This is a live blog post from the Online Marketing Summit. Interview with Keynote John Boris, CMO of Shutterfly.

 

 John’s Comments:

“Real time intelligence. It’s a lot more complicated and time consuming but so much more rewarding than it’s ever been before.”

“I try to install a sense of personal ownership about our money. I encourage the team to think about new ideas and make decisions about how to spend budget as if it was their own money. That accountability allows them to be more creative and more efficient than not.”

“Innovation is not just the newest thing out there and whatever is trending, it could be a new approach to something old”

“We spend the vast majority of our budgets online. Then we optimize the hell out of each of them. We have KPIs and metrics for everything, understand everything. Every month is different, every customer is different, and we measure all of that.”

“Always understand the worst performing thing you are doing. Then remove that and put that effort or budget into something else that’s performing better.”

“They are starting to invest more offline because it’s differentiating them from their online competitors. They won’t know what the ROI is going to be, but they know it’s going to work.”

“Did we bend the curve on our brand exposure on Google because of our offline efforts? Absolutely it did. And we were acquiring better customers because they had a stronger brand loyalty to our brand.”

“The Average person looks at their phone on average 150 times per day.” – Wow, I’m guilty of this…

“If 30% of your traffic is coming from mobile you should be spending 30% of your R&D budget on mobile”

“There is no good way to show that discovery happens on a lean back device when you’re at home watching TV then going back to purchase on your laptop the next day.”

“We have set aside some money to play and learn more about what we can do with mobile.”

“We look at things right brain, left brain as much as we can. I love looking at brand and analytics. I am realistic enough to know that there are things we are going to be doing that can’t be quantifiable but that I know adds value and is important to our overall marketing mix.”

“True lift – people struggle with it all the time. We struggle with it too! Some of it is just intuitive gut and just test and measure absolutely everything we can and optimize the heck out of each one over and over again.”

“Data is critical to any business and especially online businesses. If I could trade off budget for more analytics I would. It’s essential. We look at importer, CPA, Cost Per New, Return on Ad Spend, LTV, ROI. We are in the process of creating a multi-touch attribution model. Display plus paid search plus affiliate becomes a sale. But how and what does that mean. If you could understand which customers shop once a year or once a month, how do you treat those customers differently from each other.”

“Pictures are a motive. People want to communicate through images. There are about 350 images a day posted on our Facebook. We don’t want people to take more photos. We want people to do more with their photos and share them in meaningful ways.”

“We’ve made great stides in social over the last two years. We have over 2MM fans across our channels. I’m a believer in social media. It’s an incredibly compelling way to engage with your customers with a relevant and meaningful way. You can ‘t just pump out offer after offer after offer. It has to be relevant, timely and thoughtful. When we do that it’s successful. I approach engagement as the first measurement tool with this first and ROI second. Engagement is always first.”

“Social gives you opportunity that is amazing, but you have to treat it with respect or you’re going to loose your friends and followers.”

“We have millions of customers in our database. Not all are active. We’ve been around for over 10 years. We are a very Q4 centric business. So try to sell photo gifts, photo books around babies, birthdays, etc. Offline you are put into a separate bucket because you don’t know if the person is going to see the TV ad or not. We have a very robust CRM team to send a relevant piece to the right person in the right mindset at the right time which sends meaningful messages based on what we know about our costumers whether through direct mail, email or retargeting.”

“We took people’s photos and sent them personal messages with their picture in a new format or in a Christmas card and did the work for them, and it’s becoming an extremely successful strategy for us.”

“Visual merchandising is what we invest a lot of time, energy and investment on. We ask, what is the best way to display this? We test different things. We continually experiment with that. That’s not just for the website either, it’s on banners, display, e-mail, etc. Visual is as responsive as you can get and a picture really does say 1000 words, so this is something we continue to put forth and try to perfect as much as possible. You don’t have to perfect it, you just have to always try to continue to improve.”

“Long tail can mean different things for different folks. Long tail search for us is huge. People are getting smarter and they are using very specific terms to find exactly what they are looking for. But there is the long tail customer as well. In our system they look dormant but they may be travelling and are taking a season off. You have to consider they are still around and a brand advocate even if they are not currently active.”

“Always feed the top of your funnel. But also nurture your existing CRM. From a channel standpoint, it’s more expensive to acquire new customers than to keep the ones we have.”

“I love DM! What if you extended your product catalogue and mailed it to your customer? We are experimenting with all these things and continuing to improve them as we go.”

Other great brands like Shutterfly are Blurb and Picaboo. If you are an affiliate you can check out their affiliate programs on AIM’s Affiliate Program page here.