In a World of Data and AI, EQ is Still Key

World of Data

All customers – whether B2B or B2C – are motivated by a compelling brand presence,
says Leena Jain, CMO at Humanscale

How are you leveraging data analytics to support your campaigns?

To create an optimal marketing campaign, it is crucial for any brand to understand customer behavior. Data is critical in our effort to understand our consumers and optimize our efforts.

We carefully plan and track all of our campaigns, from email and social media campaigns to advertising and PR. We also utilize UTM codes, which track digital media campaigns and provide quantitative insights into what’s working and what’s not.  For instance, our website visitors are a combination of people who are unfamiliar with Humanscale and researching us via multiple channels, and customers who know us and are visiting the site directly. As such, it is essential to look to our digital directory to identify leads, understand the last touched link and analyze the conversion. As customers research our product, they keep moving down the funnel.

Also read: The Bigger the Riskier!

That said, we cannot rely on isolated data to decide where to invest and what to forego, because if we shut off one channel or one activity, we might shut down a path to conversion. But when we look at the entire conversion, we can understand all the touch points and how customers got there.

A recent challenge we’ve faced in this matter is the GDPR requirement to disclose cookie usage. Because of this requirement, we have seen an increase unattributable activity in Google Analytics. To help fill that gap, we consider the data from those whose activity we can track, and rely on internal teams, including the product team, sales team and the customer service team, to supplement our understanding of customer trends.

One thing I have always found is that data can reveal and analyze what you are doing, but it cannot tell you what you are not doing. To be successful marketers, it’s important to remember that great ideas and campaigns are born from a deep understanding of your business and customer.

What marketing strategies do you use to stand out through the noise on social media? 

At a macro-level, I really believe that you have to focus on what makes you unique. As marketers, our work involves understanding what our competitors are doing and how they’re doing it. But one cannot break through just by mimicking others. For me, it is about focusing on our unique traits and why our customers care about us. Humanscale is not just another furniture company. Therefore, on social media we focus our messaging on innovative designs, ergonomics, health & wellness and sustainability. By doing this, I really believe that we stand out from our competition. Of course, we use that to promote what we want to sell, but we do it in a way that is organic and natural to our brand.

At the micro-level, it boils down to our strategies and tactics. While most companies want to be active on a variety of channels, we spend a lot of time customizing our content for each channel. For instance, we have a tailored strategy for Instagram, where we can be more creative, speak to our architect and design audience and focus on shopping. On LinkedIn, our strategy is geared toward professional B2B audiences, such as real estate managers and facilities directors. Every channel has its own strategy to cater to those specific audiences.

All of this is followed up by remarketing campaigns to remind visitors of what they have seen on social media or our other channels and amplify our brand messaging beyond one channel. This multi touch approach can lead to a purchase or serve as a consistent branding reminder to the audience.

Also read: 6 Reasons Why B2B Companies Are Turning to Influencer Marketing

Which upcoming marketing technology do you think will cause disruption?

Many people are talking about AI. For me, the real game-changer is using AI not just to interpret data, but to also interact with customers in a predictive way.

For Humanscale, there is a massive opportunity when it comes to personalization and providing  a tailored experience to anyone who interacts with us. I think the challenge for us right now is to prove that AI can provide true value to Humanscale and our customers. Though we are not utilizing AI right now, it is definitely something we are exploring and thinking about deeply.

Also read: Adobe Launches Customer Journey Analytics

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges that a marketing leader faces in digital marketing as a B2B company?

The customer journey is very different with a B2B purchase — it is not just transactional. We find that often the person we are reaching is not always the end decision-maker. This requires us to consider a variety of different audiences through a variety of different channels, all at the same time. We also have to ensure that there is a call-to-action targeted to different audiences, but driving to the same endpoint through SEM, SEO or social media. We might have five different customers that are taking five different paths to purchase, so we must create more varied points of contact. These can include dynamic landing pages based on the type of search, type of audience and their path to the page.

Unlike a B2C customer, with whom you can get an instant transaction, B2B is all about creating a lead. However, a lead takes much more time to build, nurture and convert, which leads to a longer customer journey. For example, for Humanscale, it might be a facilities manager who is making the purchase, but all the employees in the company are adding influence to the purchase, also making them a ‘lead.’ We really have to think about everyone involved with the influence, just as much as we think about the conversion.

You come from a very consumer-focused, high-touch personalized experiences industry. What are some of the learnings from your previous job that you bring to your current one?

The companies I have worked with until now were all in very high-touch and high-involvement industries and offer beautiful luxury products — Humanscale is really no different. At the end of the day, I think people are motivated by the same things at my previous companies as they are with Humanscale: beautiful imagery, clear messaging and consistent branding. Therefore, while our products and distribution channels may differ, the way we reach customers and create the dream for them is the same. We are trying to sell something that people purchase not just for functional needs, but also because it brings them pleasure and joy.

Also read: U.S. States Launch Antitrust Probes on Facebook, Google

Leena has served as Chief Marketing Officer of Humanscale since 2018. Previously, she worked in the beauty industry for 12 years at L’Oreal on a variety of brands, including Ralph Lauren Fragrances and Essie nail polish. Prior to L’Oreal, Leena worked for a large restaurant corporation. She has a passion for products and brands that bring happiness to consumers.