Understanding How Different Channels Shape Digital Marketing

We sat down with Tom Marcinowski, MD, email marketing and engagement, Teach For America


Tom Marcinowski has experience in marketing that stretches back over a decade. With those years in the industry behind him, Tom is now the managing director of email marketing and engagement for Teach For America. Tom has been developing and executing consumer-centric strategies for the nonprofit, with one of his email test strategies culminating in a 300% increase in revenue year on year for a particular campaign. Tom is an expert in email marketing, omni-channel marketing and building a one to one relationship with the consumer. 

We sat down with Tom to speak all things digital marketing, ahead of his presentation at the Digital Marketing Innovation Summit, taking place in Los Angeles this September 15-16. 

What, in your opinion, is the key to a successful omni-channel marketing program?

To develop, grow and maintain a successful omni-channel marketing program, the key focus must be the customer and their experience and interactions with your brand. In the increasing availability of real-time data married with technology platforms that enable real-time personalization and optimization, companies can listen and learn more about what their customers want, en masse, than they ever have before.

What can email marketing offer that social media cannot?

While I think there have been some amazing strides made in the ability to target/segment demographically to amplify a message via social media, email marketing offers brands the ability to listen to customer behaviors and interactions to trigger subsequent ‘journey’ communications. There have also been some amazing advancements within the email space, with technology advancing to the point to serve personalized content such as local maps (to drive to store), weather (to serve an image of a coat versus shorts) or completely differentiated CTAs based on the location and device of email open.

How does the challenge of strengthening brand loyalty differ for nonprofit organizations?

In my opinion, the challenge is strikingly similar to organizations in the for-profit space. Having come from the retail/eCommerce vertical, our way of strengthening brand loyalty was through continued development and delivery a compelling call-to-action that resonates with the customer’s wants and needs. For nonprofits, that product or call-to-action is a mission - whether it’s donating to save endangered animals or electing to serve as a teacher in an underserved community for two years, the mission, the content, and the means of delivery all need to resonate with that audience to garner and maintain that loyalty.

How has the mobile revolution changed the ways you design and execute a digital marketing strategy? 

With the number of smartphone users set to eclipse the 200 million mark in 2016 (and 2 billion worldwide, according to Statista), marketers need to interact and build relationships with their customers where they are. Many marketers, in order to stand out, need to establish and maintain a ‘customer first, mobile second’ mentality - this includes everything from responsive design elements, utilization of geo-location services to serve up hyper-local content and cohesive marketing automation strategy that considers all customer touchpoints like landing pages and forms, emails, SMS/MMS, and mobile apps.

How can analytics and personalization best enhance the customer experience? Can you over-personalize?

Analytics and personalization go hand in hand when delivering a superior customer experience. By being able to track everything from opens and clicks in an email, to tracking browse and conversion behaviors, to IP and Carrier-level data, marketers can develop rule sets to serve content that's hyper-personalized, triggered by customer interactions. While I don’t believe we as marketers can over-personalize (relevance to the customer is key), we must always be conscientious of data integrity (particularly free-form data given by the customer) as we develop personalized content - poor data quality can lead to disastrous results and it is far more difficult to re-establish that relationship.

What will you be speaking about at the Digital Marketing Innovation Summit?

During the session ‘Omni-Channel Marketing: Why Interaction Management Leads to Top-Notch Customer Experiences’, I’ll discuss how marketers can effectively develop customer relationships by listening to the interactions that customers make - from what they browse, when and where they engage and how often they engage - and serving real-time personalized content based on those interactions to create a superior customer experience.

You can hear more from Tom, along with other industry-leading executives, at the Digital Marketing Innovation Summit. To register your interest, click here.

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