Real-Time Engagement and Relationship Marketing
Patrick Tripp: Welcome to PULSE, The Cheetah Product Podcast. I'm Patrick Tripp, SVP of product marketing at Cheetah Digital. Excited today to be joined by Bryan Finfrock, our newest member of the product marketing organization for episode 20. Talk about Bryan's background and what he's focused on at Cheetah Digital. And we'll talk a little bit about relationship marketing and where to learn more. So Bryan, excited to have you.
Bryan Finfrock: I'm excited to be here. Thanks for having me, Patrick.
Patrick Tripp: Welcome back to PULSE episode 20. Bryan, it's great to have you, our director of product marketing. How are things for you?
Bryan Finfrock: They're going great. It's spring or almost spring anyways, and the snow has melted. So looking forward to things.
Patrick Tripp: Love it. Yeah. Same here in New England, the snow has melted, but it always sometimes comes back in April and May. So I'm hoping for that... I'm hoping that doesn't happen. But here we are talking on episode 20 about your background and what we're doing with relationship marketing. We always start though the series with our interest in music, and I'm a part- time musician myself, but Bryan, what do you listen to these days and what are you into for music?
Bryan Finfrock: I like heavy music. It's not an upward Mohawk today but I do like to keep it punk. I've got a five and a seven year old and we're taking them to their first concert next month. So they get to see Elton John as their first concert. We're really excited for that. And I picked up a couple albums for myself recently, The Toadies' Rubberneck 25th anniversary is out and Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats have a new one out that I just can't get enough of.
Patrick Tripp: Good stuff. Yeah. I remember you sharing that with me recently and yeah, you just maybe think of what I'm doing this summer, which is Xfinity center in the Greater Boston area. I did get this season pass for the lawn for my son and I. My son's really never... He's nine, he hasn't gone to any major concerts yet. So there's all sorts of different shows from Dave Matthews, to Steely Dan, to all sorts of different stuff. So that'll be interesting. We'll come and go as throughout the summer, but yeah, great stuff. Looking forward to getting music back on the road this year into this summer. But Bryan we're super excited to have you on the product marketing team and at Cheetah Digital. You have a great background, over 15 years in this space, but maybe you can talk a little bit for the viewers to give them a little bit of your background.
Bryan Finfrock: Yeah. I started professionally right out of high school as a weather forecaster for the U. S. Air Force. Really got into playing with models and data a lot and learned how important it is to understand data as I was doing that job, and just didn't love it. I loved marketing and the idea of marketing and ended up pursuing a job in digital marketing where I spent the better part of the last decade and a half building campaigns for enterprise brands and a wide variety of enterprise brands, because I was a campaign specialist in a services role. And then I made a transition into being the product marketing manager for the majority of the B2C marketing tools that exist over at Oracle. And I'm very excited to be here now doing similar things with the Cheetah technology.
Patrick Tripp: Love it. Yeah. Great background, love the journey that you've gone through and excited to have you with us. And the journey we're on now is really towards a new way of talking about the value that we can deliver for our customers. We call that relationship marketing and that's essentially helping our brands really develop these better direct relationships with consumers across the entire customer life cycle from acquisition to engagement, to retention, all powered by data. And so relationship marketing is key. And we're talking a lot about that and I think engagement, an area that you're focused on and that we're obviously at the core of Cheetah Digital, realtime engagement. Engaging in those moments that matter, in those contextual moments that matter most is core to relationship marketing. Maybe you can talk a little bit about the relationship there that you see.
Bryan Finfrock: Yeah, sure. My roots are in email. That's where I started building, but learned immediately when I came into the industry that it isn't just a matter of blasting people with a message. You actually have to try and take the information they're feeding you, whether it's a click somewhere or a visit or a view or an interaction and build on that. So for all marketers, the relationship between us and the brands that we're interacting with are critical to not just be generic, they have to be focused. And what's really critical at this point in time with the way the environment for all of us as shoppers has gone is real time engagement. The moment that any of us are looking to do something, looking to find a piece of information, looking to find a product, looking to learn something new is the moment that we expect a brand to be able to find a way to give us that information. And then beyond that, the loyalty is so critical. Keeping a customer is a whole lot easier than getting a new customer. And if you have good customers, keeping them happy is going to get you a whole lot more revenue and success than just locking onto new one and done customer opportunities. So-
Patrick Tripp: Yeah, and it's a really-
Bryan Finfrock: crosstalk What's important is that focus-
Patrick Tripp: It's a progression really from very simple messaging with great targeting to then incorporating more channels and touch points and journeys. Maybe you can talk about that progression that we see out there for marketers, they could take advantage of.
Bryan Finfrock: Yeah, absolutely. Relationship marketing, it bridges the gap between data and contextual engagement. It ensures that you can really easily and fluidly understand the customers that you're interacting with, activate the insights that you're gleaning as you're interacting with them. And deliver personalized experiences with every interaction across every channel and every touchpoint so that there's value in every moment that you have with your customers. So relationship marketing is how we think about the entire customer engagement suite, enabling our customers to deliver those sorts of experiences to their best customers.
Patrick Tripp: Yep, definitely. So on a previous series we talked about acquisition and enrichment, but then as we get into more progression of use cases we talk about real time engagement. Everything from messaging at scale to cross- channel engagement, to real time and even intelligent marketing, maybe you can inform the viewers in terms of how we see those areas.
Bryan Finfrock: Yeah, it's certainly not one size fits all. Which is why there's so many different ways to get to a point where you have relationship marketing instead of just one directional marketing with your customers. And messaging at scale and the route again for me was email and email remains critical to all marketers. Most consumers prefer email to other channels. Most consumers trust email more than other channels, but we also need to be able to communicate at large and at speed and personalize that dynamically. And as customers we all expect some level of understanding. We don't want an email every day. So messaging at scale is more than just achieving scale. It's achieving it intelligently and cross channel- marketing is the next use case that works into there where, because we're all unique shoppers, we're interacting on multiple devices today. I'll go back and forth between my own cell phone, my wife's cell phone, my work computer and then wandering out to a store on occasion when I feel like it. And all of those different interactions add up to a full experience. And it's important for brands to be able to put those pieces together and orchestrate to those different channels at moments when people are likely to interact, which is really the next use case we have there. It's real time interaction. This is trickier to do, but in the experience that I've had, the brands that do that right, even something as simple as an abandonment. A next day abandonment versus a real time abandonment. I've done a 90/ 10 split on a test like that, where 90% got next day and 10% got real time. And that brand called us the day that we turned it on to say" This is already producing more revenue at just 10% of our audience than the 90%." Real time matters. And now we're in an age where we can go beyond just real time. We have the opportunity to take in all of this data but actually gain insights from it. Surface opportunities and take the knowledge that we have to find our best customers and find new customers that we weren't considering in ways. And that's the intelligent level of marketing, it's taking your data all the way to the top and evaluating everyone and bringing it back down. So you're personalizing on a one- to- one level with machine learning, doing things that as marketers we can just never do with AB or Boolean or SeQuel or whatever else that we do.
Patrick Tripp: Yeah, definitely a series of use cases here from marketers to dig into, depending on their maturity, depending on their goals and their objectives. Messaging at scale, as you mentioned, it's really about email and mobile.$ 45 per dollar spent of ROI still on email is one of the best channels to still leverage in. A lot of our customers are doing very seasonal- based messaging with very precise targeting to consumers, so that's still very valid. Then you talked about cross- channel marketing. And to me, I think about journeys there and journeys have been around, but I feel like journeys are ripe for reinvention. Journeys can be more real time in nature now and they can certainly be more based on events and activities and triggers. And then we get to... Like you mentioned real time marketing, a little bit more around mobile, around web and digital in those moments that matter. Even cart abandonment, for example, can really generate a huge lift for organizations. And then intelligent marketing. Yeah, really the power machine learning, putting models into the hands of marketers and really helping them derive the insights that are need to help you get that level of personalization that you can't scale too manually crosstalk.
Bryan Finfrock: Journeys were incredibly mechanical and limited when they came out. And what we're doing with journeys today, you can simultaneously reach out with an email and a push if you know it's more likely to survive or achieve the goals that you're trying to achieve. But at the same time you can really intelligently go from the email to the SMS, to the push and back to the email and even include the web experiences in that. So you're progressing your customers instead of just trying to drive them to an endpoint. Nobody wants to be led in that way. They want to have their own control over what they're doing.
Patrick Tripp: Yep, absolutely. And I do agree with you there. I see the convergence of real time and journeys more and more. It's not this bulk, batch oriented audience that you're just trying to force down a path, it's really waiting and reacting and providing a unique path for every individual based on the context and the data they've shown. So, yeah, great stuff. We're going to be talking a lot more about relationship marketing and some of the other use cases that we see across retention and loyalty for another day. But Bryan, I know we're starting to get some visibility out here around this topic, where can folks find more on relationship marketing?
Bryan Finfrock: Yeah. If you travel to the Cheetah Digital blog, where you have a series on relationship marketing and the use cases associated and best practices and how to actually achieve the things that will get you to that differentiating level with your customers.
Patrick Tripp: Yeah. And in those blogs, we talk a little bit about some of the recent research that we've been a part of, including Forrester research. One first I'll mention is the Real- Time Interaction Management Now Tech Report, we did put a blog out about that a couple of months ago. Great to be a part of that mix in RTIM.
Bryan Finfrock: Yeah. Forrester does a lot of work in making sure everybody's able to understand the search technologies that are available there. And real- time interaction is so critical, recognizing unique customers, pairing them with contextual insights, determining and orchestrating the next best experiences, measuring the outcomes associated with the experiences you have. At Cheetah, we believe you can and should make every single interaction you have with your customers a moment to value. So connecting across all channels, personalizing at scale, that's expected, but delivering it in real- time and adding value is really how you make your brand stand out compared to your competitors.
Patrick Tripp: Yep, definitely. And we definitely deliver on that through our personalization capabilities. So it's exciting to be a part of that mix. And then also the email wave just came out. Yeah. Email marketing service providers for Forrester research. We are part of that. That one just came out a couple weeks ago, right?
Bryan Finfrock: Yeah. It's a fantastic report. Shar has been writing it for a while and we're really pleased with the results here, the highest overall current offering for Cheetah Digital. When I was in my past experience, the notice of how Cheetah was moving across that wave is one of the reasons why I was really interested in coming over here. And I'm really happy to be at Cheetah because just like Shar recognized that the technology that we have right now is the best technology that marketers have access to, to be able to do all of the things that you might want to do with email. And then also connect that to the experiences that get you good email profiles to personalize on. And that loyalty retention advocacy and branch championship that you want at the end. So we got perfect score of some services. We got great reviews and vision dynamic content. So it was a fantastic report.
Patrick Tripp: Yeah. Excited to be a part of that. And thanks for all your contributions there. We will have a blog out about that and I can go check that out, but Bryan, it's great to talk with you. We'll do more of these down the road and thank you very much.
Bryan Finfrock: Thank you so much Patrick.
Patrick Tripp: All right-
Join Patrick Tripp & Bryan Finfrock at Cheetah Digital for the latest episode of PULSE, that will cover Bryan’’s background, his focus at Cheetah Digital, and the impact of Real-Time Engagement on Relationship Marketing.