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How advocates Conquering become Mount Data “madvocates” With so much Bryan Pearson of LoyaltyOne offers hints on how to hold onto customers in turbulent times

data at our fingertips, how can we effectively collect and analyze transactional data for improved marketing ROI?


Marketing’s Holy Grail? In 2012, retailers increased their investment in smartphone initiative – so is mobile commerce the answer to marketers’ prayers? PM 4 0 0 5 0 8 0 3

The Authority on Data-Driven Engagement & Operations

Mobile wallet frontier

photo by Gary Tannyan

Vol. 26 • No. 2 july 2013

Are we ready to embrace mobile commerce? see story on page 6

T:6.4375” Michael O’Sullivan is president of Proprietary Loyalty in Canada for AIMIA

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There are a lot of customers out there. Know exactly where to find them.


Know whatʼs hot. The topic of analytics is on fire right now. With SAS®, you can discover innovative ways to increase profits, reduce risk, predict trends and turn data assets - whether big or small - into competitive advantage. Decide with confidence. Learn why Forrester Research Inc. named SAS “an analytics powerhouse.” (Forrester Research, Inc., The Forrester Wave™: Big Data Predictive Analytics Solutions, Q1 2013) SAS and all other SAS Institute Inc. product or service names are registered trademarks or trademarks of SAS Institute Inc. in the USA and other countries. ® indicates USA registration. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies. © 2013 SAS Institute Inc. All rights reserved. S103629US.0113

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Building loyalty one playground at a time How Foresters makes customer happiness their top priority

Vol. 26 | No. 2 | July 2013 EDITOR Amy Bostock - PRESIDENT Steve Lloyd - DESIGN / PRODUCTION DemiGroup - Advertising Sales Mark Henry - Brent White - CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kevin O'Brien Peter Albers Michael O'Sullivan Nicole Avery Bryan Pearson Richard Boire Catherine Pearson Dan Burkland Tom Peters Andrew Clachers Billy Sharma Matt Cotter Stephen Shaw Di Cullen Doron Simon Cameron Dow Shauna Emerson-O'Neill Bruce Simpson Matt McConnell


The mobile wallet frontier Are Canadians ready to embrace mobile commerce?



1:1 with Andrew Zimakas Part one of an interview with ING DIRECT’s Chief Marketing Officer

Markham ON L3P 1Y2 Phone: 905.201.6600 Fax: 905.201.6601 Toll-free: 800.668.1838 EDITORIAL CONTACT: Direct Marketing is published monthly by Lloydmedia Inc. plus the annual DM Industry Source Book List of Lists . Direct Marketing may be obtained through paid subscription. Rates: Canada 1 year (12 issues $48) 2 years (24 issues $70) U.S. 1 year (12 issues $60) 2 years (24 issues $100) Direct Marketing is an independently-produced publication not affiliated in any way with any association or organized group nor with any publication produced either in Canada or the United States. Unsolicited manuscripts are welcome. However unused manuscripts will not be returned unless accompanied by sufficient postage. Occasionally Direct Marketing provides its subscriber mailing list to other companies whose product or service may be of value to readers. If you do not want to receive information this way simply send your subscriber mailing label with this notice to: Lloydmedia Inc. 302-137 Main Street North Markham ON L3P 1Y2 Canada.


Is predictive analytics really that accurate?

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july 2013

Part two of an article examining the biggest myths in predictive analytics


How advocates become “madvocates” Holding on to customers in turbulent times


Conquering Mount Data How transactional data can improve marketing ROI ❰

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5 critical reasons to outsource payments and information processing


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Marketing’s Holy Grail? Is mobile commerce the answer to marketers’ prayers?

Know your customers Before they step up to the sales counter

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How retailers can influence customers to buy in-store instead of online with a competitor



Is mCommerce the answer for Millennials? Why you need a multi-channel digital strategy to capture this group’s vast purchasing power

Ethnic MarkEting: Insights, Trends and Successful Strategies August 13, 2013 Location: The National Club, 303 Bay Street, Toronto, On tiME: 7:30 (registration) -10:00 am

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Join us for an informative frEE breakfast to gain insights and actionable strategies to reach Canada’s most diverse ethnic consumers. You’ll learn more about these highly sought-after market segments through innovative data, research and analytic trends; discover best practices on how to size a target market and build ethnic marketing strategies; and gain fresh insights from successful case studies. We’ll hear from Maple Diversity Communications, Environics Analytics and Environics Research. With multicultural marketing a key growth opportunity for brands in every industry, don’t miss this event designed to help your ethnic marketing strategy succeed . Go to to register and/or for more info. SEatS arE LiMitEd So rEgiStEr noW!

july 2013


Editor's Letter

Loyal Customers:

What’s in MY wallet?

A Marketer's Scarcest Resource By Di Cullen


oday’s marketers need to look beyond the latest products and low-price offers to compete successfully for the rapidly shrinking attention span of consumers.

The average Canadian household belongs to 8.2 loyalty programs, according to the 2013 LoyaltyOne Census. Add to that the proliferation of technology, the expanding volume of shared information and the growing mix of communication channels through which we consume information. In this increasingly complex and competitive marketing and retail landscape, a loyal customer is a marketer’s scarcest and most prized resource. Earning a customer’s loyalty and keeping them sufficiently engaged to stay for the long haul is what will define the ultimate success of a business. There are four key things today’s marketers need to keep in mind when developing a direct marketing program that will help earn and keep the loyalty of their most valued customers. It’s about the right data, not big data It’s not about how much data you have; it’s what you do with it that matters. You don’t need to know everything about your customers; you just need to know the right insights to help you understand what makes them tick and stick. Relevancy and personalization are no longer nice-to-dos, but must dos. In fact, 63% of Canadian respondents to LoyaltyOne’s 2013 Canadian Retail Consumer Attitudes and Opinions Study said they would like to receive more personalized offers based on past purchasing behaviours and shared personal information. To keep loyal customers coming back for more, organizations need to put their resources behind analyzing their hard-earned customer data across all functions so they can convert them into targeted, highly personalized messages and offers that will resonate with each unique customer. It may seem daunting to create customized offers and messages for the millions of customers in your database, but the payoff in july 2013

engagement and deeper, long-term loyalty can be huge. Nova Scotiabased grocery retailer, Sobeys, recently launched “Garnish”, its customer relationship management (CRM) program, which encouraged users to complete preference questionnaires upon registering with the program’s microsite. Closely analyzing this information revealed unique customer profiles, allowing Sobeys to offer highly customized deals, recipes, and relevant product information across all of its key communication channels. The smart use of the right data led to highly engaged customers and the results were telling. Sobeys reached almost 40% of its 12-month consumer engagement target in just over three months, with an average email open rate of 65.4%, far exceeding the industry average of 26.2% for an email communication of this kind. Optimizing the communications mix The evolution of technology affords marketers huge opportunities to reach consumers anywhere, anytime, all the time. The possibilities are endless, and it’s what makes developments in technology so exciting for marketers. But it takes more than chocolate chips to make a great cookie, and it’s important to view the latest platforms as part of a larger mix of effective communications, whether it’s email, direct mail, web or mobile. Keep your consumers’ communication preferences top of mind. Where do your customers spend the most time retrieving information that can influence a purchasing decision? While traditional communication channels cannot be ignored, today, there are 24.5 million Canadians using a mobile device. According to Google’s 2012 study Our Mobile Planet: Canada, 86% of Canadians use mobile devices to communicate via email and social media, while 69% use it to research products and services. This underscores the growing need for marketers to apply responsive design, an approach to email design and coding that creates an optimal viewing experience across multiple

devices. As a marketer, understanding the optimal mix and effective use of a medium is just as important as the message you’re trying to deliver. Reflecting the brand Every brand has a unique message and factors that differentiate it from its competitors. In making every effort to offer a personalized experience to customers, it’s still important for marketers to relay a consistent brand message. Personalizing an experience doesn’t mean changing your core offerings and services to be all things to all people. It’s about letting your brand’s core values, capabilities and value-added offers shine consistently in a way that resonates with the unique profiles of your target consumers. For example, the AIR MILES Reward Program has one simple premise and message for its 10 million unique members: “Shop at the places you love, and we’ll reward you for your loyalty”. However, AIR MILES ensures the communicated rewards are personalized to the unique preferences and purchasing habits of each cardholder to ensure offer relevance, resulting in a hugely successful and active loyalty program. Refining and evolving with endless curiosity Consumers and their needs are constantly evolving and for marketers, this means that learning about your customers should never stop. The end of any marketing campaign should mark the beginning of a refining process to build on insights gleaned, innovate direct marketing solutions, adjust messages and the communications mix, and re-define success metrics to reflect the evolving relationships you have with your best customers. Even successful programs can find ways to further innovate. For example, the AIR MILES Reward Program’s Collector Update initiative taps into the latest member insights to offer valuable and highly relevant solutions to its customers. In 2008, data showed that while consumers enjoyed receiving the program’s

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The local pet food store. Starbucks. Shoppers Drug Mart. Air Miles. Aeroplan. President’s Choice. The nail salon near my office. What do all of these things have in common? They all have a loyalty program that I feel warrants a place in my wallet. With a 60lb Labx in the house, any loyalty program that gives me free dog food earns a spot. Having toddler makes free groceries and drug store items very popular. And as a busy professional, precious downtime with a latte and a pedicure is priceless. I’m not alone in my appreciation of a good loyalty program. Canadians have more loyalty cards in their wallets than almost any other country in the world. But as our channel preferences change, loyalty marketers face a new challenge – how do they capture and hold their customers’ attention? In this issue of DM we’ll look at some of the solutions to this challenge – solutions like the mobile wallet and how to turn advocates into “madvocates” to hold on to customer loyalty in turbulent times. Also in this month’s DM, a look at payments processing and how skilled marketers can collect and analyse transactional data to increase their ROI. Mobile is always a hot topic and we’ve got some great articles on who is using it – and who is using it really well. Something extra this month! You’ll notice a snazzy new pull-out section in this month’s issue of DM. For those of you not already familiar with our sister publication Contact Management, this Customer Experience Magazine has been a staple of the Canadian contact centre industry for quite some time. Now, recognizing that our DM and CM readers have a lot in common and a desire to know more about each other, we’ll be publishing CM as a pull out in DM four times a year. It’s a real win for our reader who will benefit from additional content and for our advertisers, who can take advantage of a combined circulation of nearly 10,000 high level subscribers across Canada. Both magazines will benefit from bonus circulation at a number of industry events throughout the year. So hot on the heels of DM’s re-launch, welcome to the new CM! Cheers, Amy

continued on page 9 ❰

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In Canada, our research shows Millennials, (ages 19-29 years old), will drive mobile wallet acceptance. Findings from Aimia’s recent Millennial Loyalty Survey of Canadian consumers reveal a clear age gap when it comes to interest in mobile wallet applications. Clearly, Millennials provide the key to the continued evolution of mobile wallets, though their adoption cannot be taken for granted.

The Mobile Wallet Frontier By Michael O’Sullivan


n the past few decades, technology has drastically transformed customer loyalty. Successive waves of technological convergence have forced marketers to quickly adapt and evolve to the ways we consume, spend, and interact with each other. As the landscape continues to shift, unique, previously unimagined opportunities have emerged. While it is an exciting era for marketers, it is not without its concerns. To properly utilize new tools, we must consider how to best reach and engage Canadians. In the 1980s we saw the convergence of the customer database with promotional currency that gave birth to the modern loyalty program; in the 1990s we saw the convergence of computer networks with personal computing that led to the internet; and by the 2000s we witnessed the convergence of the internet and the mobile phone which gave rise to smartphones. Each of these changes has created novel ways for marketers to reach more consumers through better channels than ever before. The latest wave of convergence - payment networks and ecommerce in mobile wallet applications - promises to unlock even more potential. But will marketers be savvy about how they leverage this technology to build loyalty or will consumers grow weary of “always on” marketing and turn away from mobile commerce? In Canada there has been a virtual land rush in the mobile payments and ecommerce space. Last year, we saw several ecommerce service providers establish themselves in the market. MasterCard launched its PayPass Wallet suite of services, while Visa unveiled a beta of, its ecommerce suite. Then both Square and PayPal began offering credit card readers for mobile devices, while BlackBerry ❱

struck a deal to provide the security infrastructure that would make it possible for many Canadians to pay with their smartphones through, “mobile wallet applications”. Together, these competing platforms offer loyalty marketers a variety of new tools. For instance, Square gives anyone with a smartphone the ability to accept credit card payments. This effectively gives small merchants point-of-sale capabilities that were previously only available to larger marketers. Other mobile commerce platforms let marketers link mobile location tracking with the merchants’ retail systems. Imagine a future where merchants can recognize repeat customers when they enter the store, greet them by name, prepare orders, inquire after previous purchases, or proactively offer purchase suggestions based on transaction history. In this way, technology will reshape the shopping experience, making it more personal and highly customized. All of this functionality is on the horizon for Canadian marketers. But are Canadians ready to embrace mobile commerce? In Canada, our research shows Millennials, (ages 19-29 years old), will drive mobile wallet acceptance. Findings from Aimia’s recent Millennial Loyalty Survey of Canadian consumers reveal a clear age gap when it comes to interest in mobile wallet applications. In both the United States and the United Kingdom, Millennials are roughly twice as likely as older consumers to express interest; in Canada, Millennials are about three times more likely to support it. Clearly, Millennials provide the key to the continued evolution of mobile wallets, though their adoption cannot be taken for granted. Despite the advances in mobile payments, there remain two areas of concern. First, there is no guarantee

photo by Gary Tannyan

Are Canadians ready to embrace mobile commerce?

that competing mobile commerce platforms will be compatible. For a mobile transaction to occur, merchant, bank, issuer, and mobile provider platforms must all work in harmony. But Canada’s mobile commerce landscape is likely to be fragmented, with platforms competing against one another. This lack of a universal platform is likely to lead to a fragmentation of consumer loyalty and increased consumer frustration. As with any new technology, if it leads to consumer frustration and proves difficult to use, it will never gain traction. Furthermore, by racing to leverage the marketing power of mobile devices, there is a fear that marketers will do so without any concern for consumer privacy. In turn, consumers could be less willing to share their information. If marketers use mobile devices to target customers yet fail to incentivize them for sharing their personal details, they will not receive relevant information and will be unable to deliver value via location-based offers, mobile banking, and mobile commerce. By pushing promotional mobile offers at consumers regardless of their interest, marketers risk killing mobile commerce’s potential in its infancy.

All indications show that Canadians are ready to embrace mobile commerce, as long as its value is readily apparent and the surrounding technology is easy to use. But widespread adoption requires more than just technological preparedness. Marketers must first build trust and strong, mutuallybeneficial relationships with customers before they can maximize the effectiveness of mobile wallets. The mobile wallet era has begun, creating a potential boon for savvy marketers. Now is the time to consider and implement the most effective methods for capitalizing on it. Though the possibilities are extraordinary, functionality and user desire must be addressed and considered in great detail. Michael O’Sullivan is president of Proprietary

Loyalty in Canada for Aimia - a global leader in loyalty management. Michael works with many of Canada’s best brands to create, market, and deliver new loyalty models that enhance customer relationships and generate incremental revenue. Aimia’s unique capabilities include proven expertise in delivering proprietary loyalty services, launching and managing coalition loyalty programs, creating value through loyalty analytics and driving innovation in the emerging digital and mobile spaces. july 2013


Holding On To Customers in

Turbulent Times By Bryan Pearson


ergers and acquisitions. Downsizing. Rightsizing. It seems that change is the only constant in business these days. And while organizations work through internal changes, it’s the external changes — the ones with the potential to impact best customers – that can turn an advocate into a “madvocate.” The airline industry’s major merger announcement of American Airlines and US Airways is a perfect case in point as the two companies will have to combine 100 million frequentflyers across their two distinct loyalty programs. It’s a bit like trying to change the wings of an airplane in mid flight. One of the most difficult and critical steps of a major merger, particularly in the airline industry, is in combining the complex technological systems and reservation networks of the two. A misstep or breakdown can cost an airline millions in sales and who knows how many customers. Rivals such as Delta and Continental, meanwhile, will be circling the territory, waiting to pick up any discontented travelers. While the consensus has been that the frequent flyer miles of American’s and US Airways’ loyalty programs are safe, it does not mean that the program options, once merged, will remain the same. Already, talk about consolidated routes and seats has many wondering if that will result in fewer opportunities to redeem reward miles. American and US Airways—actually, any organization required to combine its loyalty program—can use these changes as an opportunity to stand apart. The early steps in the loyalty merging process can set the tone for how the july 2013

customer experience will be post-merger, and distinguish the company from its competitors. This is what I would advise to any executives looking to combine their loyalty programs: Make the miles go farther: Transform American’s AAdvantage and US Airway’s Dividend Miles to include additional forms of reward currency that expand redemption options for members. The airlines already have the needed insights, in the data collected through their loyalty programs, to identify which services or products are most relevant to their best customers. By expanding the rewards selection, as suggested below, they could capitalize on these insights to enrich the customer experience while not putting added pressure on the merging airlines and their route structure. Some examples of how the points can be used include: ❯❯ Airport parking ❯❯ Baggage delivery from the airport to the traveler’s final destination ❯❯ Food and drinks in the airport or on the flight ❯❯ Access to airline VIP lounges ❯❯ Transportation from the airport Secure status, assure members: Recognizing and preserving, or even enhancing, membership status is critical. Assign a team to bolster consumer confidence in the program. Synchronize messaging across the organization to regularly assure passengers that their status in the new program will be maintained, and potentially enhanced if they were members of both programs and splitting their activity. Stay on the passengers’ radar: Don’t leave your best customers guessing, ever. Provide them timely, relevant

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information about program changes via preferred communication channels (email, online, direct mail, mobile). For example, use the data gleaned from travel patterns to tell the Seattle-toToronto flyer specifically how program changes will affect her travel plans in good ways. Create a dedicated website and hotline, and monitor social media and call center activity to gain insights from customer comments, resolve issues and make personalized program offers. Empower employees to “do the right thing”: Remember that workers are going through a tremendous amount of change, which can significantly alter customer service. Invest in the resources to keep your employees involved and familiar with every step of the transition process. Regularly inform them of corporate policy and service changes, but also share with them the latest marketing tools and communication pieces to ensure they understand the messages that are currently in the hands of the customers they will interact with. Genuinely engaged employees will deliver something that strategy and effective execution never will, and that’s heart. Further, engaged employees are more apt to create engaged, and therefore loyal, customers. Buckle up in case of rough patches: American and US Airways have the benefit of learning from the mistakes of others. Combining reservations systems is a hair-raising prospect, and both airlines should prepare themselves for potential issues involving delayed or canceled flights, lost bags or untracked miles. While it is essential to take care of all customers, the new airline should be especially in shape to manage the experiences of its best customers. They use the airline the most, and therefore are most likely to encounter any rough patches in the merger. Be ready with relevant makeup offers (such as bonus miles) and personalized notes apologizing for any inconvenience, and use data insights to share these messages across the right mix of communication channels (i.e. email, social media, web, direct mail, mobile). With well-timed, resonant messages, the likelihood that brand advocates become “madvocates” can be quickly diminished. Bryan Pearson is President and CEO of LoyaltyOne and author of The Loyalty Leap: Turning Customer Information Into Customer Intimacy. Follow Bryan’s blog at ❰

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Building Customer Loyalty—One Playground at a Time #%% (        "%

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By Catherine Pearson


any life insurance providers advertise that their customers’ happiness is their first priority, but at Foresters, it’s written into their organizational purpose—and has been for almost 140 years. As a fraternal benefit society that offers financial services, Foresters not only sells life insurance but endeavors to improve the well-being of its one million members, their families and the communities where they live. Every year, it spends millions of dollars to engage members in philanthropic community activities like building playgrounds and supporting children’s hospitals. At Foresters, doing business means, first and foremost, doing good. Given Foresters’ mandate to promote family well-being, the organization’s marketing team has a somewhat different objective compared to traditional businesses: they’re tasked with inspiring members to become increasingly engaged as active members of their communities and, eventually, participants in the governance of the fraternal benefits organization. And because Foresters operates in three countries—Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom—building life-long loyalty can be tricky with such a diverse customer base. But despite its unique goals, Foresters’ marketing challenges—and data-based solutions—are not so different from those faced by other companies. After experiencing a growth spurt of new members over the past give years, Foresters set out to better �

understand its members and determine how best to connect with its diverse audiences. Its marketers turned to Environics Analytics (EA), which offers a Canadianbased segmentation system, PRIZMC2, that integrates seamlessly with partner segmentation systems in the U.S. (PRIZM from Nielsen) and the U.K. (MOSAIC from Experian). When classifying its Canadian members within the 66 PRIZMC2 segments, for instance, analysts identified key differences between everyday members and those more involved in their communities and committed to Foresters’ fraternal purpose. Research showed that the most engaged Canadian members tended to be more affluent, educated, ethnically diverse and have more children than average members. They tended to be concentrated in upscale PRIZMC2 segments like Pets & PCs (large, prospering suburban families), Asian Affluence (wealthy, suburban Chinese families) and Exurban Crossroads (younger, middle-class exurban families). What was more surprising was that this pattern held true in the U.S. and U.K. In the U.S., engaged members fell into similar PRIZM segments such as Beltway Boomers (upper-middle-class, older, with kids), Kids & Cul-de-Sacs (upper-middle-class, younger with kids) and American Dreams (upper-middle-class, middle age family mix). “The Foresters story seems to resonate with a certain type of person,� says Stephanie

Centennial College Adds Environics Analytics’ ENVISION Training To Curriculum

In an unprecedented arrangement for Canadian higher education, Environics Analytics is partnering with Centennial College to offer its marketing students a certificate in the use of ENVISION, the company’s popular micromarketing platform. Students who undergo a minimum of eight hours of training and practical experience on ENVISION will obtain a certificate from Environics Analytics (EA) and Centennial College attesting to their knowledge of the innovative cloud-based software used by businesses to improve their strategic and marketing decision-making. For Centennial College, a public college that serves students in the Greater Toronto area, the arrangement represents a coup for its marketing programs and School of Business. “Centennial students will be the first in Canada to graduate from a marketing program that includes a set of learning outcomes designed around ENVISION,� says Professor Danica Lavoie of Centennial’s School of Business. “Environics Analytics’ ENVISION training will inform a new generation of marketing professionals who can provide the analytics skills Canada’s corporations are keen to employ.� Lavoie led the effort to bring ENVISION to Centennial after devoting a portion of her sabbatical in 2012 to studying leading-edge business applications at EA, a Toronto-based marketing services and data analytics company. “I became enthralled with the software,� she recalls. “It allows the user to build trade areas and learn everything about the people who live within them. And it allows marketers to develop in-depth profiles of a target market, such as people who spent at least $400 online last year, with a variety of data—demographic, spending, media and social values. “By the time I returned to the college in January,� she says, “we had negotiated an agreement to integrate ENVISION software into Centennial College programs.� Through the ENVISION training, Centennial marketing students will acquire an in-depth knowledge of how to develop powerful, data-driven analyses of consumers and target markets using geography- and segment-based micromarketing intelligence. These skills will position students to help businesses extract valuable insights from the deep reservoir of statistical data, leading to better marketing decisions. “ENVISION is used by organizations to find their most promising prospects and develop marketing campaigns at the national, regional and local levels,� says Rupen Seoni, EA’s Vice President and Practice Leader. “This program is a great example of professional educators listening to the needs of the market and helping students graduate with skills that will be in demand for many years to come.� Initially, ENVISION training will be incorporated in the college’s two- and three-year marketing programs, as well as Centennial’s unique graduate certificate program in marketing research and analytics. Students will graduate with both a college diploma and an ENVISION training certificate—giving marketing students a unique advantage when they enter the workforce. “This will open doors to employment for Centennial College graduates,� says Lavoie. “And once they are working, knowledge of the software will help them make better business decisions. No other educational institution in Canada offers a ENVISION certificate to their students.�

july 2013

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loyalty Warner, Senior Marketing Manager of Loyalty at Foresters. “The common bond among members is caring about families and working for their communities. And these values seem to cross borders.” Knowing that members could be divided into two groups based on level of engagement, Warner and her colleague Devin Pratt, a Research Specialist at Foresters, began developing two different marketing approaches. First they correlated the members’ lifestyle segments with thousands of behavioural variables from the Print Measurement Bureau (Canada) and Simmons (U.S.). Then they created country-specific target groups based on similar high-performing segments and linked them to sixdigit postal codes in Canada and zip+4s in the U.S. Finally, they developed different programs and content for the company’s newsletter and web site to promote engagement with the target groups. For its less involved members, who typically have little Internet know-how, Foresters launched a series of “how-to” articles in its printed newsletter about web use and security. For its more engaged and Internet-savvy members, it promoted a program called “Tech Timeout” which suggested that members take a pledge to enjoy one hour a day for a week as a family away from their electronic devices. The marketers developed direct mail pieces based on the two groups’ interests and values to drive members to Foresters’ members-only web portals for membership and engagement opportunities. “When we speak to our general members, we now speak with one message,” says Pratt. “When we speak to our engaged members, we can go out with a slightly different voice because they have such a distinct profile.” For Foresters, efforts to increase member engagement and promote family and community well-being have a spillover effect. Research shows that when members become aware of just one community program the company has spearheaded—like building 20 playgrounds a year—brand awareness jumps 14 percent and brand advocacy increases 29 percent. As Warner observes, “Some

companies think that, just because you pay your premium every month, you’re a loyal customer. But it may just mean that it’s too expensive to change companies. We see that more engaged members are more loyal customers. They believe in living our purpose.” Understanding the lifestyles of their most loyal members has also allowed Foresters to develop more targeted acquisition campaigns. Last April, the company dispatched 424,000 direct mail pieces across Canada and the U.S., targeting its key markets and key PRIZM segments to drive prospects to the company’s web portal. The response rate was a 70 percent improvement over the non-targeted segments and markets. “It proved our strategy was working,” says Warner. “If you spend more on your targeted prospects, you get a higher return on more engaged members.” Foresters now applies its targeting approach to a variety of marketing initiatives, helping it reduce costs while simultaneously enhancing impact. In the past, when the company built a playground—it partners with the nonprofit organization KaBOOM! in building play areas—it would send promotional direct mail pieces to all members near the location to recruit volunteers. Now it mails only to members in the key segments that are home to engaged members. “Thanks to the target groups,” says Warner, “we use our resources more efficiently.” With a consistent analytical framework for three countries, executives on Foresters’ management team used results from the response analysis to make their budgets go further. “Before we had only vague ideas of membership and engagement in all of our countries,” says Warner. “Now we have great insights that help us communicate with members and build programming in every country. We’ve just let the data do the talking.” And as a result, both Foresters and its member communities are thriving. Catherine Pearson is Vice President and Practice Leader, in charge

of the finance, insurance, travel and telecommunications sectors, at Environics Analytics.

continued from page 5

quarterly member account summary package, Canadians wanted to see more information as it related to their unique profiles and needs. In response, AIR MILES piloted the distribution of approximately 10,000 personalized direct marketing packages across all traditional and digital channels within the Manitoba region. The refined direct marketing pilot resulted in a 100% increase in response rates over the previous year, and generated 30% more business for AIR MILES and its partners. Extending the approach across other Canadian markets, AIR MILES continues to refine its program to the extent that today, more than 40% of all deployed packages are customized, with 30-50% of the content reflecting relevant and personalized offers. As competition intensifies to capture the loyalty of consumers, deepening relationships with a brand’s best customers will be the key to success for many marketers. Through the smart and nimble use of data insights, optimization of a brand’s communications mix, consistently reflecting a brand’s core values and constantly refining to offer better, more relevant communications, brands can be effective in keeping a longer, highly engaged relationship with their scarcest resource – the loyal customer. Di Cullen is the President of Squareknot, an award-winning national communications agency with expertise in loyalty and multi-channel direct marketing solutions.

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The Orange Revolution When ING DIRECT opened for business 16 years ago, its no-fee promise completely disrupted the retail banking business. But now that the company has been taken over by one of the Big Banks, can it stay true to its principle of putting customers first?


Andrew Zimakas Part 1 of 2 By Stephen Shaw


photo by Gary Tannyan


anadians have always had an ambivalent relationship with the Big Banks: grateful for the security of their savings but resentful of the confusing fees. So when ING DIRECT opened its virtual doors in May 1997, promising a better deal, disaffected consumers flocked to the no-fee bank, prepared to give up branch visits for the simplicity and convenience of direct banking. Today nearly two million Canadians do business with ING DIRECT, appreciative of the attention they get, even though few have ever met an actual person working there. From the beginning ING DIRECT has made the needs of customers its top priority and that strategy has paid off. It not only enjoys the highest satisfaction rating of any mid-size bank, it has expanded its relationship with customers beyond savings accounts to include a broader portfolio of financial products. The rigour of competing exclusively online has also made ING DIRECT more innovative,

july 2013

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ING DIRECT CMO Andrew Zimakas

not simply through invention of more simplified financial products, but by creating a streamlined experience. Its web site has always been exceptionally easy to use, and the bank is also highly active in social media, regularly reaching out to customers for feedback. That feedback often finds its way into product development, leading to such ideas as using the iPhone to make deposits. Now ING DIRECT has even grander ambitions: to double the size of its customer base. And that will be a test in an increasingly competitive and cluttered market as other banks (even non-banks, like retailers and mobile companies) start to mimic their approach. So ING DIRECT has given up its memorable “Save Your Money” slogan in favour of a new tagline “forward banking” which reflects its desire to be seen as an everyday bank for people. Contemporizing the brand image of ING DIRECT is critical for another reason: long-time customers are nervously watching to see whether last summer’s takeover by Scotiabank will lead to a dilution of its customer-first philosophy. Any sign of retreat might cause loyalists to question their allegiance. The custodian of the ING DIRECT brand is the CMO Andrew Zimakas who took on the job two years ago. With an extensive background in brand strategy, he knows the importance of appealing to a mainstream audience with more than just a rebel cry while assuring loyal customersthat ING DIRECT remains “the good guy”. Shaw What attracted you to the opportunity at ING DIRECT? Zimakas In my previous career as a strategy consultant, helping organisations develop their brands it became clear to me how important a company’s culture really is. Prior to consulting, I had worked for some strong organisations with great brands and cultures – Proctor & Gamble, Microsoft. So when the opportunity arose to join ING DIRECT, I was really drawn to their distinctive culture and value proposition. Shaw How would you describe that distinctiveness? Zimakas Interestingly, I attended some focus group research recently, and there was a client that talked

july 2013

about the warmth and humanity she felt interacting with us over the website, which I thought was really intriguing, because it was an exact articulation of the experience we’re trying to deliver. Shaw An interesting dichotomy, considering the fact that people were originally drawn to your bank on the basis of “Save Your Money”. Hardly a warm and sentimental slogan. Zimakas You’re right, the brand promise was all about greater value. Through a low cost operating model we could pass on value in the form of higher savings rates, and later on, lower mortgage rates - now mutual funds and chequing as well. But while the delivery model was efficient, that didn’t mean the experience had to cold or removed. Ironically, my wife’s Dutch, and I tend to think of the Dutch being ... Shaw Aloof. Zimakas Yes, but once you get to know them, there’s a certain warmth there as well. But it is an interesting dichotomy, as you say. Shaw You built your business as the scrappy upstart, willing to take on the banks, appealing to the alienated financial consumer. What’s your positioning strategy now? Zimakas The foundation is really based on three values: simplicity; being a challenger; and being a good guy. That’s been the guiding light for the brand ever since we launched 16 years ago. We initially started out operating just a contact centre, and then we expanded to the web, and after that we launched our cafes, like the one we’re sitting in today. And, more recently, mobile has become a focus for us. So there certainly has been a broadening of what we offer in terms of products and channels. But the foundation hasn’t changed at all. While “save your money” has always been a core element of our value proposition, today it goes beyond savings: it means a seamless customer experience, regardless of what channel you’re using. Certainly, great service - friendly service. Products that are transparent, and simple. We won’t necessarily always offer the best rate, but we’ll be competitive. And it goes beyond rates, like having no fees - or at least fairer fees - for our products. But it really comes back to simplicity, to convenience, and the other key area

for us is advocacy. Helping our clients pay down their mortgage as soon as possible, or educating them on their retirement options, or enabling them to better manage their financial affairs, while showing them it’s not rocket science. Shaw So you’ve always been the good guy, certainly compared to the big banks. But now you’re owned by one of the big banks. What does that do to the credibility of your positioning? Zimakas That’s a great question. There will continue to be daylight between the Scotiabank brand and ourselves. Strategically, there are segments of the Canadian bank population who require face-to-face advice, and they’ll get that from Scotiabank, but there are other segments who really want to be self-empowered in managing their personal finances. Yes, they still need tools, they still need financial coaching, but they prefer a more hands-on approach, and that’s what ING DIRECT gives them. Shaw In fact, there are many people who take pride in the fact they don’t have to ever step inside a bricks and mortar bank. Zimakas There are some, and there are others for whom the personal touch is important, especially when it involves more complex financial matters. However, our focus will always be on offering a relatively limited set of simple, transparent products. Shaw So whereas the big banks can offer the wealth segment personal advice and support, you’re serving the mid-market. How would you describe the persona of a core customer? Zimakas I would say, people who are comfortable with technology; people who want to be empowered in their financial matters; people who want what we like to call “simplified banking for modern living”.

Watch for part 2 of this 1:1 interview in the August issue of DM. Stephen Shaw is a recognized authority on the topics of database and relationship marketing, with expertise spanning information technology, customer analytics and customer management strategy. Over the years he has worked with major clients in almost every business sector. ❰

Direct & Personal

// 12 By Billy Sharma

Brenda McNeilly

A true mentor for the next generation


“No man is an island, entire of itself. Each is a piece of the continent, a part of the main,” John Donne wrote. So when Brenda McNeilly, a seasoned veteran of the advertising and direct marketing industry, told me: “It’s our job to help bring in and raise up the next generation of marketing stars”, I wholeheartedly agreed. “It’s not a demand on your time. It’s an investment in our industry. I wouldn’t be doing this interview if good people hadn’t done it for me. You wouldn’t be reading it, if someone hadn’t done it for you. “So make the time,” she advised, “I guarantee you will learn as much from a junior or recent grad as they will from you.” Winner of numerous awards, Brenda is one of the few people I know who did not rattle off a long list of awards when I asked her to list her achievement. Instead she told me proudly: “Seven people who worked for me over the years are now Creative Directors at other agencies—that makes me very happy. Also right up there are a number of people I

july 2013

Direct & Personal helped come into this business that I hired out of school. “My favorite accomplishments now are watching my staff when they achieve something creatively that they never thought they could do—whether it’s thinking in a completely different way or writing in a voice that is completely different for them. When you see that look on someone’s face—that moment of realization—you know it. It’s transformational. You remember the feeling of experiencing it yourself. And as a Creative Director, you get to relive it again through the eyes of your staff. That’s pretty awesome. “My other favorite accomplishment is seeing my staff go up on stage to receive an award.” Then after a small pause and a faint smile she continued, “However, getting invited to judge at Cannes, in Applied Arts, was also pretty cool. It’s always nice to get asked to judge for shows few people are ever chosen for. It’s different from judging as a volunteer, because an anonymous jury selects and invites you.”

july 2013

// 13 A rather auspicious beginning Brenda began her studies at Centennial College. “I studied Creative Advertising which was a copywriting-based course out of Centennial College. I’d won a scholarship from my high school, was strong in English and Art, and landed in marketing/advertising quite by accident. I think the conversation with my guidance counselor went something like this: “Well advertising’s open at Centennial.” I KNOW I answered by saying “Advertising? No way. I wouldn’t do that s__t if you paid me. I HATE that s__t.” He suggested I try it and switch over to Journalism if I didn’t like it. He thought it might surprise me. That was an understatement. “When I got my internship, I’d been told by my Course Coordinator in college to be prepared to sharpen pencils, get coffee and watch everybody else get to do all the good stuff, so my expectations were low. “On the first day my wardrobe was pretty punked out because my club clothes were all I owned. I soon realized I was the only girl in creative. I think the creative guys thought I was funny because they sort of made me their mascot, taking me everywhere, to all the shoots, the lunches, parties. “The first time my CD read one of my radio scripts he paused and said something I still remember. He said, “Huh. So you CAN write. OK give this to so and so.” After I realized he wasn’t kidding, I was just running on adrenalin. I jumped into everything I possibly could. Within 2 weeks I was writing radio, TV and print and they were getting produced. I was the only one in my course to whom this happened. The Creative Director of the agency, Gary, became the first of my many mentors who took me under their wing and made opportunities for me. I’ve never forgotten that. “As I mentioned earlier I was the only girl in creative. It was the first time I ever felt resented and sadly, that resentment was coming from the other women in the agency, who were frustrated secretaries, account people and receptionists. I tried to emphasize, to understand their frustration—I truly did. But right then, I decided very clearly and very emphatically, if the tables were turned, I would never do that to someone else, let alone a young woman coming into what had been a man’s business. That I would never be that person. That was a defining moment for me in my career. “I decided from that day on, whenever I could, I would help people coming into this business, and in particular young women, every chance I got. “A performance appraisal (actually two) that I had years ago had the biggest impact on my career. I think that performance appraisals are one of the most important things that managers rarely spend enough time or attention on. They’re viewed as a necessary evil. “There have only been two times during the course of my career I was blown away by an evaluation. The evaluator, my boss, shared some absolutely incisive and really revealing observations about me that I had never realized. They were 100% true and incredibly astute. “It impressed me that someone had literally taken the time to pay that much attention to how my mind worked. And it impressed me just how right they were. “ When discussing the future Brenda surprised me by saying: “After having worked for 15+ years at agencies, I would love to work client side. Having both client and agency perspectives is something that has a very high appeal for me. I love working with and learning from

clients I’ve had, and I’ve had the good fortune of working with a lot of great ones, so I think I’d like to see what it feels like being on ‘the other side of the table’. “The other thing I would like to get more involved in is something to do with marketing that helps animals. Animals and animal protection have always been a big part of my life. It would be great to be able to use my marketing skills to help animals.” When I asked Brenda about her personal life she replied in a few short words: “Married, yes. Children, no. Cats. We have cats. Or rather, they have us.” However, she was a bit more talkative about her husband, Robert Beeney, who is in transportation and a freelance photographer who loves nature and wild life. His work has been exhibited and auctioned at the Dundas Valley Art Auction. Not all sunshine in this business “I think anyone who works in this business has had dark periods. If they haven’t yet, they will. Either you run screaming for the exits, which frankly is a perfectly reasonable response to some of the unreasonable demands and people of this business, or you walk head first into the hail of bullets and emerge on the other side, better off and one hell of a lot tougher. “This is by nature a volatile business. It attracts and is driven by mercurial personalities. Some are good, and some are very, very not good. “There have been far more ups than downs over the course of my career, but I can tell you that any time there was a dark period it was because someone lost sight of the fact that we’re not curing cancer here. We’re not saving lives. We’re not stopping cruelty to animals. We’re just making ads. And at the end of the day, no matter how much you love your job, it’s not worth being a shitty person over. “You have to be a very strong person to survive and excel in this business. That strength has to come from you yourself; it can’t come from others. No matter what your circumstances, you ARE your brand. You are in 100% control of your brand at all times. There’s power in that. But only if you can see it. “So many agency people make brands for other people, but don’t make a good one for themselves. “I’ve lived through a lot of really scary agency re-orgs; the worst by far was over 10 years ago. It was very searing. It can be very difficult going through re-orgs because you are fearful, emotions run high and emotions blur judgment. It can pull important friendships and partnerships apart and that’s very devastating. “Surviving in this business you need to embrace change in creativity, in technology, in the economy and in how people work together and interact.” Her response to having to sacrifice in this business was: “No one ever made me do it. I did it because I was chasing ideas, pulled into the energy and vortex of creating. For me, chasing ideas is like treasure hunting. Sacrifice is a necessary part of that. Finally, when I asked her: “If you could do it again, what would you do differently?” Without skipping a beat she shot back: “I’ll let you know when I’m done.” Billy Sharma is president and creative director of Designers Inc.

He can be reached via email at or by telephone at: 416. 203. 9787 ❰

// 14

Is predictive analytics for marketers really that

accurate? Part 2

Response Rate Model

By Richard Boire

Response Rate of Sample


Recapping Part 1 How can a data mining professional say such blasphemous words? After all, doesn’t Big Data Analytics and the use of predictive analytics represent the panacea to our ever-expanding data universe. The many articles and whitepapers along with their accompanying vendors purport that this new frontier must be embraced by organizations to remain competitive in the 21st century. Yet, like all emerging transformative disciplines, there needs to be a little of “Let’s step back” and attempt to “get under the hood of what predictive analytics can and cannot do” if expectations are going to be consistently managed.









In the real world, predictive analytics is often used to predict outcomes where the observed “YES” cases are indeed much greater than the “NO” cases. For instance, response and defection models all operate under scenarios where the “yes” outcomes typically occur in less than five cases out of a hundred cases. The extreme proportion of “no” outcomes by its very nature creates more noise. A good example of this is that the model’s ability to accurately predict outcomes increases as the rate increases to 50%. In fact, a good exercise is to try building models where the rate is close to 50% and you will observe that diagnostics explaining the power of the model increases when compared to models where the rate is small(5% or less). We actually attempted this exercise ourselves where we built a predictive model using the same data fields and the same target variable which in this case was response rate. Listed below is a table depicting our results. ❱

As you can see the above results support our hypothesis that increasing response rate translates to increased model power or performance as demonstrated by R2. Fraud models present extreme challenges when building predictive models as there are often far too many nos relative to yeses. One way of improving model performance is to stratify the sample where the practitioner keeps all the yeses but extracts a random sample of the no’s thereby increasing the overall rate of the yeses. Stratified sampling is widely accepted as a sound data mining practice when dealing with extremely large proportions of no’s. Having talked about the ability to increase overall model performance thru increased rates (i.e. response, defection, etc), we observe that even in our experiment, the model performance or R2 peaked at 7.24% with a response rate of 50%. But we can easily ask the question: “What about the other 92.7% that the model is not able to explain?. Is this true random noise or can we further explain some of this noise. The key in attempting to explain away more noise is to identify variables that exhibit non linear relationships with the target model variable, yet make sense regarding the behavior we are trying to predict and the particular business where these solutions

are to be deployed. The use of pure mathematics without an understanding of the business could result in models that yield non linear type variables which are simply attempting to explain away true random noise. The notion of having several validation samples, one that is derived from the same analytical file as the development sample and another validation sample that is derived from a different time period, can certainly help to mitigate model overstatement caused by excessive non linear type variables. Yet, even in undergoing this type of rigor in enhancing our model performance, it is unlikely that we can reasonably expect models to explain more than 10% of the target behaviour. If predictive analytics has limited powers in the marketing arena, then why should there be any enthusiasm for its resultant solutions. Forgetting the statistical limitations as seen above, it is the incremental ROI that is the huge benefit of predictive analytics. It is not unusual to achieve incremental $ benefits in excess of $100M per campaign. So as an old business mentor of mine used to say: "Let’s ground the statistics to the business rather than the business to the statistics” july 2013



Focus on Workforce Optimization

Page 7

Issue 1 | 1


The financial ROI of coaching By Bruce Simpson


he benefits of skillful coaching are substantial and can have a dramatic impact on the overall profitability of any company. For contact centers in particular, a well implemented coaching program is the surest path to minimizing costly repeat calls, optimizing revenue opportunities, and delivering a consistent, high quality customer experience. With 65-75% of contact centers costs driven by agent wages, benefits and incentives, coaching has become the critical tool for world-class operations to improve the retention and overall performance of frontline knowledge workers. It also corrects the problem constantly voiced by non-coaching organizations that, despite the expense and effort, classroom training fails to produce a performance ROI (return on investment). As organizations push for improvements in performance and to encourage change, they often focus on the frontline employees and bypass investing in the “Leadership Triangle”.

Make a big difference. Try a different reward. Research shows that companies offering non-cash incentives have 6.6% higher revenue. When you have the right reward, there are other nice benefits too.

Questions? Call 1.800.293.1136 or visit to learn more. Source: 2011 Aberdeen Group study This card is issued by Peoples Trust Company pursuant to a license by Visa Inc. Cards are issued in connection with a loyalty, award or promotion program. © 2012 InteliSpend Prepaid Solutions, ULC

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Frontline supervisors / leaders are the leverage point for agent skill and knowledge, yet few organizations make the required investment in these leaders that provides a real operational ROI. Industry stats consistently indicate that a rigourous coaching system returns an 8-18% reduction in operational expense and/or increased revenues. Many Contact Center organizations believe they have an effective coaching program in place. There are many clues that this is not the case, such as: poor or inconsistent results, increasing operational costs, and high agent attrition, to name a few. See section “Coaching Principles” below to help define for yourself if you have the building blocks in place today?

Key categories of financial impact Benefits of employing performance coaching in your call center can be split into five different areas of impact: 1. OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY – The ability of each agent to maximize their time on a call-by-call basis and over each shift worked. This category has a direct and immediate impact on profitability because constant improvements in efficiency lead to the need for fewer agents (and the support roles around them). Reducing agent headcount by even 5% is pure profit in the true sense of the word. 2. OPERATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS – Proficiency at handling calls accurately, with high client satisfaction the first time without the need to escalate (or ask for help). Many non-coaching organizations experience a greater than 30% repeat call + transfer rate, dramatically driving up their operating costs. 3. REVENUE GENERATION – Coaching supports and improves the advanced selling skills of identifying customer needs and solving problems customers didn’t know you could help them with.. This ability, especially on service calls, allows organizations to transition from cost center to profit-center and easily pay for the investment in coaching. 4. CUSTOMER SATISFACTION AND RETENTION – With the high cost of customer acquisition, retaining the right customers is necessary for success. As product lifecycles mature so fast exceptional customer service has become the only sustainable competitive advantage in businesses today. 5. EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT AND RETENTION – Keeping proficient agents and frontline staff engaged and in the organization longer. Sustained coaching can easily produce a 25 – 50% reduction in agent attrition rates. The data on savings possible – less recruiting, less training, less lost productivity – that by adding even 2-4 months to average rep tenure is compelling. Frost & Sullivan and SwitchGear Consulting have developed a calculator that allows you to input specific data from your call center and estimate the potential benefits of coaching for your company. This calculator helps the head of finance understand the expected ROI from a real investment in your frontline leaders.

FOUNDATIONAL PRINCIPLES OF COACHING The first foundational requirement to developing a “coaching culture” is the ability to establish trust and engage people in meaningful work. You can manage employees without trust, but to lead and coach them Issue 1

CSR requires that they trust you. The second foundational element is that coaching can only be successful if it becomes a top priority / responsibility for the frontline leader. In most operations they have become the “dumping ground” for tasks AND have no time to coach. With these two foundational elements in place ... here is SwitchGear’s Top 10 Coaching Principles

1. GET THE COACH “ON-THE-COURT” – Get the coach (supervisor) working side-by-side in, and on, the business with every individual on their team. It’s very difficult to establish foundational credibility needed to be an effective coach if the coach does not understand the business today. 2. RUTHLESS PRIORITIZATION – Stop the emails and the special projects and start applauding managers for being on the floor and working with their people (see point one). Focus is critical – what is more valuable than the coach’s ability to motivate and help accelerate the performance of his / her people? … the answer is nothing. 3. MANAGEMENT LEADERSHIP AND COACHING – Be clear on the differences: • Most call centers struggle because they are over-managed, underled & under-coached. • Most often leaders are wearing their management hat up to 90% of the time – caught in a reactive paradigm that focuses on processes, control, and what happened yesterday. Coaching by contrast is proactive impacting results now, today and tomorrow. 4. ASK VS. TELL – “Ask” is the foundation for both commitment and accountability. Focus on helping managers learn from their people versus being a judge. In this knowledge-based world of contact centers ask yourself, “Who knows more about workflows, systems, products: agents or managers?” The common “Command and Control” approach is useless in the new era of knowledge-based call centers.

10. PRACTICE – why should the coach be any different than their athletes, they should practice too.

COACHING BENEFITS CALCULATOR The Coaching Benefits Calculator allows you to use your organizations’ data to see how changing your current results will impact your bottom line. While there are many downstream benefits of adopting the Applied Performance Coaching approach, the calculator focuses on primary, measurable and direct results. You can also see the range of financial results achieved by a cross-section of sales and service organizations.

CONCLUSION Coaching used to be a discussion limited to the Human Resources group, but now operating executives and heads of Finance are clear on the tangible benefits it provides to the organization. It is clear that coaching isn’t a soft skill or feel-good activity but rather a critical leadership tool that produces quantifiable results and delivers a bottom-line financial impact. World-class organizations that make the investment in developing this skill in their frontline managers overwhelmingly outperform their competitors from a service delivery and revenue generation perspective. They enjoy a culture of high performance, retain their top talent, and get the best out of their people. If you’d like to receive the Coaching Benefits Calculator and understand the business case for coaching in your organization, contact bruce@ or visit . SwitchGear are the authors of the 2nd edition of Call Centre for Dummies.


5. ENERGY … THEN VALUE – If agents don’t trust management and interaction with the “higher ups” sucks energy from them, then it is unlikely that supervisors will be trusted and welcomed on the call center floor. It’s a leader’s job to bring positive energy first, they’ll be in a position to provide / add value to their people. . 6. START FROM WHAT THEY DO WELL AND BUILD ON STRENGTHS – Don Schula, the former Miami Dolphins coach, is famous for saying, “If the someone is doing her job well 75% of the time, why isn’t 75% of the feedback they receive positive?” A decade of employee satisfaction research shows that the top reason people leave an organization is due to a poor relationship with their direct boss. What does your attrition, attendance and employee satisfaction metrics tell you about this? 7. FOCUS ON ONE SKILL AND STEP AT A TIME – A weekly or daily approach which first focuses on specific behaviors produces incredible results. Conversely, giving someone a monthly list of required results without support typically fails. 8. BE SPECIFIC! – If your coaching summary is “build better rapport,” or “ask more questions” then there’s no way to leverage these into measurable results. If an agent and manager can’t walk away and both know exactly what to work on, then coaching has not occurred. 9. FOLLOW-UP – If the coaching can’t be used on the next customer call and the agent doesn’t start implementing and learning immediately, would it be likely that they will suddenly implement the new technique weeks from now? The objective of follow-up is to provide support and positive reinforcement, not micromanagement. Issue 1

Customer Service with a Difference! | 3

Workforce Optimization

It’s time to get a hybrid

within reach to any size organization. I’ve always had a little trepidation when it comes to buying a hybrid car, because of the reduced choice of styles, shapes and engines available. Luckily, auto manufacturers are finally listening, and I no longer have to sacrifice quality to get the car I want. Again, this is paralleled in the cloud tech market. The pricing model advantages and technology advances available via the cloud are all evident when implementing new technology, but why should moving something to the cloud mean sacrificing features? Companies want the best, delivered by the best, using the best means possible. This is where technology decision makers struggle today. Organizations are increasingly comfortable moving applications like WFM, PM and analytics to the cloud, but crucial, tier one applications are a different matter. And that’s why hybrid deployments are coming to a dealership near you!

The journey to the cloud By Doron Simon


s I shopped for a new car recently, I was struck by the similarities between the electric car industry and today’s cloud technology market. Although electric cars have made some inroads into the market, infrastructure issues guarantee that it will be years before they go mainstream. That said, I can’t justify guzzling more and more gas. It feels so inefficient—it’s a bigger footprint than I want or need. That’s why it’s time to get a hybrid. Enterprise software is in a similar state. Many companies have heavy-duty on-premise solutions that guzzle IT time and resources. They are becoming progressively harder to maintain and really justify over time. But it’s hard to go from that end of the spectrum to SaaS at the other. As data floats around the cloud, it feels like a loss of control and that can be unnerving. Fortunately, contact centers can also go hybrid—keeping some components on-premise while migrating others to the cloud.

The options

The choices

When you do not want to move everything to the cloud at one time, it’s best to look for solutions that accommodate a hybrid approach. Continue to leverage existing, sometimes depreciated, premise solutions that can connect to the sophisticated applications of the future. It may sound a little unconventional, but enterprise-grade applications like workforce management, performance management and interaction analytics are readily available in the cloud today and serve you, the customer, with a choice of deployment – not a choice of vendor. In addition, higher sticker shock is being removed as a barrier, putting proven technologies


Hosted IVR Services


Call Routing

Another key advantage of a hybrid approach is the availability of modular solutions that are ready when you are. Be cautious when considering suites that force you to purchase all the items at once. Evaluate and choose solutions that fit your most





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Telephone Conferencing


Avaya Compliant Issue 1

Workforce Optimization immediate need and are within your resources to implement. If that isn’t enough, choosing solutions in the cloud is also the agnostic way to decide. You’ll find best-of-breed solutions that plug-and-play with your existing cloud and premise tools (ACDs, Predictive Dialers, Point of Sale, CRM, CTI, etc.) and consolidate your Big Data into a single repository. A good place to start is with performance management. Tools like performance management are more than just data consolidation; hybrid deployments in the cloud are an opportunity to get a holistic view across systems, sites and channels.

The road map Unlike buying a car that will remain the same for years to come, purchasing point solutions for your contact center in a hybrid model also allows you to phase your deployment to match internal readiness. One of NICE’s customers in the telecommunication industry that currently has an on-premise model and has created a roadmap that takes a hybrid approach. Their three-year plan starts with using WFM as their forecasting backbone in the first year and performance management to begin capturing data and coaching people in year two. In the third and final year, they will move call recording and analytics to the cloud. This paced deployment will help them manage resources, prepare employees and address relevant regulations. If they were forced to make these changes all at once, they would have to sit on-premise much longer. A hybrid model accelerates their journey to the cloud and keeps their options open for the road ahead. In the end, contact center technology decisions are about driving the customer experience, managing operational efficiencies and driving top-line revenue, while simultaneously monitoring total cost of ownership. Choose what’s best for your company and don’t let the delivery model scare you. The proven ROI of WFO applications are available to all, and considering a hybrid approach today may get you the features you want with just the right amount of style. Doron Simon is Head of Cloud at NICE Systems. For more information visit

Issue 1

Case study:

NuVoxx How automated appointment reminders were a win-win for large international retail chain The challenge: A large international retail chain relied on a team of 25 live agents to handle customer appointment reminders and notifications for their home delivery services, for large ticket items such as white goods and big screen TVs. Going into the 2012 Holiday Season this organization realized three things: • The ramp up required to handle increased post-holiday volumes would be difficult to execute. The call volume over a period of one week, following Christmas, increases to tenfold the average call volume. • The cost of making the appointment reminder and confirmation calls has been climbing over time. Due to the competitiveness of the retail sector and the need to reduce the cost structure, the client was looking for a way to rein in the cost of this function • The holiday season was less than a month away and they needed a solution in place quickly • (subhead)nThe solution Having used NuVoxx to automate call processes in the past, the client turned to NuVoxx with the above business challenge. The goal was to provide a solution which would address the cost and scalability requirements and to implement this solution in under a month. The initial requirements gathering meeting helped define the message, call flow and variables, which are generally standard for this type of call. The standard appointment reminder call flow utilizes date and time provided by the client, to provide specific details regarding the appointment. Also, as a part of the appointment reminder call functionality, the customer if given the option to confirm the appointment or to be transferred to a live agent, to reschedule the appointment. In order to replicate the appointment reminder process, NuVoxx designed and developed a bilingual outbound IVR application replicating the live agent process in place. Based on the data feed provided by the client, the NuVoxx IVR Appointment Reminder application calls the customer, clearly identifying the reason for the call and providing the exact date and time of the appointment. The customer is given the option to confirm the date and time by pressing a touch tone key, or to be transferred to a live agent, to reschedule the appointment. NuVoxx also developed reporting to provide quantitative feedback to the client with

respect to call outcomes, including confirmed appointments, reschedule requests and other relevant metrics.

The Results With two weeks to spare, NuVoxx launched the automated IVR appointment reminder application. After a few days of piloting the application, reviewing results and making adjustments to optimize the answer rate and call flow, the IVR appointment reminder application was formally put into production, replacing live agent calling. Based on the follow up analysis, it was determined the automated IVR appointment reminder service delivered on all expectations: • The tenfold increase in daily volume was handled successfully. The inherent scalability of the NuVoxx platform allows for seamless capacity increase on as-needed basis. With sufficient spare capacity, many times its average daily volume, NuVoxx is able to easily accommodate spikes in volume. • In terms of cost savings, the results were tremendous. Prior to IVR automation the client was paying for a team of 25 agents to make outbound appointment reminder and confirmation calls. The annualized cost of this function ran in the range of over $500,000 per year. By switching to the hosted IVR solution provided by NuVoxx, the cost of the appointment reminder function was reduced to a fraction of the live agent cost. The ROI was achieved in under one month, with total annualized savings approximated at over 9 per cent. • Finally, by automating the process, the client eliminated the overhead time and effort associated with managing the appointment reminder function on an ongoing basis.

Conclusion By using NuVoxx outbound IVR to automate a simple high-volume call process, such as appointment reminders and confirmations, organizations can achieve significant cost savings while strategically freeing up resources for higher value work. Cost savings and capacity flexibility make appointment reminders a particularly suitable call type to automate in the IVR. If your organization uses live agents to make outbound appointment reminder calls, to remind customers of an upcoming appointment, contact us to find out how NuVoxx can help you streamline and drive cost out of your appointment reminder process. NuVoxx is a Canadian, Toronto-based organization, with over two decades of experience in Interactive Voice Response development and hosting. We specialize in providing fully managed IVR services to organizations that choose to outsource their inbound and outbound IVR to professionals. NuVoxx has established itself as the IVR provider of choice for a number of organizations, whenever there is a project or event which requires quick turnaround | 5

Workforce Optimization

Pushing contact center improvements - the big picture approach By Matt McConnell


he contact center is often the first place companies turn to when looking for cost savings. There are many metrics typically targeted as the likely suspects for savings – shaving seconds off handle time or effectively managing average speed of answer can amount to real dollars for many centers. While driving improvements in these areas certainly supports an organization’s efforts to increase the bottom line, a bigger opportunity is realistically within reach. It’s important to take a step back and look at the big picture and ask some relevant questions. How can we make adjustments that improve attrition, or what will it take to ensure

better performing employees, and how can we do so with minimal cost? Establishing a holistic approach to improvement using intraday management throughout all aspects of the center proves more beneficial and leads to significant cost savings. Widening our focus to be more about a continuous culture of improvement doesn’t suggest we ignore what we know helps with cost savings, such as making improvements to handle time, average speed of answer or agent attrition. Instead, it means we look for opportunities to be proactive and configure the reactions to some of the common issues that interrupt our plans to make improvements, eat up time and contribute to costs. In a typical day, familiar problems impact a call center’s response structure and efficiency: a storm prevents agents from coming into work, call volume spikes due to a service interruption, one queue has excessive hold times while another hosts agents with an abundance of idle time. The list of possible fire drills is extensive and as a result, workforce management scrambles to smooth things over in order to have as little impact on the customer experience as possible. However, when these types of events occur, it adds to the operating expense and proves to be frustrating for everyone involved: the agents, supervisors, managers and customers. But having a mechanism in place to address these issues up front can help contact centers reach goals to reduce handle time, speed of answer or attrition as well as improve overall productivity and customer experience.

Developing a continuous culture of improvements Intraday management helps contact centers build out the tools needed to continuously drive cascading improvements throughout the center as they react to everchanging business fluctuations. Think of it as developing reflexes for ‘instinctively’ responding to unforeseen events in realtime, allowing for immediate responses to unpredictable conditions. In the process, many of the metrics the center is always chasing improve as a result. A relevant example is related to the ongoing quest to match up workforce with workload, and what reactions happen in response to different staffing scenarios.

Understaffing, ASA and customer experience If a center is understaffed, ASA and customer experience suffer. When understaffed, what if you could improve average speed of answer by automatically triggering text messages asking at-home agents to log in and start taking calls when there is a sudden increase in call volume. Being able to quickly offer voluntary overtime to staff members can 6 |

Issue 1

Workforce Optimization make a big impact on customer experience and agent satisfaction as well. Customer inquiries will be addressed faster, and agents can earn more money, while relieving other agents from dealing with frustrated customers. When you take a holistic approach to improvement through the use of intraday management technology, you can apply the same logic as you would manually but much more quickly and consistently. Your workforce management team might set a business rule to select top performers, who have opted in and are eligible for overtime hours based on the length of time that has passed since they were previously offered overtime. To make these offers manually would take considerably more time that you may not have.

Overstaffing, costs and agent satisfaction A similar approach can be used when things slow down. When call volume is unexpectedly low for a sustained period, rules can be set to offer voluntary time-off to the right agents. Again, the workforce management team’s rules would offer agents the option to leave based on specific criteria. These could be lower performing agents, who haven’t already been offered time off within the past month, for example. Or, sometimes agents have last minute requests to leave early for a doctor’s appointment or to watch their child’s first pitch in the baseball game later that afternoon. Being able to automate the response to these requests along with a long list of other criteria not only lowers costs, but also has a positive impact on agent attrition. If intraday conditions allow and you can easily grant these types of last minute requests, why not show your employees you value them by doing so?

Dynamic response, performance and satisfaction Fluctuating call volume often leaves little time for agents to do anything else during a shift other than take calls. Or so it seems. The average agent spends 11 percent of the time available, but that time is fragmented and can show up as 30 to 45 second to 2 minute segments while agents wait for the next call. Intraday management can aggregate the small slivers of time and make it productive. There’s not such an excessive amount of time that your workforce management team would want to send agents home, but with intraday management technology, there’s enough time to be able to squeeze in the activities that would help improve back-office operations or agents perform better at their jobs. Issue 1

The ability to weave in off-phone work like communications, coaching, back-office work and training into the pattern of a typical workday is where organizations begin to realize dramatic savings. Building in this continuous culture of improvement allows each agent to complete more training and receive personalized coaching based on business objectives and individualized agent needs. Deploying personalized and prioritized activities directly to agents during their available time proves beneficial in many areas. They have variety in their day because they’re completing administrative tasks, handling social media inquiries or reading important communications. Agents also receive the development activities they need to progress and learn new skills, improving their performance in serving your customers. Having the right mechanism to automate these intraday activities proves beneficial for the center – and customer – as well. Your contact center can be more flexible and react quickly to the volatile call center environment while still finding a way to improve on key metrics without swimming against the tide. Each day brings new challenges. Instead of fighting against the inevitable and unexpected changes throughout the day, creating a mechanism to use the changes to your advantage will pay off in a bigger way with more sustainable results. Refining contact center intraday management results in an improved workforce – agents are given activities that break-up the monotony of their workday and the bandwidth of the contact center management team is freed up to focus on coaching, analysis, and other core responsibilities. An organization with a happier, more fulfilled workforce results in less attrition, improved agent productivity and increased performance levels. Add in the reduced costs of managing staffing more dynamically and its positive impact on your customers, and intraday management technology becomes a toolbox at the ready for contact centers’ ongoing efforts to provide stellar customer experiences with less costs. Matt McConnell is chairman, president and CEO of Intradiem (formerly Knowlagent). Matt co-founded Intradiem in 1995 with a vision of helping companies increase the level of customer service they deliver by improving the performance of their agents. Today, Intradiem is a leader in its market with more than 450,000 call center agents around the world using Intradiem every day. Matt is the author of the book Customer Service at a Crossroads and holds 11 software patents. He graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in industrial and systems engineering.

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Technology in the Contact Centre


customer care centres as a competitive advantage By Cameron Dow


he call centre, or customer care centre, is often the poor cousin to the more high profile customer focused parts of a company, like marketing and advertising. Frequently outsourced—sometimes underresourced – customer care centres are often viewed as a cost centre rather than an opportunity to create more value for the company, whether in terms of a hard return on investment or competitive advantage with respect to customer service. Part of this perception is based on the very nature of why people connect with customer care centres. With an increased focus on web-based self-help (both by companies themselves looking to cut costs

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and consumers’ growing inclination to look to the internet for solutions), a large percentage of call centre interactions are based on an individual’s inability to find a solution elsewhere, whether it is to rectify a billing problem, get a product fixed or get information that is either unavailable on the web or is so hard to find that a call is viewed as an easier solution. So if you think about why people call, you can see that the customer care centre faces some rather unique and daunting challenges. After all, who actually looks forward to picking up the phone to dial a 1-800 number? In a best case scenario the caller is coming in neutral – simply looking for information on a product or service that they cannot find elsewhere. More commonly however, the caller is coming in with a level of frustration associated with the task: something is wrong and they need a person to help fix it. Throw in the typical customer care centre touch tone menu and by the time the customer care employee is actually speaking to the customer the situation has digressed. The simple fact is that is that the customer care centre is not only the frontline of a company’s personal interactions with its customers but also a fantastic opportunity to gain market intelligence, strengthen customer relationships and, when properly managed, upsell and cross sell customers. To make all this work seamlessly a company needs two things: great call centre employees and great technology. This piece will look at the latter. Customer care centres vary dramatically in the size and scope of the problems they address. Some have very high call volumes with straightforward solutions for the majority of inquiries, others have fewer calls but far more complex issues to solve, and still others have high volumes of complex issues. But all of them follow a few basic tenants. The core tenants focus on reactive, issues management: What happened? What is the problem? How can it be fixed?

Issue 1

Technology in the Contact Centre At a slightly higher level are those that are more predictive in nature. Why are the calls happening? What will be the business impact be if this trend continues? What will happen next (both from a business/product perspective and a customer retention perspective)? And finally, what is the best case scenario for this and similar queries?

People, people, people Before companies look too far into the predictive side of customer care centre interactions (from an overall business perspective) they need to deal with what is often the most elusive problem for call centres: staffing. How many people will we need, when will we need them and what levels of expertise will we need to have available? These challenges, of course, also require predictive capabilities and to address them customer care centres need forecasting technology powerful enough to process what is often millions of customer interactions a month while at the same time granular enough to support the multiple layers that allow detailed, fast and accurate segmentation of the types of requests that are coming in. By funneling structured customer care centre information into powerful analytics tools, managers can improve strategic and tactical planning while lowering operational costs and improving operational efficiencies. Structured information would include what time the call came in, when it was answered, who answered it, and how long it took to resolve the issue. This information, when properly analyzed can give managers an accurate sense of who needs to be available and when, in order to most efficiently optimize customer care centre scheduling. The data can also identify the sequence of how problem s are solved and help to better educate customer care employees with the goal of increasing the percentage of first call problem resolution. The diamonds in the rough, however, are often found in unstructured data. This is the information, often in text form, gathered in during the conversations with customers. It can offer specific insight as to why the customer has a problem, which can be invaluable. One SAS client actually hired grad students to read call notes. It was both costly and slow. Today they use powerful text analytics technology capable of analyzing unstructured data and categorizing it. The process is fully automated so it can be done much faster and more accurately. With the manual version issues were categorized into one of 16 buckets. Text analytics software created two new categories and within one of those categories the company unearthed a major defect in one of their products – a defect that until then had gone unnoticed as it was being improperly categorized. Issue 1

By analyzing all the data customer care centre managers can easily identify patterns and themes (for the less tech savvy the information can be presented visually) as well as outlier issues that may need special attention.

Customer care no longer in a silo If a customer care centre is the starting point for managing and gaining value from unstructured data then social media is the Holy Grail. With millions of tweets, Facebook posts and Pinterest Pins every day, the scope of the information can be overwhelming. Of course only a limited percentage of posts would be of interest to the average company but that small percentage can be a gold mine – and an early warning system. For a certain generation of Canadians the first thing they do when they have a problem with a product or service is to comment about it on social channels. By pulling in social content (as well as live, online customer chats), customer care centres will have a better understanding of what issues need to be solved, and where and how they are occurring. All companies have customer care problems – the key to success is to solve them quickly and effectively. Given the amounts of data available to a company through customer care and social channels the only way to stay ahead of the curve and gain value from the information available is to integrate all of it and let advanced analytics analyze it. With the right technology in place customer care centres can become a strategic corporate asset. They can supply marketers with accurate and up-to-date information in order to better understand customers, become an effective early warning system designed to quickly identify unknown product or service issues, and develop into an additional resource to upsell and cross sell customers. The best customer care centres are prepared for unusually busy times and slow times as well; they plan for changing market conditions instead of merely reacting and they account for the nature and timing of marketing campaigns, public holidays or even how a big sporting event might affect call volumes – think cable providers and the Stanley Cup playoffs. With data analytics customer care centres can not only forecast what will happen and when it will happen – but also why. Cameron Dow is the Vice President of Marketing for SAS’ operations in Canada and Latin America. As head of marketing, Mr. Dow is responsible for growing SAS’ market share in targeted industries through the development and execution of the go-to-market strategy. Mr. Dow is also a key contributor to the overall business strategy for the SAS subsidiaries.

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gtacc 2013 conference Take it to the NEXT level!

Please join us on Friday November 8th. This will be a day of motivation, best practices, emerging trends and all the inspiration you need to get to THE NEXT LEVEL! The Greater Toronto Area Contact Centre Association Conference will be covering a broad range of topics so that there is something for everyone.


November 8th, 2013 tiMe:

8:00 am to 5:00 pm EST location:

Pearson Convention Center, 2638 Steeles Avenue East, Brampton ON L6T 4L7 accoMModations:

Hilton Garden Inn Toronto/ Brampton, 2648 Steeles Ave. East, Brampton, ON L6S 6J9 Tel: (905) 595-5151 To check for updates, purchase tickets and take advantage of the EARLY BIRD pricing, visit!

Morning Keynote - Michael “Pinball” Clemons! Few people exemplify the qualities of personal excellence, teamwork, community leadership, and overcoming the odds better than CFL legend Michael “Pinball” Clemons. With boundless energy, Pinball’s talks centre on the potential for each of us to achieve anything we set our minds to. Unabashedly emotional and impactful, he shows audiences how to put heart into everything they do. guest speaKer - D. John Jackson, Vice President of Global Customer Services Strategy, Planning, Engineering, Innovation & Customer Identity at FedEx. The Right Now World….How Will You Lead” Key points of discussion are as follows: • Understanding changes in technology and the changing marketplace • Realizing the importance of innovation • Exploring the competitive landscape • Creating a thriving environment to unleash creativity and innovation • Leadership in the changing marketplace social Media - The Next Level! Andrew Gillespie of Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts, Gina Mulic of Rogers Communications, and Evelyn Chan of ING Direct Mobile coMMerce and the Customer Experience, with Aran Hamilton, VentureGrower

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WFM strategies: Common challenges - exceptional solutions! Dean Turchiaro, Scotiabank International and Marco Sciarra, Bell Canada



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the president’s panel - Visionary Leaders Taking Teams to the Next Level • Bryan Pearson - President and CEO, LoyaltyOne Inc. • Joe Poulin - President and CEO, Luxury Retreats

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A portion from every ticket sale will be donated to: Daily Bread Food Bank and Room to Read

For more information on the Greater Toronto Area Contact Centre Association 2013 Conference Please contact: Sangeeta Bhatnagar • 416-564-0399 •

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Issue 1


Need Advice? Ask Affy!


Like most organizations, we reward leaders who meet or exceed targets. Our results seem to fluctuate and bounce around. It is frustrating for all levels of our organization. How do I stop this fluctuation and sustain the gains that I have made? ~Bob who is bobbing around


Great question but not an easy answer. To keep it simple, I will give you the first step in our ‘secret sauce’ to sustainability. It is simply to focus 70% of your First Line Leaders (FLL) time on activities that directly link to positive change in rep behaviour. The typical reaction I get when I respond to this question is, “We already do that. We spend the majority of our time coaching! What more can we do?” When we peel back a layer we often find that leaders think that they are coaching when they are merely preaching or teaching. Most organizations devote very little time to effective coaching, which we know without a doubt to drive change in rep behaviour and is linked directly to sustainability of results. In most organizations, performance evaluation of FLL is typically event driven versus using first hand observation of HOW a First Line Leader develops rep skill. In fact, most Second Line Leaders have little qualitative criteria at their fingertips, which in turn force them to look for random events to make an assessment or ask FLLs to write their own annual performance evaluations. So what’s the solution? How do we better evaluate and stay closer to WHAT our FLL are doing (their daily actions and behaviours) and HOW they are leading and getting results (or not). If we only evaluate them on metrics (a lagging evaluation) and have no idea about HOW Front Line Leaders are coaching reps, we will never get to root cause understanding of rep behaviour. Without that critical piece of knowledge, you will not be able to control your KPI fluctuation. There are a few ways we can improve this situation: 1. Re-think what you measure - don’t just measure the average of your FLL’s team performance; any mathematician can calculate that 3-4 high performers will boost a team’s average performance results. • Instead measure the percentage of frontline employees that are above target AND compare how many are better than they were three months ago. This would show the incremental gains that point to Issue 1

migrate consistent leadership and a focus on rep skill development. 2. Everyone in the Pool -do you know how much time FLLs spend with ALL their reps? Usually they spend more time with the third who are “easy” to work with and may keep their distance from the tougher, more tenured two-thirds. • Effective coaching is when your FLL is working on each rep on his team to improve every week … even middle and top-performers! 3. Get Close - the Second Line Leader (2LL) needs to answer some key questions about their FLLs: • How well does she coach and run a team huddle (is she having huddles?) • Does she handle daily issues without adding to the drama? • Does she diagnose why results are going up or down in her team? • Are you observing your FFL coach or just meeting to review their results and then waiting for these random events to occur. 4. Survey the internal client – the rep - the big annual employee survey is okay, but a quarterly short form survey specific to the FLL relationship with her team will give you insight on how she is leading day in and day out and how the team feels about her leadership. Knowing that the number one reason that people quit their jobs is “I don’t like my boss”, quarterly frequency of surveying will allow you to provide active support to help your leaders to improve today and not a year from now. In a nutshell, Bob, the busyness in our operations leaves our Second Line Leaders too little time to clearly understand the daily actions that FLL take to lead their teams. We need to be close to those leaders who are consistent and effective in leading and coaching their reps to beat their personal best. It is those leaders who will make the biggest difference to your organization and will ensure that you sustain your gains. You get what you applaud - so acknowledge and reward your FLL’s consistent daily behaviours in building and maintaining rep skill in sales and service and watch your results soar.

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31,133 square feet of contiguous commercial space available. ❱ The site is owned and managed by Crombie REIT. ❱ Fibre optic connections are available in Port Colborne from Bell Canada, Cogeco, and the Niagara Regional Broadband Network. ❱ Ample parking at front and rear of building with over 600 spots on site. ❱ Electrical service available to the mall is 750 kVA. Upgraded service is available.

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With affordable labour rates, no local competition, and a regional workforce of over 200,000, Port Colborne is positioned to welcome its first call centre. The city has a long list of advantages for contact centres that includes: ❱ No local call centre competition; ❱ Population of 26,000 (Port Colborne and Wainfleet); ❱ An opportunity for over 2000 more jobs meet local community needs;

❱ Workforce of over 200,000 people within a 30 minute drive; ❱ Regional economy that can support an additional 2500 call centre jobs; ❱ Knowledgeable workforce, with a higher rate of bilingualism (English and French); ❱ Available student workforce; ❱ Training programs available locally from Niagara College; ❱ Redundant fibre network with service from the major providers plus Niagara Region Broadband Network; ❱ Integrated public transit service; ❱ Located just 25 minutes from Buffalo, New York and an hour from the Greater Toronto Area.

Issue 1

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Mount Data Collecting and analyzing transactional data for improved marketing ROI By Tom Peters


ecent statistics from IDC show only 1 per cent of the world’s data is currently analyzed. Despite the enormous potential for organizations to capitalize on this intelligence, we’re only just scratching the surface of big data’s power. And not surprisingly, many companies are daunted by the mountain of data at their fingertips. But most know they have to start climbing.

The natural place to start this trek is with the information which the organization itself generates. Within that dataset is the information on what the company is doing – or not doing – to drive sales revenues while minimizing costs. For example, what marketing efforts are working and which ones aren’t. The challenge here is with the proliferation of ways to reach customers. Not that long ago, radio, TV and print advertising were the predominant vehicles to reach customers, sometimes the only tool in the kit. Today, there is a myriad of other vehicles – onsite or online promotions, mobile applications, social media, sponsorships – whose results need to be accumulated, integrated, analyzed and acted upon. And quickly because competitors are likely doing the same thing. Frequently, the availability of comprehensive empirical evidence will challenge conventional wisdom – the archetypal “well, we’ve always done things that way” approach to corporate activities. In one recent case, a major retailer wanted to take a more data-driven approach to measure the ROI of their marketing investments. In particular, they wanted to see if a specific standalone annual promotion - which they had july 2013

offered for years - had a positive ROI. By using our proprietary managed analytics solution, we were able to show how each marketing investment in the campaign related to the number of incremental units sold and then measure the ROI based on incremental gross margin. The solution provided a drill-down capability giving the client the ability to immediately assess the impact of the promotion across many dimensions including region, product category and periods, as well as in comparison to multi-channel marketing efforts. The analysis demonstrated that the client’s traditional single-channel campaign just was not delivering a good return on their investment. Rather than abandon it, management decided to support this lonely promotion with other channels and an integrated marketing campaign. The result? A 66 per cent increase in campaign net revenue. In some quarters, data analytics are viewed as a “nice to have” that they swear they’ll get around to investigating in a better economy. This is likely because the application of analytics at the very root of the business is poorly understood – IT departments know data and technology, line of business know how to make decisions off information, but rarely is there harmony between the two, and even more rare, the existence of a central analytics function that can act as the connective tissue that will drive value from the data. I’d argue that the leaner the times, the more important harnessing big data (and small data) becomes as customer insights at a higher level of granularity can have a huge impact on

customer acquisition, customer retention, share-of-wallet and increasing margins. This past year, we helped a financial institution caught in a cycle of flat campaign performance to find a new solution. Combining millions of customer records with 12-months of product transaction history, and call center and web banking activity at the customer level into a consolidated database, we helped them execute promotion targeting efforts by using the “data science” methodologies of machine-learning. The offers uncovered from looking at all this granular behavioural data simultaneously delivered an average uptake over baseline (lift) of 20 per cent. To a financial institution, this is big money. Bringing together information that is scattered but all internally held under one company roof is one exercise - and an extremely valuable one - but it’s just the start. External factors obviously influence how consumers act. Everything from stock market performance, to consumer confidence indices to weather patterns, to a competitor’s promotions can be applied to any period. Some decisions fall into the plain-as-the-nose-on-your-face category. If you sell bottled water and the long-range forecast calls for two weeks of sweltering heat, it’d probably be a pretty good idea to stock up on inventory. But what if you knew, by city, when those twoweek heat waves were likeliest to occur based on a century of data? What if you applied your own sales figures over the last ten years to that data and found out – conclusively – what consumers would be willing to

spend based on temperature? Where is all this going? How will the increased accessibility and use of data analytics affect the business world? Let me suggest that over the next ten years, businesses across a very broad range of industries will be using technology-based analytics to change pricing in real-time based on demand. For example, highway operators will have the ability to increase toll prices in real-time to reduce volumes at peak times and keep traffic flowing. Grocery stores will be able to track demand for products and inventory and adjust prices in order to manage stock levels throughout the day to maximize margins and increase sales and minimize embarrassing Out-of-Stock situations – the kiss of death to a great customer experience. In some form, exploiting current conditions has been going on for years. Gasoline prices mysteriously (not really that mysterious) move up or down, sometimes on an hourly basis, but for sure on long weekends. The stock market is perhaps the most obvious example of “on-the-fly” pricing. What am I willing to pay for one share of XYZ Company on Tuesday at 1:31 p.m.? How about

Wednesday at 10:28 a.m.? Now imagine if this kind of dynamic pricing were applied to cars or electricity or beer or cosmetics or mortgage loans. It’s all possible and moving in that direction. There will always be the room for home runs - the insanely creative marketing campaign or the completely unpredictable viral upload that captures the buying public’s imagination for a time. I emphasize “for a time”. Companies are in business all the time and in their day-to-day operations have the opportunity – perhaps the obligation - to use every bit of information available to them to grow their business. The majority of companies are still trying to figure out how to do this – some have, and they are reaping the benefits. Not every consumer decision can be reduced to an algorithm, so Company leaders still have to lead with imperfect information. But it is a fact that that the more you know and the quicker you know it are the two surest ways to conquer that mountain of data. Tom Peters is a data scientist with Deloitte and a recognized authority in data analytics.

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5 critical reasons to outsource your payments and information processing


ost savings and lower capital expenditures have historically driven the trend of outsourcing payments processing. But the realities of fierce competition and higher service expectations have many organizations taking a fresh look at outsourcing in order to improve service and profitability, as well as achieve a more predictable expense base. What these organizations are discovering is that the business case for outsourcing payments processing is better than ever – here are five reasons why.

1. REDUCED CAPITAL COSTS AND OPERATING EXPENSES Outsourcing payments processing offers savings on two types of business costs: capital expenditures and operations expenses. Organizations can save nearly all of their intended capital expenditure (facilities, hardware, software, etc.) while also gaining from longterm strategic advantages offered by their provider, such as: excess capacity and continual reinvestment in technologies, best practices, efficiencies and automation. Additionally, outsourcers typically function on a “per unit of work basis,” which minimizes traditional capital or fixed expenses associated with in-house management of your payments and information processing. 2. EASY ACCESS TO SKILLED LABOUR Resources are tight in many organizations due to economic pressures and low staff levels. Now is the time to counteract the current environment by freeing up your internal resources so they can focus on your core competencies and achieve your organizational goals. Additionally, outsourcers are the experts at what they do, having already solved many issues you have encountered through their partnerships with other organizations. Working with a service provider allows you to augment the skills of your staff with payments processing experts – and lets your employees focus on the core objectives that are most closely linked to the goals of your business. 3. INCREASE PROCESSING CAPACITY Whether it is a special campaign or seasonal fluctuations in payments, most organizations ❱

often experience extreme peaks in volumes. By working with an outsourcer, organizations do not have to create capacities to handle peak loads and then support that capacity the rest of the year. A provider also offers relief to your organization by maintaining consistent expense rates and predictable margins, while better aligning your organization’s operations with its fluctuating volumes. Service providers function as an extension of your business, relieving capacity worries so you can manage the core of your business and plan for future initiatives. 4. EXPEDITE FUNDS AND INFORMATION AVAILABILITY In today’s highly competitive marketplace, expedited funds and information availability is critical. Outsourcing ensures that your funds are deposited quickly and information is processed in an efficient manner, delivering more customer data to your organization, in less time. With daily funds balancing and depositing, you can rest assured that your receivables are processed with accuracy and speed to drive your business forward. Outsourcers also typically support a variety of payment methods and documents sent to your lockbox, acknowledging your receivables and allowing you to make the most of your customer information. By partnering with a provider, your organization can capture more data than ever before. 5. IMPROVED CUSTOMER SERVICE Organizations now have the ability to capture more information quickly, enabling them to more effectively market and serve their customer base. Outsourcing providers typically utilize sophisticated software applications to make customer data more accessible and maximize all information provided to your organization. This allows organizations to get to know their customers on an individual level, further enhancing their marketing efforts. With the combination of fierce competition, economic concerns, rising internal cost pressures and the increasing focus on business objectives, organizations will fuel continued growth in outsourced payment processing over the next several years. In order to strive and thrive, these businesses will need to develop relationships with third parties who can manage these operational processes. I can assure you that the combination of economies of skill and scale to reduce costs and drive significant revenue will not easily be found in-house. For 40 years, CDS Global has been a leading provider of outsourced business solutions to multiple industries, delivering an array of innovative and flexible eCommerce, order management, fulfillment, payment processing and marketing services. Learn more at

Meeting the needs of the increasingly mobile Credit Union members

By Matt Cotter, SVP, D+H USA


redit unions and community banks are used to competing with a handful of very large financial institutions down the street, but now they have new challengers to their business, in places near and far. Thanks to the Internet, the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, and a growing consumer acceptance of conducting financial transactions online, the competition now comes from all across the country – and even from businesses you would never have even associated with banking in the past.

Today’s financial institutions – no matter how big or small – must be able to offer their customers the services they want, whenever they want, on whatever devices they want to use. And they need to do that in a way that still offers personalized service, even when the customer is accessing the website or mobile app in the middle of the night from the other side of the world. If financial institutions don’t enable that mobility, many of those customers will take their business to someone else who does. It’s not just the youth cohort – the so-called Gen-X, Gen-Y and Millennials – who are driving this move toward mobile. While the Filene Research Institute has found that 30 per cent of the under-30 demographic use mobile platforms monthly (and about 40 per cent have never even visited a branch!), D+H’s own research shows that more than a third of roughly a million online mortgage applications submitted through our Mortgagebot Enterprise Direct software in 2012 were filed by people over 50 years old. Credit Unions and their members are starting to catch up. Currently, the uptake rate for mobile banking among Credit Union members is below the financial industry average, but the Aite Group has found mobile usage is the fastest growing service among members. It now expects over 90 per cent of Credit Unions will be offering some form of mobile banking by the end of 2013 and that about a quarter of Credit Union members will be using those services. While this aggressive investment is encouraging, the challenge for many Credit Unions will be deepening their mobile offerings with the functionality and range of available services to a youthful customer base who simply july 2013

payments expect it to be so. At the same time, Credit Unions need to enable their employees to work in a mobile environment. Customers expect personalized service even when accessing a financial institution remotely and outside normal business hours. Although account representatives and loan officers can’t be at their desks 24 hours a day, seven days a week, they need to be able to respond to mobile and online enquiries in a timely manner, and they need to be able to access the software they use on their desktop, regardless of which devices they’re using when they’re outside the office. Putting in place the necessary software, communications and IT infrastructure to meet the expectations of today’s increasingly mobile customers and staff can seem like a daunting – and expensive – task for many smaller institutions that lack scale or resources. That’s why financial technology services (FinTech) companies like D+H are becoming key strategic and innovation partners for credit unions and community banks. In developing and delivering tailored, integrated programs and solutions, these technology partners are helping credit unions and community banks to grow their businesses through improved customer service, both at the front end and behind the scenes. At the same time, they are helping to ensure that clients meet both strict security standards and stringent regulatory reporting requirements. At D+H, we have focused our efforts on SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions that allow small- and medium-sized institutions to compete effectively against even the biggest banks while enhancing the customer relationship and improving the customer service experience. SaaS solutions are more easily and cost effectively activated, and allow credit unions and community banks to provide on-demand 24/7 sales and service to their clients in a “pay as you go” format while transforming customer service structures from fixed to variable cost. SaaS represents the best - and perhaps the only - way to go for smaller institutions who want to grow and who want to compete on equal terms with giants many times their size. It’s in keeping with the very business model upon which credit unions were founded: a group of members spreading the risk and the investment to create a centralized function that meets a need and provides a desired service. july 2013

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Know your customers… Before they step up to the sales counter By Shauna Emerson-O’Neill


arketers’ ability to collect disparate, but relevant information on consumers to better understand their consumer shopping behaviour is relatively new. Until fairly recently, the information available had limits, most sales data was collected at the time of transaction, and collecting it required a point of sale (POS) system. As a result, marketers relied largely on customers’ past purchases to predict future actions. And analysis enabled companies to drive additional post-purchase shopping trips or incremental product purchases by determining the most attractive promotions.

Times have changed. Marketers now have access to much more customer data during the entire customer purchase cycle, including the awareness, investigation, and consideration stages. The explosion of information on individual consumers, whether through their web browsing, social media, or location-based data, means that marketers can start knowing their consumers’ preferences and concerns long before those individuals step up to the sales counter. In fact, stepping up to the counter may be a misnomer: Most consumers already use multiple channels to shop. As an example, consider how an automotive dealer might use data gathered before a shopper visits a showroom. The shopper may visit the manufacturer’s site, looks at three different models, browses a number of available features, uses a dealership lookup tool, enters a promotion code from a magazine for a free leather keychain, and schedules a test drive. The dealer now has a strong assortment of information about the consumer, including propensity to be upsold optional features, reading habits (someone entering a promotion code from the Globe & Mail may look very different than someone entering a promotion code from a Sun newspaper), level of interest (based off the amount of time the prospect spend on the website), as well as affluence indicators (someone accessing the manufacturer’s mobile site from the latest iPhone may have more disposable income than someone browsing the standard website from a desktop computer). Now consider what a trained automobile salesperson could do with this information once the prospect sets foot in the dealership. This is the power and importance of analyzing data on consumers beyond only the purchase transaction data. Consultants have labeled marketers’ embrace of this phenomenon an “omni-channel” strategy, but the new name implies this is a cutting-edge philosophy: In reality, these activities are quickly becoming table stakes for marketers. Consultants correctly note that the data world is much more robust than ever before. But consultants get it wrong by not focusing on clarity of purpose. Marketers must

avoid falling into the traps of collecting data for collection’s sake or allowing gathered data to drive strategy. Instead, marketers must remember that data are tools, and let business priorities dictate data collection and use activities. Designing smart data strategies in support of business priorities may be table stakes, but the cost of joining the game has gotten higher. Always-on marketing, in which consumers are accessible through their mobile devices whether in transit, enjoying leisure activities, or communicating with their friends, is now a reality. But merely because marketers have the ability to reach consumers at all times – whether the consumers are in the sales cycle or not – does not mean doing so is wise. Marketers must use data responsibly when building longterm engagement within an environment of permission and trust. According to proprietary Aimia research, three out of every five Canadians say the volume of digital messages has increased during the past year. This onslaught has consumers searching for relevancy. Marketers need to respect their customer’s preferences and provide them with tangible value to avoid harming the brand. The same research noted that the majority of consumers don’t mind when marketers use lifestyle and shopping behaviour data to deliver more relevant offers. Still, 57 percent of respondents prefer to receive communications from a brand once a week, as opposed to a constant bombardment. In a paper discussing our proprietary digital loyalty research, we note that the key to aligning consumer and marketer interests depends on how well marketers manage data along two primary axes: control and engagement. Control indicates the degree to which consumers feel they can decide how their data is used for marketing purposes. In some cases, they’ll yield control for benefits: Marketers can generate trust through transparency and the added value of their marketing efforts. Engagement reflects how marketers use customer data to build relationships based on trust, commitment, and reciprocity. The goal is being able to communicate with the customer in a manner that demonstrates understanding of their preferences. A loyalty mechanism, in conjunction with a robust data analytics strategy, which rewards not only for desired behaviours but also recognizes those moments where there is risk to the foundations of the relationship, should now stretch across all brand interactions. Without the ability to gather information and identify cross-channel customer behaviour, businesses cannot expect to provide a strong, consistent experience that drives trusting and committed relationships to their brands. They cannot expect to truly know their customers. Shauna Emerson-O’Neill is SVP Strategy & Business Innovation at Aimia ❰

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“I want it. I’ll buy it … online.” How retailers can influence their customers to buy in-store instead of online with a competitor By Kevin O’Brien


photo by Gary Tannyan

ith more and more consumers evaluating their potential purchases in-person before ultimately buying online, showrooming is causing a profound shift in the way retailers interact with their customers. While some retailers have tried a variety of tactics to encourage in-store shopping instead of purchasing from a competitor online – including price matching, improved customer service, and exclusive offers – others recognize the unique opportunity that showrooming presents. These retailers are quickly learning that there are tangible benefits to properly utilizing new consumer behaviour to drive increased loyalty to their brand. Despite what many retailers may think, consumers who showroom are actually more loyal customers than nonshowroomers. According to research conducted by Aimia, a global leader in loyalty and the operator of the Aeroplan rewards program, showroomers are more likely to use mobile channels for program communication; participate in loyalty programs; promote programs

on their social networks; and select brands that offer rewards. This affords numerous opportunities for retailers to engage these customers in new and meaningful ways. However, in order to capitalize on this potential, it’s important to understand the persona of a typical showroomer. Roughly one-in-five consumers admit to showrooming and most are part of the Millennial Generation (ages 19 – 29). The typical showroomer is male with a median age of 26. Digital enthusiasts, they tend to over-index on every digital device (i.e. smartphone, laptop, tablet) and social platform, in addition to being quick to interact online, whether advocating for a brand or exposing price discrepancies. Interestingly, these customers appreciate value exchange and are more willing to exchange personal data for rewards and recognition. To-date, retailers in North America have responded to showrooming in a variety of ways. Big box companies, such as Best Buy Canada and Target, have battled online retail behemoths like for years. In May 2012,

Kevin O'Brien of AIMIA ❱

Target Corporation announced that it would stop selling Amazon’s Kindle e-reader device. Furthermore, Best Buy Canada and Target offered to match any price found on Amazon and other large online outlets. There is a perception that showrooming is having a negative impact on some retailers and it has even been suggested as the cause for the recent surprise closure of fifteen Best Buy and Future Shop locations across Canada. In other global markets, some retailers have responded to showrooming with even more aggressive measures. In March 2013, a Brisbane, Australia-based business specializing in gluten-free groceries issued a policy charging a $5 fee for in-store browsing. The fee would then be deducted from the cost of any in-store purchase, according to the notification affixed to the store’s front door. With all this negative noise, it’s easy to miss the relevant research and the more recent case studies pointing to the benefits of embracing showrooming. Here are four strategies for embracing showroomers that I encourage all retailers to consider incorporating into their retail models: Deploy the OPiuM strategy. OPiuM stands for “Other People’s Money” and can be a key component to your company’s loyalty strategy. Let your partners and suppliers help you adapt to showrooming. Ask if they would consider offering exclusive in-store items. Are your suppliers willing to offer bonus reward points to your members in return for exclusive marketing opportunities? Remember that you are not the only one that has a vested interest in keeping the traditional retail model alive and avoiding a scenario where retail is dominated by a few large online players. Work with your partners to find a solution that works for both of you. Use hard benefits to reward desired behaviour. The value of hard benefit rewards, such as loyalty currency, lies in the currency’s function as a lever to influence customer behaviour. When showroomers use their mobile devices to research a big-ticket item, you should invite them to join your reward program and entice them with a bonus offer on their first purchase. Following that transaction, offer rewards based on the product list price, such as a price-matching guarantee. Or perhaps reward customers for using social media to advocate on behalf of your brand. Get creative; the cost of

offering reward points is far less than what you are losing on showroomed products. Link soft benefits to upper-tier smart phone users. If you have a mobile application, combine your loyalty and mobile app data to identify your most valuable customers and reward them appropriately. Offer them soft benefits such as access to exclusive events, location-based offers, and other privileges. If you are sold out of a particular product, offer these customers free shipping when they order the item from your online store. If they prefer to pick up the item in-store, it offers you the opportunity to provide an outstanding customer experience and a chance to potentially up-sell them on something better. Think like a big online retailer. Your customers are already using their mobile devices in your store, so consider launching your own showrooming application that combines price transparency with product reviews while making it easy to link to their social media properties. It may seem counter-intuitive to help your customers find the best price, even if it belongs to your competitor. However, the app would only be offered to loyalty members so they could receive exclusive price-matching deals or offers for double reward points for making in-store purchases. The upside is that every action conducted within your app is data that you can analyze. This customer insight is far more useful than an online purchase that you would not have received in the first place. Indeed, there are other solutions beyond loyalty programs that can help your business adapt and harness showrooming behaviour. It is important for retailers to remember that showroomers are a loyal cohort. As consumers become more reliant on mobile devices to navigate their lives, showrooming is not going to disappear any time soon. This is why retailers need to view showrooming as an opportunity to strengthen customer loyalty instead of as a threat to their business. Kevin O’Brien is the Chief Commercial Officer

of Aeroplan Canada, leading all commercial aspects of Aeroplan’s business with a mandate to drive growth by continuing to foster member engagement through new and innovative products and programs. He is also responsible for developing strong partner relationships and delivering value that enables Aeroplan’s partners’ success. july 2013


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Case Study:

MasterCard World Campaign Shows ‘Priceless’ Can Be Found Everywhere By Nicole Avery


he MasterCard brand has long been synonymous with priceless experiences - experiences that money just can’t buy. The latest MasterCard marketing program took that emotional brand positioning and extended it to fix a business challenge for the company. The fact is that no credit card is more accepted around the world than MasterCard, but many consumers don’t know that. Challenge: Create awareness of the universality of MasterCard acceptance in a “priceless” way that also creates new opportunities for brand engagement with consumers through social/ digital channels. Insight: Our cardholders are people who want to get the most out of life. They want to be able to use their card wherever life may take them because they cannot always predict where they will go in search of their next priceless moment.

spot is intend to leave the viewer with the understanding that because MasterCard is truly accepted everywhere, it will be there whenever you need it. The spot airs on several networks, including CTV, Global and CBC. It’s supported online with homepage takeovers featuring ads on and, while print ads will run in publications such as Maclean’s, Chatelaine and enRoute. Additional campaign elements include a mobile buy through Say Media, and ads on airplanes and in airports across Canada. Because engaging with cardholders in a more direct way is a key part of how we market, an integrated social piece was a must for this campaign. That’s why we launched a companion social media contest, called the #mastercardhere Project. The program encourages consumers to upload pictures of the purchases they’ve made with MasterCard all over the globe, via Twitter or Instagram, with the hashtag “#mastercardhere”. For their submission customers will have the chance to

win weekly prizes of $1000 or the grand prize of a $10,000 vacation for two to the Priceless City of their choice. To showcase and help consumers visualize all of the places globally MasterCard is accepted we created, a website that shows a map of all the geotagged MasterCard purchases. It’s a simple idea that immediately reinforces the broad acceptance of MasterCard while engaging consumers in a fun and relevant way. Outcome: MasterCard strives to enable priceless experiences for its cardholders. By reinforcing MasterCard’s ubiquitous global acceptance, this campaign reminds consumers that they can use MasterCard wherever life may take them, so no matter where they are in the world they won’t have to miss out on a priceless moment. Nicole Avery is the Vice President of Consumer & Digital

Marketing at MasterCard Canada

Execution: The spot, which began airing March 18th, starts with an adventurous family as they step off a water shuttle and survey a small picturesque Spanish town, a destination that’s more exotic than a weekend at the cottage, but one that many Canadians in our target audience can easily imagine themselves visiting. As the water shuttle pulls away, the young daughter realizes she has forgotten her beloved travel companion, a stuffed monkey, aboard the shuttle. She is heartbroken. Without missing a beat her father sets off to scour the town, MasterCard in hand, for a replacement so that he can bring the twinkle back to his daughter’s eye. Because this is a relatable situation for any parent, we find ourselves rooting for the father as he looks high and low through the colourful markets, shops and laneways of the town. Each time he thinks he has found a possible solution he purchases it with his MasterCard and presents it to his daughter. But no matter how many monkeys the father finds, his daughter remains forlorn. Finally just when the father seems to be completely out of answers (and monkeys) it’s the daughter who spies the new love of her life, a Hippo in a tutu, being pushed down the lane on a street vendor’s cart.  The july 2013 ❰

// 20 group of consumers. General research has found a few common characteristics among Millennials, they are impulse shoppers, tech-savvy, and able to multitask unlike any generation before. One thing is certain, they have started to become the driving force behind the one thing every business must have: Revenue.

Is mCommerce the answer for millennials? Organizations must have a multichannel digital strategy so that they can capture the Millennial Generation’s vast purchasing power. Who is this generation of consumers? What are their common traits? Just how much influence do they have? By Andrew Clachers

In brief, 26 per cent of Canadians belong to the Millennial generation. They buy products on impulse, are techsavvy, and have the ability to multi-task. Their purchasing power amounts to 23 billion dollars annually, but only if you can engage with them. Thus, using a multichannel digital strategy with an emphasis on mobile commerce will help motivate a purchase decision.



very business is aware of the demographic cohort known as the Millennial Generation. Or at least they should be. Some of their employees and most of their consumers belong to this group. Otherwise known as The Echo Boomers, Generation Next, Gen Y, or The Net Generation—just to name a few—were born between 1980 and 2000. However, there is still debate about the exact beginning and ending years. There are about 9 million Echo Boomers living in Canada, which accounts for 26 per cent of the entire population. This massive demographic is only comparable to the Baby Boomer Generation, allowing them to have the same, if not more, power to influence the country. Additionally, traditional marketers will need to revamp the channels they normally use to target segments, in order to attract the Millennial audience. A substantial amount of marketing research is being conducted lately regarding Generation Next; yet, there is still more to be learned about this next

Their purchasing power What do you get when you mix 9 million Canadians aged 13 to 33, and an impulse purchasing behaviour? A vast amount of eligible consumer spending. Over 23 billion is up for grabs by any company, as long as they can capture the cohort’s attention. Being born during the invention of the Internet, these tech-savvy individuals have full control over research, reviews, and ratings of products. Combining that with mobile devices grants them the ability to find out just how fantastic, or terrible, a product is while viewing it at a brick and mortar outlet. Breaking through all this noise is a challenge every marketer faces when motivating a Millennial to make a purchase decision. Everywhere they go Engagement is key when it comes to targeting the multi-tasking Generation Y, and mobile is the solution. They want full control anywhere, time, and place: walking on the street, sitting on a park bench, in a classroom, on a bus or train. Providing them with the power to make a purchase decision at their fingertips, the very second they want it, will lead to more online conversions and sales for your business. One of the best practices of mCommerce is to build an app that engages consumers with a brand, which does not sell to them—that’s what your mobile browser is for. This makes a lot of sense when trying to generate brand awareness with this generation. At the same time you are positioning your brand as fun, interactive, and definitely not boring. This results in Millennial brand loyalty, which as everyone knows leads to repeat purchases. Conversely, if your company does create an app to sell on, be sure to research the Lodsys patent on in app purchases before you develop it. GPS integration is another effective tool for retailers to utilize the high engagement capability of mobile devices. Though due to privacy laws, you must first get the customer to opt-in, but if you already have a fun app, that part should be easier than you think. Multi-channel digital strategy Why is having a digital strategy important for gaining Millennial customers?

Consider this: in a research study titled R U Ready 4 Us? conducted by Abacus Data Incorporated, “Millennials would rather give up their sense of smell than their cell or smart phone.” Crazy? Maybe to another generation, but to this one it’s a way of life. Technology in general is a big part of their daily routine, and almost every Millennial will have more than one device. It is not unusual for them to have cell phone on the nightstand beside a tablet while surfing the Internet on their laptop in bed. Therefore, your digital strategy must be multi-channeled across all devices and operating systems. The highly interactive capability of today’s mobile devices will allow your business to engage more with Gen Y consumers, so more focus should be on mCommerce. Try developing a game that will allow them to achieve points, which can be later converted into discounts, rebates, or even gift cards. Differentiation and discounts are two factors that will attract every Millennial to your business, and if they have fun, be prepared to go viral across social media. However, be careful because social media is a doubleedged sword; if you don’t fulfill your promises, your company will go viral for the wrong reasons. Referring back to GPS integration, the possibilities are endless with this approach. Imagine being able to break through all the noise when a consumer walks into a busy shopping mall by sending them 10 per cent off their next purchase within the hour. Not only will you attract the customer, but also by giving a time constraint you ensure one of the first stores they visit will be yours. In brief, 26 per cent of Canadians belong to the Millennial generation. They buy products on impulse, are tech-savvy, and have the ability to multi-task. Their purchasing power amounts to 23 billion dollars annually, but only if you can engage with them. Thus, using a multichannel digital strategy with an emphasis on mobile commerce will help motivate a purchase decision. The age of traditional brick and mortar retailing has already begun to crumble from the wrecking ball of mobile and electronic commerce. With Millennials in the driving seat, marketers will face difficult challenges on the road ahead. Andrew Clachers is the Marketing Communications Manager at Corporation. He has a passion for marketing, and constant thirst for knowledge. Andrew attends conferences to stay informed of the cutting-edge trends and techniques used in his field. Avetti Commerce has provided fast eCommerce solutions for over 10 years to clients around the world. Contact Andrew at andrewc@, or visit july 2013

Mobile commerce

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In 2012, retailers increased their investment in smartphone initiatives by over 250 per cent and 91 per cent of retailers were funding a tablet strategy.


Is mobile marketing’s Holy Grail? By Peter Albers, President,


arketing professionals have long sought the ability to deliver the right content, at the right time, in the right way to their audience. Have we found our holy grail in mobile? One thing is for certain. Mobility has changed our audiences, their behaviors, and the computing experience forever. Cloud technology means that vast amounts of data can be easily stored and accessed anywhere, anytime. Morgan Stanley analysts predict that by 2014, more consumers will access Internet content via mobile devices than PCs. In this new reality, smartphones and tablets are the primary devices consumers are using for consumption and, well, just about everything else. A comScore study found that 4 out of 5 smartphone users use their device to shop. As a result, brands have already begun shifting advertising dollars from online to mobile. Similarly, mobile couponing has become a topic of interest (and investment); hundreds of couponing apps and aggregators exist today and the list continues to grow. But the flurry of activity around mobile to date is just the tip of the iceberg, says Chris Quinlan, CEO of The Ohana Companies, a promotional marketing company powering rebate, rewards and incentives programs for retailers, service-providers, and manufacturers. “The infrastructure is now in place to support the kind of one-to-one, data-driven marketing retailers and manufacturers used to dream about. Now, those dreams are real possibilities.” CNN’s mobile analyst Stephanie Hospital agrees and cites three reasons that mobile offers huge potential for promotional marketing, “It is often the last touch-point before a purchase. Secondly, it is the ‘connective tissue’ linking and integrating other media formats. Finally, mobile is more personal, more social and more local than any other media.” Savvy retailers are hungry to harness the opportunity mobile offers and are adapting to the mobile market. In 2012, retailers increased their investment in smartphone initiatives by over 250 per cent and 91 per cent of retailers were funding a tablet strategy according to a report. What are those investments driving towards? Of course, the goal is more sales, but the hope is more sales driven by a more elegant consumer experience. july 2013

“It’s very exciting to have the ability to use real data about what a consumer has previously purchased to make specific, relevant offers to them on their smartphone while they are at a retailer’s location,” says Quinlan. Checking in on their smartphone while shopping is exactly how consumers today are behaving. A recent Google study of smartphone users found that 70% of users use their smartphones while in the store. The same study found that search was the fourth most popular activity among users on their phones (behind photos, browsing, and email). The majority of smartphone users surveyed were conducting searches on a daily basis, and sixty percent of their searches were aimed at finding information about products. Advances in mobile are likely to serve as a huge catalyst for innovation within the marketing and promotional realm. Quinlan’s team works with manufacturers and retailers to help them develop loyal customers for the full customer lifecycle. “Our clients are always looking for opportunities to drive ‘incrementals’ through their programs… incremental revenues, incremental loyalty, incremental customer satisfaction. Mobile offers a new channel to add to the mix, and we believe it has the potential to be very successful for a wide variety of our customers.” A fully-integrated mobile program would allow consumers to have a better, more personalized, more successful shopping experience, with all pertinent information accessible at their fingertips. Instead of disparate activities and a bit of serendipity—browsing online to find prices and read reviews, making a purchase in-store, filling out a paper-based rebate, waiting for a paper check, stumbling across a “good” coupon in the mail, remembering to return to the same store for the next purchase — mobile offers a way to bring all of these consumer activities together and create a more streamlined experience. With mobile, the consumer can easily interact and keep track of their shopping activity through personalized applications focused on retail. Bringing activities together is a key focus for retailers as they design their mobile experiences. Many favor a modular approach, where they can customize their initial mobile offering and add to it over time. Popular inclusions are mobile rebate submission and tracking, rewards in the form of a mobile wallet, or redemption options through the retailer’s m-commerce app. Thanks to the advances in mobile infrastructure, mobile deals can be data driven, and consumers are hungry for this type of interaction with retailers and manufacturers. The 2013 “The Shopping Experience in a Smartphone World” study reports that 80 per cent of smartphone users want more mobile-optimized product information while they’re shopping in stores. By designing a program that uses real point-of-sale data to determine the offers displayed to customers, retailers are able to offer highly specific, targeted promotions to their customers based on their purchase history. “Retailers are interested in being able to make their customers happy because they know that a happy customer will come back to their store. There are so many specialized loyalty solutions out there today, but they all come back to the idea of giving your customers good products, good prices and good service,” reflects Quinlan. ❰

The To ronto Email: fundrai Humane So cie sing@to rontoh ty • 11 River umanes Str ociety.c eet • Toront o• om • ww w.toro Ontario • M5A ntohum anesoc 4C2

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An importa from my frient message nds and I

in the mail

animals like Yes! ITashiwishfindto helpa lovingabandoned forever home.

The Toronto Humane Society Street • Toronto • Ontario • M5A 4C2 Ms.• 11JaRiver ne Sam• Email:

123 Any ple Toront street o, ON M2M 2M

CLIENT: The Toronto Humane Society CONTACT: Mary Bowyer

AGENCY TEAM llison Taylor, TCP Mary Bowyer, CFRE, THS Mark Johnston, TCP

For almost three years, TCP Integrated has been helping The Toronto Humane Society (THS) to accomplish its goal of providing compassionate care, shelter, adoptions and a voice for abandoned, abused and injured companion animals. THS fulfills their mission by providing food, shelter and medial care for thousands of animals every year. In 2012 they helped, and found homes for, 2,797 animals including 1,057 transfers from other shelters across Ontario and Quebec.



I prefer to give: $

(Please make cheque payable to The Toronto Humane Society)

562 965 009 6105


05-S3C-XXX-BCT 00780331

Ms. Jane Sample 123 Anystreet Toronto, ON M2M 2M2 ✁

PHONE # Donate online at:


I’ve decided to join your monthly Save the Animals Team. Please see my information on the reverse.

We have: Cat(s) Dog(s) (name) (name) Please send my tax receipt to my email address. (Please fill-in the provided box above) Please return this form with your donation in the envelope provided. Receipts will be issued for gifts of $20 or more automatically – others on request. The Toronto Humane Society, 11 River Street, Toronto, Ontario M5A 4C2 Tel: 416-392-2273 | Fax: 416-392-9978. Charitable Reg. # 11925-9513-RR0001

Tashi and his friends are looking for forever homes – and only have you to count on! Dear Allison and Bob,

New THS campaign covers all its’ bases Using variable in a whole new way results in huge leap in response rates Some Background Variable colour has been on the wish list for direct marketers for a very long time, yet it has been cost-prohibitive, especially for the not-for-profit community where every penny counts. But, by using a combination of technologies coupled with composition, expertise and secure data manipulation ‘The Variable Envelope’ is the pinnacle of 1:1 variability in the hands of the recipient. Unlike anything in the market today, this patent-pending process allows relevant creative (words, images, names, etc.) to be laid down, in full colour, on the entire front and back of the envelope (as well as the front and back of the letter/donor form). And, because this process utilizes a standard sized outer, it keeps costs manageable, thereby creating an ROI that is very successful. And, yes, the procedures Cover-All created ensure matching 100% of the time.



Allison & Bob...

Ms. Jane Sample 123 Anystreet Toronto, ON M2M 2M2

The Campaign The second in THS’s renewal effort (Renewal #2) mailed at the beginning of March, 2013 to all of the non-responders from Renewal #1. “Typically this effort doesn’t see stellar results as most of the ‘low hanging fruit’ is captured in Renewal #1” says Allison Taylor, President at TCP. “We did feel that this could be a great time to try something new, something to get our current and lapsed donors to sign back up without having to use a costly premium.” John Leonard, from Cover-All (one of TCP’s most trusted suppliers), had been talking to Taylor about a new product that would allow a very high level of personalization without the high cost usually associated with this kind of package. Intrigued, TCP wanted to know more. Turned out that the cost to personalize a closed-face outer (front and back) and the letter/donor form (front and back), was just slightly over what THS/TCP had initially ❱


My cheque or money order is enclosed.


CAMPAIGN: Renewal #2 AGENCY: TCP Integrated Marketing


budgeted. “We were able to convince the client that this high level of personalization – right up front, on the outer – would make this package hard to ignore… and we were right,” says Taylor. The Plan The Toronto Humane Society has been collecting pet names from their donors for quite some time. In each mailing sent (including acquisitions) they’ve been asking… “Tell us what kind of pet you have: dog, cat or other; and what are their names”. With this information TCP initially segmented the database into the following categories: ❯❯ dog ❯❯ cat ❯❯ dog & cat ❯❯ other (reptiles, gerbils, birds, etc.) Then they overlaid records that had pet names: ❯❯ dog with dog name ❯❯ 2 dogs with name ❯❯ 3 dogs with name ❯❯ dog with no name ❯❯ cat with cat name ❯❯ 2 cats with name ❯❯ 3 cats with name ❯❯ cat with no name “And, finally, as we wanted to chat oneon-one with our donors, we wanted to use their first name – and if a first name wasn’t available, we would default to last name,” says Taylor. “Also, if some of the records had more than three pet names, we needed to default to “& family” to ensure our headline would fit.” All this was also segmented by the ‘type’ of donor that THS was talking to - loyal, new, lapsed, etc. As this was a ‘new’ process there were some bugs that had to be worked out.


Your kind heart gives Tashi and all his friends here at the Toronto Humane Society (THS) hope. They want what all animals deserve - a kind and loving forever home. On February 14th, I had just stepped out of surgery and to my surprise a colleague left a valentine on my desk. “I wonder which vet sent it to me,” I thought - until I saw the note that accompanied it. It read, “Dr. Ward, thank you for being a Guardian Angel to all the animals at THS and helping poor Tashi. We give whatever we can because we love animals and thank you for saving Tashi and all the cats and dogs you care for. God bless you! We must keep hope alive because it’s all these innocent creatures have. M. J.” This valentine was from a donor! A complete stranger who read my letter about poor Tashi and sent their renewed support for the animals to my immediate attention. Tears of joy welled up in my eyes. What a great job I have! Not only am I privileged to work with a team committed to saving animals’ lives every day - I know we can only do it because of donors like you. It’s the love of animals and humankind that prevails here at the Toronto Humane Society and the only way Tashi and his friends at the 11 River Street shelter can have hope, is you. M.J. responded to our first appeal of the year with their most generous gift to the animals. Today, I hope that you will also renew your support for 2013 and send it back right away! And if this letter has crossed in the mail with your renewed gift, please accept my heartfelt thanks. You can be assured; the animals are counting on it. You see, every animal that arrives through our doors is unique and every day presents itself with new challenges. On any day, our clinical team will spay and neuter between 10-15 cats and dogs, perform costly dental cleaning/extractions on another 4-5 animals, give complete exams to as many as 20 new animal admissions each day as well as manage all of the animals in recovery after surgery. Not to mention - it would be a rare day when we didn’t see at least one or two emergencies through our doors requiring our immediate attention. (over please...)

The Toronto Humane Society • 11 River Street • Toronto • Ontario • M5A 4C2 • Tel: 416-392-2273

“As with most variable colour products, many small items need to mesh together and by adding the complexities of joining physical production processes (that normally don’t connect) the project is a set of moving gears,” says John Leonard, VP, Sales & Marketing at Cover-All. “The product had been in development for approximately four months and had undergone a variety of testing and samples through the different steps,” he continues. “However as is the case with any first-off endeavors there were small hurdles to overcome, such as address positioning (given the live run has no windows), having all parties understand the data requirements from an integrity (and default) and timing persepective and keeping all parties to the project timeline to meet the client’s mail date, but none were insurmountable.” The Goal The goal for this campaign, according to Taylor, was to achieve the same response as in 2012. “At stake for TCP was our reputation – if we highly recommend a package, a strategy, a tactic – it had better work! At stake for the client, especially with this high level of personalization was the chance that some of the data collected in the past may be outdated.” The Results Success! As this initiative was being measured against last years Renewal #2 – it was a resounding success. It achieved double the response, the cost to raise a dollar dropped and overall revenues increased. “We definitely are going to utilize this process again,” says Taylor. “The thinking around the water cooler is we may want to use this technique to enhance THS’s Holiday mailing.” july 2013

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Direct Marketing Magazine July 2013  
Direct Marketing Magazine July 2013