Digital First Marketers: Q&A with Kathryn Wright, Director of Online Strategy at Discount VouchersAug 6, 2015 - by Kristine Lowery
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“Digital First Marketers” is a Q&A series devoted to marketing executives and professionals trailblazing their industry.
Kathryn Wright has well over a decade of experience in digital marketing for retail and ecommerce businesses. As the Director of Online Strategy at UK-based Discount Vouchers, she is laser-focused on creating and overseeing marketing programs that map back to a single goal: continually growing revenue. Kathryn is also in an interesting place as a marketer at Discount Vouchers, with their unique “B2B2C” affiliate model, working to distribute discounts and deals for the world’s leading retailers. At the end of the day, Kathryn and the team at DV are responsible for maintaining profitable relationships with their affiliate partners, increasing revenue for their own business and – of course – providing a valuable , relevant customer experience for their core audience. The challenge is massive. But Discount Vouchers continues to meet the needs of modern marketing with tenacity and – most importantly – results.
We recently caught up with Kathryn to pick her brain on some of the most ubiquitous topics and challenges facing marketers today…check out her answers below!
SAILTHRU: What technology are you focusing on this year that you didn’t prioritize last year?
KATHRYN WRIGHT: Personalisation across our website at Discount Vouchers is definitely our top priority. The reason why: We piloted a true personalized approach across our email marketing campaigns, and found it tremendously successful from the get-go. Bridging that same customer experience to our main website is key for us to give customers more of what they find useful. It doesn’t hurt that, ultimately, we see more engagement and revenue in return either!
Do you see the mass of customer data available today as an opportunity or a challenge?
This must be a trick questions… because it’s absolutely both! It’s a huge opportunity for smart customer segmentation, personalization, and serving the end customers better, which in turn reduces our churn and increases ROI.
The challenge is deciding what to do first with the wealth of data we have at our fingertips and try to keep it simple in the process. I think that sometimes, too much information can lead to a blindness from the simplicity of what a great, relevant customer experience can be. So for us, there’s a fine balance with using our data to iterate and optimize, but never to become a slave to the data itself and lose sight of the overall experience.
What are your marketing team’s best practices for working with your internal IT team?
We are very data-driven in our requests, so our IT team know that anything we ask for has the stats to back it up. Our “tick boxes” or main KPIs are increased engagement, increased revenue or increased efficiencies for the business, so as long as our tasks match up with these aims, everyone’s on board!
How is your company making strides towards connecting your ecosystem of channels?
We’ve recently launched our newly designed mobile site that brought it more up to date with our brand aesthetic. Since doing so, we have even more plans to personalise the sign up experience, specifically on mobile (as similar to most, we are seeing growth on mobile). We use Sailthru personalisation across the site and in emails to make sure we understand what a user is looking for in both arenas, and definitely plan to extend incorporating as many channels as possible into the mix.
What has been your biggest barrier towards adopting a full omnichannel approach to marketing?
Our main issue for a while was that we had too much data. It was from several different sources, and that made trying to decide what to keep, what was obsolete, what was distracting really difficult. It was distracting us from progress.
When we started using the Sailthru the Purchase API and personalization algorithm, it has simplified matters. Showing customers what they want and being able to measure the revenue made, as well as the normal engagement metrics, is a great place to start. The rest of the process has become clear now. Soon, we’ll be able to test more accurately what gets customers clicking and buying, and the real lifetime value of a user. Something of a holy grail for us!
What do you think will be different about the customer experience in five years?
Again, I can’t stress enough that the future for us, and for everyone, is improving personalisation, customization, and relevance. I think so many more people mentally filter out what is and isn’t useful so we’re really going to have to give the best customers a lot of love, care and attention to keep their loyalty.
I don’t believe that it’s about points and gamification. Being as useful as possible is certainly what drives me to use a site or an app. Does it make my life easier? We need to make the answer to this a resounding “Yes!” to survive.
—Kristine Lowery, Content Marketing Manager at Sailthru