Supply chain woes for the holiday season?: Tuesday’s Daily Brief
Delivering products in a timely fashion, or failing to, is an important part of customer experience.
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Good morning, Marketers, and your messages should be precious.
At least, they shouldn’t be aversive. Down the page, we talk about the worsening supply chain and shipping crisis, which isn’t going to be over, it seems, before the holiday season. “What can I do about it?” might be the reasonable response from a marketer. What you can do is not over-promise; you can be transparent about possible problems; and you can let B2C purchasers track their packages.
This got me thinking about aversive messages — the kinds of messages that make you think, “I can shop elsewhere.” Like the email from an airline encouraging me to book a flight at a time when U.S. residents were excluded from just about anywhere for health reasons. Or the emails from an airline suggesting I re-book with them the week after they canceled my flight and offered no replacement (airlines seem to be especially good at aversive messaging).
This holiday season might be the time to carefully rethink email subject lines like “Order now and get it in time for [insert your holiday here]”.
Neuroscience: Video makes people happier than text
The chances are good that you’ve opened an email that, instead of text, displayed a prompt to play a video message. It turns out there might be a scientific reason for that.
A new study on how people’s brains react to video-based sales email versus text-based email showed participants largely felt positive and happy when viewing video email. While text-based email tended to make people feel anxious (based on negative valence and arousal), video neutralized this effect and even promoted feelings of positivity in recipients.
But one finding stood out as a surprise — the business inbox tends to automatically invite a negative experience. When participants read through text-based emails provided in business inbox simulations, they started the process in an “unpleasant” state. Video-based email decreased participants’ negative experience. When participants were done watching the video and resumed viewing the remaining text-based emails, they returned to a neutral (not negative) state of mind.
“Video-based emails tend to taper off that negative response and provide recipients the opportunity for less fatigue. They also tended to motivate more people to action,” said Dr. Carmen Simon, a neuroscientist and the chief science officer at Corporate Visions, a company that provides science-backed marketing and sales training programs to enterprise clients. B2B DecisionLabs, a division of Corporate Visions, recently partnered with Vidyard to conduct the study.
CDPs may evolve, but their core functionality is becoming essential
When stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines spurred the movement of customer interactions – both B2B and B2C – to digital channels, marketers became increasingly interested in technologies that collect data from those interactions, unify them, deliver insights and enable campaign orchestration. Whether that’s taking place in something called a CDP or whether the category morphs as it grows is up for discussion, however. In its most recent report on the market, Gartner predicted that 70% of independent CDP vendors will be acquired or will acquire adjacent technologies to diversify by 2023.
According to Gartner, these players will get into personalization, multichannel marketing, consent management or master data management (MDM) for customer data. In part, this expectation arises from the fact that the number of CDP vendors is so high (approaching 100, according to Gartner) that it’s difficult to believe they will all remain viable as individual entities.
In any case, the core CDP technology and its functionality aren’t going anywhere, as the use cases that have brought it to the fore are more important than ever. Gartner notes that marketing technology leaders it surveyed see CDP as “an investment worth planning for, and protecting, in an economic downturn.” Respondents ranked CDPs as one of the technologies they would least likely cut from their planned deployments, when Gartner asked about the possibility of eliminating items from the martech stack.
For more about these trends and to view in-depth profiles of CDP vendors, check out our MarTech Intelligence Report titled Enterprise Customer Data Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide.
The shipping problem is getting worse
Last October, some seven or eight months into the pandemic, we reported on supply chain problems that had the potential to impact customer experience. There was talk of Walmart and Amazon buying up extra cargo planes to accommodate the unknown demand curve of the upcoming holiday season.
Ten months on and there are signs that the shipping problem is worsening. One reason is that a COVID-19 outbreak can lead to the closure of an entire shipping terminal — as recently happened at Ningbo-Zhoushan, the world’s third busiest container port, south of Shanghai. Shrinking shipping capacity has led to steep price increases, which may be passed on to the consumer.
Why we care. “One thing people don’t really talk about or understand is that logistics is a huge part of the customer experience, which is a huge part of today’s marketing,” supply chain expert Erik Mumford told us. Customer experience, of course, doesn’t begin and end in the window between discovery and purchase.
Even the most personal and engaging marketing efforts will end in customer frustration if shipping costs are disarmingly high or if the purchased product shows up late or not at all. Marketers can’t fix the supply chain. What they can do is provide transparency into reasons for high costs and delays and keep customers informed.
Quote of the day
“Branding is not sexy ad campaigns. Not one-off awards or sales milestones or money raised. Branding is the place brands occupy in our psyches because they’ve consistently shown up and lived up to their promise and values. If marketing is what gets you in the door, brand is what keeps you there.” Matt Kerbel, VP Marketing, Homie
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