The State of Marketing: Q&A with Ivan Silva of Virid

Being a leading eCommerce technology provider for retail brands is a common denominator shared by Listrak and partner Virid. But how do the two companies complement each other, and what’s the benefit for clients? In this edition of The State of Marketing, Virid Partner Manager Ivan Silva talks marketing challenges and solutions, and why the partnership is such a good “fit.”

Tell us a bit about Virid.

Virid was founded in 1999 by Steve Deller, a visionary who has been developing eCommerce business operation standards since the early 90s. His vision has made us what we are today, and many years later, there is still a vision that our teams share on all fronts. With this we are a leading provider of eCommerce technology solutions for growing retail brands, offering an eCommerce package that includes software, cloud-based hosting, integration support and ongoing technology consulting. Our pride in our business stems from knowing retailers and their businesses; we’re able to give them the tools they need to competitively sell in the ever-changing digital space. Our team has loads of intelligent, creative minds that are willing to go the extra yard to deliver the best solutions for each client we work with. We strive to make sites faster and operations more efficient, in an easy-to-manage way. 

Why did you decide to team up with Listrak?

We teamed up with Listrak for many reasons, the main reason being that they are very similar in the way they care for their clients. They bend over backwards and are smart in the way they make recommendations; their perspective is uncanny. I personally have found many of the people on the Listrak team, like our team here at Virid. 

How do you see brands benefitting from this partnership?

With the intuitive platform that Listrak has, along with the level of support they offer, combined with our scalable e-commerce platform and support, brands experience growth in sales and operational efficiency.

If you had a magic wand - what is the one thing you’d change in the digital marketing world, and why?

A picture speaks a thousand words, so I would change the way people handle imagery and product creation. Currently, the way I hear how some folks are handling it seems inefficient. We have taken a few steps to make it easier, but I believe there are more avenues to explore. 

Which marketing channel do you think is the most underrated?

The Partner channel is the most impactful (but being the Partner Manager, I may be a bit biased…!). In this channel, you generate business or learn methods to make life easier for your clients.

What are the biggest challenges facing marketers right now, particularly with respect to how they make use of data?

I believe that the main challenge we face is maintaining visibility of the change in personas — tracking buying patterns is a good start. Also, a good chunk of the data that is isolated is clean, but at times that data might not give you the most impactful insights into what your customer needs or wants. Also, sometimes you get skewed results due to not having a clear view of the source of the data set. There are also data set comparison factors that are sometimes overlooked; keeping it all in sequence has been a challenge for some. Another big one is getting to the devices through the right social media channels. 

What is the most common mistake marketers make?

Marketing to the wrong audience or marketing with the wrong voice.


What are you excited about? Anything on the horizon?

We’re excited about the launch of the new Peltz Shoes website. On the horizon? We have a bunch of fun events coming up. We’ll post them soon.

What’s on your personal media list right now?

Whoa, that list is pretty long, but here are twelve: Bonobo, Kygo, John Coltrane and Miles Davis, Major Lazer, Marshmello, Metallica, Slightly Stoopid, Stevie Wonder, Soja, Yo-Yo Ma, Zach Brown and Ziggy Marley. 



Luxury Experts Share Their UX Insights

Not so long ago, luxury brands never thought it would be possible to convince one of their shoppers to purchase high-end merchandise online. After all, a major component of that purchase was the distinctive, exclusive in-store experience. But that seems to be changing.

So how are luxury brands and retailers breaking through the online barrier and creating exceptional user experiences for their shoppers? Partner Blue Acorn asked luxury industries experts - including Heather Gruber of Listrak Strategy Services - for some answers and to provide their insights on engaging with luxury shoppers, creating lifetime value, and optimizing the eCommerce experience. Read more.

Enhancing Replenishment Campaigns with CRM Data

We are all too busy. That’s not a cliché. It’s the truth. Between balancing professional, social and family life, our valuable time is indeed at a premium today. There are recurring items on the to-do list that begin to fall behind all the other things in our day − from tasks around the house like changing the air filter or refilling the water softener on a regular basis to making sure you’ve purchased cleaning supplies, office, health, beauty or personal care products well before they are needed. To quote a large office supplies retailer, we could all use an “Easy” button!

The good news for retailers selling consumable goods is that we can provide the Easy button in the form of a Replenishment Campaign. Listrak’s AI-driven Replenishment Campaigns automatically adjust the timing of a message based on the crowd and individual purchase patterns to predict the right time to send a reminder that it’s time to make a re-purchase. This is also a perfect opportunity to include Predictive Product Recommendations to cross-sell / upsell other products targeted to the individual customer.

Retailers utilizing an automated triggered campaign through Listrak to target replenishable products see an average conversion rate of 31% and a 10X ROI. Although these are fantastic results, there’s always room for improvement. With the addition of Listrak CRM, the question becomes − how can we use our customer data analysis to be even more targeted with these campaigns?

According to a study by eMarketer, only 8% of U.S. customers are repeat purchasers, on average only 5% of customers on a retailer’s list purchased twice, and only 3% purchased three times or more. The second sale is even more important than the first.

Understanding the purchase behaviors of your one-time buyers vs. repeat vs. loyal customer segments can help you to determine strategies to test, such as subject line optimization, discount/offer targeting or even adjusting Product Recommendation ingredients and recipes. This segmentation could be taken further by targeting based on LTV or using predictive models available such as likelihood to purchase.

Listrak CRM makes it simple to take the insights from your customer analysis and turn them into actionable segments that can be used in your Replenishment Campaigns or any other intelligent triggered campaign. It’s win-win … an Easy button for you the marketer to create an Easy button for your customers.

Sessions, Presentations and Workshops You Can’t Miss at IRCE 2018

IRCE – the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition – draws more than 10,000 eCommerce professionals to Chicago with more than 130 speaking sessions, 16 tracks and over 300 vendors. So how do you filter all those choices and get the most from your time there? Listrak partner BigCommerce breaks it down for you. From workshops and bootcamps to hearing from industry leaders, here are the IRCE 2018 moments that aren’t to be missed: 21 Sessions, Presentations and Workshops You Can’t Miss at IRCE 2018


The State of Marketing: Q&A with Nicolas Chammas of Persado

Listrak and Persado recently announced a strategic integration, combining Persado’s AI-generated marketing language with Listrak’s automation and analytics platform. Sounds like a winning combination. So, what’s in it for marketers? In this edition of The State of Marketing, we checked in with Persado Senior Vice President of Global Corporate Development & Partnerships Nicolas Chammas.

Tell us a bit about Persado.

Persado was born out of the concept that the precise words you choose to interact with your customers matter even more than generating the right offer at the right time for a given customer. Our AI technology combines machine learning and our Marketing Language Cloud - the largest database of marketing language in the world that boasts nearly 1.5 million tagged and scored words and phrases - to generate marketing language that best resonates with any audience, segment or individual across any channel. Imagine having a data scientist and a copywriter for each person in your audience; you get language that drives engagement and analytics that explain why, resulting in more business and unique and powerful insights. This allows brands to increase acquisition and retention while building long-term consumer relationships.

Why did you decide to team up with Listrak?

Our customers use our technology in conjunction with their email service provider (ESP) to help them deploy optimal content using Persado's AI platform. We’re always listening to our customers to learn about other technologies they’re leveraging and how we can better integrate with these tools. Over the last year, we have had more and more customers requesting that we integrate with Listrak. In Listrak, we found a unique partner who shares Persado’s vision that leveraging AI to better personalize content will become the industry standard in marketing. We are very excited to partner with the team in bringing our unique joint solution to market.

How do you see brands benefitting from this partnership?

This partnership benefits all customers looking to enhance their B2C marketing efforts. The combination of Persado + Listrak allows customers to seamlessly leverage AI to generate the best language and message for any brand’s customers at both the audience and segment / individual level.

If you had a magic wand - what is the one thing you’d change in the digital marketing world, and why?

Get rid of all the noise around AI and machine learning in the marketing world. Prior to joining Persado, I was an investor focused on enterprise software companies and was incredibly skeptical of any company that touted their “AI” and “machine learning” capabilities. Those have become industry buzzwords that are widely misunderstood and overused. In many cases, companies claiming to have these capabilities are simply using data to analyze historical trends but are not in fact leveraging true AI. At Persado, we pride ourselves on having the only solution in the marketing world that truly leverages AI and machine learning to generate the best language for marketers.

Which marketing channel do you think is the most underrated?

Email isn’t as sexy as it was 20 years ago when many of us still remember that iconic voice telling us “You’ve got mail!” Today, we’re bombarded by emails touting special offers “just for us” and hitting on multiple personal, work and school alumni accounts. However, for personalized and relevant content, email is still the low hanging fruit for Fortune 1000 marketers; it’s fast, relatively inexpensive and easy to customize. At Persado, we find the vast majority of our customers begin to leverage our technology in email since it’s the easiest place to start (and easy to see a quick ROI), but then quickly scale to other channels including paid media and web, where they can take the learnings from email and apply them across all their marketing channels.

What are the biggest challenges facing marketers right now, particularly with respect to how they make use of data?

Between GDPR and the discussion surrounding the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook issue, data usage has become a hot-button ethical topic. The key for marketers who have found tracking consumer preferences to be an integral part of their strategy is to avoid getting too personal too quickly. But in today’s competitive landscape and the emphasis on customized content, some marketers start to over-do personalization.

As a marketer, you’ve probably been to a networking event (or five) this year alone. If a vendor came up to you and regurgitated your entire LinkedIn profile and mentioned something you tweeted about your dog three weeks ago, you’d likely be creeped out, right? On the other hand, if they congratulated you on a promotion that was recently published in a trade magazine roundup, you’d probably be impressed and flattered. The same goes for data: learn about your consumers, but do it slowly and without crossing the line into stalker territory. If you’re selling home improvement items, you don’t need to hyper-target your audience to the point where you’re showing each individual an actual photo of their home. Instead, consider suggesting a grill to someone who recently purchased patio furniture. It’s helpful, not off-putting.

What is the most common mistake marketers make?

Relying too much on gut feel rather than data. The best marketers are those who don’t hold their beliefs too firmly, and who can be nimble when data proves that what they thought they knew isn’t actually the case. I think we’re starting to see this more frequently as marketers become more data-driven and begin to trust data more − even when that data goes against long-held beliefs.

What are you excited about? Anything on the horizon?

At Persado, we are striving to be the de facto standard in marketing. If you’re not using Persado, you are not optimizing your marketing messaging and could fall behind your competitors who have chosen to invest in improving customer communication. As we continue to automate our platform and add integrations - such as our integration with Listrak - we are making it even easier for customers to seamlessly deploy Persado content.

What’s on your personal media list right now?

Whether on the road, in the office, at the gym or at home, I am always listening to music. I am a huge fan of Spotify and love that their recommendation engine creates playlists for me based on what I listen to and like. The Weeknd’s new album is one of my current favorites.