5 Digital Marketing Essentials From eHarmony, Guess & Urban Airship

Here’s a recap of the highlights from our Los Angeles Digital Engagement Forum. Join us at the next one: see where we’re headed next and register today!


Marketing leaders from eHarmony, Guess and Urban Airship led the conversations at our Los Angeles Digital Engagement Forum on Thursday, on topics ranging from leveraging data to boosting loyalty to using data to drive your engagement strategy. Here are a few of the key takeaways:

1) Leverage Unique App Features to Drive Deeper Engagement & Loyalty

Guess has five apps in their portfolio at this time. They use the apps to drive customer engagement and loyalty — as well as to learn more about their most valuable customers, said Haseeb Tariq, Mobile Marketing at Guess.

Understanding the role your app can uniquely play in your overall customer engagement strategy is key to getting the most out of it, said Tariq. For example, during app onboarding, Guess asks their customers specific questions like “who are you shopping for” to better personalize and understand that customer — and apply that knowledge to communications on other channels. They also offer an app-only service: connecting with a Guess stylist who offers personalized advice and recommendations.

The app is also a powerful conduit to growing their loyalty program: customers who have taken the extra step of downloading an app are prime candidates for a deeper brand relationship.

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Haseeb Tariq, Mobile Marketing at Guess on stage with Alyssa Meritt, moderator and Head of Strategy for Urban Airship.

2) Beware of Tunnel Vision: Look to Other Industries for Ideas

If retailers are only looking at other retailers for marketing program ideas, they’re missing a big opportunity, said Tariq. If app engagement is your goal (and it should be, given that app churn rates can be brutal)  be sure you are regularly taking a long look at other apps that share that goal — especially gaming apps. Guess has added a feature called “Spin the Wheel” in their app, gamifying deals and discounts. By giving users a reason to come back to the app every day, they’ve seen an increase in daily active users — and those users have spent more than average.

3) Choose Your Data Carefully

When choosing what marketing data to look at, said Gareth Mandel, Director of Product Marketing, eHarmony, it’s good to ask the question: Is this going to change my decision or am I going to do the same thing anyway? For example, if you’re not going to change what you’re doing no matter what, is it worth doing the data analysis in the first place? If your learn that only 1% of your customers are going to be able to use a particular feature or product, will you be willing to stop offering it? Putting data to work for your team is critical — and so is looking at data through the lens of actionability.

4) Trade What’s Kind of Effective for What’s Most Effective

In the same vein, Mandel recommends brands look carefully at the opportunity cost of certain customer engagement tactics. Obviously brands can’t inundate customers with every message they could send all the time. So if a marketing tactic you’re using isn’t driving value for you and your customers, you’ve got to be willing to turn it off in exchange for something that’s better. Doing that is a key part of making sure you’re managing your customer engagement strategy holistically — and being willing to experiment and change your approach based on customer feedback and data.  

5) Predictive Machine Learning Tools + Automation = Powerful Combo for Better Results

Machine learning is a fantastic tool for digital marketers, said Lisa Orr, data scientist with Urban Airship. And it’s even more powerful when you combine it with marketing automation tools. For example, using Urban Airship’s predictive churn solution, marketers are triggering automated messaging when a user’s churn risk escalates. One retailer has set an automation that sends a too-good-to-pass-up offer to a user who has moved from medium to high risk of churn, and is seeing significant uplift in customer engagement and retention.

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