Directors' Club Roundtable

Actionable strategies for ensuring consumer confidence

Recently, Wunderkind, soon to be Wunderkind, hosted a closed-door Directors’ Club Roundtable that was led in conversation by executive leader TJ Papp. TJ, who currently serves as an advisor to technology companies such as Wunderkind, most recently served as Senior Vice President Global Brand, Digital Brand & DTC at Kenneth Cole. He’s also held senior leadership positions at companies such as Nike, Victoria’s Secret, and Cole Haan. In the roundtable discussions, attendees shared best practices for increasing consumer confidence with one quote from TJ as their north star:

“If you rely on insights based on what the average customer looks like then you’re leaving money on the table. No two customers are alike and the key is being able to recognize what makes each unique to drive real performance.”

My Takeaways from the Session

With the above north star in mind, here are some of the key takeaways and strategies that you should begin implementing into your campaigns today.

Unify and organize your consumer data to turn it into actionable insights

  • Align business priorities: Make sure your business’ priorities are mapped out over the next couple quarters and then ensure that each team in your organization is aligned around these goals. Change is a collective effort and needs everyone on board in order to be most effective.
  • Single-customer view: Spray-and-praying your marketing efforts to all potential consumers or even creating just a few subsets of your audience likely won’t be the most effective for your business. Employ a single-customer view to help you analyze behavior appropriately and craft personalized, one-to-one messages.
  • Unify the customer journey: Create a unified brand and shopping experience for your customers no matter where they’re interacting with you. Additionally, marry your customer data into one holistic view to better understand how different channels and platforms affect a customer’s decision to purchase.
  • Data quality is important: How are you looking at data in your CRM? Are you clustering groups together based on their demographic data? Firmographic? Average order value? Quality data is important to ensuring that you’re reaching target customers efficiently and with personalized messaging.
  • Cross-functional approach: Adopt a cross-functional approach for your internal teams rather than having siloed decision making amongst buyers, planners, allocators, and other teams. Set up a structure that sets a strategy, enables speed, coordinates the necessary stakeholders, and prioritizes campaign approval.
  • Consolidate Media: Consolidate your brand and performance media efforts under one team. This will help you more easily look at full funnel activity and align KPI’s according to those specific stages of the funnel. Our goal, create a marketing culture of sharing insights.
  • Connect data: It’s great to understand which products perform the best on your site. But take it a step further by connecting product-level data with customer-level data. This will help you better personalize your onsite and marketing efforts to what consumers actually want to purchase.
  • Keep LTV in mind: Approach your audience segmentation with a customer’s lifetime value in mind. This will make it easier to align marketing and business objectives to focus on long-term profit rather than short term CPA. This is especially true as consumer shopping behaviors shift during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Implement and integrate the right technologies to drive a reactive consumer ecosystem

  • Consider integration limitations: One common mistake that I see is that people only look for the best in breed product, even if that product can’t integrate with their current systems. Keep integration capabilities at the forefront of your onboarding process for new technologies.
  • GTM alignment: New technology should be used to enable the right go-to-market process for your brand. Consider how it will help you innovate across people, product, and process that allow your business to emerge in a position of strength.
  • Consider in-store: Build a tech enabled process that connects customers in-store shopping experience with their digital one to better communicate the right content and the right product at the right time across all channels. One simple way to do this is to capture emails in-store, ingest, enrich/assign and use that customer level detail to inform customer’s online shopping habits. Another, collapse the journey by linking the in-store experience to in-app activities and activations and ensure the message is connected to drive authentic moments for each customer.
  • Personalization: Use technology to your benefit to activate high-intent customers on your site. Here are three critical steps to consider. The first is an integrated customer data platform, knowing what size, color, and category the customer has shopped before. The second is a values-based catalog where you show the customer a personalized catalog of product and content that will appeal to them. The third is to offer optimization where we match offers and items the customer might like—delivered with speed and scale.
  • Incrementality: Create & execute consistent audience segmentation to align to long-term goals. Pivot KPI’s from short-term CPA/ROAS to ensure you’re maximizing each customer. LTV can help uncover the incremental value that’s associated with every touchpoint along the customer journey. This will allow you to understand which channel combined with the right tech partners is the most profitable. And, will enable teams to reposition budgets with better precision.

Test, learn, adjust, and grow — the secret to data-savvy, consumer-led experiences

  • Collate data: Collect and combine all of the data that you have then then feed it back into your CRM so that you can effectively segment your customers with data-backed strategies for serving them more personalized messaging. For example; we build key moments throughout the year and leverage technology partners like Wunderkind to amplify performance. We start by creating dynamic/reactive first experience plans that make the site the most interesting for each customer. We then leverage a suite of products with Wunderkind across onsite email capture, behavioral email triggers, catalog emails, and web push to create/match offers with speed and scale. We are fueled by the desire to know the consumer better so we can continue to serve them better.
  • Pull data upstream: Pulling data upstream will provide value to your org. For example, the ability to enforce better inventory management, will result in less risk, more agility, and more optimized revenue. With good customer data and an internal predictive analytics capability, you are smarter about buying decisions and avoid the kinds of assumptions that lead to excess inventory, over-discounting, and profit shortfalls.
  • CAC vs. LTV: Understanding how much you are spending to acquire each customer is important, but it should be compared to how much revenue you’re seeing from that customer over time to understand true customer acquisition success.
  • Customer analytics: Use your customer analytics team (if you have one) to propel data through the org to either support the growth or challenge the traction of your strategy. Extra-credit, dedicate someone that is solely focused on converting 1-time to 2-time purchasers.
  • Don’t distract: Be wary that some data cohorts can distract the team. Churn risk can be a good data point, or it can distract the team away from customer segments who would be higher value and more likely to stay on with your brand for the long term. Stay committed to your long-term strategy.
  • Value proposition: Test out different value propositions for your customers. Consider what they perceive to be a value prop, then measure their behavior as a result of those variables.

In Summation:

Digital transformation opens you up to huge opportunities: use data as a center point to build, pivot, and evolve. Show humility; learn from your mistakes and the people around you.

My top 4 biggest enablers:

  • Establishing a single customer view
  • Data that can be segmented/personalized across every channel
  • Seamlessly managing customer engagement and user journey
  • The ability to experiment and report across your channels channels


Author Profile Image

TJ Papp

Previous to his role at Kenneth Cole Productions, TJ held global leadership roles at Nike, Cole Haan, and Victoria’s Secret. He is an experienced executive focused on creating and leading consumer-centric operating models that accelerate a seamless connection across digital and physical experiences globally. Passionate about breaking down barriers and leading cross-functional transformation through facilitating a culture of insight sharing and communication.