Welcome to the e-commerce marketing podcast, everyone. I am your host, Arlen Robinson. And today we have a very special guest, Randi Mohr, who is the Vice President of Customer Success and Marketing for digital agency Whereoware, Randi Mohr ensures clients’ digital services achieve intended business objectives. Mohr also oversees Whereoware’s brand messaging and marketing efforts to accelerate sales growth. Welcome to the podcast, Randy.

Thank you for having me, Arlen. Great to be here. Yes, no problem.

And I’m super excited to talk to you. And I want to thank you for joining us today. Today’s topic is going to be diving into data driven decisions and data driven marketing decisions, because right now, as most people know, we’re really in the age of data. You know, there’s just so many ways to get data about marketing, about your competitors, about keywords. I mean, you name it, it’s out there. So at this point, there’s really kind of no excuse not to data driven decisions.

But before we get into all of that, why don’t you tell us a little bit more about your background and specifically how you got into what you’re doing today? Sure.

Yeah, well, like I said, thanks again for having me really love the opportunity to talk to you today about the approach. But like you said, starting off, I actually started my career in the trade show space. So not in digital marketing specifically at all. I was specifically focused within the B2B consumer product in space, overseeing everything from sales and marketing all the way through to operations. And as far as the trade show business has evolved and will continue to evolve, the importance of integrating digital components into that and really maximizing the opportunity to reach both the exhibiter vendor base as well as the attendee base, became even more important to make that investment from a research standpoint into going into digital.

And my affinity for digital just continue to grow from there and eventually led me to where I am today. At where where I know, as you said, overseeing all of our current client account. So that’s my customer success hat. And then also from the marketing front, all the brand messaging and marketing that we do for where we’re all right, Randi.

Well, yeah, thank you for giving us details about, you know, kind of how you got into what you’re doing today. I appreciate that. And I know you’re definitely thankful that you’re not in the trade show industry because, you know, we’re still in the midst of this global pandemic known as covid-19. And that whole industry has virtually been shut down. And so it’s affected so much with that industry. So, you know, I know you’re thankful to be doing what you’re doing right now.

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, the need to pivot has never been more important. So I’m happy that I I made that pivot a little bit earlier, but for sure. Yeah, that’s awesome.

You know, as I mentioned earlier, of course, today we’re going to be talking about data driven and customer focused digital marketing strategies and making these decisions with regards to digital marketing based on solid data. Now, what I want to first start off with is really asking the question of what makes a digital strategy or digital marketing strategy data driven and customer focused, kind of how do you kind of spot that? And what are some of the things that make up a data driven strategy?

I think really to truly be successful, all of your digital strategy has to be centered around the customer. Every strategic instinct should be focused on meeting the needs of your customers, whether that’s coming or potential customers, and motivating them to take a desired action.

I say that because the desired action can be different for different industries, different types of businesses, et cetera, and then also importantly is reducing the friction. So where we are at this point in the environment, is it the sales landscape is just too competitive not to take this approach and to take that customer focused approach now more than ever before, it really just takes one bad. And I won’t even really say just bad, but one maybe not so great customer experience to create an opportunity where your customers are turned on tour over to a competitor in your space.

It really focusing on that is of utmost importance. At the same time, to genuinely be customer focused, you need to be able to harness, understand and pay close. Attention to your data. The data tells a can tell a powerful story, giving you insights into what’s working for your customers or in some cases, but not so that you can really implement a successful digital strategy utilizing that information.

It really is at the heart of everything we do at where where we’re hyper focused on watching the outcome. We’re trying to drive to achieve the customers or in our case, our clients. Does our business objective. What’s that action you’re trying to get the customer perspective customers to take? And how does that all drive back to your overall goals? And by focusing on data, you can continue to understand the information and you can continue to optimize or pivot as necessary, like we’ve all had to do since March with Coke impacting all industries in some way, shape or form.

Yeah, thanks for that. And you kind of mentioned something as far as on the customer side that I think rings true as well, and why I think you really have to be customer focused and really understanding the needs of the customer, because not only does that coincide with your marketing strategy and who you’re targeting, understanding your ideal customer avatar and really who are you trying to reach? But it also comes down to once you win these people over, they are your customers still meeting their needs while their customer, because like you said, it’s their one bad review away from jumping ship.

Like if they read one bad thing and they’re questioning your offering, you know, there’s these days there’s a ton of other options with just about anything. If you’re selling anything, whether it’s a product or service, there’s so many options and there’s other affordable options to whatever it is that you’re selling. And I think also there’s really no customer loyalty these days. Unfortunately, you can form a strong bond with your customers is as strong as you think you have.

You’re meeting their needs. But it’s just the generation that we’re in right now. I think everyone is really hyper concerned about really getting really the best. Arawa I think that’s really what it comes down to. And unfortunately, if they have to jump ship, a lot of times people don’t think twice about it, even if they’ve got a strong relationship with the brand or with some service people or account managers that they’re dealing with, they don’t think twice about it.

So I think it really goes through not only to acquiring that customer, but even through the whole customer’s experience as a customer of the brand. Absolutely, I think the probably an old thought is that, you know, once you have a customer, you’re able to retain them. But really, all of us, as marketers and professionals, need to be earning and delivering value to our customers all the time. You have to earn that loyalty and we have to take actions and make sure that we’re delivering what they need when they need it in the format or channel.

They’re expecting it or we’re opening that door to risk. Right. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to go to a competitor, but we’re creating that opportunity where any moment that we’re not delivering value opens the door to risk.

Definitely so true.

Now, any time you’re implementing a marketing strategy, it’s always really easy to kind of map things out in a ideal condition, in ideal circumstances, meaning where, you know, let’s say in ideal circumstances would be the economy is good. Let’s say we’re just deal with the US and say our economy is good. We’ve got the unemployment rate is low, housing market is doing great. Everybody is doing it. We’re in a great position. It’s fairly easy to kind of predict what things are going to happen in that type of environment if it does sustain itself over a certain amount of time.

But I think the challenge comes when something throws a monkey wrench in the plans of your business, which is really just happened back in March with this whole covid shutdown that basically threw a monkey wrench in most businesses plans just to move forward. And so how, as a marketer, if you’re marketing and you have to be mindful, of course, of all types of scenarios, how do you as a marketer crisis proof your marketing plans?

Yeah, it’s very important, I will say, for businesses that are reaping tremendous success or having challenges that they’re dealing with out of Kobani, it comes in in all sides. It really makes you sort of take shape. So I think looking at it really as customer preferences change all the time, what channels they’re using, devices they’re accessing, maybe your website or emails from their buying behavior, product trends. And that is to your point in the ideal case scenario, right.

That’s the ideal scenario when everything is great and it’s more, quote unquote predictable. Right. Whatever that means these days. But when you add outside forces like a global pandemic that we’re under at this point, it takes things like that to truly show that even the best laid plans need flexibility. And the bottom line is that marketers need to be extremely agile. They always need it to be, but even more than before. And covid has shown that to all of us again.

And in any industry, those that are thriving or those that are struggling in this environment. And that’s really where data becomes the marketers best tool. From my opinion, utilizing the data to support and measure effectiveness in real time is key. And when certain elements are performing or achieving desired results, which, let’s face it, that happens sometimes the data can provide insights to help you modify your approach or understand where you could or should be looking to modify your approach.

So that may mean, for example, pausing a specific campaign or shifting focus. It could mean adjusting messaging. Do you think about in the early stages of covid, one of the most important things was not to sort of appear tone deaf and not to be adjusting to the environment that’s happening all around us. So the important thing there from a messaging standpoint is to keep in mind, to marry the context with the content of your campaign in order to make it successful.

And that rings true all the time. But even more importantly, at a time like we’re talking about now, and not to be afraid to experiment, to take risks, but calculated risks, but still being true to your brand at the same time. So I would say thinking about market, how marketers can sort of approach that and crisis proof, I’m not sure you can fully crisis proof your plan, because whether it’s a crisis or just a change in habits and the needs of customers, it all comes back to being truly flexible and laying out the best opportunity for yourself to do that.

I really think to that that can small adjustments. It doesn’t have to be completely pivoting your whole plan. Small adjustments can make a big impact and sometimes greater than people may expect. That’s where that calculated risk of not being afraid to experiment comes into play. So, for instance, several of our clients use this, but one of our clients in particular that uses a product recommendation engine on their e-commerce website, we recently recommended to them to reposition where that’s displayed, where those recommendations are served on their product detail page, that simple change of moving, that context of that content on the page.

Resulted in a huge boost to revenue. And those are things where you have to experiment. You have to try and make adjustments and react to them. Right. They’re not always going to work exactly the way you intended. That’s what an experiment is. So it’s being able to utilize that and pivot and and really, again, staying flexible, not being afraid to take those calculated risks. Sometimes that means doubling down on your strategy, too.

So, yeah, that’s that is very true. And the key thing I think you mentioned is that having that flexibility to be able to pivot, because I think sometimes especially kind of emerging companies or startups, young up and coming companies, a lot of times they’ve got a million things going on, of course. And when they’re thinking about marketing and implementing different marketing campaigns, sometimes they get in the mindset of just to set it and forget it, get a campaign, go and just see what happens.

Let the sales drive come through. The traffic got drive through and kind of leave it alone. But I think marketing is definitely not something you can set and forget. And as far as the flexibility is concerned, I think the main thing is having certain triggers in place so that, you know, I think winter period, I think is kind of the main thing. You’ve got to have certain indicators where if it’s not performing at a certain amount, as we all know, as we both know, the sales cycle is going to fluctuate depending on the time of the year and your business year and whether it’s the seasonal business know there’s a lot of factors.

And so I think over time, businesses kind of understand the life cycle of how the sales go. And so with that in mind, you have to understand where if maybe you’re getting a slump in your sales, that’s not at a time where you normally get that could be a certain trigger for you to say, OK, wait a minute, I’m going to need to pivot away from this particular campaign and invest it somewhere else.

And to that point, to it’s paying attention to what’s happening within the environment you directly control. But then also what’s happening around you, too. So I have another client of ours that really double down on their strategy. They had a plan to move into direct to consumer and they were not previously direct to consumer business. And they had a plan to do that. And with covid and what was happening around and really push toward the need for digital experience in e-commerce for businesses that didn’t have it before, they accelerated a plan that they’d already put in place to be able to capitalize on it.

So it’s also looking at what are the opportunities, not just pivoting from what I’ll call it, quote unquote, happening around you or to you in a negative way. But looking at it from a positive standpoint to what doors does that really open for you?

That’s so true, because as we’ve seen, especially this whole crisis, there’s a lot of businesses that are hurting that are yet to recover. But at the same time, there are businesses that have seen a boom and, you know, in all of this. And so that is something that we definitely have to be a business to be mindful of. Now, when we’re thinking about just creating a framework of this whole crisis proof strategy, what are some other pieces of this whole, I guess, construction, if we’re, let’s say, building a house, what are some other parts or components?

They’re going to put this crisis proof marketing plan together?

Ultimately, I think the framework using your works, I think that’s very appropriate is the same and it’s the same one that you should have in place with that flexibility and ability to pivot. Everything that a marketer does should be focused around driving those desired outcomes that we talked about a little bit before. And all of those should ultimately point back to your business goals using the existing data, taking that data and having that ongoing measurement so that you can change the course as needed if and as needed, really, because it ultimately depends on you will always need to change course with frequency.

So thinking about it from a couple of different perspectives. Right. You want to look at channel diversity, for example, is this is that we’re heavily focused on offline sales, as we just talked about. We’re in for a rude awakening with covid. So looking at it and having a balanced approach I think is important. That’s one area where you can sort of set that framework for crisis, proving that combination in that sort of mix of offline and e-commerce supported by other digital channels like email, social media, advertising, et cetera, really enables you to engage with your customers when and where and how they want to interact with you.

Some customers will have a preference to certain channels, and it’s important to keep a pulse on that so that you’re speaking to them in a way that’s going to with messaging that’s going to resonate at the time, and it’s going to resonate for them and in the channel where it’s going to be most effective for them to receive it and take the desired action.

That makes a lot of sense. And thanks for sharing that, you know, as we get ready to wrap things up. But how do you really measure the efficacy of. These implemented strategies, yeah, I think looking at it from like a quarterly planning standpoint, I think is really helpful. Setting your plan, you’re still going to plan for the year, potentially, but looking at your plan and sort of quarterly chunks is is, I think, really important.

And it gives you an opportunity to set that broader framework and then pivot if it as needed. But as you sort of measure the efficacy, it’s the same as you would at any other time. Where I think you’re adjusting there is perhaps adjusting for the frequency of how often you look at those measurements. And that’s going to differ a little bit, industry by industry and even in certain cases, channel by channel. And if something is is new and you’re experimenting, excuse me, you’re going to want to give it a little bit more time.

But we, of course, as any business would, you want to measure those standard metrics, traffic and clicks and open rates and all of that, depending on the channel. But even more importantly, I think, is the program or strategy achieving the desired result rather than to just sort of traditional marketing metrics and sort of making sure that everything is centered around the action you want the customer or again, is PROSPEKT to take.

So I think if everything is rooted in that and you’re looking at actionable data with the right frequency for your business, then I think that’s how you really keep on top of it and adjust accordingly.

All comes down to that data. You can’t get around it. So, yeah, that’s that’s awesome. And thanks for sharing that. And I appreciate you coming on today, Randi. I’ve learned a lot. I know and I know our listeners have as well. Well, before we let you go, I’m always like to ask my guests that one final fun fact question. If you don’t mind sharing with us one fun fact that you think our audience would be interested in knowing about you.

So might fun fact of the day is actually that about 10 years prior to joining where where I actually was a customer for a long time. So it gave me great insight into the business, but also the customer experience, which I think really set an opportunity for me in the role I’m in today.

So, yeah, that gives you a great perspective to see both sides of the business, you know, as a customer and then as the on the business side providing those services. So, yeah, good stuff. And yeah, thanks for sharing that. Lastly, if any of our listeners would like to get in touch with you and pick your brand any more about digital marketing and creating a crisis proof marketing strategy for their business, what is the best way for them to get in touch with you?

Thank you again for having me.

I really appreciate having the opportunity to talk about it today as we talk about data so integral to what a marketer needs to implement and execute on the marketing strategy. So if anyone wants to get in touch or has any questions for me, feel free to reach out to families. And again, it’s any more or is it our website where we’re great?

Well, thank you, Randi. And I definitely encourage all listeners to reach out to you so they can increase their knowledge on this subject. And, of course, thank you again for joining us today on the e-commerce marketing podcast.

Absolutely. Thank you again, Arlen. Take care.

Podcast Guest Info

Randi Mohr
Vice President of Customer Success at Whereoware