Conversion Rate Optimization

A Joyful Recap of Iterable Activate NYC

November 18, 2022
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Allison Kelly

Digioh traveled to NYC to talk joyful experiences that drive connection with your brand and, ultimately, growth.

On the week of November 7th, the Digioh team had the opportunity to travel to NYC and meet with over 50 brand marketers (along with our friends from Iterable and Radar), to have some great wine, even better company, and an amazing conversation around creating joyful experiences to drive consumer connection with your brand.  

It was my pleasure to present alongside Steve Mastrocola from SeatGeek, Lily Zalla from Radar, and of course, my dear friend Jeff Samuels, COO of Iterable. Read below to learn more about joyful experiences that drive connection with your brand and, ultimately, growth.

Jeff: Welcome! I am so thrilled to have you both join me. Before we jump in, I would love for you to share a bit about yourselves. What have you learned in your career?

Steve
Director, CRM, SeatGeek

I started my career in customer retention at legacy brands like Sports Illustrated and Fortune, before moving over to start CRM at then tech ticketing start-up SeatGeek.

Having agile tooling is key. I always like to say that if Beyoncé announced a tour right now, SeatGeek would have an email out to millions of customers in less than half an hour.  That’s not been a capability I've had my entire career, and it doesn’t matter how great the idea is or how big the opportunity is if you can’t easily execute.

Lily
Senior CSM, Radar, supporting enterprise customers

Radar is location data infrastructure. We help our customers build impactful product and marketing experiences using location.

I’ve spent my career in customer success/client service supporting SaaS products. Prior to Radar, I worked at Salesforce supporting their Marketing Intelligence platform, where I helped customers make the most of their marketing data across disparate data sources to make data-driven marketing decisions.

Here at Radar, I partner with my customers to help them build positive and engaging customer experiences for their own customers.

I’ve learned that nothing is more important than the customer. My most successful customers have always kept their own customers as the #1 driver of decisions – I may be biased, but I believe the customer is the heart of any good company, and there are always a thousand other things to focus on and execute, but it always come back to this.

Allison
Chief Revenue Officer, Digioh

Ironically enough, I have a history degree and started my career in marketing as a graphic designer back in 1999.  I think my path to SaaS executive leadership has been unusual - and certainly not expected if I were to talk to my 22-year-old self!  I still sometimes don’t believe it! 

Currently, I serve as the Chief Revenue Officer at Digioh, a leading acquisition, preference center, and interactive zero-party data platform that serves over 1500 customers globally.  Prior to that, I led GTM and Partnerships at organizations, such as Attentive, Cordial, and MAPP.  

As a woman in revenue leadership, I’ve learned to never back down from your beliefs, trust your gut, and always believe there’s a better way to get to results - but that “better way” is built by hiring great people, building good processes, and having a lot of fun along the way! 

Jeff: I talked a bit about bringing joy to the customer by really knowing data. What is your best advice for those who are trying to maximize data for personalization?

Steve

Learn what your customers are eager to share about themselves.  In my time at SeatGeek and Sports Illustrated, we’ve found customers are eager to share their favorite sports team and can’t tell us quick enough when we ask.

Make it easy for customers to tell you what they like.  For example, you can connect your Spotify and SeatGeek accounts which share your favorite artists with SeatGeek in a single click.

It’s about quality not quantity, so make sure you understand the intent of data when it’s collected. For example, for concert personalization we found favoriting on SG > Spotify > Facebook in terms of purchase intent.

Lily

My biggest piece of advice would be to not collect data for the sake of collection. Anchor it to a purpose and ensure that it delivers unique value back to the user.

For example, with location data specifically, if you’re a restaurant, maybe that means understanding the times of the day that a user is most likely to visit based on past behavior, and messaging them accordingly.

Or if you know what their favorite order is, you enable them to easily reorder in store, or you can make product recommendations based on what you know about them.

Being very intentional about the data you collect and ensuring there’s a clear value exchange with your users.

Allison

Personalization is hard y’all!  It’s a topic that has been discussed since first starting in this industry!  We’re still figuring it out - as the definition of personalization changes with the way that consumer engagement changes - and also changes by what technology allows us to expand to see! 

The easiest way to begin a customer journey, and leverage data for personalization from day one, is by asking them intentional questions as if you were in-person, meeting them for the first time. Don’t just ask for their email address and phone number when they are a brand-new visitor to your website!  Think about simple questions that help you get to know those customers more and grab data that earns you the right to ask for their contact information.  Steven’s right; people love to talk about themselves and love to be asked questions.  Use that to your advantage with a quiz, survey, or progressive profiling tactics throughout your customer journey. 

Jeff: What do you think joy means for your customers in your case? 

Steve

Everyone wants to get a good deal and get their ideal seats, whether it’s behind the dugout or in the bleachers.  So if someone checks out an event and doesn’t buy, we let them know when the price drops with an email and push notification.  We also feature “collections” on our site so users can filter on the types of seats they want, and we’ll show them the view from those seats.

Customers also want to be hyped for their event.  From simple things like not just marketing “Knicks vs. Lakers” but hyping “LeBron is coming to town,” to the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities like “The Phillies are going to the World Series” to the pre-show tease, like what Taylor Swift setlists have been on her current tour.

Lily

My customers are brands like you all, and their joy comes from their own customers having positive brand experiences that drive revenue and loyalty.

I am also a consumer of many of my customers’ brands, so it’s oftentimes easy to define what joy looks like by thinking about my own interactions with that brand.

When I'm helping customers scope a new location-based feature, it’s helpful to put myself in the shoes of the consumer, and how I’d want this experience to look in order to have a more positive experience (e.g. what information or tools would it be helpful to have when I’m shopping in-store?)

Allison

Joy for our customers at Digioh means creating unique experiences for their consumers that allow them to capture, converge, and harness the power of zero-party data.  

This can take many forms with our technology, but when we have customers seeing a 2X increase in onsite conversions in under 30 days by rolling out our technology, along with the strategies and tactics we share for free in our service model - that will make any marketer joyful!

Customers are loving our quiz product right now, and we are finding all sorts of new ways to leverage quizzes and surveys across our customers.  They’re truly providing us more joy right now as we are constantly finding new use cases for our product together daily.

Jeff: How does marketing/customer engagement drive value?

Steve

Understand where you can fill a knowledge gap.  For example, years ago when we first started really diving into concert on sale marketing, it wasn’t Billie Eilish or Taylor Swift that was the most successful for the Email channel….it was Elton John.  Unlike most modern artists, his fans aren’t following his every move on Twitter, so when we said, “Hey, Elton is going on tour and tickets are on sale,” it was breaking news to them, and we helped them experience his final tour.

Making their life as easy as possible. As amazing as live events are, it can be stressful up until the moment you are finally inside the arena.  So to make fans' lives easier we send an email the day before the event, letting them know how to show their tickets, providing directions, offering parking passes, etc., and we provide all within our app as well they pull up their tickets.

Lily

Creating engaging and compelling experiences for your customers will keep them coming back to your brand, which in turn drives revenue for your business.

Building these personalized experiences that anticipate a user's needs before they do is incredibly valuable. Customers value convenience, and we love to feel like a brand really understands our needs.

For example, if I’m doing my holiday shopping and there are crazy lines, but you’ve anticipated this and built me a feature that lets me check out through the app when i’m inside the store, and you remind me that it’s available when I enter the store, not only are you removing friction from my experience, but you’re capturing a transaction that could have otherwise been abandoned because I was too frustrated to wait. Radar customers increased digital revenue by 35% by building these location-aware experiences.

Reaching your customers at the right place, right time, with the right message (e.g. arriving at a concert venue, opening your app inside of your store, surfacing events happening nearby, etc.) when they are most likely to engage.

Allison

Keep things stupid simple and help online shoppers find what they’re looking for faster. Keep retention marketing tailored to subscribers' expectations and intent. 

As an example, we have a customer that is a men’s jewelry line with a slew of product SKUs. They had a few business challenges:

  • They didn’t know if their onsite visitors were shopping for themselves or someone else
  • They were struggling with inventory management (a very real thing for eCommerce brands these days)
  • Like most brands - they wanted to know more about their unique visitors, increase onsite capture with higher quality subscribers, and increase their velocity to conversion of their first-time visitors

By rolling out an interactive, 6-step quiz on their website, they uncovered:

  • Most people were actually shopping for themselves (76% of overall site traffic)
  • There was a strong desire for them to launch a women’s line
  • Chains were their most popular product - and people wanted MORE - so they doubled down on their inventory
  • 5% of first-time website visitors who took the quiz converted on the FIRST visit!  This was an 2.2X increase in first-time visitor conversion
  • When leveraging quiz data in their abandonment emails - email had a 56% open rate, and a 3.5% conversion rate.

Jeff: We all want to bring joy to our customers. How can brands make it a reality in their own customer experiences?

Steve

Ask your customers.  We’ve done some hacky surveys that resulted in customers giving us some great ideas.

The motto on the consumer team at SeatGeek is “get 1% better every week.”  You’re not going to accomplish your goal overnight, it’s about continually iterating and regularly getting just a little better.

For example, during peak Covid we launched a content newsletter to keep our email audience engaged.  We committed to testing something every week.  Through that testing we found showing the top 3 trending events on SeatGeek was the most popular part of that email. Eventually it just became a trending event on SeatGeek email.  Then we found concerts were the biggest driver, until it just became a concert newsletter and we optimized from there.  Now, our Saturday concert newsletter is one of our biggest revenue drivers.

Lily

Understanding what joy means for your customers is a core component to informing how to bring a meaningful experience to life – what’s the ideal user experience for your brand? What value are you bringing to their day-to-day?

From there, what inputs do you need in order to make this a reality?

For many customers, location is a core input to ensuring that your messaging as well as your customers’ experiences are always relevant, timely, and personalized to their habits and preferences.

Allison

Treat someone that’s browsing your website online as you’d like to be treated.  Sometimes, joy is as easy as that.  

As an example, let’s say your mom or mother-in-law is visiting from out of town.  Now, you know they like a certain type of cheese and wine - and it’s in your best interest to have that exact cheese and wine available to them when they visit (and, let’s be honest, yes - this is for THEM, but it’s also for YOU and your sanity).  You go to your local grocery store, and find the wine but can’t find the cheese - and no one comes to help you.  How does that make you feel?  Let’s sit in that moment for a second. 

If someone comes up to you, without you prompting, and simply asks “how can I help you?” - that feeling of dread goes away, and an elation of joy often occurs.  

Your shoppers feel the same when you guide them through your website, ask simple questions, and truly help them by getting to know them - not just try to sell them. 

Digioh at Iterable Activate NYC

Thank You, Iterable Activate NYC!

We loved visiting with partners in New York and participating in this fireside chat, hosted at Iterable Activate. Joyful connections with customers drive growth, and it was exciting to chat with other industry leaders in this fireside chat: Steve Mastrocola from SeatGeek and Lily Zalla from Radar. 

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