Building Marketing Technologies

Reid Overcash

Reid OvercashReid is a brand marketing veteran that helped found and build two previous technology companies and now has co-founded ShareDirect along with CTO, John Brown.  As CEO he oversees operations and sales as well as customer support.

"Our primary reason for being is to support our customers with the best, most current technology to engage your customers and prospects and make you successful in the process."
This is my Personalized  Engagement Site (eSite) that will allow you to find the latest information and content relevant to your personal needs and interests. I invite you to visit it regularly so we can help you grow your business.

Guide to getting started with Account Based Marketing

An excellent guide and blueprint to ABM

We have previously provided you with a foundation for an Account Based Marketing strategy but how do you get started and where can it take you. This "Blueprint" from Terminus is just such a guide. For most companies who are already at varying stages of ABM this might be a good checklist or a primer on what could make your program better.

First they provide a good definition of ABM:
"An end-to-end revenue strategy where marketing, sales and customer success spend the majority of their effort on pre- and post-sales accounts that are best-fit customers. This happens through data-driven targeting, personalized marketing tactics at scale, measuring and continuously optimizing."

Keep in mind that roughly 92% of companies are either implementing, optimizing or fully integrated in the ABM strategy. There is still much room for improvement in most every organization. They provide a good framework for success:
  • Target the right accounts
  • Engage across all channels
  • Activate all teams on the needed information on each account
  • Measure what matters most

Download the Blueprint
View Article

Can you provide your customers "Digital Empathy"

View Document - Novantas Spring 2021 Review
This is a very short read from the Novantas Spring 2021 Review. I believe many in Banking and finance are familiar with this excellent consulting organization and receive their regular reports. I want you to focus on just pages 8 and 9. You can click here to view the document.

The author Sarah Welch, who is a Novantas Director created this excellent piece and I'll give you a brief overview:
  • Promise of Personalization - "Banks that establish digital empathy with their customers through personalization enjoy the benefits at every stage of the customer lifecycle."

  • Engagement - Bankers typically try to engage the customer to build an actual relationship with them. In addition to this direct engagement can this be done at scale through digital technology.

  • Humanizing Your Approach - "To compete in a digital-first world, all banks (and other financial based companies) will have to Humanize their customer interactions to drive deeper, stickier relationships"
View Article

Our ShareDirect technology is directly relevant to helping create the Digital Empathy Sarah Welch describes. Give us a call and we'll show you how.

New Ebook: Digital Solutions to Navigate Healthcare Commerce in 2021

This post is aimed at a particular industry, medical, pharma, healthcare and adjacent segments. It’s very relevant today especially since we may be coming out of the pandemic with a entirely new set of standards and needs. For example personalization and humanizing marketing and general communication is an imperative.

I invite you to read and/or download this ebook from Proficient by clicking here. They organize this into three chapters:
  • The NOW-The elements considered table stakes for most organizations and how you may look to integrate them within your business.

  • The NEW-Components that a few companies are executing on today and why they will likely be able to differentiate themselves from the competition.

  • The NEXT-What’s around the corner that no organization is working towards today but would be at the forefront of innovation if they were.
View Ebook
View Article

Top Trends in Customer Engagement for 2021

First Annual: 2021 Global Customer Engagement Review

This is a new study from Braze, "2021 Global Engagement Review." There is an enormous amount of information and something for almost every marketer and sales manager from many verticals. They break down the survey respondent companies into three categories:
  • Activate: Companies just beginning to recognize and use customer engagement strategies and tools

  • Accelerate: Brands that have developed some collaboration across departments but are still campaign oriented.

  • ACE: Top performing brands that have lifestyle centric Engagement Teams

I’ll provide the top trends below but you can click here for a more detailed look.

"Marketing Budgets will continue to increase with Customer Engagement as a top priority."

"Even Brands that are confident in their strategies can struggle to show success."

"More brands will view Customer Engagement as critical to business growth."


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Featured Insights

Humanizing and Analyzing Relationships To Drive Revenue, Retention And Returns

Bridging the Gap Between Relationships and Revenue

This new report from Deloitte and the CMO Council is a foundational marketing study on Humanizing and Analyzing relationships with customers. It is important enough that I plan to send out two following emails in the coming weeks highlighting key points from this valuable study.

We're showing how Lifetime Customer Value (or LTV) helps predict revenue attributed to future relationships with customers. As you will see in the attached report there is much opportunity to improve the tracking and reporting that reflect the digital realities of marketing communications and scalability.

So, how are marketers working to improve their LTV programs?
  1. Most important requirements are Humanizing connections and aligning the organization.
  2. Most effective current initiatives are communicating the value proposition, more sophisticated targeting and relevant content.
  3. The key future plans are building unified, lasting and dynamic connections with customers.

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The core of this study supports some of my past reports on Humanizing and Analyzing relationships to drive retention and Lifetime Customer Value (LTV) resulting in loyalty and trust.

The most important requirements for brands to better create long-term relationships with customers:

Deloitte and CMO Council Report Stats

The best channels where customers leave signals about their needs:

Deloitte and CMO Council Report Stats

There is a lot in this study so you might wish to download and distribute the report to make sure you're touching the bases. We remain available to discuss how ShareDirect can provide you a method of better securing your LTV.

Marketing the Human Element for More Human Connections

Embracing Digital While Becoming More Human

The last 12 months have provided a new imperative for how marketers communicate to customers: “Don’t treat me like a Customer, I am a Human and want to be understood.” I have reported on this over the last 9 months and there is much more coming out in studies and reports that support this strategy.

Digital Handshake
This fresh article from CMS Wire sums up the case nicely and offers some additional perspective especially in the digital world. Here is a brief summation:
  • Embrace Digital while becoming more Human
  • Drive the Human Experience with more empathy and values
  • Use social media to be more Human
  • Storytelling for the Human element

“Brands have had to take a stand socially for the values they espouse. Brands have had to show their human side, to provide customers with a human element in all of their interactions with a brand.”

I highly recommend this brief 5-minute read. Our ShareDirect is the one technology set up to provide a scalable digital connection with the Human element. Let us hear from you.

Read the Article
View Article

The Marketing of PURPOSE Driven PROFITABILITY

This article from the CMO Council written by Cheryl Burgess of Blue Focus Marketing is close to my heart and mind. The article, titled Why Purpose is Profitable, speaks of the “undisruptable bonds among brands, customers, and employees.”

Purpose is another way of stating your Reason for Being or Raison D'etre. I have always thought this is the core of any organization and how it should build its brand(s). I've written extensively before about the Human approach and how brands need to realize that things are different now and there will be a new normal going into the future. And Ms. Burgess agrees:

“...marketing teams need to focus on building brands that have a positive impact on society instead of just building top-line sales.”

“...consumers expect more from the brands they buy--including humanity and empathy...”

“By building goodwill and loyalty among their customers and their own people who serve them, these purpose-driven organizations will ultimately improve their bottom line and create a better world.”

So, Purpose is directly related to Personalization, the Human approach, and of course scalable technology. Just so you'll know we have had this statement from early in our existence and ShareDirect lives this every day:

Our primary reason for being is to support you, our ShareDirect customer, with the best, most current technology to engage your customers and prospects and make you successful in the process.

ABM Benchmark Study Provides Guidance for 2021

I am providing you a remarkable study recently completed by ITSMA and the ABM Leadership Alliance. Account Based Marketing has been around in various forms for the last few years. With the disruptions and changes in our workplace and methodology it is easy to see why enhancing Marketing and Sales collaboration would be essential to survival and growth.

This study sets the tone from 2020 and provides guidance for 2021. Today I want to highlight the types of ABM and the core principles or goals.
Types of Account Based Marketing: Most successful companies choose one or two of these types.
  • One-to-One: Marketing to individual accounts
  • One-to-Few: Marketing with specific Sales teams on clusters of accounts
  • One-to-Many: Scaling Marketing and Sales to many accounts
Core Principles: What is needed to have a successful ABM effort.
  • Strategic focus on improving business reputation, relationships and revenue
  • Tight partnerships and integration with sales (Collaboration)
  • Tailored and personalized programs and campaigns based on deep customer insight
As we have mentioned before ShareDirect is the premier outbound application for Account Based Marketing. We like to think of it as building Account Based Relationships (ABR). Let me know if I can help you and be on the lookout for the next installment.

View Study
Defining ABM
Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is a strategic approach to designing and executing highly-targeted and personalized marketing programs to drive business growth and impact with specific, named accounts.

Building Trust Through Account Based Relationship Marketing

Reid Overcash, CEO, Heron Martech

We are hearing about the fast-paced movement toward Account Based Marketing with many successful companies and organizations. ABM takes two groups within a company, usually sales and marketing who are oftentimes siloed, and creates a more coordinated and consolidated organization with common objectives and core strategies.

I created one of my Simple Videos to accent the point about using ShareDirect as the primary communications tool for this type of effort. It’s very brief, about 2 1/2 minutes.

We have taken this one step further. ABM is a strategy but the objective is achieving ABR, Account Based Relationships that puts the emphasis on the customer. ABM to ABR is the real strength that ShareDirect brings to the forefront. View my video and how this leads to building Trust and a stronger and more valuable customer(s).

Please contact me if we can provide you any information or guidance on how we can help you with this timely technology and its application to ABM strategy.
View my related videos and articles below on the power of building Trust with customers

Trust: A Rare Commodity in Business

The “Why” and “How” to Building Customer Trust

View Article
This article appeared in CMS Wire and is written by Jake Athey, titled Business Has a Trust Crisis. What's the solution? Athey provides several great points related to trust in your business, both B2B and B2C:
  • Trust is a competitive edge. Trust is the second most important brand attribute, Trust has a strong positive correlation with loyalty, engagement and advocacy.
  • Trust is Primal. What fuels such a belief? The consistency and quality of our interactions with people. When we interact with a brand in person, it's easier to establish that belief.
  • Trust Is Omnichannel. Everything your brand does must be oriented around cultivating trust. Quality and consistency of content and customer engagement matters.

And he says what I have been saying:

You can't build Trust with a company, organization or entity. We build Trust with people who are in that company or organization. And I contend that we should not ask for Trust but should earn it with our deeds and words.

We talk a lot about building Trust through our technology, ShareDirect. You are communicating through your Trusted Advisors or Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). And you provide help and understanding through Personalized content and a Human approach. ShareDirect is the “How” to building that trust virtually and with scale.

View Article

Building TRUST through HUMAN Interaction

Three featured articles highlighting the connection between personalization and building human relationships

I have three articles from the last couple of weeks all from CMS Wire that have a distinct connection to Personalization and Human interaction as current marketing imperatives. You can click on any of the three but here is a quick summary of each.

There are at least two core points that run through all three of these reports:
  • The HUMAN element is not to be denied or you are losing ground fast.
  • The other is TRUST gained by compassion (which is HUMAN), transparency, communication and HUMAN interaction.
I invite to look over these three short articles to see if you can apply any of their advice.

Again, ShareDirect is the only scalable technology that can truly help address these and other current need unmet needs. Let us hear from you.

Personalization Goes Nowhere Without Trust by Sharon Florentine

  • Personalization Delivers Great Trust
  • Be Transparent and Open
  • Data for Value to Customers
View Article

4 Ways to Ensure Brand Trust During Turbulent Times by Janelle Estes

  • Consistency Is Key
  • Show Compassion
  • Keep Lines of Communication Open
  • Optimize Your Digital Channels
View Article

When Customer Experience Needs a Human vs. a Machine by Allen J. Porter

  • Automation vs. Human Interaction-Not a Binary Relationship
View Article

Your Solution to the HUMAN Connection

The Human Connection with ShareDirect

I’ve been preaching the need for companies to move beyond just thinking about Personalization (which is very important) to the next step of Humanizing their communications with their customers and prospects. This latest article from CMS Wire provides some context to this evolving story.

Some key points:
  • 75% of customers prefer to interact with a real person.
  • Customers engage with Humans not companies.
  • To make your company sound more Human you must first be a Human.
  • Always try to add a face.

All of this builds the image of company representatives being their trusted advisors. Some of this article is built around the use of social media, primarily LinkedIn, to make that Human connection. But you don’t have to go there as ShareDirect is designed and programmed to be Your Solution to the HUMAN Connection. Give your customers what they need and desire; someone who can engage, help and understand them.

View Article

A Video Message from Reid

Your Customers are Humans!

Reid Overcash, CEO, Heron Martech

As a result of the pandemic and social realities, we have found ourselves better understanding customers are REAL HUMANS rather than just customers. Thus, the Customer Experience (CX) mandate is quickly being replaced with the Human Experience (HX) imperative.

I look forward to answering any questions or hearing your thoughts and comments.
View my related article below on the necessity to focus on the Human Experience (HX)

Building Your Business With More Human Experience

Excellent report with data highlighting the coming trend toward HX over CX

The coming trend toward HX over CX

We have been hearing over the last couple of years about the importance of Customer Experience (CX) over just Customer Service (CS). Now we're taking the next step, Human Experience (HX).

Customer Experience (CX) Human Experience (HX)
  • Identifies you
  • Gives reasons to believe and buy
  • More satisfying transaction
  • Understands you
  • Engagement to improve people's lives
  • More fulfilling life
Now, this study from Globalwebindex and Worldwide Partners takes it another step. This report "From CX to HX: Unleashing the energy of Human-First Experiences (HX) to empower marketing of the future."


Download the Report

The report drills into several verticals: Healthcare, Consumer Packaged Goods and Retail, Travel and Tourism, and Business-to-Business.

Let me know your thoughts on this shift and we can discuss how ShareDirect is built around empowering marketing through Human Experience (HX).

Today and in the foreseeable future HX determines the ultimate brand value.

Decision-Makers Gravitate Toward Brands With Human Connections, Page 30


Human experience can elevate brands from transaction experience to brand culture experience, resulting in stronger trust and better customer relationships.
Helen Lo, Head of Strategic Planning, We Marketing Group, Worldwide Partners, China

Through it all, marketing and sales teams must incorporate a level of selflessness and empathy in their messages and approaches to connect in a human, authentic, and personalized way. As customers navigate life through this crisis, positioning your company as a true partner is critical. Dialing back product promotions and leading with a common understanding of our shared experiences during this time can be invaluable.
Alison Fetterman, Director of Strategy, Godfrey Worldwide Partners, U.S.



Source: Worldwide Partners

Deliver Exceptional, Personalized Experiences

3 Customer-Centric Steps to Building a Strong Offense

Video Introduction

Reid Overcash, CEO, Heron Martech



View Full Article

Deliver Exceptional, Personalized Experiences

You can view the full article at CMSWire by Paul Hagen and Mike Rowland, The Great Restart: 3 Customer-Centric Steps to Building a Strong Offense. They cover the following points:
  1. Build Your Restart Plan Around Profitable Customers
    • Refine segmentation to identify your highest-value customers
    • Revisit your cost-to-serve model to understand which customers to engage
  2. Optimize Your Teams and their Technologies
    • Assess technology value to stop leakage
    • Reorganize your teams based on customer needs
  3. Take Advantage of New Opportunities
    • Create more customer value by meeting new needs

Their findings are built around a laser focus on your customers and new value proposition that will create an "increasing share of wallet, gaining higher margins and building market share."

I invite you to check out my video above and access the article. Please let us know how we can help you with our ShareDirect technology and our help for your business.



TRUST is the Ultimate Goal

Harvard Business Review Article: Begin with Trust



This new article from the May-June issue of Harvard Business Review by Francis Frei and Anne Morriss titled "Begin With Trust" deals with managing employees but also has implications for customer engagement when placed in context with other research.

They break it down to the TRUST TRIANGLE:

Trust Triangle

This new research interconnects with all of the previous research we've shared here from Gartner which tells us that customers want you to know them and help them in a variety of ways (Tailored engagement). Then we have the article from Keith Weed in Marketing Week we shared a few days back. The second point he provided was the need to place Business Effectiveness over Efficiency.

Building Customer TRUST During Difficult Times

Compelling article on trust in advertising/marketing from Marketing Week

Video Introduction

Reid Overcash, CEO, Heron Martech



View Full Article

Trust in Advertising (and Marketing) is Imperative with your Customers

This is a terrific and very timely article written by Keith Weed, President of the Advertising Federation in Great Britain for Marketing Week. This is about what I call the Big "T" word, i.e. TRUST. I will summarize here and nearly everything should be in quotation marks but you might want to click on this short op-ed piece. I'm substituting marketing rather than just advertising since it should include all aspects of outreach and communications.

"Our Trust Working Group recently commissioned industry experts Nick Manning and Derek Morris to work with Credos director Karen Fraser and her team to conduct a full review of available data, alongside qualitative interviews with a select group of the UK's biggest advertisers, their agencies and leading media owners. From this, they drew up five key actions, each supported with a series of questions, to help marketers improve the public's experience of advertising."

The five key measures all advertisers (marketers) must undertake are:

  • Make your advertising (marketing) welcome in people's lives
  • Place business effectiveness above efficiency
  • Achieve full visibility of where your advertising (marketing) goes
  • Ensure every impact and exposure matters
  • Deploy the necessary resources to track, measure and manage this program


The author concludes:

"A bond forged in times of difficulty can be the strongest bond of all and if we want the public to trust us again, we need to demonstrate we are on their side when they need us."


We've been discussing this TRUST concept for some time now and how ShareDirect is custom built to help you help your customers and prospects. And it's far less expensive than most of the other activities you might be conducting.

See my related post on The Big "T" Word



Maximize Impact by Rethinking Personalization

Gathering and analyzing consumer data to deliver a tailored interaction between the brand and the consumer.

We recently participated in a webinar from Gartner that showed some amazing research and guidance for marketing personalization. The presenter was Alex De Fursac Gash, Gartner Director, Marketing Advisory in Europe. I'm going to report to you this week and over the next two weeks the three key concepts that came out of the presentation (at least for me and hopefully relevant to you).

I'll mention here several more general points from the study about the importance of personalization in marketing and sales.
  1. 55% of budgets are continuing to increase for Personalized Customer Engagement, some dramatic, some by a smaller percentage.
  2. Consumers expect and appreciate brands that personalize messaging and communications to them, but there are limits.
  3. There are a range of well-defined benefits to personalization:
    • Relevant messages that capture attention
    • Growing and magnifying the relationship
    • Driving purchase decisions
The most important thing at the outset is to start from the customer or consumer point of view (rather than your own).

"Help me understand how to use the products effectively."

"Can you save me some time?"

"You are familiar with me and my preferences."

I highly recommend that this 30 minutes of your time will be well spend if you are interested in this subject. Next week I'll describe how to best optimize your Personalized Engagement program with ShareDirect and otherwise. The following week I'll bring up the "what not to do."

Customer Experience (Success), Personalized Engagement, Relationship Management

Personalized Engagement is at the core

Learn From The Leaders

How do Customer Experience Leading firms create such positive, memorable impressions on the people they serve? It doesn’t happen by accident. They all embrace some basic tenets when shaping their customer experience – principles that can very likely be applied to your own organization:

They aim for more than customer satisfaction.

Satisfied customers defect all the time. And customers who are merely satisfied are far less likely to drive business growth through referrals, repeat purchases and reduced price sensitivity. Maximizing the return on customer experience investments requires shaping interactions that cultivate loyalty, not just satisfaction.

They nail the basics, and then deliver pleasant surprises.

To achieve excellence, the Leaders execute on the basics exceptionally well, minimizing common customer frustrations and annoyances. They then focus on “nice to have” elements and other pleasant surprises, all of which help to create memorable peaks in the experience that strengthen customer engagement.

They understand that great experiences are intentional and emotional.

The Leading companies leave nothing to chance. They understand the universe of touchpoints that comprise their customer experience and they manage each of them very intentionally – choreographing the interaction so it not only addresses customers’ rational expectations, but also stirs their emotions in a positive way.

They shape customer impressions through cognitive science.

The Leading companies manage both the reality and the perception of their customer experience. They understand how the human mind interprets experiences and forms memories, and they use that knowledge of cognitive science to create more positive and loyalty-enhancing customer impressions.

They recognize the link between the customer and employee experience.

Happy, engaged employees help create happy, loyal customers (who, in turn, help create more happy, engaged employees!). The value of this virtuous cycle cannot be overstated, and it’s why the most successful companies address both the customer and the employee sides of this equation.

Building Digital Relationships Through Personalization

Bi-Directional Personalization is key to improved customer engagement

What is Bi-Directional Personalization?

Recent studies show 65% of business buyers are likely to switch brands if a vendor does not personalize communications to their company. So, building personalized engagement with your customer is not an option but an imperative. ShareDirect has the unique mission of providing your organization Bi-Directional Personalization.

View Document 


Getting Credit

Will your company and your customer-facing reps get credit for building customer relationships?

There is very little written in marketing or especially martech literature about “Getting Credit.” I'm not referring to financial credit such as credit cards, credit score or getting a loan from a bank although you could make the case there could be some similar processes. This is about the customer recognizing your efforts to serve them with your key customer-facing representatives and the branded promise you make to those customers.

“Getting Credit” is about making sure the customer understands who you are and what you stand for and how it applies to them.

 I learned this while my brand marketing firm was working with a major restaurant chain in the 1990s that was undergoing a major transformation from a budget steakhouse to a large buffet concept with a bakery built in. I was fortunate to work with a brilliant CMO who understood the need for customers to see the process and result, in some cases the smell and the activity it took to achieve freshly baked yeast rolls, cookies, buns, etc.

Operationally the bakery was placed in the middle of the dining area. You could see the yeast rolls being placed in the ovens and when they came out the aroma was intoxicating. They had a brass bell that they would ring when those rolls would come out of the oven and storms of people would chase up to the bakery fighting for those hot rolls that smelled so good. This CMO knew how this worked. He made sure that as much of the kitchen as reasonable, especially the grilling and other visual activities, would be exposed to the dining room and their customers would respond appropriately. All that work on behalf of each customer he referred to as “Getting Credit.”

I have taken this idea to many other industries in my career over the past two decades and now have introduced it into marketing technology as one of the end benefits of our ShareDirect platform. All too often communications from a company to their customers bypass their customer-facing representatives, sales people, account managers, etc. They lose the opportunity to give credit to those front-line people who are supposed to be the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) on their accounts. They lose that opportunity to personally engage their customers in a meaningful and optimal way. They lose the opportunity to “Get Credit” for what might otherwise be an effective message.

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With ShareDirect we are offering the only automated personalized engagement technology. You may have the best, most compelling message built around your caring and interest in serving your customer but it could easily fly completely over your customers' heads unless you provide a mechanism for you to receive “credit” for your noble works.

That CMO taught me a game-changing marketing concept. He is now retired, living in Colorado and remains a friend and frequent advisor. He probably didn't realize how we would eventually apply this through technology.



Platform Preview

Learn more about ShareDirect


What is ShareDirect?

ShareDirect is a SaaS platform that provides personal engagement sites for customer-facing personnel.

The engagement sites can be managed at a group level or individually - and, each site is personalized for the representative and for each visitor - we call this bi-directional personalization.

ShareDirect also provides easy, intuitive email tools for outreach to new and existing prospects.
 
  

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