WELCOME TO THE SPRING 2018 EDITION OF HARTE HANKS QUARTERLY
What an exciting and yet challenging time to be in marketing. The demands placed on us as marketers are constantly expanding and are being driven from all areas that impact our customers’ and potential customers’ lives. Perhaps none is more top of mind at the moment than trust. People share their information with us in the two-fold belief that we first will respect it, and second, that we will use it in a way that is genuinely relevant to them. The failure to keep this compact can have enormous blowback—the team at Facebook has been dealing with that over the past several weeks.
Respecting the privacy of our clients and ensuring the security of the information they share with us is a sacred trust. It is table stakes to creating truly personalized marketing, but as John Deighton notes in his article on retail brands, customers actually prefer anonymity, which is the antitheses of personalization. If we want clients to share information with us, we need to use it in a way that is truly helpful. It must drive our marketing and provide context for what we say and why we say it. Using a client’s data without understanding the context of their journey is just a form of stalking.
And speaking of the journey, Alan Kittle, our SVP of Global Creative and Strategy, identifies our clients’ desire to understand their customers’ journeys as one of the most prevailing trends he’s seeing as he travels around meeting them. He shares his insights in an interview with Dr. Karl Hellman. The effort to use data in a way that is meaningful to our end customers is a continual journey, not a specific destination. It takes organizational evolution, data sourcing, technology deployment and marketing adaptation. Brian Carrier, Xerox’s VP of Global Demand Generation, Data Insights and Marketing Technology, shares their specific journey towards using clients’ data to make Xerox’s marketing more relevant. A common theme is how we can be good stewards of the data customers chose to share with us. We need to earn their trust and continue to deserve it, and we need to use the information they give us to deliver real value back to them; or the cycle of trust will be broken.
We hope you enjoy all of the articles we are sharing with you in this issue. It is genuinely an exciting time for us as marketers. We need to embrace the opportunities presented to us to build closer, more relevant relationships with our customers!
Frank Grillo, CMO, Harte Hanks