The Personal Values report explains the why behind people’s everyday decisions by uncovering what makes us the most human. Watch our video to learn how to use these insights to inform everything including your go-to-market strategy, your customer segmentation strategy, your content strategy, and more.
Speed is everything in technology. The performance of enterprise tools effects everything from crucial business decisions and growth strategies to new product development and customer acquisition.
That’s why in the Fall of 2016, the Resonate engineering team started exploring how we could make our consumer insights platform much faster and more robust. We knew the platform at that time ran slow and limited the number of users at any given moment. Thankfully those days are over.
The engineering team spent the better part of a year revamping our analytics engine using Apache Geode, a distributed in-memory cache and query engine used in data management. It was a unique way of using Apache Geode’s technology, so my colleague, Sharif Ghazzawi, and I were chosen to present our approach at the recent SpringOne Conference in Washington, D.C. We’ll spare you the gritty tech details, but here is a quick summary of how we had transformed the Resonate Platform to make it even more robust and unique in the market. It was truly the most complicated and exciting engineering project of our careers.
HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED
The Resonate Platform computes 10,000+ attribute values for over 200 million cookies. That means we’re looking at 1.7 trillion individual records of someone hitting one of our client’s digital touchpoints. To provide the analytics on these interactions, we examine every single data point. Yes, it’s as daunting as it sounds.
To understand the old way we processed analytics for clients, picture a large spreadsheet with over 200 million records. Every answer would need to be found in that spreadsheet. For example, say you want to know how many men drive Subarus. In that monster spreadsheet, you’re having to go down 200 million rows to filter out all the males. And then you’re going down the row of car owners to filter out who drives a Subaru.
We went from that very manual and slow process to probabilistic counting, where you have a piece of data that resembles the parts of that spreadsheet. It doesn’t take up as much space and allows you to do the same operations but much faster. With the new approach, we’re able to have a data structure that represents the set of people who drive a Subaru. We also have another data structure that represents the set of people who are men. We then take the two data structures to create a third one with our answer. As you can imagine, it’s a lot more efficient than having to go through 200 million rows of data. With this probabilistic approach, we’re able to estimate these counts and control the amount of accuracy on our platform.
LIFE IN THE FAST LANE
Before the move to Geode, the Resonate infrastructure was expensive to operate, with 40 nodes running to power the solution. Not to mention, it took far too long for a client to receive an answer to their query. Going from 40 machines to 10 means we can now provide the same precise answers but much faster to our clients. We can also support a higher number of customers—the user experience slowed down considerably in the old infrastructure when a certain number of people were using the platform at the same time.
Now our clients can run queries faster, which means they can run more queries than ever before. They’re also getting the most updated consumer insights now that we’re able to update the data in our platform nightly. One of the biggest challenges in the market is that data is stale by the time it gets to the marketer.
Using Apache Geode also lets us add more insights to the platform. We now have a system of bringing in new data, modeling it and representing it in our solution. So it’s much more scalable and allows us to provide more data points to our customers.
HOW WE WERE ABLE TO DO THIS
When embarking on a project of this scale, there was the early question of whether we buy or build this solution. We did explore the buy option but realized there was nothing out there to serve our needs. What we developed is a one of a kind solution to a one of a kind problem.
One of the most satisfying aspects of this project was how Resonate had all of the skills it required in-house. It involved engineers of different expertise, everything from critical thinking and database structures to design, data science and Java skills. No one person has all of these skills, so the completion of this project speaks to the willingness of the team to collaborate, bring in new perspectives and talk through the best solutions. Throughout the process, we were challenged with mysterious outages, multiple stress tests, working through weekends and exercises where we stayed in a room until all the problems were fixed. In the end, we have a platform that provides better numbers, faster than anyone else. Nobody has the data we have at the scale and scope that we have it. It was a real feat of engineering.
You should really see it in action. Reach out for a demo of what the Resonate Platform can do, specific to your industry.
Most of today’s CMOs understand the importance of breaking down organizational silos in the quest to build a modern marketing organization, one that can keep pace with the ever-evolving consumer. But knowing where to start is another matter altogether. Marketing departments, particularly at large legacy brands, are often established entities with their own systems, cultures and KPIs. These can be difficult elements to unite across functions.
Historically, marketing data has also fallen victim of the marketing silo epidemic. This applies to both the customer intelligence that drives strategy, as well as the metrics that feed back into optimization and deeper learnings.
Today’s CMO has an opportunity to harness the power of an organization’s consumers insights and leverage that data as a key tool in uniting the marketing organization’s disparate teams and processes. This data-driven approach to breaking down silos establishes a shared understanding of a company’s target consumers—the true humans behind the data—as well as a unified system from which to draw and feed back needed insights.
Start with the Consumer
A united marketing organization starts with a deep, unified understanding of a company’s customers and prospects. These kinds of insights aren’t easily drawn from a company’s CRM database or other management platforms. Marketing teams have vast stores of data across many channels. This data does provide a lot of information: customer demographics, purchase histories, exposure to past media campaign, etc. But it lacks the fundamental depth required to unite a marketing organization’s disparate departments and channels.
As Simon Sinek famously pontificated, CMOs need to “start with why.” Why do customers make the purchases that they do? Why are they loyal to certain brands and abandon others? Why do they choose to purchase online vs. in person—or vice versa or both? The best intelligence into customer drivers is derived by both asking people about their values and motivations, as well as observing and understanding their real-life actions via online behavior. CMOs should keep the following key points in mind when laying a foundation for organizational success with consumer intelligence:
Put consumer intelligence at the center of your data platform. A deep, shared understanding of the consumer across departments must be reflected in a company’s data management strategy. The importance of unifying marketing research, data, measurement and analytics within a single, intuitive platform cannot be understated. By onboarding all departments to a single system that presents a consistent view of customers and prospects, silos begin to naturally fall away, and KPIs can be better aligned and tracked.
Ensure your intelligence evolves with your consumer. Avoid static snapshots into customer preferences and motivations. The relationship between a brand and its consumers evolves over time. Silos often spring up or are strengthened when a single department realizes the need for new consumer intelligence inputs and endeavors to obtain them in a vacuum to drive short-term results in a given channel. By investing in an always-on window into consumer motivations, and enabling all departments to tap into those insights on a regular basis, CMOs can avoid the splintering of departmental understandings and objectives down the road.
Plan for frequent cross-departmental conversations. When developing a plan to gather consumer intelligence, a CMO must simultaneously be building a plan to derive value from those unique consumer insights across all marketing functions. From acquisition to expansion to loyalty to retention, all teams benefit when operating from a unified consumer understanding. Hold regular check-ins with department heads to discuss consumer insights and ensure everyone is aligned on how such knowledge will be uniquely leveraged across channels.
Without a doubt, today’s CMO faces a formidable challenge when it comes to breaking down departmental walls and aligning teams within the marketing organization. When consumer insights are placed at the heart of this process, the marketing organization’s data will cease to be a victim of marketing silos, and instead become a sledgehammer in breaking down the walls.
Read Forrester’s Future of Marketing Insights report to learn about how Innovative CMOs are building strategies to understand the “why” behind the consumer.
New Competitors, New Technology Among Challenges Facing Financial Services Marketers
RESTON, Va., Aug. 23, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Resonate, the leading provider of consumer intelligence and insights for marketers, today announced the release of its new report, The Bank Marketers’ Playbook: Consumer Insights to Score Lasting Connections. The report outlines the challenges facing traditional consumer banks and provides an in-depth profile of consumers who are looking to switch financial services providers.
Because technology has so fundamentally transformed the banking business, consumers now want a different banking experience than they did in the past, Resonate found. As a consequence, more than 5.6 million Americans are thinking about switching banks. Powerful tech companies like Amazon, Google and Facebook are all looking at ways to offer financial services and incorporate consumer banking options into their business models.
“The consumer banking landscape is changing dramatically, and financial companies that want to thrive must focus squarely on their customers and what drives them,” said Ericka McCoy, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Resonate. “The unique consumer insights provided through the Resonate Platform paint a picture of a banking customer who wants more personalized services and technology, which is why some big tech companies are looking toward the consumer banking market.”
Resonate’s report found that the largest demographic of Americans looking to switch banks are women ages 25-34 with a household income range of $25,000 to $50,000. Forty-five percent of this audience have children, and 38 percent have a college degree or higher. These consumers say they want more convenient branch locations, better customer service, and better online and mobile banking services.
Resonate’s Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven platform is a consumer intelligence industry first, applying science and technology toward the art of understanding the complexity of human motivations—the true why behind consumers’ decisions to buy, endorse or abandon. These deep consumer insights help drive growth and customer lifetime value through improved acquisition, expansion and retention programs. Resonate is the only insights platform that provides a continuously updated view of the consumer, as well as cross-channel engagement and ongoing analysis that helps marketers make better decisions and create unique customer experiences that drive growth.
To learn more and read the full report, click here.
Resonate is a pioneer in Consumer Intelligence Marketing, delivering deep understanding, dynamic insights, cross-channel engagement and analysis in a single, simple-to-use SaaS platform. The Resonate Consumer Graph encompasses 9,000 attributes, including values, motivations and other psychographics, describing more than 175 million U.S. consumers. Hundreds of companies have used Resonate to reveal and engage “The Human Element,” a deeper understanding of their target audience that extends beyond traditional demographics, psychographics and behavioral data to uncover the why—the values and motivations that drive consumer decisions to buy or support certain brands, products or causes. Empowered by this unparalleled understanding, leading brands, agencies and organizations identify, engage and continuously analyze these audiences, achieving unbreakable relationships that drive growth and increase customer lifetime value.
Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Resonate is privately held and backed by Argentum Capital Partners, Revolution Growth, Greycroft Partners and iNovia Capital. For more information, please visit www.resonate.com.
As reported on GLOBE NEWSWIRE on 8.23.18: Resonate Releases Consumer Banking Insights Report
Here at Resonate, we recognize that redefining the consumer intelligence landscape requires more than just first-in-class technology and unique insights. It requires an internal culture built around rapid innovation and deep client understanding, and that’s exactly the culture we strive to foster here, day in and day out.
As a company leader, it’s one thing to say, “Workplace culture is important.” It’s quite another to know whether you’re succeeding in creating the type of workplace environment where people can thrive, both professionally and personally. That’s why it was so incredibly gratifying to learn last week that, for the third consecutive year, Resonate has been named a Top Workplace by The Washington Post.
At Resonate, our culture is defined by creativity, problem-solving, motivation, knowledge and intellectual curiosity. These are the qualities we seek out in our employees, and those are the qualities that we strive to foster in our workplace environment.
While all the qualities I mentioned are important, intellectual curiosity, to me, is perhaps the most defining characteristic of every member of our team. After all, we’re in the business of understanding humans—looking beyond demographics and clickstreams to ascertain the values and motivations that truly drive people. How can a company go about such a monumental task if its team is not inherently curious?
I’m proud of the amazing team of intelligent, curious humans that we’ve brought together here at Resonate. While this is exactly the culture we hoped to build at Resonate since Day 1, they’re the ones who have brought it to life. They’re the reason I come to work every day.
Resonate’s customer-centric culture drives its fourth placement on the prestigious annual list.
RESTON, VA – JUNE 25, 2018 – Resonate, the leading provider of consumer intelligence and insights for marketers, has been awarded a 2018 Top Workplaces honor by The Washington Post. This represents the fourth year that Resonate has been included on the prestigious list, which is compiled based on direct employee feedback.
“We’re honored to again be named as one of the Top Workplaces by the Washington Post,” said Bryan Gernert, CEO of Resonate. “We pride ourselves on a culture of innovation where ideas can and do come from all departments and levels within the organization. Our team members are the foundation of our success in consumer intelligence marketing, and their passion, creativity and customer-centric thinking are the reasons we continue to be pioneers in our space.”
The Top Workplaces employee survey is administered by Energage, a leading research firm that specializes in organizational health and workplace improvement. The Top Workplaces award is not merely a popularity contest focused on fancy perks and benefits. To be included on the list, organizations must meet high standards for organizational health.
Resonate is a pioneer in Consumer Intelligence Marketing, delivering deep consumer understanding, dynamic insights and analysis in a single, simple-to-use SaaS platform. Hundreds of companies have used Resonate to reveal and engage “The Human Element,” a deeper understanding of their target audience, that extends beyond traditional demographics, psychographics and behavioral data to encompass more than 7,000 attributes and uncover the why – the values and motivations that drive consumer decisions to buy or support certain brands, products or causes. Empowered by this unparalleled understanding, leading brands, agencies and organizations achieve unbreakable relationships that increase customer lifetime value.
Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Resonate is privately held and backed by Argentum Capital Partners, Revolution Growth, Greycroft Partners and iNovia Capital. For more information, please visit resonate.com
As reported on PR Newswire on 6.25.18: The Washington Post Names Resonate a 2018 Top Workplace
Imagine doing an online survey to get a better handle of your target audience and throwing out 20% of the responses. Crazy? Well actually if you’re not throwing out about that much, you’re probably using bad data.
Resonate conducts many surveys per year and uses a proprietary “fraud score” to throw out 10-20% of what is scoring as “bad data.” It’s really the only way we’ve found to ensure that the insights we’re providing are the closest measure of consumers.
As is true across the industry, we rely heavily on surveys to measure audience behavior. To understand humans and how to connect with them in an impactful way, we must ask them directly about their buying habits, their daily routines, how they choose which stores to shop at, what kinds of values go into their buying decisions and what their motivations are when pursuing a happy, productive life. But humans are not perfect and there are many factors that can affect the way they answer surveys that ultimately impact data quality.
So, what goes wrong exactly? Well for starters, if you ask someone their political affiliation and they mark Republican but they’re really a Democrat, how are you supposed to know? People provide poor answers for a variety of reasons. Of all the reasons, the most likely is that you’ll have respondents who do lots of online surveys and they blow through the answers to get paid. You’ll also get people who reduce their mental effort while they’re taking the survey to keep their stamina up.
Getting these bad responses has terrible implications for a company seeking high-quality survey data, including skewing data and throwing off compositions used in business decisions. Also, we estimate that about $3 billion-$4 billion is wasted annually on this bad data.
There are a few techniques for identifying bad survey responses but they all have their flaws. Straightlining is a commonly used technique where people choose answers like “agree,” “disagree,” “no opinion” on big matrix questions. People who straightline will just check off the same response all the way down the row. But we’ve actually found that many respondents straightline on these but on all other questions provide high quality data. Consistency checks can be helpful, but they, along with attention checks, can actually cause additional bad data. Extreme timing does catch bad actors, but in general, unless it is used with other techniques, it turns out not to be overly helpful.
Resonate finds bad data through a proprietary approach we call ‘fraud score,’ which is based on a few factors:
- We look at the likelihood of certain answers given the respondent’s other answers. Someone saying they didn’t like their phone all that much means that they probably wouldn’t recommend it to friends. But answering the opposite of that could be a red flag.
- Some questions prompt responses that together can give useful insight into a person’s thinking. For example, if asked for the color of your mother’s living room carpet and their political affiliation, those two answers don’t provide much information about each other. But if someone is asked for your political affiliation and their stance on abortion, their answers provide mutual insight.
We use fraud scoring because it’s an absolute measure that considers mutual informational relationships and is scaled by unconditional likelihoods. Also, when someone fills out a survey, we can tell you how much pure information they gave us. In the end, we throw out at least 15% of the data responses to get the most accurate insights.
I recently presented Resonate’s fraud detection process at the Advertising Research Foundation’s 13th Audience Measurement conference this month. Take a look at my presentation slides to get more details on how we avoid bad data.
It’s surprising that customer centricity is such a buzzword these days. How did we lose focus on customers so much that paying attention to them became a major competitive advantage? Haven’t businesses always been centered on serving the customer?
No one is really to blame for this trend. In the last 10 years, we’ve been so inundated with digital disruption (another interesting buzzword), that we’ve potentially lost sight of what’s important.
In the B2B space, customer centricity came to the forefront as SaaS platforms became the dominant business model. Successful SaaS platform businesses are dependent on low-churn rates. As a result, these companies began to look for churn fighters, also known as customer success teams. Salesforce is really the model for creating a successful customer success team. The company’s “Customers for Life” team is arguably one of the largest in the industry today. But what most of us in B2B space have failed to recognize is that though the team was initially adopted to reduce churn, the success of the Customers for Life team is really in the evolution of its strategy from a reactive revenue protection to a proactive revenue acceleration.
“Through our values – trust, equality and customer success – comes innovation at scale!”- Marc Benioff (CEO of Salesforce)
So in a highly saturated martech world how can companies successfully replicate this success for this critical part of the organization?
I’ve learned a thing or two in my 20 years leading customer success teams at HP, Verizon and now Resonate. Here is my take on the 7 best practices for building an effective customer success strategy to drive revenue growth and accelerate value for the customer:
- A Customer Centric Strategy – Have a well-defined customer success management (CSM) methodology based on your target segment (large enterprise, SMB, etc.) and solution. Once you crystallize your CSM mission and strategy, create a process handbook and standard template to guide your company’s activities.
- Right Talent for the Job – Hire talent with the right skills and experience to lead projects for your customers and across your business units. The required skills should mirror your goals for your customers (i.e. adoption, implementation, business development, etc.)
- Simplify and Automate – Seek out systems and tools to automate tasks, reporting and customer analytics based on your model.
- Single Source of Truth – Have a single data source about the customer across all business units (data repository and data integrity).
- Quarterly Success Reviews – Review accounts or projects regularly (every 60 or 90 days) for solution adoption, progress and barriers so you can improve your CSM model and tools.
- Relationship is Everything – Establish strong relationships between your company’s decision makers and your customers.
- Demonstrable Loyalty – Drive customer to participate in marketing with testimonials. This is a great way to proactively gauge customer satisfaction and respond to issues before it’s too late. Unhappy customers will never be a reference.
In this era of customer centricity, we have the opportunity to re-establish the focus on providing value to customers.
Contact us to get started implementing a customer-centric approach to your marketing.
Every once in a while, you have time to reflect. I was recently asked to describe Resonate’s evolution, and it’s simply impossible for me not to look back and think about how far we’ve come. And yet in doing so, perhaps what struck me the most was that, since our founding, the fundamental mission of Resonate has not changed—or even wavered.
Resonate was started with one simple but powerful idea: understanding people. From Day 1, we’ve been on a quest to understand people at a deeper level than any other company in the marketplace. A lot of companies today talk about being “customer centric.” But at Resonate, we talk about being “people centric.” Because we believe that marketers need to understand their audiences beyond their relationships with their products. Marketers need to understand the true human element—the why behind what people do in the online and offline worlds.
Customers are important. Understanding who these human beings truly are is key to a company’s future success. Here at Resonate, we believed that when we typed the first keystroke of the Resonate business plan, and we believe it still in 2018.
That said, while the fundamental premise behind Resonate has not wavered, our capabilities have evolved significantly. As technology has progressed, marketers’ need to understand consumers hasn’t changed. But what did change was the speed with which they must be able to gain that understanding and put it into action. That speed has greatly accelerated. Our platform developments have recognized and evolved with that need.
We knew our unique take on consumer intelligence would be valuable. But we didn’t realize just how far the value could extend. At our outset, we thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could use these deep consumer insights to help marketers communicate better?” And so that’s what we did. We focused on creating the inputs to shape a deep consumer understanding, hiring the brightest minds in research, data science and engineering and building a technology platform that would allow marketers to better execute their marketing campaigns around a unique understanding of their audiences.
But something happened that surprised us. We started receiving inbound requests from leading brand executives who wanted our understanding of their customers, prospects and competitors’ customers. But they didn’t just want it for advertising. They wanted it for product development, brand development, product marketing, for deeper strategy—to use it in a way that would shape their very businesses and customer interactions. And so the Resonate platform evolved well beyond one designed for media execution.
Many companies today are racing to distance themselves from the “ad tech” bucket to serve the broader “martech” bucket. Candidly, we didn’t and still don’t worry about what bucket we fit in. The foundation on which we have built our company is simply this: understanding people. We take that understanding, and we make it easy for marketers to use, which in turn drives better decisions and greater success for our customers. As far as we’re concerned, the market can discuss buckets all it wants. We’re just going to spend our time working maniacally to help our customers succeed. The complexity of what it means to be human can’t fit in a bucket, and correspondingly neither can Resonate. And that’s just fine with us.
Going forward, we know that continual evolution and innovation are necessary to continue to meet the needs of our clients. But one thing is certain: As much as our data and technology may evolve over time, we’ll always be driven by that same idea that drove us from the start: understanding people better.
Read the Forrester report The Future of Marketing Insights to learn how organizations are transforming by leveraging insights.