Colorful jigsaw puzzle pieces on blue background. Customer. loyalty and satisfaction words are written on the puzzle pieces. Horizontal composition with copy space. Great use for customer support concepts.

Reduce Indiscriminate Discounts, Drive Repeat Purchases, and Increase Customer Lifetime Value with Loyalty

The impact of COVID-19 across all commerce was severe. But one positive trend that emerged during this difficult time was growth in, specifically, e-commerce and online retail.

For many brands, this growth meant an abundance of new customers and first-time buyers. However, a growing customer base comes with inherent challenges: How do you ensure these first-time buyers become active customers? And how do you increase your share of loyal customers without heavy discounting that erodes your margins?

The answer lies in loyalty.

New customers, same challenges

When the majority of stores closed during the pandemic, it caused a radical shift. Consumers, whether they were ready or not, were forced to embrace digital.

As a result, your brand has probably experienced an increase in customer growth. With a larger pool of consumers willing to engage on digital channels because of the pandemic, any digital strategies you have in place should yield more substantial results. 

But even with this increase in new customers, the challenge you face as a marketer now is the same challenge you faced pre-pandemic. You need to lead first-time buyers further along their customer journey, you need to drive repeat purchases, and you need to build trusted, loyal, and lasting relationships with customers that lead to greater CLTV.

All of that sounds reasonable, except some of the marketing efforts required to face these challenges — such as discount-based incentives — can come at the expense of profitability.

This puts you in a precarious position: You want to accelerate business outcomes for your brand without eroding margins. But it’s also likely you’re operating with a leaner marketing budget now, and we know that acquiring new customers is much more expensive than retaining customers.

Investing in a loyalty program to help retain more customers, drive repeat purchases, and increase CLTV will be less expensive than investing resources to acquire new customers. That’s why, in order to grow your brand post-pandemic, you must focus on increasing customer loyalty.

How can your brand increase revenue and customer lifetime value with loyalty? Find out in this webinar.

Loyalty as a strategy for better business outcomes

Yes, discounts can be a useful strategy to entice customers to make a purchase. But they come at a (literal) cost, especially when they are given to all customers, indiscriminately. Not every customer is the same, and there’s no guarantee a second, third, or even fourth purchase incentivized by a discount means you’ve truly earned a customer’s loyalty for life.

In other words, discount-driven purchases don’t guarantee an increase in CLTV.

Where discounting falls short

Gebrüder Götz, an e-commerce retailer based out of Germany, understood this when they explored opportunities in their expanded list of customers, which had been growing even before the pandemic.

In the past, the brand attempted to drive repeat purchases by offering customers cashback vouchers. When this initiative failed to deliver the results they were looking for, they tried a different incentive: 10-20% discounts. Although these incentives sparked a short-term bump in purchases, the indiscriminate use of discounts ultimately hurt the company’s margins, and didn’t do much to help them grow their base of active and loyal customers.

However, when the brand launched Emarsys Loyalty, they were able to switch to offering members points based on their purchases. Making those points available to members immediately following a purchase effectively inspired more subsequent purchases.

Once the brand went live with their new loyalty program and began using points instead of relying only on discounts, they saw a 10% increase in average cart value within the first week.

Points vs. discounts

Are points really a strong enough incentive to drive purchases compared to discounts? Gebrüder Götz decided to test this theory and compare the results.

When inviting customers to join their loyalty program, they tested two options: some customers were offered 10€ off their first purchase, and others were offered double points on their first purchase.

The brand found that, although the 10€ voucher created higher conversions overall, points were still a powerful incentive when it came to converting first-time buyers and driving loyalty membership.

Points also have an added benefit in that they don’t drastically damage your margins, and they actually work better long-term to foster brand loyalty. This is crucial since points are only a fraction of the cost of discount vouchers (and in the case of Gebrüder Götz, only ¼ the cost). 

Strategic discounting as a short-term strategy

Discounting will always remain one of the strongest incentives you can use as a marketer, especially when offered to customers selectively, particularly to members of your loyalty program. However, they must be used strategically.

For example, if you need to rapidly clear out stock, use discounts. They’ll get the job done. But note that this should only be considered as an extreme measure, because even though they can yield quick revenue results, it comes at a significant cost in terms of margins.

Another risk with discounts: When they are given indiscriminately, you inadvertently train customers to expect and wait for discounts. This reinforces undesired shopping behaviors that hurt your brand over time.

Gebrüder Götz found success with strategic use of discounts. They offered discount vouchers to customers, but only if those customers became members of the loyalty program. The conversation was similar to what they were achieving with an indiscriminate discount, but these customers-turned-members were more loyal shoppers in the long run.

"As a brand, we needed to drive repeat purchases and convert more first-time customers. Although we could do that with indiscriminate discounting, we knew a loyalty program would be a better strategy. But the idea of a loyalty program is sometimes intimidating. With Emarsys, we actually had a really quick and easy implementation. We got our customer data into one place, which really helped give us better visibility of our customers. The use cases that were already built into the platform were perfect for what we needed to do as a brand. Within two months of launching Emarsys Loyalty, we were able to see positive business results, and within the first week average cart value increased by 10%."
Gebruder gotz logo
Marcel Heck
Head of CRM

Identifying more customers

Think about everything you do from your customer engagement platform. All the use cases you want to deploy to drive traffic to your site (and to your stores), all the communications you send to customers to increase engagement — those all start with identification. A loyalty program that offers value is one of the most effective ways to get customers to readily identify themselves.

Gebrüder Götz leveraged their loyalty program to help identify more customers online and at the store level. They were able to identify 50% of their customers just from the use of loyalty membership cards alone. And because the program is fully integrated into their customer engagement platform, they were able to identify members across all channels, online and offline.

Going forward, the brand will be able to test non-discount incentives to encourage identification via loyalty enrollment. This includes experiences like pre-sale access, members-only exclusives, and VIP customer care. These experiences make customers feel special and appreciated, securing their loyalty in a way that short-term incentives won’t.

By identifying more customers through loyalty, the brand increased their ability to deliver true 1:1 omnichannel personalized experiences.

Seamless shopping experience online and offline

When loyalty is fully integrated to your platform, it becomes value-additive to customers at every touchpoint, no matter where they are shopping. This ensures the online experiences and in-store experiences you provide will be completely seamless for your customers.

Gebrüder Götz exemplifies this by having the Emarsys Loyalty Wallet integrated into the brand’s website and in-store clienteling app. This allows their customers to access and redeem loyalty rewards in-store just as easily as they can on the website. The result is an omnichannel experience for the customer, and consistent engagement from the brand.

Did you know that customers who are part of a loyalty program can generate up to 18% more revenue per year for the brand?

Final Thoughts

Although COVID-19 has presented new obstacles to marketers, some challenges remain the same: You must be able to encourage repeat purchases while protecting margins, increase customer lifetime value, and grow your base of loyal customers in order to accelerate business outcomes for your brand.

A fully integrated loyalty program is the most effective way to achieve this goal. Loyalty is essential now, as your business begins to recover and adjust post-pandemic, and it will continue to be essential — perhaps more so — as we move deeper into the unknown “new normal.”


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market cheering

5 Reasons Marketing Leaders Are Excited About the Emarsys Summer Release 2020

To say that 2020 has been a challenging year for marketers is an understatement. Social distancing, store closures, and receding economies — all due to COVID-19 — likely put a huge dent in the planned marketing efforts and growth strategies that your company had in place.

Fortunately, we’ve passed the difficult peak of COVID-19. Now, your business can begin the recovery process.

During this time, your job as a marketer will be to draw from the lessons learned and insights gleaned over the past several months to ensure your brand is more resilient and better poised to accelerate business outcomes in the next phase of retail.

Here are 5 features from the Emarsys Summer Release 2020 that we know marketers will be excited about, especially as they aim to deliver business results for their brand post-lockdown (and beyond).

Feature #1 — Retail Tactics

Retail was hit especially hard during COVID-19. If you were one of the many retail brands impacted by coronavirus-related store closures, you may be under pressure to help recover lost in-store revenue.

But retail is a unique, dynamic vertical, one that in today’s world requires omnichannel marketing. So if you’re a retail brand looking to recover post-pandemic, shouldn’t you be using retail-specific strategies and tactics to help you accelerate your omnichannel efforts and create better business outcomes?

The new release comes with strategies and tactics designed specifically for retail, using offline data, and crowdsourced and proven by industry-leading retail brands.


first-time to repeat online automation chart

Use a retail-specific tactic like First-Time Store Buyer to Repeat Online to encourage customers who purchased in-store to make their first online purchase.


For example, online-to-offline tactics help you drive customers from researching products on your website into your stores to complete a purchase (which is imperative if you’ve seen a rapid increase in your base of online shoppers during COVID-19). Tactics like First-Time Store Buyer to Repeat Online continue the conversation with your customer even after they leave your store, increasing omnichannel engagement.

Why are marketers from leading brands so excited about the Emarsys Summer 2020 Release?

Feature #2 — Interactions

What’s the difference between a brand that builds genuine relationships with customers and a brand that simply sells to customers? Personalization.

You’re probably already using personalization in your marketing efforts to some degree. But sometimes, simply sending a personalized, weekly email — no matter how highly personalized it might be — isn’t enough to make your customer feel truly appreciated. During the time between a customer’s action and your response, your personalized message might arrive too late, or after the customer has already shopped elsewhere. In that case, your personalized message becomes impersonal.

That’s why marketers will be particularly excited about the Interactions feature included in our new release. This feature allows you to follow your customer’s every web page visit or mobile app activity and immediately provide the best personalized response, based on their actions.

Driven by customer behavior, you can trigger real-time responses like:

  • Delivery updates of a customer’s item
  • Follow up on an abandoned cart
  • Information about a premium subscription service

These messages will help shape your customer’s journey with your brand, and allow you to deliver the 1:1 personalization that your customers deserve.

Interactions feature image

With Interactions, you can provide immediate personalized responses to customer behaviors at scale across different channels.

Feature #3 — Silent Push Messages

The world can be a hectic place at times (thus far, 2020 has proved this). Your customers have a lot going on in their lives, and although you need to stay in touch with them, you must be respectful and non-intrusive.

This is especially true with your mobile communication efforts. A customer’s mobile device is one of their most personal possessions. Customers will be especially sensitive to mobile communications that feel overly intrusive or annoying.

One of the exciting features in the new release is the Silent Push Messages feature. This lets you send background notifications to customers through your app without disturbing them. That way, you deliver the information they need without coming across as… pushy.

Silent Push Messaging image

Keep your customers informed and happy — use Silent Push Messages to deliver messages to customers without disturbing them.

Feature #4 — Revenue Analytics

In a time when businesses must operate with tighter budgets, it’s important to prove marketing’s value and efficacy by tying it to revenue.

One reason marketers are excited about the Emarsys Summer Release 2020 is because it gives them better visibility of their impact on revenue. The Revenue Analytics page in the new release lets you quickly identify how your marketing efforts contribute to overall business results.


revenue impact image

The ability to see Total Revenue, Total Attributable Revenue, and Revenue Impact from within your customer engagement platform gives you better visibility of marketing’s impact on revenue.


Your budget or bandwidth may not allow you to run every marketing campaign you desire. When lean operation is required, you’ll need to quickly decide which of your campaigns are generating positive business results. Revenue Analytics gives you a glimpse at which programs and campaigns, specifically, are actually bringing in revenue for your brand, and which should probably be nixed or retooled.


top performing campaign based on revenue

Revenue Analytics shows you which programs and campaigns are bringing in the most revenue.

Did you know there are 26+ new features in the Emarsys Summer 2020 Release designed to help your brand accelerate business outcomes?

Feature #5 — Customizable Home Page

Technology allows you to create, execute, and track your marketing efforts more efficiently and more quickly. But you need to be able to interface with your technology easily and intuitively so that you can maximize your time and deliver better business results… fast.

That’s why marketers are especially excited about the Customizable Home Page feature in the new release. This degree of customization in the platform will enable you to organize your home page by vertical (if your business operates in more than one), and add shortcuts for your most-used widgets or other business-critical widgets like Results or Database Growth.

Putting the right tools and information front and center in your workflow lets you work smarter and accelerate your marketing execution. This is even more crucial post-lockdown, where you’ll need to be completely agile and efficient with your marketing to drive customer growth and revenue.

Customizable Home Page allows you to put the right information front and center in the place you do your most important marketing work — your customer engagement platform.


What Else?

2020 will be a memorable year. Notably, the challenges presented by COVID-19 have already pushed marketers to think in new and innovative ways. No doubt you’ve already experienced this as you work to accelerate business results for your brand.

But we know that marketers will always have challenges to face — it doesn’t stop with 2020. And as we’ve written about before, we strive to make your life as a marketer easier. In fact, that was the goal we had in mind when we developed the 26+ new features included in the Emarsys Summer Release 2020.

We’ve only discussed a few of the new features in this post. To find out more about all the new features designed to help marketers like you accelerate business outcomes for your brand, click here.

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Young trendy marketers using computer in creative coworking office

How Your Life as a Marketer Just Became Easier

In the early 1900s, Schlitz Beer was in trouble. Market share and sales were down. The forecast was bleak.  So the company hired Claude Hopkins, a famous copywriter and advertiser, to create a campaign.

After a tour of the Schlitz Beer facility, Claude noticed the intricacies of the beer-making process:

  • Pipes and filtering pumps were cleaned twice a day.
  • Beer bottles were sterilized four times before filling.
  • An artesian well brought in fresh, clean water for creating beer.
  • Brewing rooms had an air filtration system to impede contaminates.

Guess what? Every beer manufacturer had this same process… it was common knowledge and never used by other beer manufacturers in advertisements. Hopkins used this information in an advertising campaign to propel Schlitz Beer from eight in the US to tie with first.

"Because its purpose is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two — and only these two — basic functions: marketing and innovation.”
Peter Drucker

Drucker is right, the basic function of every company is marketing and innovation, but if an innovative company isn’t marketing, then it may not do as well as expected. This is why marketing is more important than ever.

As a marketer, you want technology that is powerful yet intuitive. Something that makes you look like the hero you are. With the Emarsys Summer Release 2020, the updates are designed to do just that… make your life easier.

Want to drive value and accelerate business outcomes? Then keep reading. 

Marketing Revenue Impact

revenue attribution dashboard marketers

According to Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey, as of earlier this year, marketing spend stagnated for many companies. Marketing budgets are about 11.2% of company revenue, unchanged from the previous year.

With the coronavirus pandemic, many marketing budgets have tightened further. Marketers are tasked to do more with fewer resources. It’s never been more important for marketing to prove their value and show how they contribute to the company’s revenue. 

As there are multiple moving parts to every campaign and someone has to collect all this information into a spreadsheet or chart, it’s not always easy to see revenue attribution.

In our latest release, you no longer have to meddle with manual reports or use other internal resources to try and cobble together some sort of report. In one big dashboard, you can see the revenue attributed to marketing, and uncover the campaigns doing well and those that could use some improvement.

Want to see how you can accelerate your business outcomes through revenue attribution?

Actionable Campaigns

tactics and complex campaigns click of a button

What if you could, at the click of a button, set up and automate complex campaigns and use more of your time for strategy? With the latest release, it’s now easier to find a marketing tactic such as onboarding, hot lead conversions, first-time to repeat buyer lifecycle tactics and deploy it right away.

There are even new, retail-specific tactics you can use to convert offline shoppers to online and increase your store revenue. Plus you have complete control over the automation of all your tactics. Deploy them and customize their automation based on your strategies.

Loyalty Solutions

loyalty tactics and solutions image

Even though 20% of your customers are loyal, they provide up to 80% of your company’s revenue. These same customers are 5x easier to retain and spend 67% more on products and services than new customers.

Not only can you roll out a fully integrated loyalty program in a day, but Emarsys Loyalty enables you to personalize experiences for loyal customers and maximize their lifetime value.

With the latest release, your company can easily connect with loyal customers to maximize their lifetime value. Assign rewards to members, such as VIP status, create incentives with the loyalty wallet, and leverage use cases to quickly set loyalty journeys in motion.

If you want to drive repeat purchases, then a loyalty program is a fantastic way to do so.


mobile in-app messaging emarsys

As you may already be aware, about 80% of our time online is spent on a mobile phone. It’s one reason a mobile strategy is so valuable to your company.

With the latest updates to mobile you can:

  • Send silent push notifications to customers using your app.
  • Easily send messages only to specific platform users.
  • Engage customers with push action buttons.
  • Send the right message at the right time through highly targeted segments based on in-app behaviors.

Mobile is the future and will only gain in popularity. Having a solid strategy and actions already in place can place you ahead of the competition.

Final Thoughts

It’s never been easier to scale your omnichannel marketing. What takes other platforms days or weeks to set up, can be done on Emarsys with the push of a button.

As a customer engagement platform, Emarsys is the platform of choice for over 2,500 brands. You now have the tools to execute, at the highest level, your strategies to accelerate your time to value and your business outcomes.

It’s never been easier to connect with customers across multiple channels, leverage proven tactics, set up automations, showcase the value of your marketing campaigns, and focus on your strategies to grow your company.

See the 26+ new features designed to drive revenue and growth for your brand.

multiple conversation

How Two-Way Communication Leads to the 1:1 Personalization Your Customers (and Your Brand) Truly Want

Nearly every part of your marketing strategy will involve some sort of personalization. At least, it should, because personalization is now a customer expectation.

According to Forbes, “83% of consumers expect products to be personalized within moments or hours” of engagement. While the statistic proves there is a strong consumer appetite for personalization, it fails to answer the question: What does good personalization look like?

As you begin to fully embrace personalization as an integral part of your omnichannel marketing strategy, you’ll discover that personalization works best when it’s framed as a conversation with customers, not just a one-way marketing endeavor.

Personalization Has Evolved

Personalization has come a long way. It’s well past customizing salutations with a first name in a batch-and-blast email. It has gone beyond a one-size-fits-all happy birthday mailer sent to customers. Now, it’s about truly connecting with and understanding your customers’ tastes and preferences.

Humans have evolved as social creatures. We’ve developed social-cognitive skills where we thrive by “communicating with others, learning from others, and ‘reading the mind’ of others in complex ways.” To do so feels, well, more human.

As a marketer, the conversation between you (as the brand) and your customers should work the same way. You want to communicate with your customer to learn more about them, so you can better anticipate or relate to their needs. Your personalization efforts should help facilitate this type of conversation.

For example, notice a customer abandoned their purchase? Ask them about it, don’t just nudge them with a droll email. Use your customer engagement platform to send a follow-up message, but with creative content tailored to invite conversation.

Ask if there is anything you and your team can help the customer with, or if there are questions about the product you can answer. For example, an abandoned browse message like: “Need help deciding on this shirt? Talk to one of our stylists,” opens the door for an actual dialogue between you and your customer.

It could be a subtle difference, but an inviting, inquisitive conversational approach will get a much better result than a commanding: “You must complete your purchase!”

Discover the 4 Pillars of Personalization Used by Top Brands to Accelerate Business Outcomes

Get Over Yourself

Imagine you’re at a cocktail party standing with a group of people. You’ve noticed that, for the past twenty minutes, one person has bogarted the whole conversation. They’ve spent the entire time only talking about themselves, and haven’t even let up to take a breath, save for a quick sip from their martini. No checking in with the others in the group, no asking questions — instead, an endless self-promotional monologue.

Not exactly the best way to win the room over, is it?

Self-centeredness is unbecoming. It’s one of the most unflattering social faux-pas you can make. It signals that you don’t care about what other people think or feel (even if that’s not necessarily true).

Yet, this is unfortunately how some brands act. They view their marketing as a one-way communication, where the goal is solely for the customer to get to know the brand. Every channel becomes an outlet for the brand to promote and focus on themselves.

What if, instead, you used every channel to focus on your customer?

Omnichannel Personalization

Your website, apps, SMS and email messages, and any other channel you use — these should be customer-centric, personalized when and where possible to the unique individual customer.

For example, if all your data is unified into your customer engagement platform (as it should be for better personalization), you can offer customers consistent product recommendations across all channels, based on their purchase or browse history. That way, when engaging with your brand, customers are shown the kind of products they are most interested in.

The more channels you can personalize, the more attentive you can be to your customers. Getting this right could be the difference between being a brand that is “terrible” or “exceptional” at listening to their customers.

marketing pie chart showing 7% of companies are

Give Voice to Your Customers

If you’re keen to get the word out about your brand, you may want to consider more subtle approaches.

Send customers to product reviews that other customers have provided. Personalize this so customers see reviews for products they have browsed or engaged with. A resounding rave about your product and/or service will sound much better coming from other customers, opposed to coming directly from your brand.

Also, invite customers to leave reviews on your website or app about the latest product they purchased. Customers want to be heard. All the better when they are excited to talk about your product. Personalized follow-up communications that encourage customers to review their latest purchase (rather than immediately driving them to their next purchase) will do wonders for establishing rapport and a deeper relationship.

Looking to Build 1:1 Marketing into Your Digital Strategy? Start with the 4 Pillars of Personalization.

Final Thoughts

Personalization is customer-centric. This means, as obvious as it might sound, the customer is an integral part of personalization.

Brands that get personalization wrong tend to focus too much on what the brand wants to say to their customers, and what the brand wants to deliver. To create the true 1:1 personalized experiences your customers deserve, you need to be able to facilitate two-way communication between your brand and your customers. Remember: it’s a conversation, not a monologue.

And because personalization is a customer expectation, if you can’t deliver the personalized experience your customers want, you’re not going to achieve the business outcomes your brand needs.

Of course, there is much more that goes into personalization. If your goal is to create more trusted, loyal, and lasting relationships with customers through channel-agnostic, customer-centric marketing, you’ll need to know all four critical components of personalization.

They’re called the 4 Pillars of Personalization, and you can learn more about them here.


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Close up shaking hands customer and sales

Creating Trust with Customers Through Real-Time Interactions

You’ve seen it before. You make an online purchase and the company sends you irrelevant batch-and-blast emails.

For example, you buy a pair of men’s jeans, but you get emails for blouses… and this continues to occur. You lose trust in the brand. You feel they don’t know you. Their unrelated ads follow you on Facebook and Google.

You may unsubscribe and switch to the competition because the company treated you like another order and not a valued customer with whom they desire a mutual relationship.

This isn’t new as “93% of consumers report receiving marketing communications that are not relevant to them.”

Personalization and Your Marketing Tech Stack

As a marketer, attempting to create 1:1 personalized messages across all channels can be difficult as you may have limited resources. Like most companies, your organization may have a marketing technology stack that consists of data spread across multiple silos. In fact, 82% of sales and marketing professionals say that by switching between marketing tools, they lose up to an hour a day.

You may rely on other internal departments and teams to collect and organize all the data so you can make the best choices in your marketing campaigns and other initiatives. With all this information, spread across multiple tech stacks, it may take too long to segment and personalize this data for multiple channels.

Many times a delay in organizing all your data can lead to a lost sale. For example, say a visitor to your site added a shirt to their cart but didn’t buy. The next day your automated system sends that visitor an abandoned cart email. Normally, that would be a good thing, but the shirt is sold out, and this leads to a negative experience for the customer. 

Ready to drive real-time personalization in your marketing?

Does Personalization Work?

A 2019 study showed that personalization is most critical to those in the 18-34 age range. This statistic may have changed this year as e-commerce has risen over the past few months, and more people across multiple generations have adapted to buying online at a faster rate than previously forecasted.

Personalization is vital to companies as, “90% of consumers say that messages from companies that are not personally relevant are annoying.”

Augmented reality marketing. Hand holding smart phone use AR application to check information

Customers want to receive relevant information from you. In fact, according to a recent survey, “44% of consumers are willing to switch to brands who better personalize marketing communication.” Customers who are not receiving personalized marketing messages may be thinking about switching to the competition.

According to a survey on Forbes, personalization leads to increased revenue, more impulse purchases, fewer returns, and loyal customers.

Real-Time Interactions and Your Data

Real-time interaction management (RTIM) is a term from Forrester that, at its very essence, provides customers with what they expect: Digital experiences that are highly personalized. Every minute a flood of data enters your customer engagement platform.

You can harness this data to gain a deeper understanding of each and every customer and use real-time triggers to interact with customers with contextual messages.

In the best cases, this is done by setting up on-going, automated journeys. Fueled by customer activities and combined with the right customer engagement platform, event-driven journeys can be created across any channel, without the need to involve the IT department.

Real-time interaction is more than just a popup that appears when a customer visits your site; it’s leveraging real-time data, driven by AI, to understand customers and when to provide relevant and timely information.

These 26+ new features are designed to drive revenue and growth for your brand.

Interactions and Loyalty

By providing the right communication at the right time, brands connect with customers and create a sense of loyalty.

Loyal customers (a customer who chooses your company over the other available options) provide up to 80% of a company’s revenue, even though they only make up 20% of the audience. These same customers tend to spend 67% more on products and services than new customers, plus they’re 5x easier to retain.

Many times these happy, loyal customers turn into brand ambassadors and share their experiences with friends, family, and coworkers. And what’s even better is they’ll spend more over their lifetime with your company.                  

This is where a customer engagement platform that supports a loyalty program – combined with real-time interactions connected to current marketing initiatives – is extremely powerful in creating highly personalized experiences “in the moment” that lead to better business outcomes.

Final Thoughts

One of the best ways to ensure customers continue to engage with your brand is to provide relevant and timely communications to them at the right moment on the right channel at the right time.

Your customer engagement platform may be able to offer automated customer  communication, but if it’s not relevant or timely, customers may feel disappointed and switch brands.

A main theme of the Emarsys Summer ’20 Release is to enable marketers to send contextually relevant, timely, and personalized messages across any channel and leverage a built-in loyalty program to entice customers to continue buying from your brand.

What’s most important is that all of the loyalty programs and the interactions can be set up in a very short amount of time, accelerating your time to value, reducing the need for additional resources, and minimizing the number of applications used in your marketing tech stack.

Just remember that customers want to hear from you. If you provide relevant information at the right time and within the right channel, you’ll have a much better chance of keeping your customers happy and repeatedly returning to your brand.

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
Maya Angelo

Want to see how the Emarsys Summer ‘20 Release can help you send more personalized digital interactions?

light bulb and coin stacks

Attribution: The Missing Link Between Marketing Performance and Business Results

Modern marketing technology has enabled marketers to deploy an array of campaigns and programs with ease, allowing them to reach new and existing customers across multiple channels and devices.

The problem is, with so many campaigns in play targeting various segments of customers online and offline, it can muddy the waters of attribution. Trying to figure out exactly which campaigns, segments, or channels are helping move the needle in terms of revenue becomes quite complex.

Your customer engagement platform’s capabilities may enable you to execute whatever campaigns your ambitious marketer heart desires, but without attribution, how do you know which marketing efforts are most effective at driving revenue? Which result-bearing areas deserve more budget allocation? Which losing initiatives should be de-prioritized or dropped altogether? And most importantly — which parts of marketing are producing business outcomes for the company?

To answer these questions, you need to have greater visibility into marketing’s day-to-day impact on revenue.

Putting Marketing’s Impact on Revenue Front and Center

To track performance and business impact, most marketers employ some form of attribution, in addition to looking at more strategic KPIs. According to Google, “76% of all marketers say they currently have, or will have in the next 12 months, the capability to use marketing attribution,” with many already using Google Analytics or a similar provider.

But often these sources for attribution are not front and center for the marketer. Higher-level analytics and data may be housed in different silos across the organization or inaccessible to most marketers interested in viewing the revenue impact of their day-to-day efforts.

In fact, “25% of marketers cited structural and organizational challenges as the No. 1 reason they haven’t adopted data-driven attribution” (Google).

To make revenue attribution immediately accessible for you and your marketing team, you’ll want it visible within your customer engagement platform. This puts the imperative information you need right where you do your most critical work, allowing you to make better decisions about current programs and strategies quickly.

Learn how the Emarsys Summer '20 Release can help your brand accelerate business outcomes through revenue attribution.

Immediate and Visible Attribution

There’s great value in providing marketing with immediate and visible attribution — specifically, revenue attribution. The reasons for this are twofold.

Practically speaking, visible revenue attribution enables you to see the direct correlation between marketing efforts and the company’s bottom line.

There may be a part of you that geeks out on the granular details of operational and channel-specific KPIs. But those data points won’t mean much to your CEO or the rest of the C-level suite who are focused on business goals of growth and revenue. In other words, having a real-time view of how day-to-day marketing is impacting revenue is more essential (and meaningful).

Another reason: Morale. The ability to see which campaigns brought in more revenue — and to what extent — can do wonders for helping your entire marketing team (including the designers, writers, and other creatives involved) see exactly how their work is driving results for the company. Compare this to a traditional approach, which relies on using campaign metrics as the sole indicator of a campaign performance.

Marketing team members feel more vital in keeping the lifeblood of the business pumping when they see the email program they worked on — enriched by their carefully designed visual assets and diligently crafted email copy — has generated real dollars for the business. If this information is shielded from marketing, or is too far away, or resides with a third party, your team won’t be able to see the fruits of their labor.

Better Allocation (Especially When Budgets Are Tight)

COVID-19 impacted businesses across the globe. In response, many organizations had to tighten and, in some cases, reduce their budgets, especially in marketing. Gartner reports that, “65% of CMOs and marketing leaders report [preparing for] moderate to significant budget cuts due to coronavirus-related disruption.”

If you’re that CMO or marketing leader challenged with optimizing your budget and getting the most value out of the resources you have, you must determine which efforts are the strongest in terms of generating revenue. You’ll want to focus on allocating more of the budget to the channels and programs that are demonstrating the best results and continue to drive profitable growth.

Visible revenue attribution enables you to make these decisions quickly and accurately, and in a way that aligns with the business’s overall goals. When tight budgeting is required — whether due to a global crisis or any other reason — the ability to quickly optimize budget allocation based on what is working gives you a greater degree of flexibility and agility.

Did you know the Emarsys Summer '20 Release has 26+ new features designed to help brands like yours drive revenue and growth?

Bridge the Gap Between Performance and Strategy 

Bridging the gap between operational, performance-based metrics and strategic business metrics requires marketing to demonstrate the impact of omnichannel customer engagement on business outcomes down to the individual campaign level. To do this, you must have better visibility into revenue attribution.

Performance and strategy share a common goal — so when your marketing department rallies to drive greater revenue impact, it is supporting the other functions of your business that are also focused on driving revenue. This makes visibility into attribution even more critical.

Since your customer engagement platform sits at the center of nearly everything you’re looking to do as a marketer, it should contain an accessible and actionable view of the revenue attributable to your efforts. Plus, a tight integration of revenue metrics in the platform makes it easier to prove the ROI of your campaigns.

With an eye on which campaigns, channels, and segments are adding dollars to the company’s bottom line, you can think and act more strategically to drive growth and revenue.  

Final Thoughts

Your customer engagement platform may be equipped to help execute a variety of omnichannel campaigns. Yet, if the revenue impact of those campaigns can’t be seen, you’ll face a greater struggle aligning marketing to your organization’s business goals, and earning your marketing team the credit it deserves.

One of the many reasons we’re excited for the Emarsys Summer ’20 Release is because, within the 26+ new features included, lies a key theme of helping marketers measure business outcomes through attribution. These features, integrated directly into the customer engagement platform, offer consistent in-platform reporting on exactly which channels, automations, and campaigns are bringing in revenue for the company.

Ultimately, whether your goal is better budget allocation, optimization of current programs to win and retain more customers, or accelerating business outcomes, you’ll need to have a clear view of how marketing impacts your company’s bottom line. And that starts with revenue attribution.

To find out more about how the Emarsys Summer ’20 Release can help your brand get better visibility into marketing’s impact on revenue, don’t miss this webinar

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3d line chart visualization

5 Takeaways Learned from COVID-19’s Impact on Consumer Behavior and Global E-Commerce Trends

Marketers know that changes in consumer behavior and global trends are never truly predictable — they aren’t predictable now, with COVID-19 looming as the elephant in the marketing meeting room (or, if you’re like me, Zoom meeting), and they weren’t in non-pandemic times.

However, the savvy brand marketer, with the right data and information, can identify patterns and glean insights that enable them to adapt to these changes, take action, and accelerate business outcomes.

In a recent webinar, Alex Timlin, SVP Verticals, Emarsys, and Matthew Furneaux, Global Commercial Director, Loqate (a GBG Solution), went in-depth and analyzed the recent changes in global trends and consumer behavior impacting retail and e-commerce throughout the world.

Here are five key takeaways these experts shared during the webinar, in their own words:

1. Every region, category, and retailer have been impacted differently

“Across different parts of the economy, we see different impacts. Not all retailers are experiencing the same thing at the same time.”
“What is very telling is, both in the US and here in Europe ... and throughout the rest of the world, online sales are booming. But there is a big difference in those growth rates regionally, as this kind of moves in different phases, [and], most importantly, in terms of categories.”
Alex Timlin, SVP Verticals, Emarsys
Alex Timlin
SVP Verticals, Emarsys

2. Consumers — not businesses — are firmly in control

“We’re not living in an age where businesses are in control of making people do things. We're living in an age [where], now more than ever, consumers are in charge of which brands they engage with and which methods they engage with.”
Alex Timlin, SVP Verticals, Emarsys
Alex Timlin
SVP Verticals, Emarsys
“Some businesses are experiencing an unexpected surge in orders, which is stressing their operations. So making sure that you're capturing customer information in a way that you can use that and deliver to your customers, and meet their expectations, is absolutely critical.”

Want to hear more from industry experts about changes in consumer behavior and global macro trends caused by COVID-19?

3. Brands are doubling down on digital to stay connected to customers

“What we are seeing [now are] actually increases in digital communications. There are more emails being sent, more emails being opened, [and] more emails being clicked than any other time — other than Cyber Week 2019, which was a global record.”
Alex Timlin, SVP Verticals, Emarsys
Alex Timlin
SVP Verticals, Emarsys
“We're just seeing some really good examples of where brands are maintaining the relationship with customers through social, keeping a web presence, keeping the conversation going and keeping that personalization going, even if there are no transactions [happening].”

4. The boom in digital has permanently expanded the online market

“The total addressable online market is obviously expanding enormously during these different times, but I think when it starts to contract back again … I think that addressable online market will be bigger than it was when we came in [to these times] ... It’s going to be required of online retailers to be ready for that.”
“For the very first time, we've got a very, very large increase in the digital population. And it's not just coming from a new generation ... It is coming from some established patterns of behavior within different generations really shifting towards the digital realm.”
Alex Timlin, SVP Verticals, Emarsys
Alex Timlin
SVP Verticals, Emarsys

5. To be successful, brands must adapt and respond to the new generations of online shoppers

“It’s going to be required of online retailers to … make sure it's simple for that older generation, or that less tech-savvy generation, to be active online. Make it easy to pay, make it easy to find what you want, make it easy to check out — something as simple as just entering your address. Make it really, really simple for those groups ... I think they'll stick with it, because they'll find it convenient.”
“Online population has just grown exponentially through a forced event on a global scale. How brands respond to this is going to be increasingly about how they look at those consumer trends and how they adapt to them to make sure that they're linking what their customers are looking for with what their business is looking for, and adapting their marketing strategies accordingly.”
Alex Timlin, SVP Verticals, Emarsys
Alex Timlin
SVP Verticals, Emarsys

Final Thoughts

While the initial threat of COVID-19 slowly (but not completely) begins to wane, stores across the globe are reopening. Although some of the more radical and drastic changes happening in consumer behavior and global trends will begin to balance out, one thing is for sure — retail and e-commerce will never be the same.

To gain an even deeper sense of the true impact of COVID-19 on retail and e-commerce — including a look at the specific businesses and categories most impacted, and where new revenue opportunities exist for your brand — check out the full webinar.

We’ve seen unique trends across ALL industries and product categories. Find out which trends are fleeting, and which are here to stay.

Lights moving fast

How Retail and E-Commerce Brands are Finding New Opportunities in Their Data Sets (and Driving Business Results)

You’ve probably experienced what feels like a whirlwind shift in marketing over the past several years. All brands have.

It’s an evolution spurred forward by advances in marketing technology and sophistication of data. As a marketer, your goal is to take advantage of these changes so you can continue to build trusted, loyal, and lasting customer relationships and accelerate business outcomes for your brand.

Yet, just when it seemed that marketing couldn’t evolve any faster, a global pandemic set in, further altering how retailers and pure play e-tailers must engage customers and drive revenue and growth. Speed-to-market, agility in execution, and a robust digital strategy are essential.

In this webinar, we explored how brands can thrive in these ever-changing conditions by turning their existing data sets into revenue opportunities — quickly. Sometimes it’s better to hear valuable information directly from the sources, so to recap the webinar, here are seven key takeaways, as shared by:

  • Alex Timlin, SVP of Verticals, Emarsys
  • Ross Williams VP Retail, Emarsys  (former Digital Customer Experience and Digital Product Director of N Brown Group & Tesco)
  • Carolyn MacKenzie, Managing Director, Forever New
  • Lynn Barrett, Chief Digital Officer, National Tiles


1. Marketing has shifted to be more customer-centric

“Things have moved quickly [in marketing] ... And it’s moved even quicker in the last three months. Customers’ expectations are continuously being raised by the industry leaders who set the new normal. Customers expect the businesses to be communicating and serving them consistently across all channels they operate in, and often new channels as they come available.”
Ross Williams, VP Retail, Emarsys
Ross Williams
VP Retail, Emarsys
“Consistency and timeliness are the key to offering excellent customer experience that customers want and deserve. From a business perspective, it’s really important right now [and] will continue to be going forward, so you can respond and adapt quickly to the current situation and the continuously changing situation.”
Ross Williams, VP Retail, Emarsys
Ross Williams
VP Retail, Emarsys

2. Consolidate your customer data

“Getting your data into one place is one of the key opportunities that people have. Where you put it is less important than how you make sense of it.”
Alex Timlin, SVP Verticals, Emarsys
Alex Timlin
SVP Verticals, Emarsys
“[Certain] point solutions may solve an immediate need, and a silo challenge, but [they’re] not going to enable you to get insight to making decisions and executing on those decisions in a timely manner … [or] in a personalized way at a speed that’s necessary to adapt to changing consumer needs.”
Ross Williams, VP Retail, Emarsys
Ross Williams
VP Retail, Emarsys

3. Successful implementations are focused on business objectives, not the tech itself

“The successful [data] implementations aren’t really focusing on the technology and the technology capabilities, they’re really focusing on the problem they’re looking to solve for. And the brands are really being clear about: ‘What’s the business outcome we're looking to achieve, and how will we measure success?’”
Alex Timlin, SVP Verticals, Emarsys
Alex Timlin
SVP Verticals, Emarsys
“The technology isn’t as important as the problem… Be clear about the problem you’re solving for, and how your business is looking to measure success. It’s the responsibility of your agencies, partners, and vendors, and [teams] to look at, ‘What are the different opportunities we have at solving for these problems to help us hit those metrics and milestones that the business has set out?’”
Alex Timlin, SVP Verticals, Emarsys
Alex Timlin
SVP Verticals, Emarsys

Want to turn customer, product & sales data into new revenue opportunities, FAST?

4. Get more out of your customer behavior data by being proactive (not just reactive)

“Look at the browsing and abandoned cart behavior to recognize: Are there certain products that are being abandoned? ... Certain products being browsed? [This] really allows [brands] to capitalize and double down on some of these initiatives to squeeze every amount of performance from them.”
Alex Timlin, SVP Verticals, Emarsys
Alex Timlin
SVP Verticals, Emarsys
“From my time being client side, a really high value, advanced use case is: Using AI to predict when people are going to exit, and moving from reacting to people exiting to predicting it in real time so that you can persuade that customer actually not to exit, and [instead], complete their purchase. Moving to predicting rather than reacting can be massively valuable, and to do that, you need to leverage AI.”
Ross Williams, VP Retail, Emarsys
Ross Williams
VP Retail, Emarsys

5. Brands benefit by focusing on customer lifecycle opportunities

“We are seeing more and more of our clients look for opportunities inside of the customer lifecycle… First-time-to-repeat-buyer programs are one the most impactful programs that we have, [though] it's often the most difficult metric for marketers to influence.”
Alex Timlin, SVP Verticals, Emarsys
Alex Timlin
SVP Verticals, Emarsys
“Some of the most advanced brands we’re working with are starting to integrate their [customer] loyalty and rewards communications with their marketing communications. The benefit from this is it can help to incentivize customers with less indiscriminate discounting because you can offer rewards instead of discounts. It’s a growing trend we’re seeing.”
Ross Williams, VP Retail, Emarsys
Ross Williams
VP Retail, Emarsys

6. As demand and supply chains fluctuate, massive opportunities lie in your product data

“There is a huge opportunity in working with product data… The demand for these programs have been off the chart because of the current climate. If someone is looking at a product and hasn’t bought it, if that product comes back into stock, or if that product changes in price, those are automated feeds and automated behavior that are actually quite simple to pre-package and leverage."
Alex Timlin, SVP Verticals, Emarsys
Alex Timlin
SVP Verticals, Emarsys
“Some of the valuable examples that we’ve seen in our client base of actually executing on this [product data] are identifying products that sell well or categories of products that sell well, and then automating recommendations off the back of that.”
Ross Williams, VP Retail, Emarsys
Ross Williams
VP Retail, Emarsys

7. Better use of data helps brands be more efficient, agile, and profitable

“With Emarsys, we have been able to unify multichannel customer data, honing in on specific customers across every channel. Harnessing the power of automation and artificial intelligence to drive efficiencies and accelerate business outcomes has helped us to grow Forever New in a more profitable way.”
“What we did at National Tiles took months, not years. We found new, agile ways of working using incremental, iterative work sequences to continuously improve and react to unpredictable changes in the environment and consumer landscape.”
national tiles logo
Lynn Barrett
Chief Digital Officer, National Tiles

Watch the full webinar and get all the insights

For businesses to respond in times of economic change or uncertainty, they need to be empowered to discover opportunities for revenue and growth whenever and wherever possible. As we learned in the webinar, brands that can get the most out of their customer, product, and sales data are strongly positioned to find these opportunities (and turn them into business results).

But Alex and Ross offered many more actionable insights throughout the webinar — too many to share in this post. If you’re interested in learning more about how your data sets can be used to accelerate business outcomes for your brand, watch the full webinar here.


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Top Brands Reveal How to Drive Engaging Customer Experiences and Business Results with First-Party Data

Perhaps now more than ever, CMOs and marketing leaders are getting lost in the cacophony of hype around first-party data.

This data — they’re told — is pure gold when it comes to marketing. The manner in which they engage customers going forward (and whether or not their brand will successfully make the transition to omnichannel, which is imminent for the retail industry), may very well depend on how they leverage this precious asset.

The implications of this can be quite intimidating.

To help navigate the hype, the American Marketing Association recently hosted a CMO webinar to explore how brands are leveraging first-party data to drive engaging customer experiences and business outcomes. In the webinar, we hear from:

  • Leandi McMurphy, Director of Marketing for outdoor grill brand Char-Broil
  • Charlie Cole, Chief Executive Officer of FTD, a leading floral retailer with subsidiary brands like ProFlorist
  • Alex Timlin, SVP of Verticals at Emarsys.

These guest speakers share knowledge on how brands can best approach first-party data to create better experiences for customers, and ultimately, better results for the business.

Check out these four key takeaways from the webinar. They may permanently alter the way you think about first-party customer data and how your brand should leverage it to increase customer engagement.

1. Successful Brands Embrace Consumer-Led Marketing

Traditional customer communication was something like this: You had a list of your customers, you created a coordinated marketing message, and you blasted that message out to those customers across a certain number of channels. You would measure the direct response, and that would tell you something about the efficacy of your efforts.

But customer expectations (and customer behavior) have changed.

“If we’re looking at the average marketer and the average piece of technology they’ve got right now, it’s almost impossible to make sure that a customer goes to where you want them to go. Customers are fragmented in terms of where they spend their time and how they interact with your brand... Our customers are everywhere, but they’re very, very demanding, and they’re expecting a really personalized and really informative experience at all [the] different touchpoints.”
Alex Timlin, SVP Verticals, Emarsys
Alex Timlin
SVP of Verticals, Emarsys

What consumers expect from a brand’s communications, and where they expect and want that engagement to occur (traditional channels, web, social media, etc.,) has necessitated and therefore driven the rapid emergence of new marketing technologies.

Now, to secure the loyalty of their current customers and win new ones, the marketer must be more savvy, more deliberate, and most importantly, more personalized with their approach.

“[Most marketers] are familiar with the idea of wanting to grow and retain customers and retain their loyalty. But what we do find is that customer data has to be tied to marketing execution.”
Alex Timlin, SVP Verticals, Emarsys
Alex Timlin
SVP of Verticals, Emarsys

A human- or customer-first perspective should inform the way you act on your data and the marketing use cases you execute. A good rule of thumb: If you were in the customer’s shoes, what kind of engagement would you like to receive from the brand? Being mindful of the messages you’re sending to customers is especially pertinent in the wake of COVID-19.

Be sensitive to the current situation, and make sure that, if you have a message, make sure it’s relevant to consumers during this time frame. This is where the human-first marketing element is so important.
Leandi McMurphy
Leandi McMurphy
Director of Marketing, Char-Broil

CMO Webinar | How Brands are Leveraging First-Party Data to Drive Engaging Customer Experiences and Business Outcomes

2. First Create a Business Case, Then Focus on Your Data

“So many people pursue data for data’s sake... [create] a business case first, or more importantly, identify the problems you want to solve, and then decide what your data infrastructure should be.”
Charlie Cole
Charlie Cole

Before you get too focused on data, it’s important to create a business case that’s winnable. How do you intend to use data in order to achieve better business outcomes for your organization?

Is the aim to generate more value from the customers you already have (so you don’t have to spend money acquiring new ones)? Are you looking to increase engagement and drive revenue without having to send even more emails (through better targeting, segmentation, and personalization)? Brands that succeed will decide on their end goal, and figure out how first-party data will aid them in achieving it.

“Start with an easy win, look at your data [and] identify a way that you can use that data and create predictable business outcomes… [Create] business cases in an area that you know very well from a tactical perspective, and then use data to bring it to the next level.”
Charlie Cole
Charlie Cole

3. When Pitching the Business Value of First-Party Data to Stakeholders, Be Practical in Your Approach

Some may tell you to invest in marketing technology now to help you pursue and consolidate data, even without a specific business goal or outcome in mind, because it’s more important to simply have the data. You can always figure out how to leverage it later. Not only does this pursuit risk your time and resources, but it’s much less likely to hold water with your C-level leadership.

“If you’re going to be able to take a business case and sell that [to] upper management... you’re going to have to have very clear and actionable items for how you can leverage the data and how it’s actually going to impact the business in a positive way. Especially if you’re sitting in front of a CFO, because they will always want to know the actual ROI from that.”
Leandi McMurphy
Leandi McMurphy
Director of Marketing, Char-Broil

It’s important to consider that, while the marketer in you may leap at the notion of having more and more first-party data, your CFO may raise an eyebrow at the idea of investing in more three-letter-acronym tech to capture, organize, and potentiate this data if it doesn’t align with a bottom-line business result in an immediate, obvious way. 

“If you look at what each business is trying to achieve, they’re trying to be able to engage their customers more, to be able to at the end of the day drive more sales. That is something we can all find a good anchor point in. So always start with that specifically.”
Leandi McMurphy
Leandi McMurphy
Director of Marketing, Char-Broil

Successful brands know how their customer engagement platform will serve their overall business objectives of increasing sales and driving revenue.

4. Successful Brand Marketers Use Data Wisely (and Avoid Unnecessary Complications)

As the lines between online and offline retail blur, the way that customers come to know and engage with your brand changes, which impacts your customer lifecycle, lifetime value, and data.

Now, customers interact with a brand at various stages and points over time across increasingly fragmented channels. Brands can end up with a scattered wealth of behavioral, identity, purchase, and product data. The brands that are most successful with leveraging their data understand that it’s important to bring these disparate sources together in a single, coherent view of a customer, and then use the data wisely.

“Even with a fragmented data set, if you can think from a consumer’s point of view, you can do some special things.”
Charlie Cole
Charlie Cole

With access to this kind of data, there’s a potential of becoming too hyper-focused on maximizing the data, and then losing sight of your long-term marketing goals, the company’s overall goals, or even the consumer’s relationship to your brand. Aim for balance and judiciousness in your use of data, avoid unnecessary complexity, and remember the organization’s broader business goals.

“My keyword for 2020 is balance, and especially in marketing… [Being] hyper-focused [on] data can often create a scenario where you lose sight of the larger audience opportunity, the scale that you need to drive the amount of sales that you need, and simply create complexity for complexity’s sake.”
Leandi McMurphy
Leandi McMurphy
Director of Marketing

Discover How Leading Brands Use First-Party Data to Deliver 1:1 Customer Experiences and Accelerate Business Outcomes

What Will First-Party Data Do for Your Brand?

Now is the time to think deeply about what opportunities customer data will afford you and your brand, why it’s business-critical (when used correctly), and how you will make a business case for leveraging it responsibly to achieve better business outcomes.

Those who attended the webinar know these 4 takeaways were just the tip of the iceberg — there were many more powerful insights that could be gleaned from the full presentation.

If you weren’t able to join the webinar, but would like to learn more, no problem. You can access the full webinar recording in its entirety here.

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