Welcome to the e-Commerce Marketing Podcast everyone. My name is Arlen Robinson and I am your host. And today we have a very special guest, Kelsey Jones, who has
over a decade in the industry, Kelsey Jones is a forward-thinking, dynamic marketing specialist. Putting strategy and sales front of mind in everything she does, Kelsey helps shape and deliver real results for customers in her role as Global Head of Product Marketing for SAP Emarsys. Welcome to the podcast, Kelsey

Kelsey: .
Hello. Thanks for having me. Great to be here.

Yes, no problem. And thank you for joining me. I’m really excited to talk to you today, Kelsey. You know, it’s, I think, a hot topic, privacy. It’s been a hot topic, I think over these past few years. Yeah. And of course personalization, any marketer knows that you don’t personalize your marketing efforts and campaigns.

It’s almost like shooting in the dark , I think is what you can kind of equate it to. So, uh, Two very hot topics of force in the marketing industry. But before we, we dive deep into to that topic, why don’t you tell us a little bit more about your background and you know, specifically how you got into what you’re doing today.

Yeah, absolutely. So, I mean, your, your intro settle a lot of it, but what I, you know, for my career journey, I’ve been in boths. Small businesses with, you know, 10 employees Mac up into larger corporations, and being a part of s A P today, you know what I, you know, love about the career path I’ve taken so far is I’m extremely passionate about solving business challenges, solving problems, basically how do you take chaos and turning it into to organization and scaling businesses for true sustainability, but also significant roi.

So throughout my career, I’ve really developed, you know, the ability to look at. Teams, whether that’s even being a part of product marketing organizations like AM Today or account-based marketing, being a part of our corporate marketing organizations at businesses past and also just solutions marketing.

You know, having that depth and breadth across, you know, corporate marketing and into product marketing has played a really pivotal role in understanding even the topics we’re gonna talk about today is how is I, as a marketer, marketing to marketers, but really thinking about the product elements that go into that, the data that builds and is.

You know, personalize all the, the comms that you were just talking about. So I’m, I’m, I’m really passionate about this topic cuz it brings in a lot of different elements, or like you said, over the last decade and decade and a half really of, of the different experiences from, like I said, small businesses and working in tech up to the larger corporations and bigger enterprises and figuring out how to solve those problems and then scale So, Yeah.

Yeah. That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Thank you for sharing that. Appreciate that. And yeah, I think you’re totally right. As far as you know, this topic really covers the gamut of businesses. No matter if you’re small, you’re a startup, or you’re an enterprise organization, you’re gonna be dealing with data, you’re gonna be dealing with ways to reach your customers, to personalize your efforts and your campaigns.

And so, yeah, I think this is applicable across the board, you know, for sure. And yeah, it’s great. You’ve had a, you know, a wide range of experience to help businesses kind of, you know, navigate through the chaos as you said it, because Yeah, things are changing very rapidly as we, we all see day to day in this, in this whole tech industry and, and marketing and, you know, digital marketing specifically.

So where I wanna really, you know, start off is, you know, just really the importance of all of this, you know, Do you think, we’ll just kind of bring it back to the personalization. Why do you think personalization these days is so important in your messaging to customers and, you know, prospective customers?

Yeah, I think at, at the heart of it, right, personalization is about people, right? It’s about, we are all consumers of, of something in some way, shape, or form. And the personalization element is really what builds trust that consumers, even myself, are looking forward to attach with, with a brand and to identify.

And so if something isn’t personalized, if it’s not what I’m looking for, you know, that that breaks down some of the trust, right? Because it becomes that personal element. I give you some information about me, i e some data component, but if I’m not getting that value exchange back, I’m, and you’re not giving me something that’s personalized to me, why would I want to, you know, build that trust and have that loyalty with the brand, but also, you know, if it’s not personalized, then then I, I can go on to the next thing.

Customers are so much more disloyal than they’ve ever been before. Because if we think about the, like how we consume content and data and information today, so much faster than we ever have before. Think about the constant scrolling we’re doing, whether we’re on a social channel or we’re checking out a newsletter, right?

It is. If something is not personalized, that’s gonna catch my attention, I’m gonna move right on to the next thing, or I’m gonna move on to. Brand that’s gonna give me that experience. Yeah, 

yeah. That is so true. And the, all of these social networks have really, you know, brought so much awareness to this personalization aspect because, like you said, everybody is, you know, you’re scrolling through stuff and there’s certain things that are gonna catch your eye, and it’s only those.

Things that are, you know, personalized for you and, you know, a as the, uh, as a layman just kind of going through, looking at this stuff, you kind of think, all right, wow. You know, I, you know, was recently looking at, let’s say, best Buy’s website. I was looking at some wireless, wireless headphones, and so now I’m scrolling on my Facebook and now I’m starting to see ads for headphones, and I’m like, okay, wow.

You know, as a layman, you’re like, wow. It’s like magic , you know? How did they know I’m interested in, in headphones? But little does, you know, most people know that there’s a lot of things happening in the back end. Is tracking you from your on, you know, tracking your online activity and then being able to personalize your experience.

You know where you are going, you know the sites you’re visiting, the social networks that you’re going to, and, uh, that’s, that’s really where the power is because then if that, Time, then you’re able to really hone in on what you’re looking for. So if I was, let’s say in yeah, on the Best Buy website, and I was looking at just, you know, specifically earbud style wireless headphones, I’m gonna see ads that are just those type of headphones where, you know, I, if I was, I wasn’t looking for those, I’m not gonna start seeing ads for, you know, let’s say over the.

Phones, those noise, big noise canceling or the studio quality headphones. I’m gonna see the ads for the earbuds cuz it’s, it’s been, you know, my activity has been set up and been personalized, you know, for me now. Yeah. You know, of course there’s a, a, all of this is, is really cool. It’s really empowering for businesses to be able to do this and personalize these campaigns and these.

So that they can pull in the right customers based on that, you know, that data that they have. Yeah. But of course there’s of course, you know, a caveat to that, you know, and so when you’re personalizing this messaging, you know, we talked about this information is people’s information, you know, it’s their demographic information, it’s where they’re going online, it’s.

Their likes, their interests, and people regard that as, you know, their personal information. And so how do you securely and privately capture, you know, that relevant curse to customer info without, you know, putting that data at risk. Yeah, that’s, that’s really the, yeah. The catch 22, 

here it is. Right. And it’s that like trust element that we were talking about before is if, if it’s not.

Properly and in the right way, it’s really gonna be diminishing for, for your brand or even to a consumer, right, if it, if that data isn’t used properly. So really, like we talked about, you know, at the heart of personalization is people, well, it’s also at the other end of that, like the heart of.

Personalization and how that delivers on what people want is the data. And that is, has to be collected right, with privacy and consent in mind. Right. Especially as we think about, you know, we talk about, you know, data today for brands, you know, truly is the competitive advantage, right? Because we know that, you know, third party cookies are going away, brands are shifting towards a customer first party mindset and being able to leverage those different types of data to.

Those experience across channels, it’s really hard to do and doing it in a way that, to your point, it has to be collected with privacy and con consent from a consumer and having, you know, those stipulations. And those really, the, the governance in place is critical for marketers that we have to think about.

Right? You know, a lot of times we think about the layman’s term of a marketer. Oh, you create campaigns, you send emails, you know, you put together ads that are really fun and sexy for a brand, but also what you don’t see right as the, the data structure that marketers have to think about the, all the governance that has to be put into place to make sure that in order to deliver those campaigns to.

On their way that are gonna deliver revenue for a business has to be ensuring that that customer data is one given with consent, but two is then used exactly in the right way to create those personalized moments that that brands can deliver and consumers actually expect. Today. I think that’s the other element of it too, right?

We expect it as consumers. Yeah, yeah. 

That that is true. We, we expect that personalized experience. And so it’s like once you kind of start leading the customer base down that particular path, you know, they, they really, yeah. Like you said, yeah, they’re gonna start to expect, you know, to be, if they are gonna be marketed to, you know, the things that they at least have an interest in.

And so, which is, which is, you know, definitely a good thing. And you know, as far as the data is concerned, like you said, definitely a. Because you know, we, of course, we don’t wanna kid ourselves these days. Fraud is a big thing. You know, identity theft, all of that. You know, even the smallest pieces of information that people may not necessarily think of as being significant to someone can be used yet to do a lot.

You know, you can do a lot. Yeah. You know, somebody’s email their identity from that, you know, these days, everyth. So linked together online, you can kind of put together somebody’s profile with just a few data pieces. Um, you know, and then you’re starting to deal with some social security numbers. Then there’s bank accounts, his credit card numbers, and so all of that is can, is really all linked up.

Kind of behind the ether. So that’s why it’s, is really, really a big deal that you have to be careful with. It just be, you know, even though you know, you, you’re, you’re thinking these initial small data points are not significant. But to these fraudsters out there, the hackers, the, these online bots, these little small little things can be used to start creating a whole, you know, pro persona, you know, that can be used to take somebody, you know, take advantage of someone.

Yeah. You know? And, uh, oh, 

oh, go ahead. Yeah, I was just gonna say, I think what’s really important too, from a marketer’s per. Is their relationship with it, right? They have to because it is the one that’s coordinating a lot of these different technologies that are getting data from consumers, right? And how you know that information is getting pulled into all of these backend systems.

You know, the IT persona, the IT person and team is really coordinating a lot of the different elements that are collecting data, right? It’s not always just about the marketer, you know, needing and collecting that data. To your point, like credit card information addresses, like all of this stuff is, is collected from different mediums and making sure that marketers are, and IT teams are partnering so that they’re using the right data when they need to use it.

I think is incredibly important, and especially at S A P with an A Narcis. It’s about, you know, we have this unique ability to connect the backend systems of all of those things that you were just talking about, that E R P data, all of those things with that front end experience that the marketer is trying to deliver.

That’s the full kind of 360 view of a customer that you have to have today. Because to your point, you know that data is so valuable and so important if something is leak. Something fraudulent. Again, I, it goes back to that trust that you’re building with the consumer. Right? I think it all has to stem with, you know, partnerships across IT and marketing and other organizations to make sure that all the things that you’re building in the background mm-hmm.

are coming, coming together and you’re all kind of marching and keeping that customer at the center. Yeah. Yep. 

For, for sure. You know, as a, you know, an e-commerce business, any of the e-commerce businesses that are listening, or if you’re dealing with an e-commerce. Yeah, it it, because nowadays, you know, all, there’s so much of this available now, like you mentioned, the relationship between the marketers and the, and the, you know, it people and then you know, this data there, there, there’s so much available now.

There’s so many data points that you can possibly get, you know, from the end customer. There’s all these ways of, of gathering this. Data, it’s almost like, you know, a kid in the candy store, so, mm-hmm. , how does a business determine, you know, really what specific data points are gonna be relevant when capturing, you know, these cust these prospects information?

Yeah, that’s a great question. I think at the center of it is, is understanding what you really are trying to do with that information. Like what are you trying to engage with customers on? Are you trying to sell that other product? Are you trying to drive an upsell to something? Are you trying to, you know, be really target?

Out a specific location. What’s the, what are the campaigns and the products that, that you’re, you’re thinking about running? But on the flip side of that, what I always, we talk about with our brands and the most successful brands are those that are truly customer obsessed, is what we call them. Meaning they’re looking at all of the data points they have.

About the customer and how are they then leveraging that, you know, across different channels to do that in the right way. So when I think about, you know, brands say, well, what, well, what data do I need? Well, what’s the customer telling you today? What are, what data points are you giving today that you’re utilizing that, oh, if I just knew this much more about them, when I interact with them on, you know, mobile, what’s the next thing I wanna learn from them if I’m engaging with them?

Customer service engagement, is it about the next product that they want? Okay. Then that’s the next thing that could kick off my next campaign to drive an upsell. Oh, I know they called in and they’re interested in this shoe, but they’re really interested in also this type of other apparel, and that can then say, oh, I need to make sure I’m capturing that information from a customer service rep and kicking off a marketing campaign that could.

That upsell. So if we think about putting that customer at the center and figuring out all those different channels that we’re engaging with them on, what data makes the most sense to pull in from those with consent, of course, and then using that to trigger all of these different campaigns for marketers, I think it’s important.

Yeah, for sure. 

For sure. Yeah, and I think you definitely nailed it. It’s. It’s really about really what’s your end goal? What do you want to do with the data, you know, with the campaigns in mind and with your overall, you know, vision for the business and your outreach vision and your vision for trying to pull in these particular prospects that you, you have to start with that.

And then from there, yeah, you’ll be able to, you know, easily see what you 

need. Yeah. Yeah. And I think too, we have to look at, you know, the macroeconomic. Today, right? Of, you know, profitability is at the forefront of people’s minds. So where am I gonna go find, you know, where am I gonna be most efficient with my marketing spend or my IT spend?

Where am I gonna make the most money with the limited resources I may have or the time I may have? So really understanding like what you, what you have from even a revenue or. A resources perspective and understanding how, how can I, you know, I can’t go get a ton of net new customers because the cost to acquire a cust net new customer is a lot higher today than it probably was three years ago.

Yeah. So how can I maybe even just look at my most loyal customers mm-hmm. that I know that are already engaging with us, and I have data on them to, you know, give them a better experience. Can I focus there? So that I can drive more revenue from some of my best customers, and that’s where we’re seeing a ton of growth across different brands that we’re working with today.

Yeah, Puma Reformation. It’s how do I focus on where I’m at today with our best customers and continue to give them the best experience. Yeah, 

yeah, yeah. I, I totally agree. And, and oftentimes, uh, e-commerce businesses and marketers, you’re so focused on bringing in that, that new customer and, you know, acquiring these new customers, you know, you’re looking at your cost to acqui acquisition and you’re like, okay, yeah, it’s not gonna cost me that much to acquire these customers.

That’s a lot of the focus. But, you know, you’re, you’re leaving a lot crumbs under the table. If you’re not, if you’re neglecting those current customers that have already, you know, you’ve already established. Loyalty they’ve purchased from you multiple times. You, you, you gotta just double down on those and, you know, leverage that and, and figure out, you know, campaigns to further reach them and further reach their needs.

Now, Uhhuh . Yeah. And in order to, for really all of this to happen, what do you think are some tools and resources that you know, you really need to have, you know, to really, um, create customer driven personalization? 

Yeah, I think there’s a couple things. Tools can be, you know, strateg. And mindset and how you’re looking at tools are also the literal solutions I’m using to execute on those things.

So I think, you know, firstly, it’s kind of going back to that customer obsession perspective. It’s one of the best tools that any brand can have, you know, that they’re thinking about with that mindset. It’s about, you know, the right leadership who understands the strategies that are put in place, the, the other elements of that.

We all know that, like I said, these, it, it’s, It’s tough with a modern marketer. It’s more concerning. They’re better educated, they have more things at their fingertips to be able to, to access. And you know, we did a recent survey with a customer loyalty index, and we’ve found that nearly 60% of Americans say that inflation has made them leave brand, which they’ve been previously loyal to, and in that effort to save money.

Nearly 60% of them agree that, you know, I am loyal to retailers that offer me discounts, incentives, and rewards. Yeah. There are a number of different factors that play into that. So when I go back to that like customer obsessed mindset, it’s about looking at, you know, who are those most loyal customers?

So what’s that strategy is I think the biggest tool that a marketer can have that can then influence what data do I. To influence these customers. What really creative and fun campaigns can I create that are outside the typical loyalty type of programs? I think is, is first and foremost the first thing that I would say is the best tool, right?

Is thinking about that customer centric strategy. The second thing I would really say is, Other things like, you know, marketers, we talked about value exchange earlier, and really understanding kind of the, the tipping point at which this customer is happy to provide that data in exchange for those rewards or reimbursement or an exclusivity of some kind, you know, to be as successful as they can in that.

Endeavor the most, you know, perceptive. I would say marketers, you know, they really understand that environment and have that customer understanding to know based on the relationship what they have. So I would say that tool is really about knowing who your audience is and figuring out the best way to leverage the data to drive, you know, the experience that, that they’re, they’re demanding otherwise, like I said, they’re gonna go to, to somebody else pretty quickly today.

Loyalty. Just, it’s, it’s tough. Yeah. 

Yeah. You, you, you brought up some very important points. Yeah. Loyalty is, is definitely tough. You know, e even if you have this database of, of customers that are loyal, that repeat customers and, you know, you feel you’ve established a relationship, you know, with. Them as the brand, you’ve done what you can to educate them.

You know, when things like inflation come around and, and people start struggling. Yeah. It’s unfortunately, yeah, the little brand loyalty kind of can go out of the window, you know, because Yeah. You know, at the end of the day, they gotta eat. They gotta feed their kids and, you know, if one brand is, it’s offering similar product, the service is, uh, lower.

Point if they’ve, you know, even if they’ve never even tried it before, if it comes to them saving, you know, amount of money or a significant amount, or what they feel is a significant amount, you know, they’re gonna, they’re gonna go that route. So you have to be mindful of, I think the, the atmosphere that we’re in the economic atmosphere to, to determine why you, you, you try to reach and, and connect with these customers.

Yeah. I, I love this one example. It’s, it’s a company called Replacements Limited, and they sell a lot of different China and server. Different things that may be out of stock or, you know, from a, a China set that maybe your grandmother have has given you, but maybe you broke a piece or something in a move, right?

Uh, they provide those. So I think they’re, what they’re doing, which is really neat is, you know, that’s a really emotional, you know, engagement that they can have with their customers. So what they’re looking at is they know that, you know, the, the product that they are selling is attached to something meaningful.

So they are looking at that customer. And saying, oh, I know this is an, an emotional moment or something that I can make to bring something to life for them. So they’re looking at those kinda loyalty elements and providing that personalized experience to them. Oh, we know we’re interested in, you know, this China set.

Have you seen these four things that go with it? And so they’ve done a really great job of, you know, customers may come in through email or their web bra browsing as well as, you know, they’re really increasing that revenue with even. Heart and, you know, very personalized campaigns that then ensure that they are creating the best experience for that customer.

So they’re saying they know that there’s a, a moment, an emotional moment, but they’re making it really personal and creating that experience, I think is a really interesting way that, you know, really is at the center, being customer obsessed around. 

Yeah. Yeah, for sure, for sure. Yeah, that’s, that’s great.

It’s an excellent example. You know, as we get ready to wrap things up, is there any other examples of, you know, any other e-commerce businesses that you even, that you’ve either dealt with at, with your company, with S a p, or any other examples of any businesses that you’re familiar with in general that you know have.

Effectively personalize their experience to help them, you know, drive sales and, you know, just better engage with their customers overall. Yeah, 

I think what we especially have seen through, you know, the last few years and, and working even through the pandemic and coming out of that is the digital.

Experience is now like truly blending with the in-store experience and you know, getting as much data as you can from customers in the right way and then using it. A great example of that is Beauty Pine. I think a lot of beauty, beauty and skin brands have, skincare brands have done a great job at this of capturing a lot of that information with customers.

So beauty pie. Is a customer of a Marist and they’re an exclusive luxury beauty, kind of a buyer’s club, if you will. So you sign up as a member and you have the opportunity to buy different kind of skincare and, and fragrance products directly from, from the labs that, that are creating. So there’s no middleman.

There’s no markup with them. And so the, it is a very transparent business and I think that is, So critical today, especially talking about the trust with consumers today, they’re very transparent on this is the product you’re buying. It’s coming directly from the lab of which it was created, but all that data, what they’ve done is said, okay, I know you’re putting in, you know, this is the color of my skin and this is the foundation I wear.

They’re putting in all of these different points to help match up. What’s the best foundation for this person? What’s. Skincare product for them. So they’re using all those different points in data points that they’re pulling to create a really, you know, personalized, you know, product that they may be recommending.

So they’re really kind of taking both that, to me, the digital stuff that they’re getting in as well as kind of looking at their email platform to support all of this to say, how can I use that data to personalize some of the products that we’re recommending from some of that. And so they’re looking and saying, you know, from all of these different connected, you know, multiple.

How can I add flexibility to, to combine and create really custom segments to what I’m, you know, enriching. Going back to the personalization bits around that really adapting with the VA ton of agility they were seeing over, you know, I think it was nearly 35% of revenue just coming from email that they were personalizing based on some of those data points that they were getting on their.

I, and then even seeing some really cool stuff around kind of just website traffic and click was through the roof in, in over a year, I think nearly over 33%, which was cool to see because they were seeing the real value of like personalizing some of those things based on just small data points they’re getting about their products.

And pushing that back to their customer. So I love kinda seeing that stuff come to life because I’m giving you all this information, please make sure you’re then using that to then offer me up a great experience whether I’m back on your website or getting an email. I think they’ve just done a really great job of that.

Yeah. Um, over the last couple 

years. Yeah. Yeah. That’s good. And that’s a very good point. You know, if you, you’re getting these customers and these prospects to give you that information, you better, you better use it and use it effectively to better their experience because it’s, you know, it’s, I guess you could say almost disingenuous if you’re getting this information and you’re not doing anything with it, overall user experience is not improved because of this.

Then it’s like, you know, what’s the point at the end of the day? Right? Yeah. 

Right. Yeah. It’s that value exchange, right, that we talked about. You this, what are you giving me for it? Right. And, and it doesn’t always have to be that discount or that offer. It’s truly about other elements of my experience.

Yeah, yeah. For sure. For sure. Yeah, and I think what we’ve seen over the years, these last few years is data is the new gold, I think, . And so I think customers realize that as well. That the, you know, all of these brands out there are, they’re really all trying to vie for all of this data so that they can, you know, improve their bottom line and get those right customers to, to get, you know, really target, you know, who.

Is going to be their, their best customers. So it’s 

uh, yeah. Yeah. And I think what I was on another, uh, call earlier, I think it was a customer this week and like we joked about, remember when content used to be king? And that was like what we just continue to push out and now Yeah. Data I feel like is king.

Like that is your competitive advantage. Yeah. When it’s used. Right. So I think you’re exactly right. Yeah. 

It’s for sure date. Definitely King. Well, Kelsey, it’s been awesome talking to you. I’ve definitely, you know, learned a lot as I, as I hope our audience this as well. I’m sure it’s just, yeah, we’re at this time where this is a hot topic and so I think it’s very timely and yeah.

Hopefully, you know, our listeners and, and followers will be able to take this advice and information to heat with their, with their business. Absolut. Yeah. But, uh, yeah, before we do let you, I always like to close things out with, you know, my final question, just so we can switch gears a little bit so our audience can get to know you a little bit better.

So if you don’t mind sharing one closing fun fact about yourself that you think we would be interested to know. Yeah, 

I love that. I would say one fun fact. So I, I live in a larger city now. I’m in Indianapolis, in the Midwest, but I am from a very tiny town. Four-way stop in the middle of the Midwest. And I think, you know what, what I love about that is, you know, knowing where you came from came from hard work knowing how to work, but the, the exposure of travel yeah.

Has been like, just so important to me over my last, you know, decade and, and my job has allowed me to do that. So really that, like coming from a small town, but understanding, you know, the, the world has just created such amazing experiences that we just can’t see otherwise. I’d say that’s my biggest piece of, of kind of funness is knowing where I came from is a very small town, but being able to ex.

Experience travel and different cultures and, and different, different organizations has been a real blessing to really open ourselves up outside of, you know, where we, where we came from. 

Yeah.  Yeah. That’s, that’s, that’s awesome. Well, thank you for sharing that. And I, I definitely a advocate for, you know, traveling abroad, you know, and, and don’t limit yourself even if you’re from a small town and you know, you.

Think certain things are possible. Yeah, you can, you definitely learn a lot by just experiencing other cultures, other environments, other businesses, other way, yeah. Other ways that people do things, you know, outside of, you know, where you come from. 

So,  yeah. Yeah. Getting uncomfortable, getting like comfortable, being uncomfortable.

It’s, it takes a while sometimes. Yeah. But it is, it’s like learning growth the most, 

I feel like. Yeah, that’s, that’s for sure. Well, thanks again for sharing that. I really appreciate that. You know, lastly, before we do let you go, , what’s the best way for our listeners to get in touch with you if they’re, they’re like a pick your brain anymore about, you know, data personalization.

Yeah, I’d say the best ways to get in contact with me is feel free to reach out on LinkedIn anytime. So if you just search Kelsey Jones with s a p I should pop right up. Feel free to DM me, reach out anytime. I’m always happy to have these conversations. 

Okay. That’s  awesome. Well, I definitely encourage people to reach out to you and, uh, you know, see how you can help them out.

Well, thanks again, Kelsey. I really appreciate you coming on today with the e-Commerce Marketing Podcast,

Thanks for having me. Have a great day everybody. 

Podcast Guest Info

Kelsey Jones
Global Head of Product Marketing for SAP Emarsys