This week in martech
Car.com's video platform, Latin-American marketing tips, and news from Transunion, Phrasee and Vans.
Making marketing ‘family’-friendly with Vans
With families spending more time together than ever, even with back-to-school looming, marketing to the entire family unit is definitely en vogue.
The popular shoe brand Vans has done just that with its Vans Family brand, an interactive and loyalty program designed to recognize, reward and celebrate fans for who they are and what they like to do. • Highlights of the Vans Family brand:
- Over 10 million members in less than two years;
- Program members spend 60 percent more than non-members;
- Access to exclusive contests and experiences; and
- Access to customized footwear, accessories and early previews of product releases.
“Vans is a great representation of how to start with a strong brand to create members-only experiences,” said Jon Siegal, VP of Global Loyalty Sales for Cheetah Digital, the digital omnichannel platform vendor for Vans Family. “The exchange of value between brand and customer results in an increase of spend for loyalty members.”
Why we care. It’s a good reminder that loyalty programs like these can build up so much long-term value for your customers. But executing these across channels very much relies on a solid martech framework.
Tips on creating a ‘brand voice’
Why not take the human out of the ‘human error factor?’
Phrasee, an AI-based platform that specializes in natural language generation, is recommending that marketers take a second look at what can be done with the human touch and what can be done with AI. Email content, subject lines and social media content are all tasks that can be done 100% by AI, allowing human capital to focus on more strategic and revenue-generating activities.
But just as important, marketers need to establish a ‘brand voice,’ a tone and way of communicating that reflects the brand, its customer experience and product perception.
Phrasee CEO Parry Malm and Marketing Manager Isadora Welby shared some exclusive tips that companies can control their brand voice:
- Find your voice, maintain your voice and stick to your voice, whether it be due to economic or corporate crisis, once you stray from your voice it is obvious and you lose recognition from your audience;
- If you are still looking for your brand voice, use every opportunity to test out different approaches. Personnel announcements, new product rollouts and event sponsorships are all adequate times to test your voice; and
- Don’t be afraid of being uncomfortable at first. Familiarity breeds contempt. Being unfamiliar means you are on the path to creating a new brand voice that adequately reflects the times.
Look for more quality insight from Malm and Welby later this month.
Why we care. ‘Brand voice’ used to be a popular catchphrase for marketing consultants 20 years ago, when in-person experiences still dominated the consumer landscape. Now with remote being the new normal, establishing a consistent brand voice is not an option, it is a necessity.
TransUnion acquires Signal
TransUnion, a global information and insights company that you may know more for its credit report business, has acquired Signal, a technology platform that allows brands to utilize the first-party data they currently own for more personalized messages and experiences.
With TransUnion and Signal joining forces new campaigns will have a level of engagement and depth of reporting that was not existent before the acquisition, the companies say. TransUnion has been busy on the M&A front, acquiring TruSignal in 2019 and making a heavy investment in Tru Optik, as well.
Why we care. Transunion, which already is awash in consumer data, says the deal will give them better real-time insights and the ability to scale personalization, and increasingly important capability as more interactions are shifting to digital. Of course, with personalization sitting deep in Gartner’s “trough of disillusionment,” we shall see.
Marketing tips for Latin America from Anheuser-Busch vendor
Later this month we will be talking to VTEX, the eCommerce platform for AB InBev (also known as the Anheuser-Busch brand) on why their partnership has been successful for AB InBev’s bottom line, based on its agility, flexibility and scalability.
“We have an intelligent search feature powered by AI that searches across all eCommerce and marketplace sites to see what people have been looking for, even if it is not in inventory,” said VTEX Chief Revenue Officer Joseph Lee. “We’ve been able to gather comprehensive data on consumer demand and turn that into revenue.”
Before its partnership with AB InBev, VTEX’s platforms were successfully tested within Latin America, a marketing hotspot right now, and Lee offered some insider tips for marketers:
- Beware of price sensitivity and cost consciousness;
- Take advantage of more flexible pricing and promotions;
- Innovation-friendly marketing environment; and
- Use promotions to encourage volume-buying.
“Latin America is open to new marketing promotions for both B2B and B2C campaigns so think outside the box, it will be worth it,” said Lee.
Why we care. Latin America markets and culture are still increasing in popularity. Use innovative campaign ideas as a test market prior to bringing them to domestic campaigns.
FUEL powers Cars.com video platform
We recently showcased our visit with Dealer Inspire, the digital marketing platform of Cars.com, to learn about how they are leading the transformation to digital dealerships.
In the story, Dealer Inspire CEO Joe Chura talks about his team having to produce 1,000 videos in 60 days to meet demand from car dealerships, while implementing 20-hour schedules to get the job done.
So what fueled the production pace?
FUEL In-market Video, is Cars.com’s innovative digital video solution that uses the brand’s expansive audience, artificial intelligence, interactive channels, the new PRIZM reporting platform as well as custom campaigns and comprehensive integration to increase digital traffic.
Launched immediately before the COVID outbreak in March, FUEL’s pilot program at an Atlanta-area Hyundai dealership resulted in a 153% increase in new users on its website, a 31% increase in organic traffic and a 180 percent increase in referral traffic from social media as a result of the new digital video campaign.
“We took our creative ability to produce videos and used a more template-based format and combined it with our large Cars.com audience,” said Chura. “Now we have pivoted that huge demand directly to our dealers.”
Why we care. If you haven’t done it yet, a deep analysis of your video platform(s) and its ROI is needed to compete in the new economy. It looks like no sector is exempt from video-based engagement as we head towards 2021.