Is A Subscription Service Right For Your Brand?

The subscription revolution is in full swing. The ease of online purchasing and ordering, combined with inability to leave the house or interact with people last year, gave way to a huge opportunity that marketers had never seen before. Budgeting app T…

The subscription revolution is in full swing. The ease of online purchasing and ordering, combined with inability to leave the house or interact with people last year, gave way to a huge opportunity that marketers had never seen before. Budgeting app Trubill coined the phrase “power subscribers” to describe those with 10 or more subscriptions and found that its users participate on 17 subscription services on average.

I Am Merkle, Vol. 14

World Suicide Prevention Day is on Friday, September 10th. It is an opportunity for us to raise awareness and promote action that will reduce the amount of suicides and suicide attempts globally. Through action, you can make a difference to someone in …

World Suicide Prevention Day is on Friday, September 10th. It is an opportunity for us to raise awareness and promote action that will reduce the amount of suicides and suicide attempts globally. Through action, you can make a difference to someone in their darkest moments - as a member of society, as a child, as a parent, as a friend, as a colleague or as a neighbor. We can all play a role in supporting those experiencing a suicidal crisis or those bereaved by suicide.

Charities:

Resources:

    This month, we sit down with Sheba Wheeler and Natalia Stellabotte to learn more about their exeriences:

    1. Tell us about yourself; where did you grow up? Where do you live now? What do you like about your current town or city?

    Sheeba: I am the Office Manager for Merkle’s Denver location. In my spare time, I enjoy portrait photography, playing video games with my 13-year-old nephew, mastering the perfect bowl of ramen, and tending my balcony garden. I was born in Los Angeles, CA and moved to Texas when I was six. The thing I love most about living in Denver is being just an hour away from the mountains and everything the outdoors can offer you – a sense of freedom, adventure, and peace.  

    Natalia: Currently, I live in Lutherville, Maryland. What I like about living in Lutherville is that there is a great deal of diversity in the people who live here and the cultures that they represent and by extension how people think and feel about any number of topics. 

    2. How has suicide directly impacted your life?

    Sheeba: Last year at the height of the pandemic, my friend, Andrew, died by suicide. He had battled depression for most of his life and had endured terrible life circumstances that could have broken him. But he rose above all those crises and appeared to be happier and healed. That’s why it was so devastating for his family and friends to learn that he had taken his own life. He and I had spoken at length about our shared experiences overcoming depression and anxiety, and about my own suicidal thoughts. I don’t know why he didn’t reach out to me that night when he was hurting so much, and I often feel guilty because I couldn’t help him.   

    Natalia: While I have not had a friend or family member attempt or commit suicide, I have experienced passive suicidal ideation or suicidal thoughts for most of my life. I say passive suicidal ideation because they are not active in that I have not made any plans to attempt suicide. As some of you know, I am transgender, and I have dealt with gender dysphoria which causes me to experience passive suicidal ideation because my gender identity conflicts with my biological sex which promotes intense anxiety and depression.

    2a. How have you processed, managed and/or healed from this experience?

    Sheeba: Healing is something I think you must fight for daily. While the initial grief may have passed, questions that will likely never be answered still haunt me. Losing Andrew to the very symptoms I suffer from makes me want to fight for my life and to continue my personal path to mental wellness through cognitive therapy and support from loved ones. And one of the lessons I hold on to is acknowledging the pain suffered by those who are left behind in the wake of a suicide.    

    Natalia: I don’t know that I have healed from the experience because it is always with me.  It can be as innocuous as telling myself, “I hope I don’t wake up tomorrow”, when going to bed, or it can be so intense that I lose sleep, can’t concentrate, and become a not-so-nice person to be around. When it does get bad, it’s because my anxiety and depression happen at the same time. I manage my passive suicidal ideation through therapy and medication, and through my transition, it has lessened but has not gone away completely.

    I have to thank my manager for being so understanding at a time I was experiencing the worst passive suicidal ideation in my life. He had asked me a question about a project, and I snapped at him. Later that morning, we had a quick meeting and when we were done discussing that he asked, “So, what’s going on with you?”.  I told him what was happening and for the first time I spoke with someone who took the time to talk with me rather than dismiss me. That interaction helped a lot because it made me feel as though I wasn’t alone, and someone had my back.

    3. What do you think is the most important thing we need in the fight for suicide prevention?

    Sheeba: We need to learn the warning signs of people at risk for suicide, teach them to recognize when they need help, and then connect them to care and support. We also need to increase equity in access to mental health care and improve treatment service quality. For many, the process of seeking out routine, consistent treatment can be daunting if you aren’t covered by insurance and can’t afford out-of-pocket expenses. Racial and ethnic minorities continue to have limited access to mental and behavioral health care compared to their white counterparts in America.

    Natalia: Awareness needs to be front and center. People who have dealt with suicide attempts or ideation, and those effected by the aftermath of a suicide need to feel that they can talk about their experience without the fear of being stigmatized.  

    3a. How do we begin implementing this?

    Sheeba: I think we must start on a personal level, creating safe spaces within our own relationships with family, friends, and coworkers. Stigma related to having a mental health condition continues to be a barrier to treatment. I think we can combat that stigma by talking about our daily struggles and normalizing seeking help as a strength not a weakness.

    Natalia: I have found my weekly touch bases with my manager very helpful. We discuss both work issues and how I’m feeling. If this is not a general practice, I think it should be implemented company wide. By having this opportunity, I’m able to talk with my manager about what’s going on with myself and the very act of having that space to talk often reduces any anxiety and/or depression I may be going through at the time.

    4. What are you doing to bring awareness and drive change?

    Sheeba: In Andrew’s honor, I conceived and orchestrated “fearLESS: Our Stories Inspire,” a Merkle CXM series in the Americas region featuring interviews with key company leaders and team members around the organization who share their struggles with a mental health condition. I believe that such openness about our experiences and the work we’ve done to better ourselves can end stigma and create a roadmap for others to get the help they need. I also speak openly about my own mental wellness journey so I can lead by example and hopefully be a light in other’s darkness.

    Natalia: I would say that doing exercises like this interview can help in providing awareness to people who would not otherwise know about the aftereffects of suicide has on individuals and the loved ones left behind and let others who are dealing with suicidal ideation know that they are not alone.  I have heard that suicide is selfish, but I would say be compassionate with those who are suffering with this intense pain because it is this pain that drives people to consider suicide as a means of relief.

    5. What is one thing you would want others to do on September 10th for World Suicide Prevention Day?

    Sheeba: I want us to check in with someone who might be struggling in silence. Open that discussion and be brave enough to ask, “How are you doing? Really?” Create security by sharing that you are struggling too. Talk about the things that have worked to help you feel better and the things that are still troubling you. Often, we just want to know we aren’t alone, and that can make a difference in someone’s sense of self-worth.

    Natalia: Talk with a friend or person you know who may be struggling if they are open to talking about what they are going through. Just sit there and listen to them. Give them your attention. Don’t offer platitudes or try to help them solve the issue because oftentimes, in my experience, that could lead the person dealing with suicidal ideation feeling worse and exacerbate the situation.

    Third-Party Data strategies for Success in Financial Services

    Ever since the publication of this story in The Economist a few years back, The analogy is apt, as much like raw crude oil, data on its own has limited use. As a consumer, virtually every action of ours, from hailing an Uber to logging into our bank a…

    Ever since the publication of this story in The Economist a few years back, The analogy is apt, as much like raw crude oil, data on its own has limited use. As a consumer, virtually every action of ours, from hailing an Uber to logging into our bank accounts generates and leaves a footprint of data. 

    Data privacy regulations and increased consumer awareness of these (and very rightly so) have started creating standard definitions on types of data. These are based on how that data is collected, and on the contextual relationship related to the units on which data are being collected. For example, zero-party data is defined as data proactively shared by a consumer with a brand, while third-party data is essentially obtained by the brands from data providers and aggregators who may not have a direct interaction with the audience on whom the data is collected.

    This blog highlights keys to success using third-party data in the financial services sector. In recent years, there has been an explosion of third-party data categories and availability, especially with cloud enabled ‘data exchanges’. Given the plethora of choices, brands need to have a solid action plan for each of the top five pivots for a successful data strategy:

    1. Well determined key performance indicators (KPIs) and appropriate use cases
    2. An objective understanding of third-party data challenges
    3. Streamlining the data sourcing function
    4. Integrating with analytics – fuel that powers the data
    5. Data refresh – don’t let your data get stale

    Ask the right questions 

    Creation of a strategic framework of KPIs that you are trying to impact with your data strategy is an essential first step. For example, the third-party data categories that you’d want to look at to understand when (or which) consumers are coming to the end of their current auto insurance policies will be different from those that will tell you if the exact same set of consumers are also ripe for a life insurance cross-sell offer (along with their auto policy renewal offers). While there are many advanced data science techniques that are available today, the old-fashioned business and contextual prioritization of data categories enabling you to ask right questions determine downstream success of your data strategy

    Objectively evaluate the data ‘quality’

    Once the KPIs are ascertained, you need to consider data from different sources, as there are many third-party data vendors and providers. Evaluating data must encompass both qualitative and quantitative aspects. The stability and viability of the data, as well as the data provider is an important consideration, as is the additional scale the third-party data will provide to the brand. Checking accuracy of the appended data (very often you can benchmark against your own first-party data) is critical. For example, a medicare insurance provider conducting targeted marketing needs an accurate assessment of the age-based eligibility for its target universe. One of the most important considerations should also include match rate (put simply, what proportion of your customer universe can be matched against the third-party data provider’s universe). Your data strategy should incorporate a comparative weighting schema for all these important metrics.

    Streamline data sourcing

    Data sourcing is a very specialized function. Often it needs to become a full-time commitment for a team depending on the size of your brand and complexity of your data strategy. Working with independent providers and then trying to bring all the data back together at the customer level is not only a time consuming task, but also a fairly technical undertaking from the coding and data matching perspective (Merkle, for example, has several level of matches available for the highest fidelity using terrestrial and digital connected recognition schema). Furthermore, the nuances around data privacy are getting quite complicated as different US states may have slightly different rules of interpreting data privacy, as well as regulatory and compliance aspects depending on the industry (e.g. FCRA, GLB and the SOX rules commonly used in financial services industry data). Alternatively you can choose to work reputable data providers and agencies that will do most of the legwork for your brand, including logistics negotiations with the data providers, help you ingest and aggregate data from different sources (including niche cloud based data marketplaces) and ensure that all data transactions and usage are privacy and compliance safe.

    Integrating analytics with your data strategy leads to dozens of third-party data applications, of which I will mention only a few:

    1. Enhancement of your own first-party data using third-party data at scale.

    The primary driver of this is the requirement of the brand to know the holistic profiles of your customers beyond what the first-party data tells you.

    2. Expansion and scaling your target audience through modeling and targeted media activation remain one of the most powerful applications of third-party data.

    3. Brands may not typically associate this with third party data, but it can be helpful for research. While there is no substitute for primary research, third-party data-based analytics on syndicated data sources (like consumer and shoppers’ panels) yield rich insight. For example, you could discover that your most valuable target audience segment shows certain types of propensities when it comes to media engagement and consumption, and that sets you ahead as you formulate marketing plans.

    Don’t let your data get stale

    Data refresh strategy is a very critical requirement, though, and is an area that brands often spend the least energy and focus on. If there is one thing that is constantly changing in the information age, it is the variety and velocity of data available. Brands should continue to look at the applicability of their current data for the KPIs and use cases they had procured or sourced the data for. Static data models and predictive statistical models should be re-evaluated at almost a regular frequency (at least once a month/quarter) using technology and latest analytic methodologies. Given the size of the optimization audience, even a few basis points ‘lift’ on the current performance of a predictive model, will make this effort worthwhile, and a well thought out data refresh strategy will ensure that the performance and return from your data and analytics models will continue to remain positive.

    Examples of successful applications of third-party data are numerous. Within the Merkle dossiers alone, we likely have dozens of such examples, but I wanted to highlight two that shows the power from ‘intersection’ of data dimensions

    1. The first one is around application of geo-location data in auto insurance. As with any purchase, auto insurance is highly correlated with ‘the right need at the right time’. Using geo-location data, Merkle was able target consumers who were visiting establishments that showed a high causal relationship to auto insurance purchase (for example, an automobile dealership), and show double digit lifts in test/control setup for auto insurance purchase rates.

    2. The second example is the integration of first-party and third-party data to identify ‘engagement media and channel’ propensities for customers who would be ‘high value’ checking and deposit customers, as applied for a large regional bank. Activating this audience through the Merkury platform showed not only higher engagement (and conversion rates), but also significantly higher ‘quality metrics’ (like deposit amounts and direct deposit incidences) for the test populations.

    How to Project Scope Your Adobe Commerce Implementation

    The commerce experience has expanded to include more devices and channels than ever, while technological enhancements has made the journey from awareness to purchase extremely fast. Brands must transform their ecommerce approach to be everywhere their …

    The commerce experience has expanded to include more devices and channels than ever, while technological enhancements has made the journey from awareness to purchase extremely fast. Brands must transform their ecommerce approach to be everywhere their customers are to deliver a seamless, cohesive customer experience.

    Google to Stop Allowing Creation of, Edits to Expanded Text Ads in Mid-2022

    Google announced today that, starting June 30, 2022, responsive search ads (RSAs) will be the only Search ad type that can be created or edited in standard text ad campaigns. Existing expanded text ads (ETAs) will still be eligible to serve after that …

    Google announced today that, starting June 30, 2022, responsive search ads (RSAs) will be the only Search ad type that can be created or edited in standard text ad campaigns. Existing expanded text ads (ETAs) will still be eligible to serve after that date but cannot be created or updated.

    Spanish Audiobook for Brainfluence

    Roger Dooley’s Brainfluence has been translated into eleven languages, but the new Spanish reading is the first audio audio translation.
    The post Spanish Audiobook for Brainfluence appeared first on Neuromarketing.

    The Spanish Audible version of Brainfluence is #1 in Global Marketing

    Roger Dooley's Brainfluence has been translated into eleven languages, but the new Spanish reading is the first audio audio translation.

    The post Spanish Audiobook for Brainfluence appeared first on Neuromarketing.