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CTO of R2integrated Michael Page led R2i Platinum Sponsor Session at Adobe Summit with client Tony Martin, Director of Marketing, at W.R. Grace & Co. Paige and Martin hosted an engaging fireside chat and deep dive into how GRACE is Measuring & Influencing Customer Journeys Through Analytics.
For 15 years, Martin has held various roles within the global chemical sector. Spanning the previous decade, he has been instrumental in building digital foundations to help B2B companies grow. In partnership with R2i, Martin has launched nearly a dozen websites on Adobe Experience Manager and prides himself on working to power each organization he leads with a “test and learn” mindset and culture.
Over the course of the past year, the resiliency and agility of every business has been tested, especially within the manufacturing industry.
Supply and Demand Chain Executive wrote that nearly 94% of Fortune 1000 companies are facing supply chain disruptions, and 75% have experienced negative impacts on business. While widespread digital transformation was already occurring, now more than ever companies are turning to artificial intelligence and other technologies to stabilize and future-proof operations.
Traditionally, cost management and efficiency were the leading objectives of the modern supply chain. However, the stress of recent disruptions, ranging from fallout related to COVID-19 to international trade and tariff regulations, revealed that those goals are not enough for a business to stay afloat. Instead, to successfully navigate unprecedented disruption across the industry, manufacturers must invest in digital capabilities that will help to achieve great customer loyalty and business growth.
Investing in digital opportunities
Historically, manufacturers outside of fashion and lifestyle brands mostly maintained a sales-focused relationship with other business partners. But in today's competitive landscape and facing unprecedented disruption, that strategy is no longer enough of a differentiator.
The Manufacturer reported that 76% of companies said they intended to increase their investment in digital technology, roughly three times the rate of 2019. Increasingly, manufacturers are recognizing the importance of leveraging data and martech to establish a stronger market position.
Within the manufacturer industry, ChiefMarketer has found that the biggest hurdle for marketing teams comes from trying to get prospects to engage or finding high-quality leads. That’s where a strong marketing strategy comes in:
● Publishing digital content: According to Content Marketing Institute’s 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmark report, close to 70% of the most successful B2B marketers have a documented content marketing strategy. Not only does strong content attract more of an audience, but it’ll also help teams to position the brand as an expertise in the industry.
● Leveraging best SEO practices: The path to purchase is no longer clear cut. For some customers, dozens of touchpoints and interactions with a brand will be needed to generate that final sale. A recent Statista survey found that for most marketers, search engine optimization (SEO) will be one of the leading drivers of online traffic. By utilizing the phrases and terms potential prospects will be looking for on search engines, manufacturers get better position on their site for more organic hits.
● Personalized advertising: Although content marketing and SEO can help to drive organic lead generation, paid marketing campaigns still offer markets a strong platform to engage customers. By using data to leverage targeted keywords and further understand buyers, manufacturers can achieve personalization at scale.
By investing in a stronger digital presence, manufacturing companies can grow their potential market, generating the customer loyalty and stakeholder support needed to maintain growth during these challenging times.
Achieving supply chain resilience
Leveraging the data collected through digital marketing efforts and other first-party sources to generate actionable insights will be critical in securing resilience across manufacturing operations. However, simply investing in new technologies will not be enough to build customer loyalty and business growth — instead, businesses need the tools to continuously analyze and refine their marketing strategy.
At R2integrated, we work to help manufacturers embrace digital change to better understand their audiences and build strategic relationships. With the right digital technology and strategic capabilities, your organization will gain the ability to understand demand, evolve and increase production innovation and scale communications to drive business growth and customer loyalty.
If you're ready to start your journey to digital maturity, get in touch with our team today.
Did you miss us at Adobe Summit? Don’t miss R2integrated’s client success highlight video featuring RSM US LLP’s Rapid Adoption to Meet Customer Experience Demands. R2i spoke with Barba Casulli, Head Marketing at RSM US LLP to discuss how the future of client and relationship transactions are being driven by consumers' eager desire for tailored services. In order to reach broader markets and maintain a highly loyal base, RSM shares how companies must deliver rapidly, while continuing to evolve existing tools and processes by leveraging emerging technologies.
For companies that run consumer-facing, national marketing campaigns, the biggest challenges are often reducing wasteful activities and identifying which geographies to target. Solve both and you maximize the ROI of your marketing spend.
One of our clients who successfully took on these challenges is Pentair, which delivers sustainable water supply and water quality solutions to residential and commercial customers around the world. As was the case in most industries, Pentair saw the shift in consumer behaviors due to COVID-19. That’s when they came to R2i to help launch creative and efficient growth strategies for its 2020 marketing programs.
Need to make a case for implementing or improving your SEO program? Try these stats on for size: Improving SEO is the biggest priority for 61% of companies, and effective SEO practices provide a conversion rate of 14.6%.
If you’re not doing SEO, or if your program could use some tweaks, you’re likely relying on outbound marketing campaigns that typically convert less than 2% of prospects. Without an effective SEO program, there’s no way to keep pace with your competitors. Trust me, your competitors are doing SEO.
To get your SEO program headed in the right direction, there are a few key concepts to understand. In our previous SEO blog, we discussed how to determine if your business needs SEO and the benefits it can bring to your business. In this blog, we examine the impact that your website navigation, architecture, internal links, and user experience have on high you will rank when prospects go searching for a product or service that you offer.
The Impact of Website Navigation and Architecture on SEO
First take a close look at your website’s navigation structure, which has a huge impact on conversions, traffic and bounce rates. Users must understand how to get to what they’re looking for. If your website doesn’t deliver, another website does.
Websites in general should be intuitive, and the navigation should be helpful, organized and aesthetically pleasing. Trying to get too fancy will only frustrate users, so keep things simple.
And the navigation doesn’t need to fly in from the sides; users primarily want to see the main navigation at the top of the page or maybe the side. There should also be links in the footer to pages the user expects to be there, such as <Contact Us>.
Your website architecture also impacts SEO effectiveness. Navigation is made from links, and search engine spiders crawl your links to understand your page contents and index your pages. Every page should be linked or navigable from the homepage. Additionally, site navigation should be flat, meaning users and search engines should be able to reach any page in less than five clicks.
Internal Links Play Key Role Too
We can’t talk about site navigation without mentioning internal linking. Links are used by both search engines and users; both find them extremely helpful when strategically placed.
Why are links so important? The easiest answer is…Google says they are!
Search engines have 3 primary functions: crawl, index and rank your content. And because links assist search spiders (and users) to discover new content, they are an SEO must. When a page is linked to—either internally or externally—it proves some sort of worthiness. You wouldn’t link to a page that has nothing to offer, right?
There are several forms of links. A site may have internal linking widgets or contextual links while an e-commerce site might have links to similar products or previous products viewed. All these links have one thing in common: they show a relationship between pages and content.
Good User Experience = Good SEO
Now let’s talk about the user experience (UX). When I started doing SEO, we never talked about user experience at all. How crazy is it that!? That’s because when SEO started—it was solely about the search engine ranking. We didn’t care if the site was spammy—just as long as it was #1!
Fast forward many years, and now UX and SEO work together in tandem to create the best website experience for your users. Site users expect a good experience, and search engines demand it. Your site will not rank well if you do not provide a good UX.
Why? Because users who come to your site will get frustrated and go elsewhere—bringing your bounce rate up. Why else? A bad UX means something isn’t right on your site. It may be poorly-written content, broken links, really slow load times, or page titles that don’t accurately reflect the page contents.
Yep…all these things are SEO and affect the user experience. See the connection? The same things that cause a poor user experience are the same things that cause search engines to rank you poorly. The key takeaway: Don’t ignore UX when doing SEO!
Getting Down to the Nitty-Gritty Details
Now that you have an understanding of the high-level U/X and navigational factors that impact SEO, we next delve into some of the more nitty-gritty factors. In our next blog, we look at how to leverage longtail keywords and semantic search to increase the effectiveness of your SEO initiatives. And if you’re looking to find out exactly how SEO can drive more traffic to your website, increase conversions, and lower your bounce rates, contact R2i today.
It’s no surprise that engagement between organizations and customers has been flipped on its head throughout 2020. Living in a state of ongoing uncertainty and ever-changing adaptations around every corner for businesses and consumers alike, things like workplace relocations and remote processes have become the norm, yet individuals are still slow to adapt to the dramatic shift in the lack of human interaction through day-to-day handshaking, eye contact and personal exchanges as the state of remoteness continues to grow.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizational leaders must adapt their strategies, business models, and digital capabilities to better compete. A recent Forrester report cites the need for organizations to focus on customer outcomes and empathy. Times of change and uncertainty can change the perception of companies. Were they by my side when my business struggled? Can I count on them when a crisis occurs? Companies that are able to focus on empathizing with their customers, working side by side with them to help solve potential problems, and delivering meaningful outcomes will create customer relationships that can never be broken.
When client PG&E noticed a steady decline in conversion rates across a number of campaign programs and initiatives, they quickly realized the need to assess existing weaknesses, revamp current strategies, and develop new, innovative approaches to turn fading campaigns around for attaining their goals.
As one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States, providing service to approximately 16 million people throughout a 70,000-square-mile service area in northern and central California, this was no easy feat.
After careful discovery and analysis, R2i proposed elevating current highly targeted emails and direct mail communication with their personalized Teleservices solution for driving enrollment, educational, transactional, and customer experience objectives with key stakeholders. .
However, concern around direct outreach to target customers during a worldwide pandemic arose. All the worse - facing this new challenge amidst rampant statewide woodland fire devastation and an overall widespread climate of uncertainty across its customer base, PG&E was hesitant on continuing with the R2i's Teleservices offering.
Doubling down in trust with R2i, a new, enhanced framework was erected, enabling PG&E to offer personalized, 1:1 outbound call streamlining efforts. Not only did the revamped structure drive added action from purchasers; i.e. booking appointments with sales representatives, encouraging personal inquiries for additional information, opting into digital communications and the like, but it furthermore propelled optimization of campaign performance of those that did not previously have teleservices enabled.
The revamped efforts saw immense success. PG&E and R2i’s pilot of 14 campaigns quickly grew to 30+ initiatives. Through personalized scripting and multi-language calling capabilities, the added personalization layer propelled the relationship of not only PG&E and each of its consumers, but also the utility's rapport and trust with R2i.
Paired with PG&E’s investments in data & analytics, R2i could then analyze the customer data and derive marketing insights, directional authority and real-time recommendations on content, cadence, channel, creative, and messaging in order to influence customer behavior, and ultimately identify audience intention for helping to shape its new strategy. This combination of data insights and technology enabled R2i & PG&E to not only reach, but also connect with customers in ways that had not previously been executed within PG&E, or the competing utility companies within the industry.
In tandem, R2i and PG&E worked to collaboratively build a ‘Tele-Agency of Record,’ sanctioning transparency into holistic views of all campaigns in order to ensure teams were trained across a variety of product offerings, furthering the ability to suggest personalized solutions and products for each unique customer.
This combination of analytics, strategy and teleservices produced an enriched customer experience beyond email alone during a challenging and trying period of virtual engagement. Not only did the constructed strategies increase program enrollment, but they additionally generated automated processes that continue to inform timely data analysis from an ongoing perspective.
In 2020 alone, R2i has updated 20,000+ records on behalf of PG&E with only a mere 27 opting out of communication (0.13%), given in a 49% connectivity rate with 36% voicemail rate.
To date, consumer accounts continue to prove outstandingly favorable to the personal outreach from PG&E in the midst of national, worldwide change. By supplementing the preexisting digital and direct mail campaigns, PG&E truly humanized experiences for customers and prospects while engaging with an entity that is often be perceived to be machine-driven.
Want to learn how R2i’s Teleservices solution can accelerate your strategies for maximizing your potential for impactful results? Contact us today!
One of the few silver linings of the COVID-19 crisis for companies has been the necessary acceleration of digital transformation, experienced in 2020 by 65% of companies according to Gartner. It’s been on fast-forward since businesses across the world have pivoted their approach.
Digital Market News lists automation as one of the five key advantages of creating a digital marketing program. The article notes how automation is growing at a rapid rate—helping businesses transform and accelerate repetitive manual tasks such as sending emails, posting social media, and online ads.
Putting marketing automation into play for your company is critical because delivering personalized, connected experiences is the only way to attract prospects and retain customers. But deploying the solution requires a bit of work. As the article also emphasizes, understanding the components and the nuances is key.
You must also provide the right content at the right time to prospects and customers according to where they are in their buying journeys. It’s vital to deliver convenient, always-on tailored messaging through the channels your prospects and customers prefer. Otherwise, you will quickly lose their attention—and their business.
A Guild for Your Selection Journey
To solve these challenges, it’s important to find the marketing automation solution that most effectively meets your requirements and enables you to leverage prospect and customer data across channels and to streamline how fast your campaigns go to market. Other key criteria to seek include the ability to create 1-to-1 personalized campaigns.
To assist you in your search for a marketing automation solution, R2i has published Marketing Automation: Selecting the Best Fit for Your Organization. The guide takes a deep dive to review and compare six marketing automation tools:
• Adobe Campaign
• Marketo Engage
• Salesforce Marketing Cloud
• Salesforce Pardot
R2i has deployed each of these tools for various mid-market and enterprise organizations. By checking out the report, you can get our perspective of each tool and our evaluation of their key capabilities:
• Communication Channels Supported
• Reporting and Analytics
• Integration Capabilities
• Targeting and Personalization
• Artificial Intelligence
• Lead Management
We also delve into end-user experiences, customer support from each vendor, and the roles you will need internally to ensure success with each tool.
The ROI of Marketing Automation
No matter which marketing automation solution you choose to deploy, if done correctly, the investment will generate a significant return. The marketing team will produce a greater number of relevant leads, and your sales team will close on a higher percentage of opportunities. At the same time, internal resources can be diverted from the manual tasks that your solution automates—and focused on more strategic initiatives.
And the personalized experiences you deliver will strengthen your brand among prospects and customers, regardless of whether they buy your products and services. You will be able to show them you are sensitive to and understand where they are at in their journeys. And that will give you mindshare in their future buying considerations.
To discover which marketing automation solution is best for your business, check out Marketing Automation: Selecting the Best Fit for Your Organization today. And if you could use help in digitally connecting with your prospects and customers, contact us at www.r2integrated.com/contact.
With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, certain consumer segments of the general U.S. population have found themselves in increasingly-vulnerable financial positions. How banks and other financial services firms respond will play a critical role in the near-term future—not only for customer relationships, but also for employee relationships. If not handled well, many organizations may suffer from damaged public images.
It’s not just consumers getting squeezed. We could also see a rise in payment delays due to cash-flow constraints on businesses arising from the temporary drop in the demand for services. The hard part for the financial sector is telling the difference between a routine payment delay and a significant deterioration in credit quality.
3 Tips for Financial Services Organizations Facing Liquidity Challenges
FiServ organizations have continued to provide liquidity during the pandemic, but it’s getting more difficult given the volatility of the market. Businesses also need to comply with the new Stress Capital Buffer (SCB) rules imposed earlier this year.
Many organizations lobbied for this change, and it could (in theory) let some reduce their capital buffers. But others have observed that new capital constraints could be imposed in the short term, thus reducing liquidity. For companies facing these challenges, here are three immediate steps to consider as a way to alleviate the situation:
• Communicate early and often. Lenders could face many more transactional requests, both from borrowers looking for forbearance and from would-be borrowers looking for a deal. Communication speed will be valued more so than usual.
• Identify at-risk segments and geographies. This can be done by developing guidelines to address late and missed payments, even as you develop loss-mitigation strategies. In some cases, customers will need more formal assistance, or regulators may require organizations to grant relief.
• Gain insights into the future. Accurate, actionable information is particularly in short supply. So, along with developing clear communication plans for customers, employees and regulators, it’s a good idea to shore up operational processes around management information systems.
For this third tip, it’s also important “see around the corner” by using dashboards to understand trends in days past due, margin calls, collateral disputes, and other key indicators. And the sooner you start on all of these initiatives, the better.
You may also want to develop criteria for assistance programs and then implement them. This will require everything from job aids and call center programming to legal review and additional training.
Digital Maturity Streamlines Deployment of New Capabilities
How well-positioned your institution is to quickly roll out new these capabilities like these is largely dependent on how advanced you are across the digital maturity spectrum. This includes aligning digital strategies with vision and strategy planning, brand differentiation efforts, channel organization and governance, and data technology tactics.
For example, does your organization develop solutions based on product data and customer insights? Do you deploy customer experience metrics across all solutions? Have you communicated a clear brand identity to customers and your other stakeholder audiences?
To help you answer these questions, stay tuned for R2i's forthcoming white paper, Digital Experience Maturity: The Financial Services Innovation Imperative. This whitepaper will present new ways to innovate your internal processes and customer services so that more transactions can take place virtually. This piece also examines the components of digital maturity and how to assess the current status of your institution. Completing a digital maturity assessment will give you a baseline understanding of where your bank currently stands, and what it will take to get to the point where you can deploy innovative services that sync with the demands of your customers.
For additional help on digitally transforming your internal and customer-facing processes, contact us today!