Customer engagement platform Braze has announced a new package of products under the name Braze for Commerce. Aimed at retail and e-commerce brands, Braze for Commerce seeks to deliver campaign personalization based on first-party data.
Marketers will be able to use a set of tools within Braze to collect and enhance zero- and first-party data in compliant ways, for example by using Braze Surveys to collect zero-party data (data proactively shared by the consumer), or SMS performance metrics to re-target consumers in response to behavior. Braze is also delivering Braze Segment Extensions, an advanced segmentation tool.
Braze Catalog will enable easy incorporation of product recommendations into messages across across channels. The new Braze Content Blocks for Drag and Drop Editor permits a no code approach to matching shoppers with relevant products and offers.
Why we care. Retail and e-commerce marketers are facing up to the dilemma of ever-heightening consumer expectations when it comes to personalization and relevance paired with huge pressure on third-party data collection. Zero- and first-party data are promising alternatives, although they will likely sacrifice reach for precision. Bringing tools to collect and activate that kind of data for retail and e-commerce into the Braze eco-system makes sense.
Shopify integration. Braze also announced the general availability of its Shopify integration in the Shopify App Store, offering no-code syncing on customer and purchase data.
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About The Author
Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space. He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020. Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.
This four-part series presents a framework that describes the roles and responsibilities of marketing operations leaders. This part discusses MOps leaders as psychologists, in addition to their roles as modernizers (see part 1) and orchestrators (see part 2).
Exposure to marketing during my early educational journey was limited. With a heavy math/science background, I chose the “easy” path and majored in engineering. I struggled in advanced engineering classes but thrived in electives — communications, business, organizational behavior — which was a sign for my future in marketing.
Because of my engineering background, I was fortunate to get an opportunity to join GE Healthcare through its entry-level leadership development program. There I was exposed to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
MRIs had become go-to diagnostic devices and subsequently were used in neuroscience. I was fascinated by their eventual application in fMRI: Functional MRI. These extensions helped us understand the most consequential medical mystery: how (and why) people do what they do.
fMRI uses the same underlying technology as conventional MRI, but the scanner and a medical contrast agent are used to detect increased blood flow in response to a stimulus in what is commonly referenced as “hot spots.”
fMRI reveals which of the brain’s processes “light up” when a person experiences different sensations, e.g., exposure to different images in common studies. As a result, we now know what parts of the brain are involved in making decisions.
Traditional marketing campaigns and measurement left gaps in understanding how and why people choose to buy. We were dependent on aggregated data.
With digital channels, we gain first-hand insights into an individual’s response to a stimulus, i.e., content. Here’s where the comparison picks up:
We can observe nearly anything and everything that customers or prospects do digitally.
Most customers know that we can track (almost) everything that they do.
Because of that knowledge, customers expect contextual, value-based content, forcing marketing to provide more value in exchange for the permission to track.
Our goal as marketers is to make our customers and prospects “light up” with pleasure or satisfaction at each interaction. And, we now have the technology to track it. We are effectively reading minds — just as if it were an fMRI scan.
Here’s an overview of three of the primary psychology “tactics” that every marketer should know:
Priming is the attempt to trigger a subconscious reaction to stimuli that influences our conscious decisions. The most common application is in branding and first click-through impressions. If a customer continues their journey, then the use of aspirational product or service images in content are common priming approaches.
Social proof is perhaps the most common example, given the impact of word-of-mouth influence. It is commonly seen in product reviews and ratings. Content marketing often relies on case studies and customer testimonials to hear from “people like us.”
Anchoring refers to marketing’s role in pricing and discounting. Most decisions people make are relative to the initial set of information they have received.
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MOps leaders manage the mind-reading stack
MOps leaders are modernizers that now manage the mind-reading martech stack. We then lead the orchestration efforts to analyze the response (the “scan” data) and “prescribe” the next steps of the campaign.
Two catalysts spawned the emergence for martech applications:
New channels that delivered stimulus (content) and collected responses: search, social media, retail commerce channels, etc.
Tools that organize and manage all of that response data, from foundational CRM platforms to marketing analytics and data enrichment.
These developments led to the new psychological skills that have become essential to the role of MOps leaders.
Processing and interpreting intent data is an example. ZoomInfo illustrates how B2B marketers are accessing this capability. The company now provides buying signals to marketers based on their customers’ behaviors, in addition to the basic contact information that was the origin of its business.
Intent data is already in widespread use. Six in 10 companies responding to a recent survey said they had or planned in the next year to implement intent measurement data solutions.
The top challenges for effective intent data utilization fit squarely in the role/responsibilities of MOps leaders include:
These trends support the conclusion of the first three parts of this series — that MOps leaders should aspire to be:
Psychologists who elicit responses (i.e., “light up” the brains) of customers and prospects and interpret those signals for the business.
Modernizers who adopt the technology that enables the activation of those signals.
Orchestrators who are cross-functional project managers and business partners with IT, legal and compliance.
Next time, I’ll complete the framework with a discussion of how the role of MOps leaders includes being a scientist, constantly testing and evaluating marketing efforts with teams of analytics specialists and data scientists.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.
About The Author
Milt is currently Director of Customer Experience at MSI Data, an industry-leading cloud software company that focuses on the value and productivity that customers can drive from adopting MSI’s service management solutions.
With nearly 30 years of leadership experience, Milt has focused on aligning service, marketing, sales, and IT processes around the customer journey. Milt started his career with GE, and led cross-functional initiatives in field service, software deployment, marketing, and digital transformation.
Following his time at GE, Milt led marketing operations at Connecture and HSA Bank, and he has always enjoyed being labeled one of the early digital marketing technologists. He has a BS in Electrical Engineering from UW Madison, and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management.
In addition to his corporate leadership roles, Milt has been focused on contributing back to the marketing and regional community where he lives. He serves on multiple boards and is also an adjunct instructor for UW-Madison’s Digital Marketing Bootcamp. He also supports strategic clients through his advisory group, Mission MarTech LLC.