One of the most profound movements in marketing over the past five years or so has been the desire to consolidate as much customer information as possible into a single 360-degree customer database — more specifically, a Data Warehouse. If you have every piece (or nearly every piece) of first-party, second-party, and third-party data that you own or have acquired about your customer in one place, you can be even more personalized, responsive, and predictive (i.e. leverage AI models) about how best to serve and communicate to those customers. And customers increasingly expect you to leverage their data in this manner — to deliver a better cross-channel experience that “surprises and delights.” To fail to do so is to risk losing that customer relationship.
It was because of you, the enterprise marketer, that we were inspired to push forward with our recent webinar, “How Legacy ESPs Have Failed Enterprise Marketers.” We’ve heard so many stories on the phone and the road over the past several years, talking to marketers who are endlessly frustrated as they find that not only does their ESP seem not to be built around how they need to reach their customers, but that they’re essentially stuck with that albatross around their neck. It’s too hard to change, and there’s no way they’ll get the buy-in they need from the key stakeholders to migrate to a new solution. And, furthermore, even if they did, everybody thinks they’re all the same anyway, so what would really change?
We know these frustrations well. It’s why we felt like it needed to be said that ESPs haven’t been as innovative or flexible as they should be, and that enterprise marketers — along with their often-beleaguered I.T. teams — have borne the brunt of that. If you didn’t get a chance to tune into the webinar, here’s a quick recap of the main topics we touched on:
When you’re grinding away in your cubicle day after day, running A/B tests, segmenting your audience, poring over deliverability metrics, you know the reality of email marketing. You know what’s working and what isn’t. It’s your job to know. You’re in the thick of it. Boots on the ground. Every day. You’re not part of the C-Suite; you’re an enterprise email marketer. This is your world.
The larger the company, the less enthusiastic their marketers are about the performance of their Email Service Provider, and — paradoxically — the less likely they are to change to a new ESP.
That was one of the chief findings of our 2018 ESP Satisfaction Report, for which we surveyed 101 marketing professionals, at companies that send at least 10 million emails per month, to research a wide range of their views toward their ESP.
It wasn’t surprising to us that we found plenty of mixed feelings across the board toward ESPs. The stark nature of this particular finding was striking, though. It was one of the clearest statistical trends our survey showed — company size is a significant factor both in lower ESP satisfaction and in lower openness to change.
Have you ever wondered how some companies consistently send millions of highly targeted, personalized emails in real time? The very nature of email makes sending real-time, personalized messages a challenge for any company. Real-time marketing’s key is speed, but email marketing’s success is based on a series of time-consuming tasks. These include list creation, data syncing and batch delays. Each activity introduces another delay, all of which can quickly turn a real-time marketing opportunity into a missed one. If you want to personalize too, expect more delays. The more you personalize a message, the more time consuming it is to prepare. So, how are some enterprise marketers managing to send relevant, highly personalized emails in real time?
It’s a situation many enterprise marketers have encountered in recent years — you have an email service provider (ESP) that isn’t working for your organization’s needs. But the decision maker at your company standing in the way of change is tough to convince. To be fair, changing ESPs is not only hard, but it can be expensive and time-consuming. Campaigns have to migrate over. You have to account for data. Your team has to learn how to use a new tool. It can seem daunting, and the decision maker — whether it’s your CMO, CEO, VP of Marketing, Director of Marketing Operations, or whoever will make the final call — will understandably have a high bar to clear for making such a significant shift for your organization, one that will involve not just Marketing, but Marketing Operations and I.T. as well.
Every good marketer knows that designing a successful holiday email program requires months of planning. Without the proper technology and infrastructure, though, a holiday email program won’t be successful no matter how well you plan everything else. With a little prep (and some conversations with your email service provider throughout the year), you can maximize your holiday success. Here are a few questions to ask yourself and your ESP to ensure you have a smooth season:
Many recent articles have highlighted the plight of the CMO. A recent issue of Harvard Business Review, “The Trouble With CMOs,” called it the riskiest job in the C-suite, with an average tenure of four years, half that of the CEO. An article in MediaPost by Maarten Albarda pointed out that while five C-suite members share growth and revenue responsibility, only the CMO was blamed for missed targets.
These articles recommend several solutions. Those include redefining the CMO’s role, matching responsibilities to the job’s scope, and realigning metrics with expectations. However, CMOs may find an easy win by adjusting what is already a top performer – their email marketing. This win could be easy because most CMOs don’t realize how much better their email programs could be performing.
Every marketer has faced challenges when creating what they hope to be successful email programs. For those working in highly regulated companies such as banks, those challenges can often seem like mission impossible.
The many and changing regulations that govern banks apply fully to their marketing departments. And while email marketers have been able to work around those regulations to create amazing work, many still struggle with getting the data they need and using it to send highly personalized marketing messages.
But banks have a lot going for them when it comes to marketing. They have a LOT of first-party data on their customers. Moreover, new technology is emerging that could give banks the connection they seek, while maintaining the highest level of security.
Last week, MessageGears CEO Roger Barnette and Co-Founder Dan Roy got on stage at the annual MarketingSherpa Summit in Las Vegas to present “Addressing the Unique Email Needs of the Enterprise Marketer” in the event’s Solutions Theater. In the session, the two made the case for why enterprise businesses need innovative technology solutions and partners to effectively communicate with their customers. The needs for the biggest email senders in the world are different than what most of the market needs.