We recently launched a new feature of our widely read blog Ernan’s Insights on Marketing Best Practices.
It is called: 4 Questions for Marketing Innovators The goal is to provide a quick read filled with meaningful insights from marketing thought leaders.
Each column will feature one innovator who will address 4 questions;
- What is one marketing topic that is most important to you as an innovator?
- Why is this so important?
- How will the customer experience be improved by this?
- How will this improve the effectiveness of marketing?
Bill Borrelle is the SVP and leader of Integrated Marketing Communications at Pitney Bowes, a global technology company offering products and services that enable commerce.
From data-driven marketing services to shipping and mailing products, the company is a leading provider of location data and provides the data that enables billions of social media check-ins every day.
A Board Member of the DMA, Bill’s roots are in direct and data-driven marketing, leading client relationships at Wunderman and Digitas. Before joining Pitney Bowes, Borrelle was Chief Executive Officer of mcgarrybowen New York.
1. What is one marketing topic that is most important to you as an innovator?
Location data. Unlocking the potential of using location data in marketing to engage with consumers with greater relevance and impact.
2. Why is this so important?
Since the beginning of time for Marketers, it is "context” that makes our messages relevant and actionable. I believe that “Context is King”, and have believed that since we began to use the term "Contextual Marketing". Contextual Marketing is a form of targeted messaging where the content of the message is directly relevant to the channel; perhaps the topic of a print publication, or relevant to the editorial content adjacent to the ad on a website, or relevant to a social media conversation, or even relevant to your customer’s online behavior. It’s fundamental.
So now, with 2/3 of Americans with smart phones and 74% of consumers who have smart phones saying 'YES’ to location-based services, we have a new form of contextual marketing that uses the real-time location of your customer to deliver a relevant, impactful message. So imagine intercepting your customer, through your company’s app, at the moment that they are near to your location with a real-time offer? Or perhaps, in the financial services category, knowing that your customer is in a real estate office, suggesting a home loan offer opportunity? It is mind-boggling if you let go and imagine all the new opportunities that we have as marketers with location data.
3. How will the customer experience be improved by this?
There are two scenarios where location data improves the customer experience. In a 'pull’ scenario, the customer is reaching out to you, through your app, to get information.
Where is the nearest branch? Can you direct me there? What retailers near where I am right now will let me use my rewards points to redeem? What movie theatres near me are playing a particular movie I want to see? We all know these examples well, because we live them, and it has become second nature. More and more, through the apps of banks, airlines, retailers, communications companies, opportunities to simplify life or save time or improve an experience are all being introduced using location data as the foundation of that improved experience.
For Marketers, it is the "push” scenario where there is untapped potential to improve a customer experience. Location data and automated real-time push messaging is often not built into existing CRM systems, so we are seeing our clients who use Pitney Bowes location data beginning to be very creative in not only the data that they use but also how they apply this data to deliver an unexpected, spontaneous message of relevance that engages and drives behavior. When we give our customers, with full transparency, the option to choose to share their location information in exchange for better service or a price advantage, the majority will say "YES".
4. How will this improve the effectiveness of marketing?
One notable advance that location data uniquely provides is driving action in the physical world using digital technology. There is no other method to immediately intercept a customer in real time, via a 1:1 customer tailored message, to drive an immediate physical in-store purchase. It's a great example of this new phenomenon, sometimes referred to as “phygical” marketing, where you use digital technology and data to drive a purchase in a physical environment, such as a retail store or a restaurant. Note, of those who are loyal to many apps on many mobile devices i.e. the “truly mobile engaged consumer”, the vast majority have their phones engaged while they shop, or eat out, or travel. We have a captive audience, and the only hurdle is our ability to meaningfully drive the right high-value message. In a nutshell, location data delivers relevance, and relevance drives revenue and results and relationships.
When used for research purposes, location data can help you better understand your target by analyzing the patterns of their movement on the planet. For example, do they commute to work every day? Do they travel internationally? Do they frequent a competitor's retail store more than yours? This is another great way to make your marketing programs more effective.
Remember that there’s location and then there’s location intelligence. It’s not sufficient to know the geographic coordinates of your customer on a map, you need to know what's around them. And that is where the layers of location data come in for Marketers to create impact in ways never before possible. This is a great opportunity for data-driven marketers.
What is your favorite activity outside of work?
I like to run. Power up the pop music, and escape on the West Side Highway in New York City overlooking the Hudson River. Nothing like it.