Consumers Care About Your Company’s Values


Staying mindful of various groups’ values, beliefs, perceptions, emotions and issues isn’t just a nice way of doing business; it’s become mandatory for companies that want to attract and retain customers.

Brands no longer just sell products and expect consumers to be satisfied. Today, consumers choose to do business with brands they have relationships with and that share their values. That comes in part from the younger generation’s expectation of communicating directly with brands and caring more about who they’re buying from — opting for brands and products based on criteria beyond price.

While Millennials have the highest expectations of brands — nearly 70% in the United States say they actively consider company values when making a purchase — the total number of all US adults who say the same is 52%. They expect companies to eschew lip service, instead incorporating their values throughout the entire company: from onboarding employees, to supporting a good cause.

There are plenty of good — and bad — examples of companies focusing on cultural-social awareness as a core value, but it’s important to find the approach that works best for your brand.

Taking a stand on an issue around a certain social or cultural issue is great — but only if it makes sense for your brand. An extreme example would be a meat producer saying they understand vegetarians. This would come off as fake and disingenuous, turning off more consumers than if they’d said nothing at all.

Ask yourself what rings true for your brand and what would feel authentic to your customers.

One example of a campaign that’s a natural brand extension is Cigna’s ‘Go. Know. Take Control’ campaign, which features celebs like Nick Jonas, Queen Latifah, and Ted Danson. This wellness campaign focuses on its customers’ mental and emotional health, and how those factors can also affect their physical health. As awareness for mental health continues to grow, it makes sense for the health care provider to pour resources into advocating for ways to get help. Since launching this campaign two years ago, Cigna has increased its annual check-ups by 18%.

Beyond the Obvious

Sometimes a brand’s best approach to finding a cultural-social focus isn’t so straightforward. Instead of looking at the surface level for how to connect with consumers, dig deeper into your brand — its history, how its products have affected different groups, who uses the product and their social concerns, and key overall values.

Reebok’s “Flipping the Game” podcast focuses on why women are still fighting for recognition in the sneaker world three decades after the first women’s sneaker came out. Dan Mazei, head of the global newsroom at Reebok, told NewsWhip they use the podcast as a way to expose inequalities that still exist for women — both inside and outside the shoe industry.

On the surface, women’s equality and a show brand might not seem like an obvious pairing, but they found a way to connect the two. The podcast earned 4.9/5 stars with 96 ratings on Apple Podcasts, clearly resonating with their intended audience.

Responsibility > Metrics

Whereas likes, retweets, shares, and email opens are a tangible way to track certain campaign’s success, increased loyalty doesn’t have as clear KPIs. That doesn’t make it any less important, however. Many consumers view it as a company’s responsibility to support and invest in different causes. For others, their connection with a brand on a cultural-social level is a main reason they interacted with them from the start.

Even if a specific focus isn’t as popular at the time, brands need to be in it for the long run. Take CVS, for example. When they made the decision to stop selling tobacco products in 2014, they became the first national retail pharmacy chain to do so. The company said they pulled tobacco because “it conflicted with our purpose of helping people on their path to better health.” The shift initially resulted in an 8% drop in general merchandise sales for the following quarter, but the company has since had a $16 billion increase in CVS Health’s pharmacy benefits management business, an increased ability to recruit better talent, and mostly positive media coverage about the decision. And since the change, tobacco sales have dropped for all retailers, according to the American Journal of Public Health.

The company’s decision to drop a big seller is obviously much bigger than a marketing campaign focused on cultural or social awareness. It’s an example of how a brand understands its core values and accordingly makes a move revolutionary within the industry, considering they were the first to make the jump. CVS is also working to eliminate photoshopped images from the beauty brands it carries, a step tailored to address other social concerns.

The bottom line is that there are countless cultural and social issues your brand can address, and more consumers are expecting the companies they do business with to be aware of those issues. Whichever issue your brand decides to engage, make sure it comes across as authentic and that it resonates with your customers.

How to build your customer model

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Interactivity and Personalization: The Future of Video Marketing


Earlier this year, we discussed how to approach your video marketing initiatives in a way that provides value to your audience and helps reach your business goals. We talked about formats, how to use video to nurture prospects, and how you can best engage the modern consumer through interactive and personalized clips.

Need a refresher, click here.

More from PostFunnel on video marketing:
“Go Online Now, Every Other Thing You’ll See is a Video”
Hitting Play on Video Marketing
Winning the Video War: Strategy for Success and Conversion

In this article, we’ll discuss why interactivity and personalization are so effective and provide examples of modern brands successfully employing these tactics.

Let’s dive in.

Interactivity in Video Content Marketing

When we asked an audience of marketing specialists what the future holds for video content, the response was almost unanimous:

The future is all about interactivity. But this isn’t a surprise. As Content Marketing Institute found in its 2016 report on interactive content:

  • 81% of marketers agree that interactive content grabs audience attention more effectively than static content
  • 79% say interactive content enhances customer retention
  • 66% say engagement levels of their audiences have increased due to their use of interactive content

As coordinator of marketing and branding at thumbprint, Morgan Lathaen, explains, “The benefits of interactive video are that it turns passive viewers into active viewers and [allows you to] easily track the decisions each viewer makes.”

Interactivity has two parts:

  • Interacting with the brand through the content
  • Interacting with the content itself

There’s no shortage of brands using the first of these approaches. Grazia UK, for example, took to Facebook Live to host a Brexit-focused debate in which the on-camera team ­addressed questions from their online audience.

Watch our #GraziaxFB Brexit Debate with Stella Creasy, Yvette Cooper MP, Penny Mordaunt, Theresa Villiers and chaired by Anushka Asthana.

Posted by Grazia UK on Wednesday, 15 June 2016

360° video and VR technology allow viewers to engage with their favorite brands on a deeper level. As CEO of Anabolic Bodies Eddie Johnson explains, such technology allows viewers to “completely immerse themselves in the world of the video blogger” in a way that has only recently become possible.

Taking a more direct approach, fashion brand Ted Baker uses video to showcase trending products and allow viewers to navigate directly to specific product pages from the video:


As Lathaen mentioned, brands are also using video content to collect feedback from their audience, both proactively and reactively.

Regarding proactivity, many brands use channel-specific features to include polls, surveys, and questionnaires within their video content. This prompts users to actively engage with the brand while also providing valuable information regarding their needs and expectations.


Getting your audience to interact with the video content is where you’ll have a chance to reactively analyze and assess your audience’s needs. Think about it: the more interaction opportunities you provide, the more information you’ll stand to gain based on how they do so.

Take a recent interactive episode of Black Mirror, for example.

For those not familiar with the premise, it’s essentially a “choose-your-own-adventure” story: At certain points throughout the video, the viewer is asked to make a decision; the story then unfolds based on the choices the viewer makes.


Such an innovative approach is bound to generate some major exposure, no matter how it’s used. In Black Mirror’s case, despite the episode earning mediocre reviews, the virality of the premise more than made up for its shortcomings in storytelling.

Take this premise and apply it to your own video marketing campaigns. Customers tend to enjoy a highly engaging experience. On your end, you’re collecting data on each viewer’s preferences as they choose different paths while navigating the content.

You can take a similar approach when presenting other types of interactive video content, such as 360° video. Based on how your audience engages, you can get a better idea of what part of the video they’re focusing on, where they’re most engaged, and where engagement starts to drop off.

This is no different than assessing the completion rate of your videos, the average time your audience spends reading blog posts, and other such metrics. The more interactivity you provide, the more information you stand to glean regarding how your audience engages with your content.

The fundamentals of video content marketing haven’t changed. The goal has always been to spur viewers to action.

With interactive video content, you aren’t just inspiring viewers to take a single action at the end of the video, you’re encouraging them to do so throughout their experience — which will make them more likely to take the ‘big step’ at the end.

Personalization and Individualization in Video Marketing

If you follow PostFunnel, you know how highly we regard personalized marketing.

And why wouldn’t we?

When we talk about ‘personalized video content,’ we’re not talking about those videos that merely plug in the recipient’s name and photos in the appropriate spots:

This technique may have been innovative and novel back in 2014… but at best, it’s par for the course by today’s standards. Polly Kay, Senior Digital Marketing Manager at English Blinds, echoes this sentiment, explaining that “personalization alone is no longer enough to gain an edge over the competition when it comes to video marketing; consumers today simply expect no less.”

If you’re going to implement this type of automated personalization in your video content, you need to go deeper than using superficial information about your audience members.

For example, Nike+ sent out the following video to over 100,000 recipients:

Each video provided data regarding the individual viewer’s usage of their Nike+ products, such as the number of steps they took and distance they traveled throughout the year. While the overall ‘wrapping’ of the video is the same for all recipients, the data included within each is unique to that individual.

But again, this approach adds just a touch of personalization to content created for a mass audience. The future of personalization in video marketing is true personalization.

Optimizing your video marketing campaigns to individual customers means you only need to send certain content to certain people at certain times.

The team at Nextiva creates videos thanking individual customers who have given positive feedback or otherwise provided social proof of the company’s value:

CMO of Nextiva, Yaniv Masjedi, explains:

“We’ve had a lot of success garnering customer engagement by posting video shout-outs. In these 1-2 minute clips, we’d call out a customer by name – always within the first 10 seconds –and then make sure we tag them in a Twitter post. This managed to build out a campaign that netted mini-viral posts on a weekly basis.”

These videos don’t need to be created in a studio with expensive cameras and equipment. All you need is a smartphone and access to the channels your individual customers use most.

Creating personalized videos for your individual customers on a case-by-case basis should feel as routine as replying to an email in a personal manner.

Say that one of your Instagram followers reaches out to you with a question about a product. In response, you can do one of the following:

  • Write back with a templated response that points them to an explainer video on your website
  • Write back with an individualized response addressing their specific issue, along with a link to the explainer video
  • Write back with an individualized response addressing their specific issue and a video created just for them explaining the written instructions a bit further

Which do you think they’ll appreciate most? Which will provide the most value to them? Which will best prove your team’s dedication to their success?

Again, you don’t need to do this all the time. In fact, you shouldn’t feel the need to use video merely for its own sake. But take advantage of the opportunity when you can use video to:

a) Best communicate specific information

b) Enhance your individual customer’s experience through video content created just for them

Wrapping Up

As we move into 2020 and beyond, we’ll likely see innovations that allow for even more interactivity and personalization in video content.

Masjedi suggests that we’ll start seeing “personalized AR video ad experiences for prospects and customers, triggered by a certain location, action, or a tripwire/checkpoint in their customer journey.”

The potential that AI, AR, and VR tech hold is pretty darn exciting. But as is the nature of technology, what’s innovative and new today will become stale soon enough. Still, it’s unlikely that consumers will soon get bored of ultra-personalized video content that allows them to engage with their favorite brands in unique ways.

Continue looking ahead to the ‘next big thing’ in video marketing technology as time goes on; just keep in mind that it’s not the technology that allows for interactivity and personalization, it’s how your team uses it. This is what will determine how your customers engage with your video content now and in the future.

Multi Channel Marketing E-book

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13 Tools to Get Inside Your Customers’ Minds


Are you truly putting your customer at the heart of your business?

McKinsey recently found that 65% of businesses felt customer insights should be a true ‘thought partner’ of the entire organization. And yet, only 23% have achieved this level of maturity.

More from PostFunnel on marketing tools:
8 Tools to Keep Your Marketing, Sales and Customer Success Teams Aligned
Run Your Outreach on Your Own: The Best PR Agency Tools
Freebies! 11 Tools to Use for Your Retention Marketing

Good news: affordable tools abound to help you figure out exactly what your customers — existent and potential — are looking for, so you can crawl inside their minds and deliver an experience they love.

TLDR: If you’re short on time, each tool listing has a one-line summary to give you the absolute top-level benefit. Otherwise, let’s dig in.


Improve your content marketing efforts. 

TrenDemon analyzes your website to identify which sources, pages, and paths yield the highest ROI and conversion rates based on your established goals. The advanced platform then presents personalized content, recommendations, and unique CTAs for each visitor.

A tool like TrenDemon is useful for any website, but particularly beneficial to sites experiencing low conversion or high bounce rates.

With TrenDemon, you can expect much lower “do nothing” rates – the percentage of visitors who simply come and go – because it creates personalized content based on the unique visitor, rather than generic messages and a one-size-fits-all approach.

You can also set, track, and optimize specific goals like lead generation, social media shares, or email sign-ups.


Find the conversion leaks on your website, then optimize and improve.

Omniconvert’s promise is to help you get more conversions on your website from the same amount of traffic. They do this by offering four useful methods for online marketers: UI/UX audit, quantitative research, qualitative research, and technical audits.

Omniconvert stands out with its advanced audience segmentation.

The platform’s ability to show visitors unique content based on geolocation, weather patterns, referrer, and on-site behavior means you can capture your audience’s attention in ways you may not have thought possible.

Crazy Egg

Understand which pages, buttons, and ‘hot spots’ are getting traction.

Crazy Egg is like a pair of X-ray glasses that lets you see exactly what people are doing on your site, which makes it the perfect addition to this list. It uses heat maps, scroll maps, overlays, and confetti maps to show visitor activity on your website.

Once you know where visitors are looking, clicking, and especially what they’re struggling to find, you can adjust your site and content to facilitate better experiences for them, and more conversions for you.


Create sales and content offers that are personalized to an individual customer.

Fanplayr is fairly similar to TrenDemon, with an added focus on eCommerce optimization. It collects “digital body language” – characteristics like referral source, page views, product views, price ranges, and cart additions – to analyze visitor behavior.

Before in-depth personalization tools came around, marketers had two options for sales offers: focus on a few items people may or may not want, or markdown the whole shop.

Now, you can abandon both strategies for a much more appealing one: making great offers on items individual customers are sure to love.


Increase your sales by reaching out to customers who have abandoned cart.

CartStack’s mission is to help you recover 15% or more of abandoned carts with automated cart recovery emails. It’s easy to implement, featuring WordPress compatibility as well as top online shopping cart providers such as Magento, ZenCart, and BigCommerce.

Barilliance found that over 75% of shoppers choose to leave a site without completing a purchase. Why? Another study by Statista revealed that the primary reason is high shipping costs, followed by ineffective discount codes.

CartStack can help you figure out the main reasons your buyers are jumping ship and get more of them back on board.


Feed social data to your marketing automation platform and deliver better social media experiences.

Oktopost is a social media management platform made specifically for B2B businesses. Though it boasts several useful tools, the best one for gaining keen real-time insight into the minds of your audience is its social media monitoring dashboard. This feature allows you to create live streams that track keywords, mentions, company pages, and more.

With Oktopost, you can easily follow and join conversations that impact your brand, engage with potential business prospects and partners, reply to feedback from customers, track key competitor activities, and find inspiration for your next campaign.

Simply Measured

Gather advanced social data to measure, inform, optimize, and learn.

Considering 23% of consumers would snub a brand after a negative social interaction, it’s important to prioritize your brand’s positive connectibility.

True success on social media isn’t just about putting out great content and engaging in conversation — you need to be measuring and analyzing the market and your performance as well. That’s where Simply Measured comes in.

Recently acquired by Sprout Social for its advanced analytics, Simply Measured not only helps you assess the behavior of your audience in quantitative terms — trends, keyword usage, etc. — it also helps highlight the impact of wider brand activities among your target audience.

Topsy Analytics

Analyze and explore billions of social conversations in a digestible format.

Topsy is most known for its global social data index, but its Twitter dashboard is perfect for comparing keywords, mentions, and domains. The index includes every tweet since Twitter launched in 2006, giving you access to millions of conversations and topics.

Once you enter up to three keywords into the tool, it graphs usage stats for the past month. Topsy’s attractiveness lies in its simplicity.

Topsy has one very specific function, but it’s powerful if used wisely. For example, you can easily measure which topics your audience cares about most and craft your future content around it, instead of guessing or wasting your efforts covering irrelevant material.

You can also use it to assess the popularity of your own past blog posts (using the domain feature) as well as your competitors (using the @mention feature).


Gather granular insights about your audience to build stronger eCommerce experiences across email and other owned channels.

Email marketing holds a treasure trove of insights about your audience. Moreover, the data gleaned from your subscribers is more valuable than what you’d get from general site visits and social media.

When it comes to email statistics, few tools go as in-depth as Klaviyo while still providing an aesthetically pleasing user-friendly interface.

With Klaviyo, you can target customers based on the products they purchase, what they looked at on your site, where they interact with your emails, and how much they spend.


Learn which email copy, designs, and segmentation drive the most revenue.

What Fanplayr and TrenDemon do for websites, Rejoiner does for email. Behind the scenes, it tracks customer behavior onsite and in emails so it can send highly relevant personalized messages to past and potential customers to help maximize revenue, convert abandoned carts, and optimize email campaigns.

The best audience insight tools are the ones that not only track the data but also allow you to act upon it by providing customers exactly what they’re looking for.

Another bonus with Rejoiner is that you get the hands-on consultation of an email marketing agency included with the software. Or, you can just opt for their self-service version.

Get Satisfaction

Extract actionable feedback from your own online customer community.

Get Satisfaction provides a community platform to help your customers and potential customers get answers and information quickly, both from you and other users.

The platform integrates directly with your website and social media channels, allowing you to provide public support as well as conduct private discussions — making it a full customer support and knowledge database solution.

By providing a central location for customers to have discussions about and around your product, you are in a unique position to hear directly from them regarding:

  • What needs improvement
  • What they love about your product
  • How they rank you in comparison to competitors
  • What they expect from you in the future

Medallia for Digital

Collect real-time customer feedback across multiple channels.

Medallia for Digital is a product which combines Medallia’s powerful data analytics platform with Kampyle’s (acquired by Medallia in 2016) state-of-the-art web and mobile feedback.

Medallia for Digital delivers a true omnichannel customer experience view and allows you to act on the data across all customer touchpoints.

Use the analytics dashboards to easily gauge your customer experience performance in both historical and real-time, identifying where your program is succeeding and where additional investments are needed.

Yelp (and other review sites)

Craft marketing messages using language your audience is already using.

Review sites for businesses and service providers such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, Angie’s List, and even the Better Business Bureau, hold a wealth of insights into what customers are looking for and where your competitors are falling short.

These sites are also great sources for discovering the right messages and phrasing to include in your site and headlines.

If they’re using it in reviews, chances are they’re using it in their searches as well. Moreover, stealing (or “borrowing”, if you prefer) your customers’ own words is a guaranteed way to make sure your message connects with them.

Where to begin?

This list might seem overwhelming, but you don’t have to implement all the tools mentioned.

Instead, identify the areas most likely to give you the best insights based on the stage of your business, then pick the tools that match up.

Start with the free trials and don’t be shy to negotiate terms.

The only wrong move is to avoid audience insight tools altogether and make blind business decisions as a result. In today’s intense eCommerce climate, you need all the tricks you can get – and these tools were designed to provide exactly that advantage.

Keep Your First-Time Customers Coming Back

The post 13 Tools to Get Inside Your Customers’ Minds appeared first on Post Funnel.

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NEWS // New Representation: Tea & Water Pictures


I’m pleased to announce that I am now represented by Tea & Water Pictures in New York, London and Beijing. They are an exciting agency that have a some great production experience and a team with really diverse but complimentary backgrounds, so I’m excited to see what we can achieve together over the next few years!

They’ve also done a little interview with me which, if you’re interested, you can read here 

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5 Ways to Build Out Your Coupon Marketing Strategy


92% of consumers use coupons, and 67% have made an unplanned purchase based solely on finding a coupon. Despite their continued importance to several verticals, you can’t use yesterday’s coupon strategy to reach today’s consumers.  We’ll show you five ways to improve your coupon marketing strategy and bolster your current and target audiences.

1. Start with Mobile Coupons

Consumers use their phones constantly when comparing prices and looking for deals; capitalize on this trend by targeting them with mobile coupons. 67% will likely shop with a retailer that offers mobile coupons over those that don’t. Secure customer loyalty with the following tips:

Use Geofencing to your advantage: 65% of US consumers are more likely to shop at retailers who send proximity-triggered mobile coupons. Drive traffic to your stores by targeting customers with personalized and contextually relevant messaging based on their purchase behavior. To increase mobile coupon redemption rates, set the range between your store and coupon recipients to around 32 feet.

Include coupons in your mobile app: Introduce coupons into your mobile app experience to drive more sales volume and increase in-app engagement. Offer exclusive coupons for your app users, and ensure that the app has a built in scanning tool so consumers can scan products to discover in-store offers.

Offer an omnichannel experience: Reach today’s omnichannel shoppers by sending real-time offers based on their purchase history  and activity on your website, email promotions, or mobile app.  Deliver a seamless experience to consumers by making your mobile coupons usable online or in-store. And don’t forget about print: use QR codes in magazines so deal seekers can make online purchases with coupons through your app.

2. Optimize Coupons for Profitability

Creating coupons without learning the proper methodologies can work counterproductively and decrease your returns. Be selective when creating and distributing coupons. Below are some instances where your business will profit from a fine-point and customized approach:

Entice new customers: Offer coupons to new customers to encourage their first purchase. Make coupons visible to potential customers by placing them in your website header, footer, or lightbox. ASOS offers new customers a 15% coupon and places the details at the top of its homepage.


To encourage repeat purchases, consider offering visitors a 5-10% discount, gift card, or some other perk for their next purchase.

Re-engage customers: Use variations of ‘we’ve missed you’ coupons to bring back customers who have stopped purchasing from you due to pricing issues. Before employing this strategy, determine which customers have a good second life and duration probability. In addition, restrict this offer to one coupon per customer and segment the offers based on customer lifetime value.

Reward loyal customers: Acknowledge repeat customers with a rewards program that discounts future purchases. Offer exclusive deals based on your customers’ shopping habits and personal interests. Sephora’s Beauty Insider Loyalty Program, for example, offers Rouge members (customers who spend $1000 a year) 20% off and VIB (Very Important Beauty) members (customers who spend $350 a year) 15% off.

3. Promote Your Coupons

No matter how valuable your coupon is, if consumers can’t find it, they can’t redeem it. Considering that 46% of consumers search multiple places to find coupons, you need to make sure your offerings are easily accessible. A few strategies to get your coupons in front of buyers:

Allocate resources into paid search: Consumers exposed to coupon ads are twice as likely to convert on a retailer site. To get consumers to click on your ads, dangle attractive discounts and highlight the potential savings. Walgreens’s paid search coupon clearly shows consumers what they’ll save:

Review conversion data to find out which keywords are strongest at leading to sales, and use that data to adjust ad copy, refine bid policies, and optimize your keywords.

Partner with coupon websites: Work with outlets that offer value beyond posting coupon codes. As part of your Martech stack, include a tracking platform to see how these websites contribute to a sale.  Create affiliate-only coupons and clearly define discount terms.

Free Standing Insert (FSI): FSIs — unattached promotions found in newspapers or magazines — remain the predominant channel to reach consumers. Use this method to either announce a sale or introduce a product. Place a single offer on a page, including just one CTA.

4. Employ Single-Use Coupons

Instead of standard discounts that customers can reuse multiple times, opt for single-use coupons that allow you to send targeted offers. Two things to keep in mind here:

Offer high-value coupons: Consumers prefer single-use higher value coupons over the lower value varieties they can use multiple times. If highlighting the percentage discount, set a minimum order value. Use analytics to gain a deeper understanding of your customers’ price elasticity, which will identify the ideal offer value for your coupon and help avoid over-discounting.

Take steps to prevent overuse: Block the use of additional coupon copies by including randomized codes and ensuring coupons expire on all channels and devices once they’ve been used. Make discount links available only to customers who have come through the predetermined flow.

5. Track Performance

Tracking and measuring your coupon campaign performance is the only way to know if your strategy is working. Here’s how to conduct your analysis the right way:

Utilize a single platform: Track and manage campaigns using a single platform that offers real-time reporting and tracks customer engagement all the way to redemption. Use advanced analytics to track purchases sparked by coupon use to see how consumers respond to your messaging.

Use unique codes: Place different tracking codes on each coupon to identify individual buying habits and see which types of discounts or benefits drives the best returns. Ensure your coupon codes are simple and work in both uppercase and lowercase characters.

Track relevant metrics: Measure and track coupon campaign performance with metrics such as coupon conversions, ROI, number of coupon downloads, and coupon redemption to measure the effectiveness of your offer. Ideal KPIs are measurable, trackable, and tied to your primary objective.

Coupon marketing can greatly benefit your business if used correctly.  Integrate online and offline data to understand your customers at a deeper level and reach them with the right offer. Consider collaborating with other brands to reach a whole new audience and create a post-purchase program to continue engaging consumers. As a final note: consider a program that allows shoppers to share reviews on purchases with friends, and give them post-purchase rewards such as cash back, points, or more coupons to retain them and make the most out of your deal programs.

Retail Pulse

The post 5 Ways to Build Out Your Coupon Marketing Strategy appeared first on Post Funnel.

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NEWS // New Representation: Tea & Water Pictures


I’m pleased to announce that I am now represented by Tea & Water Pictures in New York, London and Beijing. They are an exciting agency that have a some great production experience and a team with really diverse but complimentary backgrounds, so I’m excited to see what we can achieve together over the next few years!

They’ve also done a little interview with me which, if you’re interested, you can read here 

Read more

How World Chess Champion, Garry Kasparov Learned To Love AI


It’s safe to say that in 1997, Garry Kasparov wasn’t a fan of AI. His world-renown match with IBM’s chess computer, Deep Blue, marked the first time a chess champion lost to a machine.’s Though Kasparov initially questioned whether Deep Blue was a legitimate competitor, he’s since changed his perspective on AI. In his 2017 book Deep Thinking, he argues that humans have nothing to fear from machine learning. Instead, humans can augment their creative capabilities with machine learning’s data processing achieve better results. Kasparov suggests that he’s learnt a great deal from Deep Blue’s strategy.

More from PostFunnel on AI:
Artificial Intelligence Lends Personal Touch To Travel Experience
Is There a ‘Right’ Time to Adopt Machine Learning Tools?
Bots are Taking Over the Finance Industry’s CRM

Kasparov’s change of heart parallels business’ adoption of machine learning software. Popular culture’s AI-based anxiety stems from fears that machine learning will render human workers obsolete. Though in practice, employees often benefit from machine learning solutions.

When Automation Anywhere surveyed 4,000 employees from AI-augmented businesses, they found the following results:

  • 72% of respondents view AI as a workplace tool, not a technology that replaces them
  • 57% of employees believe productivity would accelerate if they could experiment with other AI tools
  • Businesses that adopt AI see a 28% performance increase and score 33% higher on factors that make the workplace feel “more human”

This isn’t to say that AI doesn’t create challenges for industries—job retraining is essential for adjusting to automation trends—but early research suggests both employees and businesses can use AI as an advantage. Like Kasparov, individuals who once feared that machines would make us obsolete are now discovering their value.

Machine learning makes us stronger

There’s a popular misconception that once AI advances to a certain degree, it’ll outmatch human capabilities. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Humans play a major role in how we use and implement machine learning systems. What’s more, humans are essential to ensuring AI solutions function as intended.

Let’s use automated language translators as an example. Even if these systems are perfect—which they certainly aren’t—language constantly changes to accommodate new information and cultural nuances. Microsoft’s Jason Lanier noted that Google’s language software still requires human translators who account for new words, phrases, and contextual meanings. Without it, even a perfect AI-based language solution will become outdated.

After the Deep Blue match, Kasparov observed this phenomenon first-hand. While the AI system dethroned a human chess champion, human players eventually made a comeback by leveraging their own AI. Computer algorithms generated effective chess strategies that human players optimized based on their own experience. This scenario repeats itself constantly. When AI surpasses human experts at a given task, the experts learn new skills from the AI.

Automated systems are powerful, yet limited when it comes to creativity and innovation. Machine learning algorithms can calculate millions of trial-and-error scenarios to find an effective strategy, but when an AI encounters a scenario it’s never seen before, it struggles to find a new course of action. That’s where humans come in, lending their intuition and creativity to improve AI models.

What businesses can learn from AI

The principles of AI-augmented chess also apply to automated workplaces. Effective AI solutions don’t automate in a vacuum; they require human directives to refine their models and processes. Ironically, businesses can’t automate without people. What’s more, automation frees up resources that can be reinvested in other fields, such as customer interactions.

The exact implementation model will vary from business to business, but here are some best practices to consider when integrating solutions with your workforce:

Create an internal AI “startup”

There’s a reason tech startups saw impressive gains with machine learning; these businesses are agile by design, which lets them take risks with experimental initiatives. By contrast, established businesses are reluctant to take the leap with AI despite the noted benefits.

One excellent compromise is to build an internal team dedicated to AI research and initiatives. These “startups” will have more freedom to test machine learning platforms and make recommendations to other departments. In turn, the team can take feedback from departments to refine algorithms or test alternative machine learning solutions.

Support employees, not jobs

While employees can adapt to AI, that doesn’t mean their job descriptions will remain static. Over time, oversight roles and non-automated conceptual tasks will replace monotonous work. Businesses can ease employees through this transition in a variety of ways:

  • Offer skill retraining that helps employees make the best use of new machine learning tools
  • Work with employees to create job descriptions that reflect their revised roles
  • Collaborate on objectives that employees can focus on post-automation

Emphasize transparency

When automating any task, there’s a risk of focusing entirely on results and ignoring how it was calculated within the “black box.” As such, it’s becoming increasingly important to have an AI transparency policy that accounts for any government regulations and internal algorithm-related procedures. Beyond the compliance considerations, transparency resonates with many customers and honesty is always a safe bet for brand success.

AI has the potential to revolutionize our workplaces in ways that are difficult to imagine. But the overarching goal shouldn’t be to automate for automation’s sake, it’s to encourage a higher-performing, more effective workplace. Humans will have a crucial part in that role, from assisting with AI integration to augmenting their work with machine learning strategies.

Garry Kasparov learned first-hand that machines can surpass humans in certain tasks. He also learned that machines can make humans more effective than ever before. That dynamic will likely drive business and human development into the 21st Century and beyond.

The guide to advanced customer segmentation

The post How World Chess Champion, Garry Kasparov Learned To Love AI appeared first on Post Funnel.

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Regulation’s Impact on Marketing: A Few Thoughts from PostFunnel Forum, Malta


These past several years ignited a marketing revolution within the gaming industry. In the olden days (circa 2009), operators believed purchasing media amounted to a strong marketing strategy.

But customers became fickler and more hard-won, and we, as marketers, more knowledgeable. Everything from organizational structure, technology, and strategy entered into relationship marketing territory, and the brands that have invested in player-centric approaches have won big time.

In our latest Optimove-sponsored event, we listened intently as leading executives divulged their thoughts, pivots, and ideas about transforming their brand model from strictly acquisition-focused to ultra-personalized relationship marketing.

“Regulation’s Ripple Effect”

Amir Askarov, Co-founder and CEO of BlueRibbon Software, noted that the one-size-fits-all marketing from 20 years ago has no place in today’s market. He also commented on the  lack of regulation which had created chaos: “the market was like a jungle, you could have one license in one place, provide services all around the world without any restrictions on marketing, terms and conditions, the product, etc. It was much easier to run one service and do it all. You didn’t need much segmentation or learn the different markets. It was one size fits all. Since then, everything’s changed with how you can build your content, how you can build your products, what kind of features and what kind of marketing the features need.”

When asking how important data and personalization are for operators, Alina Nesu, Head of Retention at Jackpot Joy, enlightened us on their priorities: “Operators take data and personalization very seriously. It’s a huge part of our retention strategy and [we apply those concepts] in a variety of ways. We use Optimove to make sure we’re sending relevant messaging to customers at the right time for a more cohesive approach to gaming. We try and make sure our branding resonates with our audience, that we’re keeping in touch with the evolving market and profiling, personalization, and localizing data is essential for this. Even the best segmentation won’t be as effective if you don’t have an authentic feel to your content.”

Ciara Nic Liam, Director of Product Marketing at Betsson Group, shared her thoughts on how even big companies can still innovate and follow regulations despite evidence to the contrary: “For years, I’ve heard that [there’s no way to] reinvent Roulette, but things like Lightning Roulette can change the game. It’s not a new market, but it changed the rules of how you play and if you can bring those innovative ideas together, execute it really well, and combine marketing and product together, innovation can happen in many different ways.”

Finally, Carl Ejlertsson, Business Development Director at Red Tiger shared this interesting insight: “Something interesting that happened when the entire B2B market began regulation was that all B2C operators were so busy dealing with compliance issues that there wasn’t much time to focus on new integrations, new suppliers, new content, etc. So, I’m sitting here alongside BlueRibbon today because capitalized on the fact that operators don’t have time to innovate anymore, so we win by innovating for them, making their jobs easier.”

We hope to see you at our next PostFunnel Forum

Special thanks to our panelists and CRM experts who made this such a successful event. We’re looking forward to our upcoming PostFunnel Forums and hope to see many familiar and fresh faces. Until our next event, check out our articles and subscribe to our newsletter, to help us spread the gospel of data-based retention marketing.

Customer marketing challenges and opportunities

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