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In this week’s episode of Growth Interviews, we invite you to join our podcast conversation with Steven Shyne. As a Senior Consumer Experience (CX) Strategist, Steven is a researcher first and a marketer second. Whether working with ecom, B2B/lead gen, EDU or government/municipal clients, he strives to improve his clients’ website performance and business metrics with a data-backed, user-centric approach.

Welcome to Growth Interviews!

Welcome to Growth Interviews, the fun, stimulating and engaging series of conversations driven by digital business growth. Our mission is to provide valuable insights from the eCommerce arena and each episode is a fascinating quest through the best-kept business secrets and money-making strategies of an insightful world-class expert.

Both the creative and analytical worlds are second nature to the marketing expert Steven Shyne. He is driven by and thrives in the pursuit and acquisition of knowledge and experience. A simple yet profound motto shapes his every decision and it’s very inspirational! ‘Do that for which you can be proud.’

Press play and dive into one of the best talks on consumer experience!
Here are today’s takeaways:

  • How to monitor the right kind of data – 04.55
  • How to get more value from existing customers – 09.37
  • What’s the starting point in building a great strategy  – 13.59
  • How to look at and interpret the data – 07.46
  • Fresh ideas for eCommerce growth – 20.38
  • How to add value with marketing – 27.42

How to monitor the right kind of data

All companies are harvesting incredible amount of data about their customers, data that hides everything a company needs to know about its customers. But even though the data hides numerous insights on every customer and there are a lot of opportunities to dig deeper and based on surveys to find out more, many companies prefer using the data superficially, taking out just a few parameters and heavily invest in advertising and media buying.

In the latest Growth Interviews podcast, our guest, Steven Shyne explains that there are two tactics to deal with data correctly and they are sometimes complementary. One is not to get overwhelmed with too much data when the interest of the company is to gather new clients. There are many industries that rely heavily on new customers as product rotation is much slower. There are also industries where the focus should be equally divided between new client acquisitions and retention. In this situation the data is important and should be used to find out more information about customers preferences and as a consequence create and adapt specific communications to that target in order to retain more.

The race for new customers and the value in repeat customers 

The bigger a company gets, the more sophisticated its internal organization is with more departments interlinked and more approval chains that actually isolate specialists from different departments instead of helping them work together more easily. The effect of such organization has resulted many times in a flawed internal communication that impacted the quality of customer communication on specific segments. Steven Shyne observed that most of the specialists living in their own bubble tend to be marketeers, that are only focused on their part of the job and in new customer acquisition which takes the eyes from the already existing customers. The logic of such a strategy goes hand in hand with aggressive sales campaigns that are often time requested before analysing the entire data and before properly segmenting the existing clients.
The increasing competition imposed through some changes and companies started changing their mentalities. “We see a lot of success with companies that put the customer first and then wrap their departments around it versus saying these are the different departments that we have and hope that the customer flows through it nicely.” observed Steven Shyne. “So, I think if we can try to change our mindset not just say, oh I’m in marketing I’m only going to worry about marketing or I’m in product I’m only going to worry about product. If we offer our minds to open to the overall customer journey and really understand what they’re going through and try not to just shove it off to someone else, we can really improve that and and increase our retention rate.”

The most successful companies, like Alaska Airlines and Starbucks really proved that they’ve tried to reduce that pain points of the customers like long lines of waiting and  that’s just one example. In Steven’s opinion they are two different companies that do a great job of understanding the whole customer journey and are really trying to bridge between advertising, marketing, sales and experience. And their success is not questionable nor unimportant for anyone in marketing.

Start with research and segmentation personalization 

Steven Shyne is an expert researcher that really believes in the power of data and in the insights it gives. For an eCommerce company to grow his methodology recommends starting with research first and finding who the customer really is. ‘I would start by understanding and defining who we’re talking to because we can so easily just try to talk to anyone but maybe they’re not a very valuable audience or maybe they’re just an audience responding to us but they’re only going to buy from us one time. That’s not the point. That’s not going to keep you in business if you’ve talked to people that are just going to buy from you for one time only.’ , ‘I’d want to start with some research; understand who we’re talking to, who we’re working with, and then kind of craft the message around that.’

Research leads to segmentation and clear segmentation leads to personalization. The most important aspect is not the personalization of one type of message on one type of channel but the creations of completely different conversations. As Stevens says: ‘We have to understand each of those different segments and talk to them differently.’ Talking the clients’ ‘language’ is the way to go for personalization in Steven Shyne’s vision.

How to look at all that data!

Not only the amount and of course the accuracy of the data matters but also how we look at it. There is quantitative data, qualitative data and there is also the relation between the two. Using only one source is not going to give the full picture so Steven Shyne really recommends a blend of quantitative and qualitative together in order to have the full picture. Mixing the data insights will result in a clearer image about the client segments but in order to understand them better, to get deeper in their preferences and really build a complex buying persona for each segment, some split testing and experimentation should be carried on.

Ideas for eCommerce Growth

eCommerce landscape is changing with unprecedented speed and it’s pushing digital marketeer to design increasingly complex strategies and permanently try and test innovative tactics. Expanding communication on all available and suitable channels has become a must. But the one piece of advice Steven Shyne offers is to ‘get more insight into that customer journey’ with inexpensive, easy to use digital tools that reveal the qualitative data. ‘It can be grabbing someone that might be a potential customer and ask them a couple things about your website.  There’s a lot of inexpensive heat mapping, user recording, mapping tools and there are many to choose from. Many of them offer a free trial. Do that, just start. Just start getting some qualitative data to marry your quantitative data and you will unlock those insights. You will understand your audience a little bit better. Maybe it’s just the audience on a particular page. You will certainly have those aha moments.’

Strategy for added value

Gathering quantitative and qualitative data, putting it all together and creating a clear image on the clients’ profiles is something that in Steven Shyne’s opinion will only bring added value. Defining the path of customer behavior, finding out what the triggers are, what interests them in the short run, but also understanding their evolution in order to continue to offer them what they are looking for is what all eCommerce should start doing. 

The fast-paced technological age we live in, offers a plethora of inexpensive and easy to use  digital tools that are helping marketers see and understand customer behavior so that they can further provide with better products, services, offers or ease the friction points. ‘Just the fact that we have tools that can index websites and really, you can visualize funnels, you can understand flows, you can see those breakdowns, you can see where people are and aren’t clicking and help get to this faster is phenomenal.’

Conclusion

eCommerce is an ever-changing landscape that grows and transforms and pushes all players to become better, invest more in their image and communication and polish their marketing tactics. Customers are not just mere visitors and buyers anymore and the relation is not unidirectional anymore. Customer engagement and the quality of the interactions are at the forefront of customer retention but in order to do that, marketers really have to know who their customers are and the key is in the data.

We hope you enjoyed our video interview with Steven Shyne!

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