Leaders in Customer Loyalty, Powered by Loyalty360

Loyalty360 Loyalty Live | Kim Welther, Baesman

August 22, 2023 Loyalty360
Loyalty360 Loyalty Live | Kim Welther, Baesman
Leaders in Customer Loyalty, Powered by Loyalty360
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Leaders in Customer Loyalty, Powered by Loyalty360
Loyalty360 Loyalty Live | Kim Welther, Baesman
Aug 22, 2023
Loyalty360

Loyalty360's Mark Johnson interviews Kim Welther, Baesman, to discuss the trends in customer loyalty and customer experience, and the changing industry landscape.

Show Notes Transcript

Loyalty360's Mark Johnson interviews Kim Welther, Baesman, to discuss the trends in customer loyalty and customer experience, and the changing industry landscape.

Speaker 1:

Good afternoon, good morning. It's Mark Johnson from Loyalty 360. I hope everyone's happy, safe and well Wanted to welcome you back to another edition of Loyalty Live. In this series we speak with the leading agencies, technology providers and consultants, and customer channel and brand loyalty about the technology trends and best practices that impact a brand's ability to drive unique experiences, enhance engagement and, most importantly, impact customer loyalty. Today we have the pleasure of speaking with Kim Wealthier. He's the vice president of CRM and Loyalty for Basement. Basement is a very unique innovation agency. They help brands bring more efficacy and efficiency to their customer loyalty and CRM efforts and a great broad, diverse set of clients as well. Let Kim tell a little bit more about that, but it's going to be a very unique discussion. Today we're going to talk about personalization. So, kim, thank you very much for taking the time to talk with us today.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely. I'm excited to be here, Mark.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely With love. We'd like to start these on a more personal level, so can you tell us a little bit more about you and your current role, maybe a little bit about your history and what you do for Basement?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely. I've been with Basement about 12 years now, so my history has been on the agency side for 12 years and then formally I was on the brand side and was at Victoria's Secret for about eight years and I oversee and lead our CRM and Loyalty Agency Division for Basement.

Speaker 1:

Okay, that's a fun fact, something you enjoy doing outside of Basement. You like parasailing? Do you like jumping out of a plane, scuba diving? Well, what's something you do to kind of relax.

Speaker 2:

I am very risk adverse, mark. I'm probably the opposite of you. So no parasailing, no jumping out of airplanes, but I love reading, so that's very safe feet on the ground. Love reading books.

Speaker 1:

OK, great. So for those who may not be familiar with Basement, can you give us a brief overview of what Basement does, how you do it, maybe what industries you work in? And I think you guys have a very unique story and it'd be great for the listeners to have a better idea.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely. You summed it up really well. But Basement really works with brands to help them understand their customers and how to build a more personalized relationship with them. We really have been helping brands unlock that journey from the one to many to the one to one, and so we have a variety of clients. We are very heavy in retail, but we do a lot in the home service and health care areas as well. We do have all of our clients' data in-house. That is critical in the work we do.

Speaker 1:

OK, when you look at the clients high retail, what are some things that you're seeing right now? What are they asking you for? I know we're going to talk about this a little later, but what are you seeing from people that are clients today?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely, we've been very busy working and hyper-focused on personalization at scale for brands and really trying to unlock the right message at the right time. So every brand we work with is in a different stage of that journey and we've been working on building out kind of the right testing strategy, really helping them understand what the right next step is for them to really start to kind of take steps to that more one to one communication.

Speaker 1:

OK, when you look at personalization, it was a big topic at the little T-Expo. It's probably a big topic this fall at the Customer Experience Expo. We want to talk about that more. So when you look at personalization, I think you define it as the right message to the best customers at the perfect time. Can you tell us a little bit more about what that means? I think that that's very concise and impactful.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely so. Making that journey from one to many to one to one, the concept in theory is very easy, but in reality execution is pretty complicated. So if you think about your marketing strategy, for example, we're emailing all the time and so if a customer hasn't opened, hasn't clicked, we need to stop talking to them in that channel and we need to prioritize the channel of engagement for that customer. So we're really helping brands understand how unlocking that customer journey at that individual customer level drives cost savings. It helps brands build a deeper connection and then at the end, the ultimate goal is driving more sales. And so it's really around understanding that one to many all the time doesn't work all the time.

Speaker 1:

Okay, when you look at personalization, definitely very fluid right now. And what have you seen from a brand's personalization perspective over the last 12 months? How's it evolving? What's new? Where are brands going?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely. I think I probably see two areas where it's evolving, I think rapidly. The first one is just within, like organization and the structure of the organization. For so long Marketing has been divided by channels. You see, head of stores, head of E-com, head of digital Sometimes they don't roll up to the same leader and we're starting to see more of those roles and titles like chief customer officer. So brands are making the move to start putting the customer first and so you know that really means that we're engaging with the customers, not become as a team is delivering on a marketing plan, but we're delivering on customer level engagement and it's really about brand shifting into that different way of thinking. So I think that's one way it's really evolved. And then the other way is kind of in the strategic marketing sense where we've got the right team in place.

Speaker 2:

Now it's that recognition of unlocking that biggest question of when is mass marketing effective and important, but when is that more personalized approach needed? And there are a lot of different sales strategies. I think that that one to many works and that's okay and it plays an important role. However, there are a lot of times within that customer journey that that more personalized marketing approach is important. Some of those moments might be next purchase. So how do we create that second purchase? How do we potentially reactivate that pre-lapsed customer? Or it could be some of those storytelling moments around loyalty programs and we need to let them know what the benefits are. So it's really about the understanding of balancing both of those one to many and that one to one.

Speaker 1:

Okay, interesting, one of the things that we hear. We have meetings with brands that look through 60 twice a week and one term. I heard recently kind of journey happy. Brands say that they're journey happy right now. So you know, being able to kind of get their arms around the most effective journey for the customer, depending on where they may be, how they'd engage pre and post. It's very top of mind for sure, and industry here journey happy and I wasn't sure that was a derogatory term or a positive term for Georgia so I had to ask. But it's come up a couple of times so it is a positive thing. What I think what they see is do they have the resources to truly understand and maximize the potential in the journeys?

Speaker 2:

Exactly, and that's that balance, like it's not all going to convert over to the journey, happy strategy. It's around the balance of kind of both of those things and making sure that you understand what the right place is.

Speaker 1:

Okay, you know, when you look at true personalization getting to you know, product, as you mentioned, right, the right message, best customer, perfect time you know that that's different than just having someone's name in an email, right, and it may, if you know you have one or two products you have may have an interest in. So you know what are some of the challenges you see regarding personalization and the brand's ability to do it at scale.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely Lots of challenges there. I think your first challenge is what we kind of mentioned around some of those brand silos. So organizations have you know, technology and marketing haven't necessarily been working together. And then within marketing, the channels work very independently. They're all sending their message in all the different channels, they're all counting that sale towards their marketing.

Speaker 2:

So there is that brand shift that really needs to go to moving to the customer center marketing and we deliver on that true personalization where it's putting like the customer first versus the marketing plan first. So data needs to be the number one single view of the customer where we're understanding what channels they are engaging in and we are delivering in those channels of engagement or in those channels of the preference center requests. So those are definitely, you know, that's the first step of the challenge. And then I think what every brand will say a challenge is is personalization of scale. We can't go from 20 creatives in one month to 200 from and put strain on both the creative and the execution. And so it really is around making sure we understand that that's a challenge. And you have to start simple and really determine what's going to be the biggest impact.

Speaker 1:

Okay, as I mentioned, we have these digital roundtables with the brand members and one of the we have one recently on preference centers privacy preference centers but there was discussion around how to leverage a preference center and what we've heard most recently is that you know they don't necessarily want to make it front and center that you can get one email or two emails, but there's a big push right now we see, for getting more zero-party data to make the more the message is more targeted and tailored to the customer. You know, how do you see preference centers working with brands and are there some things that you're seeing from a success perspective, how they can collect additional information to optimize the channel, the frequency, the products, the habits, anything that you're seeing?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think everyone would agree preference centers are amazing ways to learn more. The challenge with preference centers is that we're asking customers to take an action and there's just a large portion of customers that won't tell us, and every marketer wants people using the preference center and telling us. So we need to have that balance around 100% an easy to use preference center that we can collect as much data as we want. But then brands really need to take that level of information and then layer it on with what we can find out from just data collection. So I think that's where well you know the challenges in email engagement. We know if they haven't purchased, we have to quickly pivot to digital SMS and direct mail to drive engagement, and so we always leverage preference center first, then we leverage data and then the rest is around kind of testing and figuring out what works.

Speaker 1:

Okay, excellent. So when you look at zero party data, using preference center to obtain that information, you know what are some ways brands can encourage customers to share more about themselves. So it's not creepy right For a quiz commerce. We obviously know the kind of the potential for zero party data. You know how do brands do that so they can learn more about the customers maybe completing a member profile, sharing their interests, preference, whatever. Maybe we know what's working well.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think it's important first and foremost to level set expectations there. We won't ever see 80% of customers going and filling out a preference center, and so it's important to know that any level of collection from a preference center is success, and so it's always good to motivate, as you said, with any type of reward. Loyalty is a really good way in which we can get our most engaged customers giving us more information, and so, whether that means offers, points, some sweepstakes, maybe some gamification in there to make it fun, that's where I think we start to see a little bit more success. But also if anybody's filling it out, we're going to call that successful, because that's information coming right from the customer. So I think that's where you try and you have moments of reward, but you also then have to understand and rely on other information outside of the preference center.

Speaker 1:

Okay. Is there a piece of advice that you would give for brands who are looking to improve their personalization efforts? Any quick wins? Is gamification something they should consider? What should marketers be looking at if they want to kind of have more efficiency than in fact in their personalization efforts?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think gamification all of it should be considered. I think the quick win is to start the journey and start testing and setting executive expectations around what personalization at scale means. This is a marathon, is not a sprint, so rolling out without testing can be very dangerous. We want to really take the time to identify that for all walk run roadmap. So focus efforts on those high impact personalization moments that drive sales. And then also understanding the capacity of the team and what they can take on from that creative and the execution, and focus on doing it right. Start simple, start small, and then you can grow into it.

Speaker 1:

Okay, closing thoughts. Are there initiatives that brands should be considering or are there some new initiatives that Bayzen is looking at in 2023 that could be helping brands? And what are you guys up to? Where are you guys going?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think in my closing kind of thoughts and advice is, I would say, in the hunt for personalization and to that more one-to-one journey, automation will be critical and we have to move fast. So if a brand is faced with data challenges, creative challenges, execution challenges, you can't let that be the reason for not evolving. It's important to know when it's right to bring in a partner. The competition's moving fast. Everybody is moving super fast right now. Speed is critical and it's important to know when to kind of bring someone in to help.

Speaker 1:

Okay, well, kim, thank you very much for taking the time to speak of the stay. It's always interesting to hear what you guys are up to, what you're doing. It's always concise, which is always helpful. So thank you very much for sharing your perspective on customer loyalty and obviously look forward to hearing more from you and the team throughout the remainder of the year.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. Thanks for having me, Mark.

Speaker 1:

Thank you, Eurone, for taking the time to listen today and make sure you join us back for our next edition of loyalty line. Until then, have a wonderful day.