Ask the expert: Cutting through the noise with Liveclicker

An interview with Kenna Hilburn, Chief Operating Officer at Liveclicker

In the data-heavy, multi-channel world of digital marketing, customers are at risk of being inundated with brand messaging. Phrasee technology partner Liveclicker, part of CM Group, has a solution: cut through the information overload by targeting customers with fresh content, precise personalization and multi-channel experiences that turn moments into momentum. In this edition of #AskTheExpert we spoke to Liveclicker COO Kenna Hilburn about what customers really want in the here and now.



Here's what Kenna had to say...

Phrasee: What do you think customers want when they open an email?

Kenna: As a consumer, I want marketing to make my life easier and give me what I’m looking for before I have to go out and find it for myself. I’m loyal to the brands that give me what I need on a consistent basis through a seamless experience.

Phrasee: Why is personalization such a deal-breaker for the multi-channel customer experience?

Kenna: We are inundated by marketing efforts via all the channels at our fingertips. Marketers have more data than they can action upon because of the breadth of channels, siloed platforms and internal ownership teams.

The brands that are tying all the data together are the ones that are cutting through the noise and out-performing the rest. They are not only listening to what I, as a consumer, am looking for – but then also responding to my needs in the next channel that I interact with, not the last channel where I gave them my preference data. That is the ultimate customer experience and as a technology provider, we have prioritized getting marketing systems to seamlessly work together to make the marketer’s job easier.

If the technology providers can make the marketer’s job easier, marketers can make the consumer’s life easier by giving them what they want before they have to go and look for it.


“Marketers have more data than they can action upon because of the breadth of channels, siloed platforms and internal ownership teams. The brands that are tying all the data together are the ones that are cutting through the noise.”

Kenna Hilburn, Chief Operating Officer at Liveclicker

Phrasee: Being able to watch a video in your email feels like a no-brainer. Why do you think it’s taking so long to get video more integrated with email across the industry?

Kenna: Given that Liveclicker is the only technology provider that supports inline HTML5 video in email, I think there is a lack of understanding in the industry of the fact that it’s possible. A few years ago, video content was not readily available for marketing efforts, but the acceleration of social platforms and social shopping has really changed the way video is produced and the quality level that consumers will accept. Video no longer needs to be a huge production investment!

So the good news is that there is an abundance of video content at our fingertips and the technology exists to feature that content in email. We are now starting to see the use of video in email become table stakes for marketers.

Phrasee: How do you think digital marketing is translating into the physical world?

Kenna: In the pre-digital era, I used to shop for the joy of the hunt. I’d venture out to a store with an idea of what I’d like to get but not knowing what I was going to find. With digital transformation, I believe consumer behaviors have changed. I know mine have! If I’m going to go into a physical store today, I want to know in advance that it is going to be worth my time. Email marketing can pre-empt me from having to go and search the store inventory by showing me products (they already know what I want, remember?) in an email which then prompts me to go into the store.

I think that digital marketing has given consumers the luxury of being more selective about if and when they go into a physical store. Going back to my point on the brands that cut through the noise, marketers have to make it worth a consumer’s time via digital interactions to get consumers in a store.

Brick and mortar shopping will continue to be relevant due to the ability to touch and try on items and the instant gratification that in-person shopping provides. But behaviors have changed – consumers aren’t venturing out for the joy of the hunt anymore. They leave their homes knowing what they want and they are having more selective and efficient experiences.

Phrasee: What do you think is the next ‘big thing’ that’s going to revolutionize email?

Kenna: I see the evolving data privacy landscape revolutionizing email, forcing marketers and technology providers to get more focused on zero and first party data-driven experiences. It’s a direction Liveclicker was already heading in and now we are getting there even faster thanks to the recent Apple privacy changes.

Gone are the days of “we’re $x behind on revenue, let’s send another email”. Email is quickly becoming another interaction point in the web of channels that help a brand build a strong relationship with their customers. I’ve been spending time thinking about how email can help brands build better relationships and what that means holistically, beyond just revenue and conversions. I don’t have all the answers but this is the lens we are using at Liveclicker as we build for the future of email and digital marketing.

Thanks, Liveclicker – keep on rising above the noise.


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