Ask the expert: Marketing success insights from 2020

An interview with Cheetah Digital’s Kyle Murphy

Just in case you hadn’t heard, Cheetah Digital is an awesome digital marketing and customer engagement platform. It’s trusted by leading global brands from Disney to Hilton. It’s also an established leader in engaging digital audiences and building customer lifetime value.

Cheetah Digital believes that the only valuable marketing data is actionable data. We here at Phrasee couldn’t possibly agree more.

In his role as Client Success Director, Kyle Murphy owns the relationships between Cheetah Digital and its awesome clients, ensuring that every customer’s use of Cheetah Digital’s powerful technology is fully maximized. Kyle says that his aim with each client is to “help them achieve their strategic marketing goals”.

But how best to help brands reach those goals in the uncertain and challenging times we all find ourselves in? We suspected that Kyle might have some answers to that all-important question. And, as it turns out, we were right!



Here’s what Kyle had to say…

Phrasee: 2020 has been a time of immense change. Where has your team excelled?

Kyle: During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, most of the marketing plans of our clients either came to a screeching halt or a major pivot had to take place. The main challenge for us was to help our clients focus on executing what was urgent in the short-term. From where I sit, my goal is to help my clients realize their strategic vision – both short and long-term. We have excelled in helping our clients achieve their immediate goals while simultaneously ensuring they are primed for success in 2021.

 

Phrasee: How do you stay sensitive to what’s going on in the world?

Kyle: 2020 has proven to be a year where many companies have stopped avoiding difficult conversations. It’s important to stay sensitive to what’s happening locally, nationally, and globally in order for businesses to thrive.

One of the most important character traits that I try to teach my three-year-old daughter about is the ability to empathize. Listening to the struggles of others, attempting to understand their viewpoint, putting yourself in their shoes, and connecting with their pain.

 

Phrasee: What’s one thing your team has done this year that’s gone really well?

Kyle: We’ve recently rolled out our client symposium, Signals 2020. Obviously, the pandemic has limited travel. In previous years, our event would be held in a sizable conference space with several hundred attendees.

This year, the conference has been completely virtual and spans over a period of nine weeks, allowing plenty of time to digest the content while avoiding “Zoom fatigue.” Attendance has been strong and positive feedback has been flowing in.


“The challenge from a marketer’s perspective is to produce and deploy more content with fewer resources, all while working under constrained timelines.”

Kyle Murphy, Cheetah Digital

Phrasee: What does the discussion around AI look like internally?

Kyle: The most sophisticated enterprise marketers are having conversations around how to use AI to enhance subscriber engagement and improve ROI.

We’re truly focused on several applications of AI & machine learning:

  1. Propensity scoring (listening to and analyzing customers behaviors and triggering a message to those customers who exhibit a potential churn event)
  2. Personas (improving audience insights with clustering by identifying natural groupings of customers who behave similarly and share common characteristics)
  3. Send time optimization (looking at historical engagement, all the way back to when the individual record was first entered into our system, and learns over time. STO not only predicts when a customer will open, it predicts when an individual customer will click — which often is not at the same time)

 

Phrasee: How do you think we can get the financial services industry, which is very risk-averse, to try more new things like some of their peers in other industries?

Kyle: Financial services are notoriously risk-averse when it comes to pushing the envelope while leveraging newer technologies. But there are a few ways to encourage them.

First, understand any internal or external regulations and accommodate them within your evaluations. For example, if ADA compliance is important from both a web and email perspective, ensure that any new technology is evaluated against these design principles before starting out.

Second, play in the sandbox! There’s no reason to launch a new technology to a large live audience if you can leverage a sandbox environment to ensure only a small percentage of customers can view the new changes. From an email perspective, you can go back to previously approved content and markup new design or creatives prior to launching. This enables you to gather internal buy-in before making any drastic changes.

 

Phrasee: What untapped technology do you think the financial services industry needs most right now?

Kyle: For financial services companies one of the most important – yet least sexy – technologies marketers should take advantage of is message archiving. Message archive stores an exact copy of every email so you can see it sent to each customer exactly as your brand intended, including personalization and dynamic content.

This serves two purposes for FS companies. The first is providing better customer service. The disparate nature of enterprise teams frequently means that employees are not always “in the know” about what is happening with customer communications. Without access to archived emails, a team can’t see what the customer saw, making it difficult for them to reconcile or clarify customer interpretations of promises made by the brand.

The second reason is to meet their record retention and audit requirements, thus protecting themselves from lawsuits. Message Archive allows you to archive and store exact copies of individual marketing emails and recall them easily at a moment’s notice. This is important in the FS, banking, and credit reporting industries where the risk of legal issues is higher.


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