Browsing posts in: Marketing

How to Upsell Your Customers Using Data

This post originally appeared on the Umbel blog. The Umbel Marketing team helped edit and refine the original content.


As the New Year starts to take shape, we’ll be asked to reflect on the prior year and make resolutions for this one. In our personal lives as well as our professional lives, it’s important to think about what went well in 2015 and what we want to improve in 2016.

2015 was the year of analytics, marketing automation and first-party data. It was also the year of new media where brands and retailers tried new and innovative ways to engage their prospective customers. With all this focus (and money) on acquisition, it’s now time to figure out what to do with all those customers.

Some will inevitably churn as they came in through hefty promotions. Others will make a few purchases and stray elsewhere. But a select few will become loyal, passionate advocates of the brand. It’s time to plan for those and be a little bit more specific in the approach. It’s vital to engage these customers across channel, but it’s equally vital to make sure that they’re making incremental purchases and improving the bottom line.

Here’s a few ways to make it possible.

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The Fanatics, The Fairweathers, and The Friends

This post originally appeared on the Umbel blog. The Umbel Marketing team helped edit and refine the original content.


It’s a great time of the year to be a sports fan of any kind. Basketball season just started. Football season, collegiate and pro, is about halfway through. Baseball season is winding down. Oh, and Texas beat Oklahoma (full disclosure: I attended Texas).

With so much time and money spent by consumers on sports related activities, sports fans are surprisingly hard to reach. Perhaps it’s because (almost) everyone likes some kind of sport. Perhaps it’s because it’s an activity that marketers take for granted. Or, it’s because data in sports is notoriously hard to collect and parse.

At Umbel, we hear the latter a lot.

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How to Reach Maximum ROI with Customer Lifetime Value

This post originally appeared on the Umbel blog. The Umbel Marketing team helped edit and refine the original content.


Calculating customer lifetime value (LTV) down to the individual is not a new concept.

However, LTV is one of the most important metrics a business should track. So what is LTV exactly? LTV represents the amount that a particular customer is expected to spend over the duration of his or her relationship with a particular business.

For example, Wal-mart knows that I purchase online once every two months and spend $20 each time. Through a series of predictive models, Walmart can predict that my lifetime value is $89.25. The lifetime value metric incorporates how much it cost to acquire me, how much it costs to retain me, and discounts future cash flows.

Technology companies, including Umbel, are now calculating LTV in a more scalable way to help businesses establish a closer relationship to their customers and the channels where they were acquired. So now that Wal-mart knows that my LTV is an estimated $89.25, what strategies can they implement to increase this number?

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3 Ways to Adapt to the Shift Toward Online Privacy (Ethically, Nonetheless)

This post originally appeared on the Umbel blog. The Umbel Marketing team helped edit and refine the original content.

In May 2014, the E.U. announced that search engines were responsible for removing links deemed inadequate or irrelevant. This rule is also known as the Right to be Forgotten, and fell squarely in the crosshairs of a Google lobbying campaign. Since then, Google has received over 160,000 requests to remove content and there are few signs that the requests will slow down.

Yesterday, Mozilla announced the Forget feature in the latest version of the Mozilla browser, which removes cookies, form field information and web browsing history. Of course, this feature is available in Incognito mode on Chrome, but Mozilla is the first major browser to place such a feature front and center of its newest product.

The E.U. made a decision for regulatory purposes. Mozilla made a decision in the similar vein to satisfy a desire to not hand over all personal information to ad networks, data brokers and the assorted acronyms of companies that exist to monetize the information we unwillingly share. No matter where the next push to online privacy comes from, it’s a push that will continue to emerge until tracking software becomes obsolete. The push may be congressional; it may come from the media industry (Google, Facebook, etc.); or it may come from the people themselves demanding more privacy.

The truth is plain to see: we’ll all have to adapt – and the sooner we get used to it, the better. Online marketers, ad ops specialists, salespeople and the like will eventually have to perform their day-to-day functions a little bit differently, respecting the privacy of their both their customers and those with whom we all share the web.

Thankfully, there’s a way to get started today.

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The 3 Biggest Problems with Salesforce’s Analytics Cloud

This post originally appeared on the Umbel blog. The Umbel Marketing team helped edit and refine the original content.

Salesforce isn’t satisfied with its $32B market capitalization. It wants a slice of the $42B business intelligence industry, currently dominated by major companies like Tableau, Domo, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP. How so? Well, Salesforce recently introduced the Wave Analytics Cloud, a product that will let companies connect data from different systems, visualize that data, and allow users to make actionable decisions from insights found in that data. This is themain business proposition of many big data BI companies.

Of course, these visualizations are not meant to be incredibly sophisticated but to rather help standardize business operations. According to the New York Times, “the application was able to look at a national sales force, quickly sort it by people and regions, then figure out where there were big disconnects between budget targets and actual results”

Despite its splashy entrance and enormous brand presence, the Wave Analytics Cloud will face many of the same pitfalls that its competitors face – limited data access, lack of a dedicated staff to use its robust functionality, and limited actionability.

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Let’s Get Tactical: How to Make Your Department More Data-Friendly

This post originally appeared on the Umbel blog. The Umbel Marketing team had a major role in editing and refining the original content.

It seems as though the entire world is abuzz about big data. If you get data alerts from Google much like I do, these are the headlines that fly over your radar every day:

  • Chinese Data Don’t Add Up [WSJ]
  • Can Data Analytics Make Teachers Better Educators? [CIO]
  • Scientists Question the Big Price Tags of Big Data [Newsweek]
  • According to U.S. Big Data, We Won The Vietnam War [Forbes]
  • Can Big Data Cure Cancer? [Fortune]

In other words, big data is doing big things – or it isn’t. That’s the general sentiment across all industries when it comes to the topic and many professionals are coming up against the same questions: Is big data worth it? Does it produce ROI? Is it just a phase? Will data become an asset? Who are the major players? Does any of it matter?

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E-Commerce Marketing Done Right: Harry’s Razors

I am bombarded with ads for new products every day. Rue-La-La wants me to buy Cole-Haans. Dollar Shave Club wants me to try their low-end razors. Gilt teases me with those desert boots that are out of my price range. Out of all the products I have seen in my News Feed in the past three months, one stands in out in particular. It also happens to be the only item I purchased that I can safely say I would not have without the exposure in my Facebook News Feed.

Handsomer. Sharperer. Less Expensive. I cannot count the number of times I saw this ad in my News Feed. Every time, I remember thinking “These look nice, but how good are they?” Occasionally, I would click on the Bitly and read more about Harry’s, their origins, and the pricing. I never read reviews and never made a purchase. It felt a lot like the Dollar Shave Club with less edgy marketing. I considered buying razors from Dollar Shave Club but decided against them after reading reviews. When I saw ads for Harry’s, my Dollar Shave Club bias came with me. No matter how many ads I saw, I refused to make a purchase. My bias even prevented me from reading reviews or spending more time evaluating how much money I would save by switching off my Gillette blades.

They finally got me. I saw a banner ad (can’t find a screenshot) that compared the price of Harrys blades to Gillette blades. They claimed that they were cheaper. Had I seen this ad without the context of all those Facebook News Feed ads, I would have glossed over it. But I had seen the ads for a solid two months, clicked to the website, and briefly read about the brand. The latest ad was merely another attempt to move me down the purchase funnel. And it worked but not in the way a marketer would want. I didn’t click, buy immediately, and tweet about my happiness. I made a mental note to do some more research the next day.

True to my mental note, I spent more time the next day on the Harry’s website. The blades were indeed cheaper than what I pay for Gillette blades. Not a lot cheaper, but enough for me to consider them. This time, I also searched for a independent review. I clicked on the first search result from and was immediately convinced. I went back to, added the Truman Kit to my cart, and completed my purchase. I have not received them yet.

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