What if you could get 100 percent return on every advertising dollar spent? Or increase your company’s average order value by 300 percent? Tougher still, what if you could measure marketing effectiveness when you don’t directly touch the customer and don’t control the point of sale?
If you’re a marketing executive, these scenarios are not the stuff dreams are made of; they are the very real scenarios that make up great marketing.
At VentureBeat’s Marketing.FWD event in New York City this week, three executives from very diverse companies shared their perspectives on the importance of determining return on investment (ROI) goals and other success metrics before undertaking marketing initiatives.
Too often, companies overlook the basics: setting realistic, achievable goals that are aligned with greater business objectives; agreeing on how to measure those goals; and allowing for flexibility and the room to maneuver, should a campaign go off the rails. Moreover, as the variety of consumer touch points expands and the complexity of measuring ROI increases, marketers must strive even harder to be disruptive.
Mark Rosner is chief revenue officer at AppLovin, a marketing platform that enables brands to use data to drive marketing decisions and deliver relevant content on mobile devices. (Disclosure: AppLovin was an event sponsor of Marketing.FWD) Rosner described how his firm turns away clients who insist on unrealistic goals, explaining that his company’s ideal client is one he can help not only meet their goals, but exceed them. “[The client] should have flexibility in setting goals, be open to lots of feedback on those goals, and be willing to accept lots of nuance in getting things right.”
Rosner shared recent examples from AppLovin in which the the clarity of clients’ goals and flexibility in hitting those targets contributed to a successful outcome. He described the variety of demands a client might bring to the table. A company, for example, asked for customer registrations at no more than a $7 spend per. A travel company was looking for a 100% or greater return for their overall ad spend. A game company sought to have its app ranked number one in its category. Rosner explained that while his firm can help attract potential customers, having an excellent underlying product or service is paramount: ‘What good is acquiring a customer if they can’t be retained?”
BaubleBar, the ecommerce startup known for bringing inexpensive, fashion-trending jewelry quickly to market, has devised an innovative way to deepen engagement with its customers through SWAT (service with accessorizing talent) stylists. Much like a personal shopper, a SWAT stylist works with customers to select jewelry and accessories on a one-to-one basis using video chat, cobrowsing, email, social, and Pinterest boards.
According to Nina Alexander-Hurst, vice president of customer experience and SWAT at BaubleBar, the program began as an experiment. “In the initial test, 19 of 20 customers provided extremely positive feedback,” Alexander-Hurst said. Today, armed with even more data, she has everyone at BaubleBar on board. The average order value has increased 300 percent for customers who interact with SWAT stylists, and their shopping frequency has increased 250 percent, according to Alexander-Hurst.
In a recent BaubleBar survey, a large percentage of customers reported that they felt “valued” because of attention from a SWAT stylist. “When people are talking on social media, they’re mentioning the names of their SWAT stylists,” Alexander-Hurst said.
Value and loyalty are similarly important considerations in wine and spirits marketing, but with a few particular twists. Jon Potter, managing director of Chandon California at Moët Hennessy USA, defined value – or desirability — as a success metric by asking, “Are we persuading people to spend more money and buy our products?” He describes the wine and spirits category as one with “low loyalty, where so much depends on where you are, what’s available, and who you’re drinking with.”
Other ways Potter measures ROI include momentum (how fast a brand is growing), reach (how many customers are being recruited into a brand), and profits (margins increased due to marketing). Moet Hennessey oversees such fabled champagnes as Veuve Clicquot and Dom Perignon and is part of LVMH, the French multinational luxury goods conglomerate.
Stewarding centuries-old champagne brands – Veuve Clicquot was founded in 1772, and Dom Perignon traces its origins to the 17th century — presents both challenges and opportunities. On the one hand, “Customers have an emotional connection with our brands, built over years of friendships and special occasions,” Potter said. At the same time, “We have 75 percent of the champagne market, but it’s a small category, so to grow we need to bring people into the category.”
Much like AppLovin’s activities on behalf of its clients, and BaubleBar’s efforts to connect with its customers in innovative ways, Moet is also experimenting with and testing what Potter calls “codes” and “memory structures.” Potter said success here occurs when someone walks into a bar, sees the distinctive shield of a Dom Perignon label, and experiences a pleasant emotional association. As another example, Potter offered Veuve Clicquot’s polo tournaments and the resulting positive connection spectators have with the brand.
While Moet does not control the point of sale, and the direct result of these, or any marketing activities, is difficult to ascertain, Potter always comes back to his core ROI metric, asking “Are we recruiting new customers into the category?”
“We’re traditional, we build brands over long, long times, ” Potter said. “We create experiences that delight consumers.”