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Tink Taylor - Founder and President at dotDigital
Tink is the Founder and President at dotDigital, the global leader in customer engagement technology. With 20 years’ experience in the field of digital communications and introducing digital marketing to companies large & small, he’s been pivotal in the development of digital marketing since its outset in both the UK and the USA.
Tink’s Background and dotDigital Group (02:09)
I’m the President and Founder of dotDigital. This is our 20th year in businessTwitter.
We started as a web design and development agency, so we were very technical by nature. We built a content management system and a marketing platform.
As time went on, we needed to focus on just one product because we were kind of stretched. We decided to focus on our marketing platform called dotMailer.
We changed the name to dotDigital which was always the parent name of the company. We are also listed on the London Stock Exchange.
The Things That Have Changed the Most (04:55)
The major change we are seeing is the ‘push to the recipient’. B2B space is in charge of what messaging they want, how often they want it, when and where they want it.
The smart modern marketer is really in tune with listening to what those recipient's desires are.
What is Driving Consumers Behaviour (07:05)
There is a lot more volume out there and in essence, what the marketer now needs to do is to make sure that their messages stand out from the crowd.
There is an art of getting your emails into the inbox because there is so much spam out there.
You have to consider the creative and the content as well. In terms of copy, I've seen people have got quite lazy.
The skill of copywriting can help you stand from the crowd, especially if you are then listening to what the user is doing.
Using Data to Create Insights (09:35)
We encourage our users to collect as much data as they can, under the right privacy laws and permission.
We have an integration into many different e-commerce platforms and typically we will pull over things like previous orders, average order values, and other e-commerce data.
Data is important because with data we can provide more relevance and relevance brings you results.
We've built a number of ready automation, all the ones that we know make a big difference in whatever sector they may be.
Then we would typically put someone, like an account manager, to get in touch with one of our prospects to really understand that particular business.
And if you have a limited number of data, I always encourage people to think of segments. Even if you don’t have enough data, you should at least strive to treat people and make them feel special.
Balancing the Various Channels of Communication (02:31)
It’s going to be slightly different for everyone and it’s all about understanding your audience and what you’re communicating to them.
The challenge is that there are so many channels you can be on. Another challenge is not understanding how different channels can complement one other. Understand what content is suitable for each of these channels.
The key is taking data about the conversations that are happening in one area and then exploiting them in other channels.
The Appropriate Use of Various Channels (05:37)
A lot of these channels are being very popular in terms of our daily lives.
If you send something out and someone answers to you, you need to be ready for that. You have to understand what you are sending and the type of response you want to make sure you’re prepared.
SMS is fantastic for real time critical stuff. You can use that and web push perhaps.
Is Facebook Messenger a Replacement for Email and SMS (08:42)
Facebook Messenger is never quite a total replacement but for example, a customer can get an order confirmation by email as well as a double confirmation via Facebook Messenger which opens another dialogue for communication.
In Asia, everything is about WeChat. It's a chat messaging service that has so much features and functionalities - you can even go and buy stuff in there.
How to Avoid Overwhelming a Customer (11:26)
When we put our marketing hat on we are terrified of bombarding people, but the reality is we just assume and we don’t test that.
If you send more, over time you’re going to see more opens and clicks. You’ll have more touchpoint and more opportunities to create sales.
If you see a small spike in unsubscribe then pull it back slightly.
You also need to understand why did they unsubscribe. Was it because the offer was not relevant? It might have been the content.
To send more you need to be smarter about your segmentation, automation strategy, and content strategy. When you start doing that, you start forcing yourself to do all the good things.
Last Tips for Omnichannel Engagement (16:20)
The key when you’re using omnichannel is to deliver real relevance and to make sure that any conversations that happened in one channel, move to the other one too.
The Importance and Prioritization of the Small Screen (02:25)
For many years we’ve been talking about having a mobile-friendly version of the website but now that’s an absolute priority. Three and a half-trillion dollars are being made through mobile services.
Mobile-first is the philosophy that brands should pursue when talking to their customers.
You need to be looking at what you’re sending and how it’s going to be consumed. If it’s going to be consumed on a mobile screen how people are gonna read that. Just try to make life easier for that individual.
Integrating Location Data (07:44)
It depends where you are in the world and how effective this can be. I see it much more effective in North America than in the UK for example.
In Australia, this is done in such a great way. For example, from understanding a weather feed, brands can go and dynamically adjust the content or products.
This can be done via mobile push, web push, and even email.
Using the time of the day and thinking about the timing of your messages is also key.
The Efficiency of Mobile (10:35)
I think the combination of both - mobile and desktop - is more effective. We see that many messages were opened up on mobile initially but later they have opened again and the click-through happened via PC.
The message should spark attention first but the call to action happens at a later stage.
The Difference Between a Customer Persona and Creating Segments (02:41)
We’re trying to deliver hyper-personalization. When I’m at the recipient's end I feel that this is relevant. The right mindset is to always collect data and leverage it.
The key is to pull information from your live chat, CRM, call center, etc. and turn it into something usable and actionable.
You can create intelligent segments based on that level of frequency and the value of previous transactions.
Then you start thinking about the right messages that are suitable for each segment.
The segment is what delivers relevancy. The persona that you lay over the top of that is how you think about communicating to that person.
Using Technology to Build Segments (08:07)
With our platform we allow customers to send us any data from any platform. If you’ve got a CRM or an e-commerce platform you can send that in.
Now we’re also deploying machine learning to look at all the interactions, the engagements and the conversations that we’ve had with the customer to then suggest automation and segmentation to them.
Once you’ve got your segmentation from a data point of view, go and read all of the different variations of the emails that you’re sending out. You need to make sure that your segments are getting something of relevance and interest.
Last Thoughts on Making Segmentation Effective (14:21)
Have a strategy. I’d also recommend getting a second set of eyes from someone outside the business.
The Impact of Government Regulations on Customer Engagement (02:51)
GDRP is a good thing. I worked for the Direct Marketing Association in the UK and a lot of things that we’ve done there included building guidance, best practices, etc. It was always about taking the interests of the consumer and ensuring that brands are being honest about what data they are collecting, how they are collecting it, for how long they’re going to keep it, etc.
I also worked very closely with the information commissioner in the UK who was lobbying on behalf of the UK government to the EU laws around the use of cookie technology.
We need to educate masses on how this works and why we collect data. If you do that and you explain the benefits it can deliver, then I think people are going to be comfortable.
I think the technologists need to work much closer with the regulators to educate on how this stuff actually works, so we can then bring appropriate legislation in place that gives the right level of privacy and protection to an individual.
New Formats and Channels for Engagement (10:58)
I think the amount of each channel and how it's utilized will maybe change. We’ll see a lot more of chatbots. Millenials never phone or email our support, it’s almost always through chat.