years, Walmart has been pretty insistent on keeping its number of stores constant. But recently, the company has made plans to open up over 150 stores across the country. This might seem like a strange move considering how rapidly e-commerce is growing and how steadily in-person sales seem to be declining, but here’s why it makes sense for Walmart.

Cotera's Lifecycle Model: A Case Study

A case study of Cotera's lifecycle segmentation model. Learn how we helped companies decrease churn and identify upsell opportunities.

AI in Action: Unveiling Amazon's Latest Customer-Centric Innovations

Nowadays, AI is absolutely everywhere - and everyone knows it. But here’s a common misconception. Lots of people believe that AI takes away the element of personalization by removing human-powered touchpoints entirely. But the truth is, it’s actually quite the opposite. Amazon — a company we’ve touched on before — just launched Rufus, a new AI-powered shopping assistant. And it’s a prime example of how AI is an incredibly powerful tool for personalization.

What is content-based filtering?

Content-based filtering considers item features and characteristics to find similar items that you might like. In this article we take a deep dive into how they work and how to use them effectively!

What is Entity Resolution?

Whenever a customer interacts with a business, a unique record is logged in the business’s database. Sometimes, this results in two different data points such as “T. Cruise” and “Tom Cruise” referring to the same Tom Cruise. If you want to get a more accurate, comprehensive view of customer behavior to improve your customer service and marketing, you may need to resolve these two points into one distinct entity. This is one example of what is called entity resolution, the process of merging various records into a single entity.

Denim in the Digital Age: Levi's D2C Transformation

Last week, I wrote an article about why Macy’s is laying off employees out of a desperation to save up for a new customer-centric strategy this year. And it turns out this leading retailer isn’t the only one. Just a few days ago, Levi Strauss announced that they would be cutting over 10% of their workforce — almost 2000 employees — this year for the very same reason. But if all of these companies appear to be struggling with the heavy financial burden of an effective customer strategy, why even bother? Well, as Levi’s recent transformation shows, the returns clearly outweigh the costs.

Future-Forward Retail: How Macy's is Reinventing the Customer Experience

Macy’s recently announced that they plan to lay off over 2000 employees AND shut down several stores entirely. But why? The answer is simple. Traditional marketing, sales, and growth strategies were simply no longer cutting it, so they *had* to cut down on costs to fund new projects that would completely change their business strategy for the better.

What is a good sales conversion rate?

In today’s data-driven landscape, mastering key metrics is vital for any successful business. And out of the countless number of metrics out there, the sales conversion rate is one of the most important metrics that e-commerce businesses should master. 

Automating Surprise and Delight with AI

In the dynamic commerce world, businesses are strategically implementing programs with complimentary gifts, advanced technologies, and surprise programs to enhance customer satisfaction, promote brand loyalty, and differentiate themselves from competitors.

What is collaborative filtering?

Imagine you’re at a bookstore to find your next read, and your friend recommends you an action novel promising that it will be just as fun as the typical romance novels that you read. Although it’s a completely different genre, your friend knows you enjoy dramatic, emotional stories and promises that this action novel will be enjoyable. Surprisingly, you end up loving it and look for more action novels with similar emotional depth. Amazing, right?

The Luxury Paradox: How Hermés Balances Exclusivity and Customer Loyalty

If you follow the luxury industry at all, you might’ve heard a little something about 2023’s best performing company in the industry, Hermés. Now, luxury brands aren’t necessarily known for their retention efforts. Most customers buy one or two luxury products from a brand and say that’s enough. But Hermés isn’t just a winning brand because they play it safe when it comes to pricing and strategize carefully when it comes to marketing. They’re also well known for their discrete loyalty and retention frameworks that keep their customer loyalty rate sky high.

What is CX?

Customer experience, CX, is not customer service. Yes, that’s right. Though they seem to imply the same thing, customer service is actually just one part of what customer experience entails.

Using ChatGPT for Customer Sentiment Analysis

In prehistoric times when things like AI, ChatGPT, and models weren’t quite as hot, data collection and analysis was – and often still is – very manual. We’ve all probably seen massive datasets filled with hundreds of thousands of rows and thought, “Geez, how am I gonna get through all of this?” Now, though, the data analysis landscape has massively improved with the rise of AI! But don’t worry, you don’t need a computer science degree in order to keep up. If you’re interested in learning more about basic AI tools and how they can be used to unlock your customer insights, you’ve come to the right place.

How you can use churn prediction to improve retention

When starting a business, the main goal is to bring in as many customers as possible, probably through extensive marketing and campaigning. But, at some point, the next biggest hurdle becomes keeping these customers so that your business doesn’t limitlessly expend what may be a limited budget on acquiring new customers.

Product Recommendation Engines 101: Transforming E-Commerce with Personalization

You open your favorite online shopping app, and there it is: a curated selection of products that perfectly align with your style and preferences. It’s almost like your digital genie, knowing exactly what you’re looking for before you do. This isn’t by mere coincidence or luck; it’s the brilliance of product recommendation engines at work. These clever systems work by sifting through data, and bringing you those perfect picks. And, they’re the reason your online shopping feels less like searching and more like discovering. 

Why customer churn prediction is what your retention team needs.

If you listen to music often, I’m sure you know of the Apple Music vs. Spotify rivalry in the music streaming industry. And usually, you’re on one side or the other—but not both. In this multi-billion dollar industry, companies like Apple Music and Spotify are forced to regularly produce updates and keep their subscribers happy. Then, in 2016, some researchers looked into what makes each company successful, and they found that Apple Music had a churn rate that was three times higher than that of Spotify. But what exactly does that mean, and what made this information useful for the researchers at the time?

Cotera's Replenishment Model: A Case Study

When a leading supplement brand was in need of an easy way to send out emails right when a customer was most likely to have run out of a product, they came to Cotera. Their retention team had tried exploring different ways to optimize email schedules manually, but estimating the right timing on their own was near impossible. This meant that there was so much wasted potential for campaigns sent to their top customers — but they knew they couldn’t make the needed predictions on their own.

Cotera's Segmentation Model: A Case Study

Recently, we had a large food & beverage e-commerce company come to Cotera looking for a strong segmentation model. The Head of Marketing needed to bring down a high one-and-done and churn rate. She knew they were facing an abundance of customer churn but that her team wasn’t proactively identifying these at-risk customers until it was too late. With a company-wide focus on retention, she knew they needed a dedicated tool that specialized in customer segmentation.

Cotera's Recommendation Model: A Case Study

Around a year ago, an apparel and accessories brand came to Cotera looking for a new, strong recommendation model to replace its current one. The Head of Retention knew they should be generating higher incremental revenue from moving customers across different products. Yet they found themselves stalled leveraging their ESPs’ recommendation engine, as it was unable to adjust for the nuances of their business. And any attempts at testing stand-alone recommendation engines lacked the turnkey integration with their ESP.

Pins That Predict: A Look at Pinterest's Content Recommendation Engine

Whether you still use Pinterest or no longer do, I think we can all agree that their content recommendations are absolutely spot on. But how does their algorithm work, and why is it even important in the first place? Pinterest’s mission as a company has always been to deliver the right content to the right people — meaning that a strong content recommendation system is essential to the success of their brand. But this is not to say that content recommendation models aren’t useful for B2C companies selling services or tangible products either. In fact, it’s just as important.

The Crystal Ball of Commerce: How Amazon’s Replenishment Strategy Dominates

It’s one thing to get someone to purchase your product, but how do you get them to keep buying? Most companies send out occasional email campaigns, abandoned cart reminders, or special promotions to re-peak their customers’ interest, but there’s still another approach we haven’t touched on just yet: replenishment.

From Happy Meals to Happy Customers: McDonalds' Innovative Sentiment Analysis Strategy

I’m sure at some point, you’ve gone through Yelp, or Trip Advisor, or any other review platform of some sort before committing to a purchase or a visit. I know I do (and I can’t live without them). But what you may not have thought about is how these reviews help that company just as much as they help you as a customer. But how? Sentiment analysis.

Beyond the Surface: Netflix's Innovative Approach to LTV Analysis

Now, we all know and love Netflix the same way Netflix shows that they know and love us. And why is proving their love toward their customers so important? For any subscription company, the key to success is making sure their LTV (lifetime value) stays relatively high. But it’s not just about how they increase those numbers that makes Netflix such an outstanding company - it’s even more-so about how they measure those very numbers and how deeply they analyze them.

Soda Diplomacy: How Coca-Cola Speaks the Language of Every Region

In Las Vegas, CA, tourists from all around the country line up outside the doors of the Coca-Cola Factory right before it opens. Why? To try Coca-Cola’s ATW (Around the World) Tray. On each ATW Tray, customers get to taste a cup each of the various flavors of Coca-Cola offered in different countries across the world. What makes it so special is that each country’s Coca-Cola drink has a distinct flavor catered to the tastes, preferences, and sometimes even the traditions of the people living there. But why is this effective?

Balancing Act: Whole Food’s Struggle Between Data and Human Judgment

Everyone knows that these days, if you’re NOT using data and integrating tech into your company, you’re doing it wrong. On the other hand, there’s also a pretty big misconception here. Sure, we’re in the digital era, but that doesn’t mean we can just brush away the importance of human judgment. Instead of letting new technologies take over your entire business, you can use data more effectively by complementing existing human judgment and decision-making processes with it. And Whole Food’s recent merger with Amazon tells you exactly why.

Data Enablement: Fueling Marketing Success in the Digital Age

It’s pretty clear that in the dynamic world of marketing, success today is driven by data. When we look at trends in the consumer retail industry especially, companies are beginning to up their digital game to keep up with their competitors. In other words, many traditional methods simply don’t cut it anymore. This is where data enablement steps in. Let’s dive into what exactly data enablement is and how it’s changing the way companies go about marketing.

Sweat, Style, and Success: How Lululemon Mastered Market Expansion

Everyone knows the brand Lululemon — I mean, they’ve made quite the name for themselves (among both men and women) in the last decade. But in the past, Lululemon certainly wasn’t for everyone. In the very beginning, they had quite the focused target market — younger active women aspiring to live healthy lifestyles. And having a focus strategy (one that’s focused on a niche market) isn’t a bad thing at all. In fact, it’s how most great companies first start out. But let’s explore what tactics Lululemon ensued to broaden their focus strategy without diluting their brand.

Perfecting Segmentation: Bolstering your ESP with AI

Email Service Providers (ESPs) are a great starting point when trying to segment your customers, but nowadays, you're going to need more than just an ESP to make your campaigns the best of the best. We can't live without ESPs — I mean, they’re absolutely critical for delivering messages to consumers across various platforms. And while ESP’s are great at delivery and compliance, we’ve found the key to amplifying their existing impact even further: a robust RFM (or AI) model that enables brands to have more granular and predictive user segmentation.

Beyond the Brick: Diversification's Role in Building Lego’s Brand

If I just said the word “marketing,” what would first come to mind? Maybe some terms like marketing campaigns, email campaigns, social media, and word of mouth, right? But marketing certainly isn’t limited to just these few ideas and methods. And Lego as a company makes this very clear. More often than not, company diversification is usually seen as a way to minimize risk or generate new sources of revenue. But over the years, Lego’s taken a different kind of approach. Let’s look at some of the innovative ways they’ve diversified their brand, and what other benefits they reaped.

From Slump to Surge: Reigniting E-Commerce in a Post Pandemic World

The global e-commerce landscape has seen unparalleled growth in recent years, driven in part by the COVID-19 pandemic. But as the world emerges from the pandemic's shadow, the once-exponential e-commerce growth rate has dwindled to a mere 7% in the last year, leaving businesses grappling with a significant sales slump. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at the journey of e-commerce during the pandemic, the factors that fueled its initial surge, and the shifting consumer behavior in the post-pandemic era. Moreover, we'll explore effective strategies for addressing this sales downturn and how Cotera can play a pivotal role in reigniting e-commerce success.

Customer-Centric Marketing: Segmentation vs. Personalization

No matter how intertwined personalization and segmentation are, they are certainly not one and the same. Sure, they both accomplish the same goals — improving customer experience, increasing AOV per customer, strengthening customer loyalty, driving repeated purchases, and etc. BUT differentiating the way they’re used is key to use them together more effectively. One other way to think about it is, segmentation answers the question, “What types of people am I selling to?” and personalization answers the question, “How will I sell to this specific person?” Often, you’ll see through the way these two strategies work together, that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Let’s get into it.

Gen-Z Shopping Revolution & The Power of Subscription Boxes

What if I told you that nearly half of Gen Z adults are eager to pay for subscriptions to internet personalities or content creators? It's a statistic that reflects the evolving preferences of this influential generation. But there's more to it than meets the eye. From spending over four hours a day on social media to their unique loyalty to brands with subscriptions, Gen Z is redefining the retail landscape. In this blog post, we'll uncover the fascinating world of Gen Z and subscription boxes, exploring how these trends are shaping the future of shopping. How can your business tap into this Gen Z revolution and harness the power of subscription boxes to captivate this dynamic audience? Let's dive in and find out.

Amazon’s Winning Formula: Delivering a Brilliant Brand Strategy

I can almost be 100% sure that you, *yes you*, have either made a purchase through Amazon before or at least know someone who has. And if you have, there’s a good chance you’re a Prime member who’s not planning on churning any time soon. I mean, why would you? Amazon is the ultimate, go-to one-stop shop that *you know* you can rely on. When I think about companies that absolutely master customer loyalty and retention, there’s no doubt that Amazon takes the win. But how does one just suddenly win over the hearts of hundreds of millions of customers around the world?

Why Coupons Alone Aren't Enough: Embracing Customer-Centric Strategies

Here’s a question for you - why would you offer a coupon to a customer who you *know* would buy from you even in the absence of a deal? I guess the hard part would be determining which customers you *actually* need to offer promotions to and which you don’t. But it’s wrong to think that it’s a waste of your time to figure this out. By handing out coupons left and right, you’re simply losing money - and this is a mistake many companies (like Blue Apron) have made and continue to make. BUT there’s a solution! Just like for many problems we’ve covered in the past, segmentation is the key here. Let’s use the company Everlane as an example.

Turning Fans into Advocates: Canva's Winning Approach

If you go back just several years, you’ll remember that it used to be WAY harder to whip up a design on command. What changed? For me, the first game-changing platform that comes to mind is Canva. So how exactly did this tiny startup transform into a multi-billion-dollar unicorn? They’re not only smart about what target market they decided to capture, but they also do a pretty solid job of keeping their users active and eager for more. Let’s dive further into what innovative strategies Canva puts into place to attract and keep users like me engaged.

Beyond Bulk Buying: The Costco Connection - Building Lifelong Customers

In 2021, Costco had a 91% membership renewal rate in North America and 89% worldwide. Recently, Costco released their 2023 Q3 reports, and rates were up even higher, with a 92.6% renewal rate in North America and 90.5% worldwide. The statistics in 2021 already established Costco as the master of customer loyalty programs, but to see continuous growth over time really begs the question of what is Costco’s secret sauce. How are they able to make their customer loyalty program even more enticing than it already is?

Where Art Meets Hype: A24's Trail of Success Carved by Unconventional Marketing

The film industry has been on fire recently. We got Barbie and Oppenheimer and Spiderman this summer, with even more coming along the way. However, even for those of us who aren’t cinephiles, one studio has been producing hit after hit after hit, such as Oscar Best Picture Everything Everwhere All at Once and Academy Award-winning Moonlight. Despite being an indie film studio, A24 has been blowing everyone’s minds away with their top-notch movies. So the question is: how did they blow up?

Unlocking Hidden Revenue: Why Abandoned Cart Strategies Should Include Upselling

What’s shocking is that according to a recent study, chances are high that only 3 out of 10 individuals will end up pulling the trigger to make the final purchase. That’s 70% of customers who end up abandoning their carts — a very worrying statistic. But don’t let this discourage you — there are solutions you can implement to nudge customers further toward that final trigger. And why go the extra mile to do so? Imagine being able to turn that 70% into 0%. That gives you and your company the ability to more than double your existing revenue — something that would be *significantly* more difficult and expensive to accomplish through a customer acquisition or brand awareness campaign.

Slicing Through Churn: ButcherBox's Data Approach to Customer Retention

ButcherBox is an online meat-seller that’s absolutely killing it in the industry. But unlike Blue Apron, ButcherBox did something a little different — and this little difference made a huge difference in the long run. Rather than focusing on acquiring new customers in their marketing campaigns, they targeted existing/past subscribers and website visitors to get them to keep coming back, order more and more, and stay for good. Let’s take a look at how this company avoided coming face to face with the same issues as other companies in the industry.

When the Shoe Doesn't Fit: Allbirds' Segmentation Missteps

Most people attributed the fall of Allbirds to poor quality, but the truth is, the source of their problems was more than just the material of the shoe. Allbirds, originally a sustainable sneaker company, had not only failed to pay attention to the underlying needs and values of their ICP, but had also lost its way by attempting to expand the brand to irrelevant segments. Much like what we described for Nike, trying to enter new markets too quickly fogged up Allbirds’ core brand image and diminished overall perceived quality. But even this is too short a summary of what truly happened to Allbirds — so let’s break it all down.

Retention Renaissance: Adapting to a Retention-Driven Marketplace

In addition to high consumer spending, the customer acquisition landscape was quite different from what it is today - platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram offered clever segmentation tactics to target customers effectively, which gave these companies comparatively lower customer acquisition cost (CAC) than they had seen in the past. If you’ve been operating a business, you’ve got a plethora of data that you can use to your advantage. Here are some ways that our customers have seen growth from their existing customer base.

From Frenzy to Fad: Why Pokémon GO Couldn't Keep 'Em All

One of the most common challenges we see retail and ecommerce businesses experience is their inability to sustain their initial momentum. I mentioned this idea very briefly at the end of our Glossier case study, but in this case, Glossier lost its reputation due to bad HR and internal operational decision-making. More often than not, though, brands cannot maintain their brand image or awareness because of rigid, inflexible marketing strategies. That’s why we’re going to dive deep into Pokémon GO and how it went from having over 200m active players at its peak to there now only being 80m remaining.

Diving into Apps on the Modern Data Stack: Understanding the Essentials

There has been a lot of talk of building 'data apps' on the modern data stack. It's not clear who exactly is to be blame but it may be Martin Casado [1] and Benn Stancil [2]. But what does it even mean to build a data app? Are there any benefits or downsides? What are the technical challenges? I think the proposition is interesting... but these are tough questions we must answer if the concept is to be taken seriously.

Brewing a Brighter Future: Reviving Mountain Man Through Data-Driven Solutions

The beer industry is one where people either care deeply about the brand they consume or don’t care at all. For the folks who do care, there’s a set of criteria they typically use to decide which beer to purchase: quality, taste, price, brand image, tradition, and authenticity. For Mountain Man Lager, it was clear that they absolutely nailed every one of those factors. For nearly a century, Mountain Man never once deviated from its core identity as a family-owned quality beer brand with a consistently strong, bitter recipe and a local bond to East Coast consumers. So when Mountain Man Lager suddenly started to consistently lose 2% of its revenue every year, Chris Prangel, the next inheritor of the family-owned brand, began to panic. For over 75 years, Mountain Man never once saw a decline in sales - so there was clearly a reason to be concerned. But what exactly happened?

From Data to Dollars: Harnessing LTV to Drive Revenue

LTV is one of those concepts that can easily be understood at surface level but often misunderstood at its core. But what exactly makes it so difficult to grasp? 1. LTV is hard to calculate, and nobody knows what to do with it. 2. There’s no way easy way to use it to measure growth. 3. Fixing (1) and (2) is much easier said than done.

From Gloss to Glory: Decoding Glossier's Brand Success

Realistic movies are usually comedic and dramatic spins of real life, but if you’ve ever watched “The Devil Wears Prada,” you’ll know the film has quite accurately captured how intense and almost cultish the fashion and beauty industry can be. Glossier’s rise to fame, though, is largely attributed to its defiance of this cultural mindset. But it’s a little ironic - Glossier set out to escape from the echo chamber of the beauty industry, yet its own customer base is known for being extremely obsessed with the brand. Let’s dive deeper into what exactly triggered Glossier’s explosive takeover.

RFM Made Easy: A Guide to Profiling Your Best Customers

RFM is a customer segmentation methodology for e-commerce businesses. The insight behind this framework is that customers who purchased recently are more likely to purchase again. Equally, big and frequent spenders are more likely to respond to promotions than small and infrequent spenders. Together, the three metrics give you a way to create lifecycle segments that let you answer questions like: Who are my best customers? Which customers am I at risk of losing? Which customers are best to target with promotions? Which customers can I entice to spend more?

From Play to Pay: How Spotify Masters User Conversion

I’ve been a proud Spotify user since 2015 and have never reverted to another music streaming platform since then. There’s a reason Spotify is so skilled at converting customers into premium users and retaining them. Being a music platform, Spotify has mastered the art of personalization. However, what truly differentiates them from the competition is the way they manage to personalize both individual user experiences on the platform and the marketing content every user receives.

Making Smarter Customer Retention Decisions

The problem we see with most brands is that they take an “everything to everyone” approach to retention marketing, which means they try to appeal to all their customers with the same generic campaigns and messages, rather than tailoring their marketing efforts to specific customer segments. We find that this approach leads to poor engagement and low retention rates, as folks aren’t likely to respond to messages that aren’t tailored to their interests. And thus, we see the importance of segmentation!

Trading Troubles: Robinhood's Fall from Fintech Fame

Robinhood was the first trading platform of its kind. With its goal to “democratize finance for all,” the platform enabled any user, regardless of financial expertise, to invest in stocks, crypto, options, and more. Of course, any company’s downfall is a result of a combination of multiple factors. But according to Robinhood’s CEO, Vlad Tenev, one of their critical mistakes was assuming that heightened user engagement in the pandemic would continue… post-pandemic.

Why Your Churn Mitigation Strategy Might Be Too Little, Too Late

99.9% of businesses are in the business of selling something, and the person on the other end of the transaction is a customer. Now, different businesses have different numbers of customers: Delta flies hundreds of millions of customers around the world each year (I’m writing this on a Delta flight right now), while a company that creates missile defense systems might do so for very few but usually very large countries over the course of a given decade. Most of these companies also experience what’s called “churn.” The term is most often attributed to companies that sell a subscription, but is also present in most other types of business, just with differing amounts of importance.

Unveiling Buyer Personas: How "Calvin", "Dora", and "Sammy" Can Boost Your Sales

We were working with a +$40M e-commerce brand last year that sold coffee and tea online, and we found that their customer re-targeting strategy amounted to taking every person who hadn’t purchased in the last 6 months and sending them a coupon for 10% off the highest selling product that the brand had (or sometimes a product that was in overstock). This, while better than nothing, was leaving money on the table.We’ve also found this on the SaaS side. The retention strategy for surprisingly large companies can whittle down to effectively a poke/prod to anyone who hasn’t logged in in a few weeks. We’ve found that you can increase engagement by double digit percentages by making sure that you target the right customers at the right time.

Shoe-in Success: How Nike “Just Did It” with Strategic Segmentation

What’s the first brand that comes to mind when you think of footwear? There’s a good chance you immediately thought of Nike (or Adidas, but let’s save that story for another day). And who can blame you? Nike is not only the largest shoe brand in the world, but they’re also one of the most well-known brands as a whole. At least in the footwear industry, their brand awareness is truly unparalleled.

Bullseye Precision: The Story Behind Target's Personalization Wizardry

Let’s take a look at one of the most successful retailers in the world - Target. Target’s decision to use data to both identify its customer segments and personalize its advertising efforts truly revolutionized the way data could be used in the retail space.

Segmentation Supercharged: Empowering Your Acquisition and Product Strategy

We think that there are three “quick win” areas where you can leverage data segmentation to improve aspects of strategy. We’ll start by looking at how data can help you optimize customer acquisition by identifying which products are most likely to lead to repeat purchases. Next, we'll dive into how leveraging data on customer behavior can lead to product decisions that keep your customers engaged and loyal. Finally, we'll discuss how data can help you decide on pricing and promotions that strike the right balance between short-term revenue and long-term profitability.

From Broken Bread to Broken Stocks: The Blue Apron Story

Just a few years ago, this niche industry was shocking the world with its sudden explosion in growth, valued at over $1.5 billion in 2016 and nearly doubling the next year. What’s crazy is that while HelloFresh now dominates the meal kit sector, this wasn’t always the case.

From Noise to Niche: The Magic of Segmentation in Personalizing Your Message

Finding new customers can be infuriatingly difficult, expensive, and time-consuming. While it’s always good to be on the lookout for potential ICP candidates, it’s also crucial to drill down on your current customers. After all, if you fail to cater towards your current customers, you might just lose them.

Better Marketing With Data - Personalizing Post Purchase

You just purchased a pair of sneakers from Allbirds, and you immediately receive a post-purchase email in your inbox. There’s about a 45% chance you even open the email in the first place, but let’s say you do. Which one of these emails would you be more likely to look through? Which would leave a more lasting impression?

Only read this if you're looking to be the best in CX...

Remember all the times your customers have churned? We think most of those were avoidable. 

A technical issue that went unseen. A change in internal supplier leading to bad reviews. Too many support tickets that went unanswered.

We've all been there.

You're leading an organisation or CX team, and you want to build something that matters. Let us help you with that.

Cotera integrates into your existing business. It doesn't matter what 'stack' you use. Our magic alerts you proactively when something doesn't look right, before your team have woken up in the morning. And it can tell you trends about your competitors that they don't even know yet.

We do that, and a bunch more. Try us out today.

Only read this if you're looking to be the best in CX...

Remember all the times your customers have churned? We think most of those were avoidable. 

A technical issue that went unseen. A change in internal supplier leading to bad reviews. Too many support tickets that went unanswered.

We've all been there.

You're leading an organisation or CX team, and you want to build something that matters. Let us help you with that.

Cotera integrates into your existing business. It doesn't matter what 'stack' you use. Our magic alerts you proactively when something doesn't look right, before your team have woken up in the morning. And it can tell you trends about your competitors that they don't even know yet.

We do that, and a bunch more. Try us out today.